Radio Host, Mark Levine, addressed the issue of improper campaign contributions yesterday on his radio show. He stated that there is no difference in American Crossroads or Americans for Prosperity contributions and the numerous PACs whose contributions benefit Democrats, the only difference being that American Crossroads or Americans for Prosperity support Republicans and that Democrats can't stand that. His implication is that Democrats are not standing for democracy, but only supporting their own party.
He also stated that 53% of contributions to Democrats were from Corporations or people that worked for corporations. [Did you get that?? people that work for corporations! I wonder how many workers in American work for a corporation??].
He sounds so logical and so passionate in defending democracy, right?
The problem with American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity is that 91% of their contributions are from wealthy billionaires that donate money in amounts of over a million dollars, and sometimes multi-million dollars without disclosing who these donors are.
On the other hand, PACs are Political Action Committees and therefore explicit about what they are doing. Their donations are subject to rules and limitations and PACs must report all of the financial activities, including direct donations and other expenses, to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which makes the reports available to the public.
The point isn't even whether American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity are working within the boundaries of our laws to influence elections; the point is that the American people have a right to know who is paying big bucks to influence elections and what benefits they are receiving in exchange for that support.
If Massey Energy can buy an election and get a judge that will reverse a 50 million dollar jury verdict against Massey for fraud and breach of contract, there is nothing preventing other corporations and special interest groups from doing the same. (just one of many examples)
Since the Citizen United decision, it is going to be near impossible to hold wealthy billionaires and corporations accountable for their blatant buying of our democracy, but disclosure would at least be a partial remedy. Keep in mind, their money isn't just buying candidates; the most important thing their money buys is access to politicians and the political process. Many times policies are made that benefit these corporations over the safety or benefit to the working class.
In 2000, disclosure legislation passed with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate. Last week, the DISCLOSE ACT which had already passed in the House in June and would require disclosure of corporate and union donations and campaign finance information, failed to reach the Senate for consideration and action because not one single Republican Senator voted yes.
NOT ONE. If even one Republican Senator had voted yes, the legislation would have passed.
Senate Minority Leader, Mitch Connell, in 2000 was one of only six that voted against disclosure and now he was one of ALL Republican Senators that don't want the American people to know who is buying or influencing their elections.
And Mark Levine doesn't want you to know the truth either.
The difference between American Crossroads and PACs is disclosure. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans don't think the American People have a right to disclosure even though most voters feel it is important to know who is paying for campaign ads.