Seriously, EVERY goddam defeat or “compromise down to a tiny nubbins” issue we deal with on the progressive agenda comes down to campaign finance reform. Every recalcitrant Conservadem and DINO’s crappola voting record can be traced back to who is greasing their palms. EVERY goddam issue:
- Health insurance reform
- Climate change
- Green energy
- Environmental protection
- Strengthening labor laws
- Ending racial discrimination
- Financial sector/banking reform
- Same-sex marriage and LGBT rights
- Yada fucking yada
How on earth do we fix this when those that benefit most from the status quo are the very same folks that have the power to fix it???
I hardly need to put up the statistics on how much money people like Max Baucus, Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson and all the other Conservadems rake in every campaign season from the health insurance and health care industries — aka, Big Health.
Your representative is anti-Cap-and-Trade? Guess where they’re likely to get gigantic campaign contributions from. If you guessed the the petrochemicals industry and Big Oil you’re spot-on correct.
All those against reforming the banking industry? Yep. They get TONS of money from Big Money. Ad fucking nauseum.
Oh, they’ve made passing glances at passing reform. But it’s all been weak tea. The much-lauded McCain-Feingold bill actually received 189 “nay” votes in the House and 40 in the Senate and the reality is that it can only be considered a tepid attempt at real reform. Tepid yet it was fought tooth and nail and not just by conservatives.
From teh Wiki gods:
The law was challenged as unconstitutional by groups and individuals including the California State Democratic Party, the National Rifle Association, and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), the Senate Majority Whip. After moving through lower courts, in September 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case, McConnell v. FEC. On Wednesday, December 10, 2003, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld the key provisions of McCain-Feingold; the vote on the court was 5 to 4.
Even four justices on the Supreme Court got in on the act and voted against it!
There are a number of groups out there fighting for comprehensive campaign finance reform. Clean Money, Clean Elections promotes public funding of campaigns as does the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen. Maybe we should turn our sites away from the individual politicians and throw our efforts behind groups like these. Because as long as corporate “personhood” allows giant corporate interests to donate enormous sums of cash in exchange for supporting their agenda, individuals like us will be able to have only limited impact on how we are represented.
In the end, if health insurance reform is watered-down to the point of uselessness and if climate change legislation ends up being a big give-away to polluters that accomplishes very little in terms of actually [gasp!] halting climate change, it can all be traced back to a single source: money. Lots and lots and lots of money from corporations to members of Congress. Hundreds of thousands if not MILLIONS of dollars over the course of a Congressperson’s career.
Stack that up against your $100 contribution.
I’m just sayin’…