Thanks to OEN volunteer editor Don Caldarazzo for help editing the transcript.
I spent almost an hour talking with one of the best investigative reporters in the world, Greg Palast, about his newest book, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits. And we got into something very interesting-- that there's a war between two kinds of billionaires-- The vampire squids and the Vultures. And yes, this affects the elections and the nine ways they are going to be stolen and corrupted.
Rob Kall: And welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show -(WNJC 1360 AM), out of Washington Township, NJ, reaching metro Philly and South Jersey.
My guest this evening is Greg Palast. He's got a new book out-Billionaires and Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in Nine Easy Steps. Now, Greg has been on my show perhaps more than anyone else since I started doing OpEdNews.com and my radio show, Bottom Up Radio. He's also the author of Vulture's Picnic and the New York Times best sellers, Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. He's an incredible, kick-ass, investigative reporter who doesn't hold back, as you'll find out. His reports go on DBC [Deanoz Broadcasting Company] and in The Guardian. He has had done investigations that produced a 4.3 billion dollar jury award, and he's got a story to tell about what's happening with this election that is horrifying, terrible, disgusting. Welcome to the show Greg!
Greg Palast: Horrible, terrible, and disgusting! What a way to introduce me Bob. Yeah, it's a comic book for god's sake! Billionaires and Ballot Bandits is a comic book, a fifty-page comic book, which happens to be surrounded by two hundred pages of my best investigative reporting and worst jokes, which is then surrounded, wrapped up by two chapters by Bobby Kennedy, Jr. This is all based on our work, and Ted Rall's work and my work for Rolling Stone magazine, investigating the theft of American elections. It's non-partisan; I'm not here to elect Obama or his mama, but the truth is that most of the steals, not all of it by any means, but most of the steals are being done by GOP billionaires. Thirty-seven billionaires have gotten together in an organization called Restore Our Future, meaning billionaires' future, and they are using every trick in the book (and there are nine, in the book) to shoplift the election. And by the way, the real fight is not about Obama- these guys never liked Romney, these billionaires; they don't care if he goes down in flames, which he will. The issue for them is the United States Senate. They are in the process right now, I'm telling you, that there's going to be... there are nine senate seats, which are going to be swiped, and I don't care if the GOP wins them with votes, it's a question of winning them by stealing it. That is no-no if we're having a Democracy. So we're talking, literally, about billionaires buying the United States Senate by ballot banditry. Not pretty. It is very funny though, I've got great stories and great comics. But, you know.
Rob Kall: Now you and I have a similar take on billionaires. I've been writing and saying for a year and half that we've got to de-billionairize the U.S., and you have a chapter that talks about a similar idea.
Greg Palast: Yeah, I say look, if you want billionaires to stop buying our elections, you're not going to stop billionaires from donating money, because not only do we have the Citizens United Case which says that corporations are people. You know how I feel about corporations are people. You've met corporations that have lost their legs in Iraq, right? You know, I mean, you've met corporations that have work injuries, they can't work and need disability? Uh, no. Or need student loans? No. So, you know, with Citizens United we don't stand a chance getting the billionaires' billions out of politics. What we have to do is end billionaires, prevent the billionaires. And that means... The reason they're swiping this election, not because they care about the Republican party, or abortion, or any of that. In fact, almost all of them are not Republicans, by the way, registered; they are not Republican. They're in it for the money. And that's how they make their money, by the fix. And we have to end the fix of the economic system. If we end the economic fix, we can end the political fix. And, for example, Romney's biggest donors actually made 5 billion dollars off the Auto Bailout. Like that? They made 5 billion off the Auto Bailout. Romney's biggest donors made something like 9 billion dollars, just a half dozen of them, off the Bank Bailout. In fact, specifically, one of his million dollar donors, a guy named John "The Snake" Paulson, not Hank Paulson, from Goldman Sachs, but John "The Snake" Paulson. And I didn't give him the name "The Snake." That's, his bankers call him that. He made 3.5 billion dollars by pushing the mortgage market over a cliff and then collecting on the insurance, literally collecting" this guy collected 3.5 billion dollars on insuring homes against foreclosures, which is usually done by home owners, so if you lose your job, you don't lose your home? He actually took out insurance on a million peoples' homes that he knew were going to foreclosure and then he helped the market go under and collected 3 and half billion dollars. Ya like that? And he gave a million dollars to Romney- the first million dollar donor to Romney. That's what happening. So if we end that type of billionaire burglary of the banking system (got enough B's in there?), then we can end the billionaires ballot banditry.
Rob Kall: So these billionaires are costing America tens, scores, hundreds of billions of dollars?
Greg Palast: Yeah, cause see what happens is for them to make their money they have to cost a lot more. Understand... By the way, you do realize the big banks are still behind Obama as they were in 2009? JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, United Bank of Switzerland- what are the Swiss doing in our political system? It doesn't matter: they've got Nazi gold and we're broke, so yeah, they still back Obama, and these guys are scared of the hedge-fund billionaires, the vulture fund managers. In fact, the number one donor for Mitt Romney is Paul the Vulture Singer, who I've written about for five years. He was not a Republican, but he jumped in.