I live in West Virginia and have been reading Lissa Lucas’ (incredibly articulate) blog, Holler from the Hollers, for some time. I really hope she wins, though I don’t live in her district; but even if she does, she won’t be able to change anything. There are always a couple of people in the house, and about one in the state Senate, determined to stand up for the people. Obviously, they never win votes against the vast majority who got there on big money’s cushy ride. One of Lucas’ best columns was the one where she spelled out in detail the oil; & gas connection of everyone of the sponsors of a fundraiser for the incumbent she’s challenging–this is because gas fracking is the key issue in this area. In her county, Antero Resources also just put in a waste processing and disposal facility that will fill 500 acres a few feet seep in the “salts” left over from recycling frack fluid…about four miles from the main water source for the public water system. This waste is also radioactive, and they’e currently allowed to put it in WV landfills. That column I mentioned also included a link and clear instructions for looking up who sponsors “your” representatives, which I did. This information is on file with the Secretary of State’s office; probably is in your state, too. Who’s funding “your” supposed representative? Looking that up will go far to explain the person’s votes. For what it’s worth, another piece of information–no Citizens United did not “open the floodgates to corporate cash” and create this problem. Those floodgates were already wide open thanks to Buckley Versus Valeo in 1976, in which SCOTUS ruled that campaign finance laws couldn’t restrict the “free speech rights” of the rich. All Citizens United did was rip the gateposts out of the ground, widening the flood. Arguably, the SCOTUS made the critical ruling in 1886 when they ruled in DSanta Clara County vs Southern Pacific Railroad that corporations were legal persons with rights,
Your missing the whole point. This is NOT good legislation!
I like your comment – “Citizens United did not ‘open the floodgates to corporate cash’ and create this problem. Those floodgates were already wide open thanks to Buckley Versus Valeo in 1976, in which SCOTUS ruled that campaign finance laws couldn’t restrict the ‘free speech rights’ of the rich. All Citizens United did was rip the gateposts out of the ground, widening the flood.”
We all need to study, and publicize, Buckley and other rulings and laws that have allowed our electoral system to be controlled by money instead of reason. Russian meddling was/is nothing compared to meddling by the wealthy that gives their agents control of the levers of government. Our democracy is on its deathbed because of the problem graphically illustrated by Lissa Lucas. Unfortunately, Democrats are in the same boat with Republicans, if not on the same side. Even Bernie Sanders appears to be manipulated by wealthy donors, although not to the same extent as most politicians.
Our democracy should be designed to allow the voters to select candidates on the basis of their qualifications and suitability to govern. City managers, college professors, scientists, and other persons who have stellar qualities don’t have to rely on the Koch brothers to gain employment. The same should apply to politicians in positions now controlled by the rich.
It’s coming. Don’t be late for it.
No, it has been proven that money actually does buy votes ninety five percent of the time. If the wealthiest people and corporations can buy our elected officials away from serving the best interests of the American people, then we are lost. Many votes take place behind closed doors in committees, and working people do not have time to watch these politicians every hour of the day. Our media has not been doing a good enough job, as the media is mostly owned by the very same corporations and wealthy people. The terrible Citizens United decision by the republican controlled Supreme Court has made money equal speech. However, those with more money get more speech in this case. This is like in Animal Farm, the book, where “All animals (representing people) are created equal, but some animals are more equal than other animals.” This denies us equal protection under the law! We desperately need campagn finance reform because like I said, our government is being bought away from the will of the American people and there is a revolving door where corporate lobbyists then run for office and then return to work for those same corporations when they are no longer in office. They are representing Exxon Mobil, Dominion Energy, and TransAmerica corporation and many many others, for instance, instead of representing their citizen constituents best interests. Many are multinational corporations and don’t care about America at all. Corporations are not citizens. Neither are corporations really people, yet the Supreme Court says that they are. Allowing multinational corporations to have so much power and control over our government with paid shills and politicians who only represent these corporations and not their constituents, is destroying our representative government and preventing it from serving its purpose of protecting our rights and serving the interests and desires of the American people, but instead serving corporate interests only. America does not belong to only the wealthy and their corporations. If we let this happen, and it is happening on a massive scale, we will all eventually