By Patrick McCormick
President Obama stated publicly that campaign financing could lead to a “Corporate Takeover of America”. His argument was a chilling warning for any Constitutional Patriot to hear. His speech made a lot of sense and carried the “Ring of Liberty” in its message. It was a warning all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, should heed.
American citizens have the right to know who is funding their candidates. If an elected official votes for a cause or an issue simply because some corporation, special interest group or foreign government wants that vote, that official is selling out his own constituency as well as the people of the United States. It is my opinion, “Trading votes for cash is a criminal act and should be regarded as one”.
As the situation exists today, voters are unable to tell where a candidates funding comes from or how much any donor gave. With that information, voters could check on the voting record of his or her particular representatives and determine for themselves if their congressional representative or senator was voting for the people or the special interests. It is important information for all citizens to possess.
The GOP’s new Pledge seems to indicate a promise to represent the People and their Constitution. However, they just blocked the Democrats from passing a Bill that would make campaign contributions more transparent and put limitations on the amounts of donations.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, Jesus Christ warned about false prophets in his “Sermon on the Mount”. That wisdom, if applied to any of life’s encounters, will lead to the truth. Christ stated that you could tell someone’s true intentions by examining their deeds and not heading their words.
Apply this wisdom to the GOP’s new Pledge and compare the stated intentions in that document against the filibuster to block transparency in campaign funding. It becomes apparent what our republican politicians want and whom they really work for; it is not US.
I have included part of President Obama’s speech on the threat of corporate campaign contributions as well as today’s Washington Post article. Think about it.
Published: Aug. 21, 2010 at 6:01 AM WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI)
U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday warned of a "corporate takeover" of democracy and said Republicans want the public kept "in the dark" on campaign funding.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the Democratic president found fault with a Supreme Court ruling that permits corporations, unions and other organizations to spend "unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections."
"They can buy millions of dollars worth of TV ads -- and worst of all, they don't even have to reveal who is actually paying for them," he said.
"A group can hide behind a phony name like 'Citizens for a Better Future,' even if a more accurate name would be 'Corporations for Weaker Oversight.'"
He blamed GOP leaders for killing legislation this summer that would require "corporate political advertisers to reveal who's funding their activities."
(The remained of this article is listed on Aug 21 on this blog)
Today in the Washington Post:
Senate Democrats again fail to pass campaign disclosure law
By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 11:10 PM
Senate Democrats failed again Thursday in their attempt to require corporations, unions and other interest groups to provide more details about their political spending.
The measure, known as the Disclose Act, fell one vote short of the 60 needed to break a GOP filibuster in the divided Senate, with Republicans uniformly opposed to the bill. The legislation had also been blocked by Senate Republicans during an earlier vote in July.
The 59-39 vote marks a bitter defeat for Democratic leaders and President Obama, who has repeatedly urged Congress to pass the bill in response to a Supreme Court ruling lifting restrictions on corporate and union political spending.
The outcome represents a major victory for Republicans and major business groups, which lobbied hard against a proposal that they said was an attempt by Democrats to silence GOP-leaning business groups.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) called the proposal a "cynical, partisan bill designed to silence the free speech of Congress's critics and to protect Democrat incumbents."
Proponents argued that voters deserve to know the identities of donors bankrolling outside advertising that has played an increasingly pivotal role in U.S. elections. Under the bill defeated Thursday, corporations and most interest groups would have been subject to stricter financial disclosure requirements.
The measure also would have broadened restrictions on foreign-controlled companies and required heads of companies and interest groups to appear on camera during their political spots.
Democratic leaders expressed frustration Thursday at the unwillingness of GOP moderates, such as Maine Sens. Susan Collins (R) or Olympia Snowe (R), to allow the measure to move forward. Democratic leaders had signaled a willingness to debate changes to the legislation, including delaying its implementation until January.
"Republicans continue to block the Senate from even debating common-sense oversight to bring transparency to our campaign finance laws," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement. "The outcome of today's vote shows the difference between Democrats who believe voters should be in control of our elections and Republicans who want to allow big corporations to buy their outcomes behind closed doors."
Interest groups and political parties have reported $87 million in independent spending so far in this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Democratic aides had acknowledged even before Thursday's vote that they were unlikely to get any Republicans to break ranks with their party. But several aides said they were hopeful the defeat would provide benefits by allowing Democrats to tie the GOP to corporate interests ahead of the midterm elections.
The legislation, which passed the House in a different form earlier this year, was drafted as a response to the 5 to 4 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The court found that corporations had the same rights as individuals to engage in political speech and could therefore spend as much as they wanted for or against specific candidates.
Obama pointedly criticized the ruling during his State of the Union address, prompting an unusual public objection weeks later by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The president and other White House aides have continued to focus on the decision as opening the door to abuses by corporations and had made passage of the Disclose Act a top legislative priority.
In his weekly radio address last Saturday, for example, Obama blasted Republicans for opposing the bill. "A partisan minority in Congress is hoping their defense of these special interests and the status quo will be rewarded with a flood of negative ads against their opponents," Obama said. "It's a power grab, pure and simple."
Despite the Disclose Act defeat, activists in favor of changing campaign finance rules celebrated a small victory in the House on Thursday: The Committee on House Administration passed the Fair Elections Now Act, which would allow candidates to receive 4-to-1 matching funds culled from broadcasting license fees by agreeing to limit themselves to donations of $100 or less. The fate of the bill remains unclear, however.
My name is Patrick M McCormick and I have created this blog as a platform for my political views as well as those of select contributors.
I believe that American Politicians have lost sight of their goal: To uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the people of the United States. They argue and bicker on the floor of their respective houses, positioning themselves for the next election, while they accomplish very little business for the citizens of this country.
Meanwhile our economy is sliding downward. Millions of our precious jobs have have been exported overseas. Our social safety net and other public services are being cut. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing and the numbers of citizens existing below the poverty line is increasing dramatically.
I plan to examine the causes of these terrible changes to our American way of life. Your comments will help us all arrive at some important conclusions.