Silver Lining in Corporate Attack on Democrats

In the past, corporations and rich donors were savvy enough to split their giving to both political parties so that both sides would have a financial incentive to protect them. Yes, they might lean more to the Republican side, but they gave enough to the Democrats to get them properly motivated to look out for corporate interests.

This is what has led to the two parties playing good cop-bad cop with us for the past 30 years. Republicans are the bad cops who rough up the middle class and the Democrats come in to sooth you over as they pretty much go along with very similar "pro-business" policies.

But now there is an important change in that dynamic. Multinational corporations seem to have pushed their chips all in on the Republican side. The Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend $75 million in these elections and 85% of it will go to Republicans.

Of course, there is a huge downside to this for the average American. The Republicans have an enormous financial advantage because of this and many other "independent" groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS piling on money collected from some of the richest people in the country. This is their class warfare to make sure the top 1% and their tax cuts are protected. And they seem to have chosen a very good time with the anti-incumbent feeling in the air so strong and the economy hurting so much.

So, what's the upside? Well, they've given Democrats no incentive not to fight back (which is their usual M.O. in the good cop-bad cop games they've been playing until now). Now that the Democrats feel significantly endangered and there is no good argument for holding back, it's game on.

If the Democrats manage to hold on, for the first time in a long time they would have an incentive to fight back against a system that is rigged in favor of the rich and the powerful. Because those same folks just declared war on them. If they don't join the battle soon, they are going to get wiped out in 2012. If you thought business interests spent a lot of money in this election, wait till you get a load of 2012.

To be clear, of course not all business interests are nefarious. They are a very legitimate constituency to consider when making policy. But when corporations use their power to kill a bill that would have stopped subsidies for offshoring jobs, then that is exactly the kind of abuse of power that is hurting this country. And that just happened last month.

Can you believe our politicians give tax breaks to companies to offshore our jobs? Well, that's the current state of things, because the system is deeply corrupt and both sides were bought off. Were. Now there is some hope the Democrats won't be in the next term.

Of course, the Democrats could be wiped off the board next month. Or the lesson they learn from this election could be that they have to suck up to corporate interest even harder. But so far, the indications are good. President Obama is fighting back on the campaign trail. Nancy Pelosi has had some harsh words for these corporate donors. And even Tim Kaine compared secret corporate giving to Watergate. You know when Tim Kaine gets tough with corporate funders there is a sea change.

So, the silver lining is that after this election we have some chance of getting the Democratic Party back. That for the first time in decades they might be properly motivated to be on our side and looking out for us instead of their corporate donors - because they no longer have those donors.

Watch The Young Turks Here 
Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks 
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

Silver Lining in Corporate Attack on Democrats

In the past, corporations and rich donors were savvy enough to split their giving to both political parties so that both sides would have a financial incentive to protect them. Yes, they might lean more to the Republican side, but they gave enough to the Democrats to get them properly motivated to look out for corporate interests.

This is what has led to the two parties playing good cop-bad cop with us for the past 30 years. Republicans are the bad cops who rough up the middle class and the Democrats come in to sooth you over as they pretty much go along with very similar "pro-business" policies.

But now there is an important change in that dynamic. Multinational corporations seem to have pushed their chips all in on the Republican side. The Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend $75 million in these elections and 85% of it will go to Republicans.

Of course, there is a huge downside to this for the average American. The Republicans have an enormous financial advantage because of this and many other "independent" groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS piling on money collected from some of the richest people in the country. This is their class warfare to make sure the top 1% and their tax cuts are protected. And they seem to have chosen a very good time with the anti-incumbent feeling in the air so strong and the economy hurting so much.

So, what's the upside? Well, they've given Democrats no incentive not to fight back (which is their usual M.O. in the good cop-bad cop games they've been playing until now). Now that the Democrats feel significantly endangered and there is no good argument for holding back, it's game on.

If the Democrats manage to hold on, for the first time in a long time they would have an incentive to fight back against a system that is rigged in favor of the rich and the powerful. Because those same folks just declared war on them. If they don't join the battle soon, they are going to get wiped out in 2012. If you thought business interests spent a lot of money in this election, wait till you get a load of 2012.

To be clear, of course not all business interests are nefarious. They are a very legitimate constituency to consider when making policy. But when corporations use their power to kill a bill that would have stopped subsidies for offshoring jobs, then that is exactly the kind of abuse of power that is hurting this country. And that just happened last month.

Can you believe our politicians give tax breaks to companies to offshore our jobs? Well, that's the current state of things, because the system is deeply corrupt and both sides were bought off. Were. Now there is some hope the Democrats won't be in the next term.