be their slaves forever. We, the ordinary people of America must take our government and our country back from these economic royalists and robber barons who are raping and plundering our public lands, national parks and monuments, and even our private property, as in this case. They are bankrupting us with massive tax breaks and taxpayer subsidies and lucrative and extremely wasteful government contracts in just about every way possible. War for instance, is the most profitable business in the world. This is why America is always at war. The Global War on Terrorism was invented to replace the War on Global Communism when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. With the end of the Cold War there was no more need for massive production by the military industrial complex and this would mean a loss of profits and loss of jobs for these industries. America is only a small part of the world’s population, yet we spend almost as much money, if not more, on our offensive “defense” than all the militaries of all of the other countries of the world combined! We have an offense type defense. Perhaps we should have a real defense instead of creating a military that is designed to only attack other countries. In addition we have over one thousand overseas military bases, far more than any other country. The Pentagon won’t even tell us how many overseas bases we actually have. We are planning to build two massive military bases, one in Australia, and one in the Philippines! What are we doing! We are over twenty trillion dollars in debt, vastly more than any other country, and we are planning to build massive military bases in other countries?! Can’t Australia provide for its own defense? If we need to go to Australia, then I’m sure they will allow us to use their facilities. We need to bring our military bases home and protect THIS country! We have been at war in the Middle East for over seventeen years in countries that we don’t understand, because of 911. 911 was not a Pearl Harbor attack as Dick Cheyney and Rumsfelt have said, because 911 was a crime, not an attack on this country by another country. Almost all of the supposed terrorists of 911 were Saudi nationals, not Iraqis or people from Afghanistan. Our war in Iraq caused the formation of ISIS! Cheyney’s companies Halliburton I and II made billions of dollars by defrauding the taxpayers in every way possible. Billions of taxpayer dollars were just lost and completely unaccounted for in Iraq and Afghanistan and this bleeding of our precious blood and treasure continues to this day! Halliburton got no bid government contracts to provide all the food to our troops cafeteria style at $100 dollars per day per person! What were they feeding them? Lobster and filet mingnon three times a day?! Feeding people cafeteria style does not even remotely cost that much. Another Halliburton company provided entertainment for the troops. Every time a soilder went from one game room into another game room they were counted as a whole new person and taxpayers were charged for this. People were paid to stand around with clipboards and write down every time soilders went from room to room. One employee complained that this was fraudulent to the taxpayers and she was harassed, threatened with death, and fired. These employees testified before Congress, but nothing was ever done about it. These things are only barely the tip of the iceberg. Rumsfeldt was given a huge government contract to build a huge chemical and biological weapons facility out west, in violation of international treaties we have signed, and at the very same time that we were making the case to attack Iraq because they supposedly had chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction! What stunning hypocracy! The American people were never informed about this. The media silence was deafening! No wonder that America has no money for food stamps to feed hungry American children and their families or that we can’t afford national health care, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid! We are using too much of our taxpayer dollars giving subsidies, tax breaks, and obscenely wasteful government contracts to politically favored corporations, often to the most wasteful and terrible people possible due to their political influence. Just take the situation in Puerto Rico, for instance. Zinke gave the multimillion dollar contract to repair the entire electrical grid to a tiny company from his home town in Whitefish, Montana that had only two employees. This company was completely unable to do he job at all. They just were friends with our interior secretary. After massive delays and lack of results they had to be fired. Now the entire electric utility that was previously owned as a public utility is being given over into private hands where the people of Puerto Rico will be milked for every last penny that can be gotten from them and have no more say over their electrical supply like they did before. This is all a waste because more hurricanes will come and destroy these above ground electrical lines. It would be a better idea to put the electric lines underground where hurricane winds would not be able to destroy them again easily and convert the whole system to a smart grid where wind, solar or other forms of green energy could be used, with a fossil fuel backup or something better, because we are all going to have to do this eventually anyway because of global warming. What a waste! Focusing on