There’s little doubt that Republicans love mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money in our political process and elections. And it’s no wonder. They benefit more from the increased limits on political donations more than Democrats. Considerably more.
What they especially love is money where the donors can be kept secret. That way, the donors don’t have to answer to anyone and the politicians can do their bidding without anyone knowing who they have sold their souls – and votes – to.
The poster child for dark money in politics in Michigan is Republican Arlan Meekhof. Meekhof slipped some wording into a bill in Senate Bill 661 that ensured that wealthy donors to groups running “issue ads” – ads that are little more than thinly-veiled political attacks – can remain secret, benefiting everyone except Michigan citizens and the sanctity of our very democracy.
And, on New Years Eve last year, Governor Rick Snyder, staunch defender of transparency and disclosure that he is, joyfully celebrated the new year by signing it into law.
A reporter from WXYZ recently tried to ask Meekhof about this outside his office in Lansing. What happened next is a vivid display of the lengths Republicans will go to avoid being held accountable for destroying our democracy:
Senator Meekhof dodged our requests for an interview for a week, so we caught up with him outside his Lansing office earlier this month. Instead of answering our questions, the Republican Floor Leader told us he didn’t have any time, then called for back-up.
“Can you press security please?” Sen. Meekhof asked his assistant. “Have these gentlemen removed.”
Within seconds, four armed Michigan State Police officers were summoned to have a WXYZ reporter and photographer thrown out. When Meekhof finally left minutes later, he did so with another security guard, keeping a reporter at bay.
You would think that Meekhof, a man in what is probably one of the safer Senate seats in the state, would have no problem standing by his defense of expanding the corrosive effects of dark money in our elections.
Apparently he is little more than a bought-and-paid-for coward.
[Photo/graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]