Of course, the Democrats could be wiped off the board next month. Or the lesson they learn from this election could be that they have to suck up to corporate interest even harder. But so far, the indications are good. President Obama is fighting back on the campaign trail. Nancy Pelosi has had some harsh words for these corporate donors. And even Tim Kaine compared secret corporate giving to Watergate. You know when Tim Kaine gets tough with corporate funders there is a sea change.

So, the silver lining is that after this election we have some chance of getting the Democratic Party back. That for the first time in decades they might be properly motivated to be on our side and looking out for us instead of their corporate donors - because they no longer have those donors.

Watch The Young Turks Here 
Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks 
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

Silver Lining in Corporate Attack on Democrats

In the past, corporations and rich donors were savvy enough to split their giving to both political parties so that both sides would have a financial incentive to protect them. Yes, they might lean more to the Republican side, but they gave enough to the Democrats to get them properly motivated to look out for corporate interests.

This is what has led to the two parties playing good cop-bad cop with us for the past 30 years. Republicans are the bad cops who rough up the middle class and the Democrats come in to sooth you over as they pretty much go along with very similar "pro-business" policies.

But now there is an important change in that dynamic. Multinational corporations seem to have pushed their chips all in on the Republican side. The Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend $75 million in these elections and 85% of it will go to Republicans.

Of course, there is a huge downside to this for the average American. The Republicans have an enormous financial advantage because of this and many other "independent" groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS piling on money collected from some of the richest people in the country. This is their class warfare to make sure the top 1% and their tax cuts are protected. And they seem to have chosen a very good time with the anti-incumbent feeling in the air so strong and the economy hurting so much.

So, what's the upside? Well, they've given Democrats no incentive not to fight back (which is their usual M.O. in the good cop-bad cop games they've been playing until now). Now that the Democrats feel significantly endangered and there is no good argument for holding back, it's game on.

If the Democrats manage to hold on, for the first time in a long time they would have an incentive to fight back against a system that is rigged in favor of the rich and the powerful. Because those same folks just declared war on them. If they don't join the battle soon, they are going to get wiped out in 2012. If you thought business interests spent a lot of money in this election, wait till you get a load of 2012.

To be clear, of course not all business interests are nefarious. They are a very legitimate constituency to consider when making policy. But when corporations use their power to kill a bill that would have stopped subsidies for offshoring jobs, then that is exactly the kind of abuse of power that is hurting this country. And that just happened last month.

Can you believe our politicians give tax breaks to companies to offshore our jobs? Well, that's the current state of things, because the system is deeply corrupt and both sides were bought off. Were. Now there is some hope the Democrats won't be in the next term.

Of course, the Democrats could be wiped off the board next month. Or the lesson they learn from this election could be that they have to suck up to corporate interest even harder. But so far, the indications are good. President Obama is fighting back on the campaign trail. Nancy Pelosi has had some harsh words for these corporate donors. And even Tim Kaine compared secret corporate giving to Watergate. You know when Tim Kaine gets tough with corporate funders there is a sea change.

So, the silver lining is that after this election we have some chance of getting the Democratic Party back. That for the first time in decades they might be properly motivated to be on our side and looking out for us instead of their corporate donors - because they no longer have those donors.

Watch The Young Turks Here 
Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheYoungTurks 
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

Election day in Iowa House district 90

Today's the big day in Iowa House district 90, where Republicans and conservative interest groups are all-in for Stephen Burgmeier against the Democratic candidate Curt Hanson. Polls close at 9 pm Central Daylight Time. Going into this election, Democrats have a 56-44 majority in the Iowa House, and a victory in this rural swing district would be a boost for the GOP. Beth Dalbey wrote a good feature on the campaign for Iowa Independent. Other news from the race:

Democrats had an early lead in terms of absentee ballots returned, and according to the field organizer for the Fairness Fund, efforts to collect outstanding absentee ballots continued through Monday. We won several Iowa House seats in 2008 through big leads in early voting. A strong absentee ballot showing will be crucial for Hanson, because the national political environment for Democrats is less favorable now than it was last November, conservative groups are heavily invested in this race, and same-sex marriage has galvanized the Republican base in Iowa.

Speaking of gay marriage, the National Organization for Marriage has spent nearly $90,000 trying to get Burgmeier elected. It's an astronomical sum to spend in a rural Iowa House district. The group will have to do things differently if they want to get involved in our statehouse races next year:

An out-of-state anti-gay marriage group will likely need to form its own Political Action Committee and disclose its donors if it continues its Iowa activities, a state official warned today [Friday]. [...]