giving lucrative for profit contracts to friends and political allies for campagn contributions as the only consideration, abandons the possibility of doing what is really in the best interest of the people of Puerto Rico, or our nation because of this need for government corruption, plunder, and profiteering. It’s always the same. Who cares about people, human health and safety, economic waste, or environmental pollution when there is money to be made for ones’ self and ones’ friends! Then there was the tiny company that was contracted to provide 30,000 meals or more that was totally unable to provide those meals and was paid millions of taxpayer’s dollars! The waste, fraud, and abuse goes on and on! Then the hospital ship that sat a quarter mile offshore for over ten days while patients on shore died without medical care and the ship had only seven patients aboard! What was that all about?! And this is just one place affected by disaster during the Trump administration. This stuff has been going on for decades on both sides of the aisle. I do think that republicans are much worse about this corruption than democrats but it is wron no matter who does it. Nothing ever is done, nothing ever changes. The massive hemmhorrage of taxpayer dollars is bleeding America dry! Our country is being raped, robbed, and plundered to death by governmental corruption and evil greedy immoral corporations who think they are entitled to do this. Talk about entitlements! Allowing massive campagn donations to our elected officials is occurring because these companies are getting a huge return on these investments. We desperately need campagn finance reform so that our elected officials have a prayer in hell of having honest people getting elected into office so that this mess can be cleaned up and someone will finally be able stand up for the interests of ordinary Americans! I will do everything that I can, no matter how small and insignificant it seems, to work to put an end to this abominable outrage of corruption and bad governance. Right now the corrupt in charge are all most all republicans and their crimes are massive. Therefore, I will support as many good democrats as I can find to oppose this and fix this outrage!
A Reckoning is coming.
I too, am ready to sink my pitchfork into something other than a bale of hay.
We need the masses to make it work.
Huge problem with both parties, of course.
I would love to see this against the entirety of the Democratic Party too:
Yes, it has to be fixed because right now, in order to get elected, it is very difficult to get into office without corporate campagn monies. Right now republicans have seventeen times more campaign money than democrats! This massive amount of money gives republicans a huge advantage. It costs money to get out the vote, register voters, place political ads and travel around to meet constituents and other expenses like lawn signs and bumper stickers. Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression and intimidation, overly strict voter ID laws, and voter roll purges are taking a toll and it costs democrats massive money to fight these laws in court. This is why republicans are packing our courts with far right ideologues who are loyal to their dictatorial cause. How do you suppose Citizens United got passed! Those stellar people that you speak about will not have an easy time getting elected when the evil forces in this country who are intent on greed, massive plunder and absolute power are tremendously determined to prevent any reforms that will keep them from achieving their evil goals. Right now honest politicians may be at least somewhat dependent upon wealthy and corporate campagn donations if the want to be able to compete with candidates who are getting seventeen times as much campagn money from corrupt sources. This is the problem we face. Without campagn reform, it is very hard to get honest people into government. Yet in order to make these reforms we must elect those very same honest people so that reform will be possible. Then we are lied to again and again by people who promise reform, but then, once elected, it is the same old story and we are betrayed. We must not lose heart and give up, although I can see why people do give up, but if we give up we will never fix things. We must keep trying and working as hard as we can no matter what and support good people like Lucas when we find them.
Lawlor, you are absolutely right! Good post!
Oh my god, stop it. It is a proven fact that there is a large, and growing, gap between popular opinion and government policy, and the public agrees with the left on almost every major issue. Yet, the ideas of the left are simply not allowed to be a part of the conversation (most of the time) in either party because the ideas of the left would undermine what their top donors want. In corrupt governments, we know that those in power maintain their power by explicitly excluding ideas that undermine their interests, and we know that the policies that are being implemented are deeply unpopular, and hence are not thought of being the best ideas out there. We also know that turnout for elections is insanely low in the US. In the last election, for example, turnout was as low as it has been since 1996 and turnout in 2014 was the lowest in the post-WWII era. As a result, Trump entered office with support from about a quarter of the voting age population. Is this one stop among many on the propaganda highway for you today?
