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More Money and Politics: Today It's Lieberman's Turn

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I was going to take a break from writing today and play my favorite computer game. I don't think I can do that after reading Andrew Bard Schmookler's article today in OpEdNews.com. The article mentioned Campaign Finance Reform as one of the most pressing problems in the nation today. Comments supported that view. When I first started writing about Campaign Finance Reform (CFR from now on), it was not even mentioned. Today I feel as if I have reached the first milestone of a very long road, and it makes me extremely happy to see it brought into the light by people other than me, although I'm not presupposing that I am the originator of this view. I have become one of it's biggest proponents though.

The way I came to know about how campaigns were financed was when I tried to start a political party. When I saw how mich money that would take, I started to look into how the other political parties came up with that kind of money. I suddenly found myself leaving the politics and following the money, because it was so much more interesting. You would think that looking at numbers would be boring (unless you were an accountant or an IRS investigator), but I found it very revealing. I began to understand why some politicians do the things that they do. It was a real eye-opener, it made me into something politically that I never even considered, a progressive. It was CFR that turned me from an angry liberal into an angry progressive, and most of the time I'm really not so angry. The only time I get angry, is when I read the paper and see the same things happening over and over again and the things that the average person says about events. I begin to see that most people in this country really don't understand how this country works.

I'm not trying to put anyone down by saying that. It took me years to understand it myself. Once you understand what I'm talking about, you will be more than a little upset. If you already know everything about how the corporate and special interests have almost killed American democracy, keep reading, I guarantee you'll learn more, anyway I need the feedback.

The government knew that Corporations and special interests were having way too much influence in politics.. They then passed some campaign finance laws. These gave "matching campaign funds" to people running for President. They might as well take these reforms off the books, they are meaningless and don't work. Lets take a politician and look at his finances. Let's go to Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT). He is not bankrolled by any political party. He's an independent. How did he get elected? I'm saying that he was bankrolled by special interests and corporations without even looking his records up yet. You can do the same thing that I'm about to do by going to www.opensecrets.org and see what The Center for Responsive {Politics has on him and his campaign financing.









Senator Joe Lieberman

JOE LIEBERMAN (I-CT)
Top Contributors

1 Lehman Brothers $144,250
2 United Technologies $137,650
3 Purdue Pharma $92,000
4 Aetna Inc $75,950
5 UBS AG $75,300
6 Citigroup Inc $73,450
7 Hartford Financial Services $72,100
8 Irell & Manella $69,200
9 Sempra Energy $60,050
10 Goldman Sachs $54,900
11 Guardsmark Inc $51,200
12 Wise Metals Group $49,000
13 Plastech Engineered Products $46,000
14 National Westminster Bank $44,500
15 St Paul Travelers Companies $43,319
16 Kleiner, Perkins et al $39,600
17 American Health Care Assn $37,000
18 Credit Suisse Group $36,350
19 Duty Free Americas $36,000
20 Schiffrin & Barroway

As you can see, this is a list of the top 20 contributor's. United Technologies is #2. Joe Lieberman is on the Armed Services Committee.

The top industries supporting Joe Lieberman are:
1 Lawyers/Law Firms $2,518,398
2 Securities & Investment $1,802,185
3 Real Estate $1,597,884
4 Retired $1,182,769
5 Misc Finance $718,350
6 Health Professionals $614,000
7 Business Services $575,199
8 Insurance $470,519
9 Misc Business $437,770
10 Education $338,322
11 Pro-Israel $329,550
12 Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $320,126
13 Computers/Internet $291,353
14 Retail Sales $255,250
15 Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $249,740
16 TV/Movies/Music $238,350
17 Lobbyists $223,270
18 Commercial Banks $215,481
19 Hospitals/Nursing Homes $198,300
20 Accountants $196,662

He is a little different that most politicians, his PAC contributions are only 12% of his total while individual contributions are 86%. See how much they Contribute? Wow! Do you think your $50.00 goes very far? Do you want to know how much he spent in total?

2001-2006 Total Receipts: $20,213,419
2001-2006 Total Spent: $18,781,868
Cash on Hand: $2,526,791
Debts: $0
Date of last report: November 27, 2006
First elected: 1988

Twenty Million Dollars for a Senate seat that pays $166.000.00 a year!

I'm not putting Lieberman down. They all do it. He would be a fool to turn down campaign money when his competitors and everyone else is doing it. Do you believe he WANT'S to do this? I would say no. These politicians do campaign financing more than they do the Senate"s work, or the House's work. They don't want to be begging all the time and beholden to all of these people and their companies. Think of it, it's probably a drag on them. Would you want to be begging for money eight hours a day?

Campaigns don't have to cost this much. We could have public debates, public air time for candidates. We could overturn the ruling by Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison Waite, in the case Santa Clara Co. Vs. Southern Pacific RR. When he declared that corporations were individuals. Corporations aren't people. Where's the ACLU when you need them? I'm calling them myself.

So here it is. One guy, one story to tell. All of this information was from www.opensectrets.org and they are brought to you by The Center for Responsive Politics who are doing a wonderful job. (No I don't work for the). They could use your donations to keep going.

I'm trying to make this a hot subject. If everyone were aware of how much it cost's to get a federal election campaign going, you would understand so much. It's a travesty. We are electing people that are bought and sold before they work their first day in the job they were elected to do. They don't like it, but nobody wants to go out on a limb and bring this all up. They would probably get deaded, or a member of their family would. Maybe I will. If I get shot, you know who did it. I'm serious. We need to take our country back from corporate interests and give it back to the people. Corporations are not people! See you tomorrow with another politicians finances.

 

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
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http://liberalpro.blogspot.com

Former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. A regular contributor to OpEdNews, he is the author of Kimchee Days (or Stoned Cold Warriors).

Tim's political book, (more...)
 

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There is an excellent alternative to campaign fund... by Kenneth Briggs on Thursday, Dec 21, 2006 at 5:04:31 PM
That's what we should all be screaming for. We sho... by Timothy V. Gatto on Thursday, Dec 21, 2006 at 7:44:57 PM