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Sep-20-2010 14:35printcomments

501(C)4 -The Money Finally Takes Over

Those who think the Tea Party movement is some grass roots movement to bring back real democracy, need to lay off the Kool-aid.

Bribery

(CALGARY, Alberta) - Forget about “we the people” and the “wit and wisdom” thereof. You’ve been had. There is no developed country in the world so out of control of their own destiny as the American people.

501(c)4 is the legal designation for the partisan committees that are taking in millions of dollars from shadowy people and corporations and putting it behind most of the Republican candidates in this year’s election.

This is a relatively new phenomenon. In 2006 and 2008 virtually all such independent groups revealed the names of their donors; in 2008, it was less than half. So far this year, less than a third have revealed their sources to the public eye.

Karl Rove, as only one example, has set up the tax exempt American Crossroads which is expected to spend as much as $50 million this year, and is already advertising against Democrats in California, Pennsylvania and Nevada—so far. Another is the American Action Network run by the former Republican senator from Minnesota Norm Coleman (who had narrowly been defeated by Al Franken). Coleman has about $25 million to spend and is already aggressively advertising against the Democratic senators Patty Murray in Washington and Russell Feingold in Wisconsin.

The United States Chamber of Commerce, no friend to the American working man, is targeting those lawmakers who voted in favor of health care reform with their $75 million.

You can thank your Supreme Court for this secrecy. In 2007, the Court ruling in the Wisconsin Right to Life case released restrictions on corporate and union political spending. This was such a disingenuous ruling but there was no significant outcry. If corporations and unions had any kind of fiscal equality, the ruling could make sense. But it’s a no-brainer to understand that the ruling effectively opened the elective process to overt corporate manipulation. The F.E.C. (a Bush lapdog at the time) interpreted the ruling to mean that unless an ad overtly specified a candidate by name, corporate donors did not need to be revealed.

Those who think the Tea Party movement is some grass roots movement to bring back real democracy, need to lay off the Kool-aid.

Three big-money people dominate. They are Rupert Murdoch and his Fox Network. He requires no introduction and don’t forget that both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are on his payroll. But two brothers, David and Charles Koch, Texas billionaires, are mostly unknown to the public.

The other major sponsor of the Tea Party movement is Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Under its original name, Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks received $12 million from Koch family foundations. Koch-controlled foundations gave out $196 million from 1998 to 2008, primarily to conservative causes. That figure doesn’t include $50 million in Koch Industries lobbying and $4.8 million in campaign contributions by its political action committee, putting it first among energy company peers like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Since tax law permits anonymous personal donations to nonprofit political groups, these figures may understate the case.

Conservatives attempt to paint the liberal-leaning billionaire George Soros into the same corner but it doesn’t work because Soros is a publicity hound who does not try to hide his donations. In addition, Soros also supports causes which not only do not enhance, but can even harm, his own business interests. For a conservative to do something like that would go against their creed of greed.

Money in politics is not a new thing. The Du Pont family and other industrialists bankrolled the American Liberty League in 1934 in an attempt to thwart the New Deal and its socialist policies. The League’s goal was “to defend and uphold the Constitution” and to “foster the right to work, earn, save and acquire property”. These are the buzzwords that ordinary Americans fall for, as if they are the beneficiaries of such policies. The League opposed taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly.


The League called Roosevelt’s Agricultural Adjustment Administration “a trend toward Fascist control of agriculture”; Social Security would “mark the end of democracy; and challenged the constitutionality of the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act) which was subsequently upheld in 1937 by the Supreme Court although you can be sure that today’s Supreme Court, if given the opportunity, would strike it down.

In the early 1960s, Barry Goldwater and the John Birch Society attempted the same kind of scurrilous attacks on John F. Kennedy.

If the Republicans regain either or both houses this November, the roll back will begin in earnest and, wrote Frank Rich a few weeks ago:

The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power, and given the recession-battered electorate’s unchecked anger and the Obama White House’s unfocused political strategy, they might.

A New Constitution

In my critiques of American politics I have been asked (along the lines of “If you’re so smart…”) to suggest a new Constitution. I would only go so far as to change the preamble:

We the Wealthy of the United States, in Order to form a perfectly inequitable Union, establish injustice for the masses, insure domestic Tranquility through our control of the media, provide for the common offence of other nations at trillion dollar profits, promote our general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (Note that I didn’t have to change many words.)

The problem in America is mythology. The U.S. was established in 1776, 234 years ago. At the time it was a new concept in nationhood. It was the future. But after more than ten generations, the future has faded and failed. In the early 1950s the new TVs were a marvel of technology but they are now, if you tried to plug one in, laughably obsolete. So it is with the marvel of the New American government of the 18th century. I wouldn’t call that government “laughably” obsolete because the mythology around it does so much harm—not just to Americans, but to people all over the world who are harmed by American policies.

There are those who expect the Republicans to take over one or both Houses in November and it is a real (frightening in some eyes) possibility. If that happens then, to paraphrase Pat Benatar in her song “In the heat of the night”, You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,

And what you see you’ll never forget!


Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class — a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably on a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves — writing and trying to make the world a better place




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Douglas Hoppe September 21, 2010 7:13 pm (Pacific time)

I see the author of this article is located up in Canada. Possibly you have heard that here in the states, "all politics is local?" During the last election there were literally dozens of house seats decided by less than 2% of the vote in our 435 districts. Our political parties know the projected vote in each precinct of each district. It is a given that "conservatives" will take the House, but unlikely that they will take the senate. From a strategic perspective that is a good thing for the upcoming 2012 election. Though politics is local, the states and most of Europe, conservatives are assuming power. Can Canada become part of this enlightened movement? In my opinion the 2012 election will be similar to when Reagan won 49 states in 1984, except that the conservative president will then have both the house and senate. Conservatives have nothing in common with people like Bush and those of his ilk. True conservatives will start programs to end poverty and see that national health programs are set up as privately run. All people will be taken care of. Those who do not have the financial means for insurance will be subsidized until they do have the resources. There will be incentives for students to pursue medical training as well as incentives for research and development for new drugs and medical equipment. Taxes will be low, and as in the past this will generate more tax revenue while stimulating growth. It has been runaway failed and corrupted social programs from the radical left that has caused our current economic woes. Since 1964 the various social programs have just made things worse for our people. This will soon end. The below link is 80 seconds long and shows the future of American politics which is in active transformation at this time. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42488.html


John Shaw September 21, 2010 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

Possibly the writer of this article is unfamiliar with George Soros? Not exactly an individual who is really concerned about American values; an I expect there are many others who have similar self-interested leanings. "George Soros, World's BIGGEST CONVICTED FELON and Investor. Soros was convicted in france a few years ago of tryng to cause a
bankruptcy of one of france's large banks. he and a few others were
conspiring to drive the unsuspecting bank into bankruptcy so that some
one else coud ake over the bank very cheap, when soros got greedy.he
also shorted the hell out of their stock .he got convicted of insider
trading info.they asked why he shorted so many shares before any bad
news came out about this bank.other people talked he was convicted and
got a very light sentance. he appealed at least twice and has lost both
appeals... http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Misc/misc.invest.stocks/2008-05/msg00769.html" // "PARIS, Dec. 20— After a 14-year investigation, a French court today convicted the American financier George Soros of insider trading and fined him 2.2 million euros ($2.3 million), the amount prosecutors said he had profited from the trading. Mr. Soros, who was not present in the courtroom, called the verdict unfounded and said he would appeal. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/21/business/soros-is-found-guilty-in-france-on-charges-of-insider-trading.html " MORE ON SOROS: Linda Evans, who herself served 15 years of a 40-year federal sentence, pushed the plan of registering convicted felons along with the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. She is a recipient of the Soros Justice Fellowship, bestowed by philanthropist George Soros. Evans was arrested in 1985 transporting 740 pounds of explosives which she acknowledged was slated for use by the Weather Underground in bombings of U.S. government buildings. Targets of her terrorist group’s activities included the U.S. Capitol Building, the National War College, the Navy Yard Computer Center and Navy Yard Officers Club, and New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. http://therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/klein-soros-funded-terrorist-acorn-pushed-project-seeking-felons-vote-now-federal-bill-wants-to-restore-voting-rights-to-convicts-nationally/ 

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker wrote in 2003 in the foreword of Soros' book The Alchemy of Finance:

"George Soros has made his mark as an enormously successful speculator, wise enough to largely withdraw when still way ahead of the game. The bulk of his enormous winnings is now devoted to encouraging transitional and emerging nations to become 'open societies,' open not only in the sense of freedom of commerce but—more important—tolerant of new ideas and different modes of thinking and behavior." 

Soros's big claim to fame was putting a lot of money into defeating Bush in 2004. Otherwise the comments above are famtasized Republican talking points. 


Owen Blanc September 21, 2010 9:54 am (Pacific time)

Someone sure has no idea what's going on! Your analysis is extremely myopic that it will only appeal to the most radical, whose lack of real info makes them very easy to manipulate. To consider that George Soros (a convicted felon/Zionist) is open about his political donations and his behind the scenes manipulations are publically exposed is absurd. It may take 2 to 3 more election cycles to remove the anti-constitutionalists from power, but they are on their way out. Strange how you did not mention the unions and how the public supported union segment is using (tax-supported) thuggish tyranny to bypass established election rules and regs, not to mention criminal acts. Well, maybe not. In 2006 when the democrats retook congress , via fear tactics with MSM complicity, unemployment was at around 4.4%. "Real unemployment" is now over 4 times that, with approximately 15 million people out of work and growing daily as more people enter the job market. Then we have a growing underclass of those who are school dropouts and more millions of illegals witht their quick growing 3rd world birthrate. If the republicans just take the House, then the stock market will take off and so will business investment and consumer spending because we will then know that any future big government spending policies will be stopped while other insane policies of the last 20 months will be unfunded. In less than six weeks you will see the evidence, but if it remains status quo, well all hell will break lose, because we then will know fraud was used to manipulate the vote counts. We have some well-documented history of that happening from those on the left in the past. American voters are very clear that they want a change of direction and leadership. That in a nutshell is what the Tea Party movement is about, just like it was during the 18th century.

Two things: First, you might repost and tell us if you are Bryce or Owen or perhaps someone else entirely. Nothing wrong with a little honesty.

Second: If you actually had some facts, instead of just Republican talking points,,your comment would be of interest. 

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