Right on webwalk! You are exactly right! The Koch brothers are evil unamerican seditious scum. Have you read Democracy in
Chains? It confirms everything I have believed about these guys and provides the underlying facts and philosophy of this forty year ongoing attempted coup to our democratic republic and unmasks the massive bigotry, racism, greed, and the massive arrogance of all of the men involved in this evil plot. Every red blooded American real patriot and true Christian ought to read this book. I will fight these evil men any way I can. I refuse to live under the terrible constitution of Chile under Pinochet that they are planning to force down our throats to give themselves absolute power to rape and plunder the world. The Koch brothers motto is " All for me and nothing for anyone else." This is the vile maxim of Adam Smith, the father of lesse faire capitalism. The Koch brothers and thousands of their allies all over America are the internal enemies of this country. I believe that they are working with their pal and fellow oliogharch, Vladimir Putin to turn America into an oliogharchic dictatorship run by themselves for themselves where the rest of us will be their slaves and at the mercy of men with no mercy. These people must not be allowed to get any more power under any circumstances. This internal enemy uses religious freedom to destroy religious freedom, freedom of speech to destroy freedom of speech, freedom of the press to destroy freedom of the press, and use the law to violate the law and on and on. They are consummate liars and hypocrites. They will use any evil method to get what they want because their only principles are to feed their insane addiction to greed and absolute power. They are in league with Anti-Christ heretical phony Christians and everything that they are planning could have come directly out of the Book of Revelation for the end of the world. They present themselves as being the good guys working for freedom, like the so called Freedom Caucus in Congress, but they want to enslave most of the American people. If they succeed, they will be the real Anti-Christs and the evil men who serve the Beast who worship Mammon in place of God. They have deceived millions of the American people and they are dividing us up for conquest. Trump is their puppet and the Trump supporters are their thralls. Too few Americans realize the extreme danger that we are facing, and how close they are to calling for a Constitutional Convention to overthrow our democratic republic in a bloodless coup that will force us to live under a perverted Constitution like that of Chile under Pinochet. It is in the book Democracy in Chains and we will all be in chains if we allow them to win. The Kochs practically own the entire Republican Party and many republicans are not even aware of how much the Koch mindset has influenced them and what it is all about. Millions of Christians don’t even see how they have been subtly misled to believe in a false christianity and phony Prosperity Gospels. They are being led like sheep to the slaughter by these wolves in sheep’s clothing. We must keep awake and try to wake them up out of the trance they are in and make them see if we can. The Kochs want to bring back the Old South under the Confederacy, only this time it is not only African Americans that they want to enslave. If they gain absolute power they will torture and kill everyone who opposes them, like Putin and other heinous dictators. I have been watching this and reading and studying these things for over forty years and it is becoming clearer and clearer to me. Now I am sixty years old and I wish that I had seen it sooner and worked harder to oppose these guys, but I had to be sure because these are terrible accusations that I am making and I am not making them lightly. I do not want to be guilty of bearing false witness here. I believe in God and Jesus Christ and the true Gospel. I believe that Jesus was a flaming bleeding heart liberal, not some kind of right wing conservative greedy hateful bigoted person like the so called religious right. The perversion of the precious Christian religion by these evil men is very offensive to me. People don’t want to be Christians because the right wingers have given Christianity a bad name and reputation. They have no shame!
We are the Revolution! So we must get busy!
OK wildfire, I agree. It is not just Citizens United. It is just too hard to cite all of those citations every time we want to refer to them. But we still have to stop this somehow. All of these decisions need to be blown up and replaced with strict campagn finance reform and whatever methods we can use to route out governmental corruption or else the majority of the American people will continue to be robbed, raped, plundered, and poisoned for profit and soon our once beautiful country will become a toxic waste dump unfit for any human or animal life. These powerful immortal corporations and their insane wealthy owners who are addicted to massive greed have unleashed the most terrible demon in the universe, the All Devourer, a Bushman demon who devours everything and then when nothing is left, he devours himself. God save us!
Yeah, but the problem is, is it won’t be televised!
Which is why politicians are given large sums of money to enact legislation that will promote the agendas of those with the most money …
Are you trying to legitimize corruption in an obscure way or are you just naive?
Streisand effect. They might as well have donated 10 million to her campaign and then endorsed her for eternal queen of the multiverse.
Omgg, BhP, please have some mercy on us! Put in white space and paragraphing when you post something like this! I had to quit trying to read it less than halfway thru. I like what you were saying, but my eyes were crossing! I’ll try to remember to come back to finish reading it later.
Sadly … it’s too late for the planet.
I’m so totally proud of her!!! She’s got more balls than the mainstream media who never discusses campaign financiers of politicians.