Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Political Parties May Change

But as long as we have corporations willing to pay, and politicians who are willing to take their money, the game will remain unchanged.

Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.

There is nothing wrong and nothing new here, right? A politician needs money to get elected, and private citizens have to be allowed to contribute to these politicians, right?

Well, there are a few details that make the story a little more interesting.

It appears that all these politically minded folks from AT and T and Version came upon their passion for the political efforts of Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) of late. From 2002 to 2006 the total contribution from the executives of these firms came to a bit less than $5,000.00. Then, like a rampaging infection of political activism and altruism, more than 50 senior executives independently decided in a period of about 3 months to fork over big money to Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV).

One is left to wonder what may have motivated this spontaneous generosity, and if there may have been any coordination of the efforts these phone company executives.

Naaa, a corporation would never do anything like compel political contributions from their staff.

I do have to admire this efforts as spin on behalf of AT and T.

“Many AT and T executives work with the leaders of both the House and Senate Commerce Committees on a daily basis and have come to know them over the years,” Ms. Jones said.

She added that although industry executives and politicians might not always agree, it is “commonplace for AT and T employees to regularly and voluntarily participate in the political process with their own funds.”

Of course, this participation, that has been totally lacking for years, may eventually come in massive torrents of cash but only when a Senator is in a position to do the company a huge favor.

And people still wonder what is wrong in DC. Only when we have a politicians who are not so eager to prostitute themselves to corporate interest can we hope to see improved governance.

Sadly, I have grown expect this type of behavior from both parties. While it is an obvious and historic principal of the republicans to protect business interest over everything else, it is also a trait that many Democrats embrace. One of they keys to long term improvement in Government, reducing corruption, development of a more equatable economic policy, improvement of heath care and countless other issues, is radically reducing the amount on influence that big business has in DC. Unfortunately, I see no path that will lead to this.


Beatnik said...

I know at least one thing that would help out a whole lot. Term Limits. I know a sooo over used term and also one that many shrug off as, "We already have term limits, its called voting" Well its defenitely not working. After 1 Term an individual has already made his connections so by the second term he or she is taken care of. By his or her third term he is obligated. I think eventually term limits will start placing new blood into power and people who actually have change in mind will not see an attempt to run for office as pointless. You can tell from the outset the system is flawed when someone is willing to spend several million dollars to hold a position that pays thousands. Or they could take all contributions and place them into a GOP, or DNC fund and everyone gets their fair share for campaigning. No individual gets more than another. That would be totally shot down as well. So it appears we are stuck.

Lynne said...

Kurt Vonnegut opined that we have two parties: the left wing and right wing of the American Business Party.

Anonymous said...

Yep, just look at all the Dems have "accomplished" since gaining the majority in November of last year.

I am sick to death of hearing the fake opposition Dems in Congress moan about not having enough votes to end the war in Iraq. They give lip service to the myth that the only way to end the war is to write a bill saying "the war is now over" and send it to Bush for a prompt veto, then override the veto. They then throw up their hands, saying "Well, as you can see, we don't have the votes to override any veto, so there's no way to end the war. Sorry folks."

This is disingenious and vividly illustrates who the Dems are really serving: the establishment, not their constituents.

Here's how to end the war: No bill specifically ending the war is even necessary. Remember those supplemental funding bills the Cheney regime has to constantly ask for, to continue funding the Iraq war piecemeal instead of in yearly lump sums attached to the actual defense budget? That's the achilles' heel of their war effort. The next time Bush asks for another $80 billion or whatever to keep the Iraq bloodbath going, all the Democrats have to do to end the war is to say: NO. To say "We won't allocate one more penny for your illegal war". Last I checked the Dems have a wafer-thin majority in both houses. With no Dems voting for the next spending bill it won't be passed and thus it won't make it to Bush's desk for signing. Bush (and especially his puppetmaster Cheney) may have concentrated an inordinate amount of power in the hands of the executive branch, but even they can't send spending bills to their own desk. That necessarily has to come from Congress. If it never reaches his desk he can't sign it, and will have 2 choices: 1.pull the troops out while there is still enough money left in the pipeline so to speak to allow an orderly withdrawl (and anyone who has five or more brain cells knows that the money isn't going to run out the next day, that's a non-issue that the right wing tries to use as a scare tactic but it is ridiculously dumbed down and simply not true; they don't wait until they have $5 left before asking for another supplemental OK?); or 2.don't pull them out right away, and leave them to wither on the vine in Iraq until the money DOES completely run out and they have to withdraw from Iraq chaotically, burning their supplies and vehicles. Either way the war will end pretty soon if the Dems refuse to vote on supplementals. They don't have to write a bill saying they are cutting off funding; this is only a fig leaf so they can pretend to be doing something to end the war when all they are doing is purposely spinning their wheels. All they have to do is to NOT VOTE ON SUPPLEMENTALS. Pretty effing simple. The people NOW need to DEMAND in so many words that if the Democrats are a genuine opposition party that they will carry out the will of the people and NOT VOTE on supplementals. If they are a fake opposition party as I feel they are, and are acting not in the people's interest but playing for the same team as the Republicans, then continue with more of the same hand-wringing and impotent nonbinding resolutions that resolve nothing. Decision time Democrats. Which are you? Genuine? Or fake opposition? I think I already know the answer to that one but why don't you surprise me?

John said...

Nice idea, in a world where BS is call BS it would work, but the simple truth is teh Media would buy the 'not supporting the troops' line from the rigth, spread it around as truth, and the Repubs would be back in control of a 3 branches in 12 months.

It's sad, but the American public has proven it's willingness to accept lies and smears as truth on a great number of occasions, and this would just be one more.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much Blue Cross Blue Shield gave to local SC politicians? BCBS won my disability case along with Colonial Unum.....

John said...

I have the national race data, but not local elections.

On the national level, people identified have given over 65000 in the last 2 cycles (06 and 08 so far). For president very heavy for the Republicans. They have contributed a lot into Clyburn's PAC and gave Spratt about 15000.