NOM will likely need to disclose future donors if it continues its Iowa activities, Charlie Smithson, the head of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, warned NOM in a letter today.

"I'm not as much concerned with this particular race as I am that Iowa is not going to become a dumping ground for undisclosed campaign contributions," Smithson said in an interview.  "Anyone can play the game here, but they are going to play within the rules."

The One Iowa blog has more details and a link to Smithson's letter. The bottom line is that the National Organization for Marriage will need to form a PAC that discloses donors in order to spend more than $750 on advocacy activities in Iowa. Click here to sign One Iowa's petition calling on NOM to disclose their funding sources. (By the way, a money laundering complaint has been filed in Maine in response to the way groups including the NOM are funding efforts to overturn same-sex marriage rights by passing Prop 1.)

Yesterday One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund filed a formal ethics complaint against the National Organization for Marriage with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. The NOM claims to be in compliance with Iowa law.

Jason Clayworth of the Des Moines Register and Jason Hancock of Iowa Independent reported on the disclosure reports filed by Hanson and Burgmeier. The Republican is getting much more help from outside groups, including Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Family Policy Center as well as the National Organization for Marriage.

If you're on Twitter, use #HD90 to find updates from Republicans and Democrats who are involved in this race.

Post any thoughts or election predictions in this thread. I am having trouble making a prediction. This race "should" go to Burgmeier because low-turnout special elections favor the opposition party, and because conservative interest groups have advertised much more in the district. On the other hand, I hear field organizers supporting Hanson on the ground have been doing a tremendous job. The district is also unusual because it includes Fairfield, which has a high number of Green and Libertarian voters. I don't know whether either party has been targeting those groups. I will update this post with my final prediction this afternoon.

Update [2009-9-1 19:39:21 by desmoinesdem]: Volunteers and field organizers are working hard today GOTV for Hanson, but I fear the Republican is going to narrowly win. My wild guess is 53-47 for Burgmeier, but I'd love to be wrong!

There's more...

Is Barack Obama Patriotic? Is Any Politician?


by Walter Brasch

    Barack Obama spent the Fourth of July in Montana.  A Red State. A state that few think he can win. A state that gave huge margins to George Bush the past two elections.

    But here he was. On Independence Day. Marching in a parade. Hosting a picnic for hundreds. Trying to rally support for his Presidential run. Trying to show that he can appeal to voters of every political, social, and economic demographic. His web site tells us he "shook hands, kissed babies, signed autographs and posed for pictures." Patriotism just oozed out of his every pore.

    Barack Obama is now as patriotic as the electorate wants him to be. During most of the primaries, he didn't wear a flag pin on his lapel. He didn't think wearing pins makes one patriotic, or not wearing one makes someone unpatriotic. But, the right-wing lambasted him for that. Now he wears a flag pin.

    And every speech he makes, he is now flanked by several American flags. Just in case anyone thinks he isn't patriotic. Or is a foreigner. Or worse, a Muslim.

    Barack Obama has changed in other ways. Once he said he would pull the U.S. out of Iraq. End that war. Now, he's calling for a phased withdrawal.

    Once, he opposed innumerable pieces of legislation sent to the Senate by the Bush-Cheney Administration--and which a Republican Congress rubber stamped. Now, as the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, he voted a bill that granted immunity to telephone companies that violated both established federal law and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution when they voluntarily gave personal data about subscribers to the government.

    Once, he said he would accept government restrictions and decline the excessive private contributions that have muddied politics. Now, with a campaign war chest at least two or three times greater than John McCain's, he changed his mind and is taking whatever he can get--and doesn't have to report who gave what.

    Barack Obama isn't the only politician to forsake some of his principles for the greater principle--do whatever it takes to get elected. Hillary Clinton moved more to the center when she began to think she could be the next president, and even voted for the renewal of the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act. John McCain, by any standards a conservative, began playing even more to the right-wing when the evangelical Christians challenged some of his beliefs and voting record. Every politician, even the most maverick ones, say they need to get elected to do whatever it is they want to do. But, once in office they continue to do whatever is necessary to stay in office and get re-elected.

    Barack Obama, like every other politician, needs to reflect upon the principles of what the Founding Fathers wanted. And maybe every politician should decide that on this Independence Day weekend, it is time to declare that once and forever they will follow their convictions, their beliefs, and declare themselves to be independent, now and forever, not only of special interests, but also of pandering for votes.

    [Walter Brasch has covered politics and presidential campaigns more than 40 years. He is professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University, a syndicated columnist, and author of 17books. His latest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available through amazon.com and other stores.]

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads