I am a bit annoyed. Truthfully, I am more than a bit annoyed, I am over the top, heels over ass pissed the hell right off. What is wrong with people? By people, I do have specific people in mind.
I could list the seventy-nine seditious ass clowns who signed the letter initiated by North Carolina Junior Representative Mark Meadows; instead, I will simply provide you the link to his site, which includes the letter and the signatures1. I want to talk about something other than the shutdown of the United States government, though my subject is closely tied to this one.
I don’t want to talk about those subversive son-of-bitches in D.C., they simply do not care; keeping in mind, they are still collecting their pay. Don’t be fooled by their sad eyed bullshit, they got their checks on September 30 through Direct Deposit and are not expecting another until October 30. They cannot ‘defer’ their own pay; no indeed not, it is all a great big lie. The only thing they can do is donate it and very few of them are doing that.
So let’s talk about what is equally important, what is critical to the function of our government and your and my voice in the future. We don’t have much of one left because the last time something this important was before SCOTUS we blinked. If we blink this time, we lose our voice, perhaps forever.
McCutcheon v. FEC
With Citizen United v.FEC the door was opened to corporations, giving them the same voice citizens had in the workings of our government. Now of course this isn’t true, corporations, especially multi-national corporations, have a great deal more money than you and I thus they had more to give. In essence, what SCOTUS said with their ruling, money is speech, corporations just like you, and I have the same First Amendment Rights to Free Speech. Citizen United broke the dam, opened the floodgates and the money poured in as the legislators at every level (federal, state and local) draped “For Sale” signs around their necks and stuck their hands out. The voice of the citizen, it was drowned out by the voice of the big business and their CEO’s, as it never had been before.
We were asleep. We let this happen. Only after the fact, have some of us woken up to what this meant to our political systems, to our democratic republic. Now, only after the fact we do we bemoan the loss of our voice in Congress. Now, as we watch the Koch funded Tea Party terrorist shut down the government do we shake our head in dismay and question our reasoning. Now, as we watch those sleazy and ignorant knuckle draggers obstruct the appropriate workings of our government and threaten the economy of this nation and the f’ng world, do we realize what it meant to cede our authority and our voice in the government “by the People and for the People” do we realize what ‘money as speech’ means. Unfortunately, there are still those, even those without a pot to piss in or window to throw it out of, who continues to defend Citizens United, the Tea Party and those who would strip the very meat off their bones.
So, let us quickly talk about McCutcheon v. FEC, which was argued before SCOTUS on 8-October to raise further individual campaign limits to $3.5M per donor to a single party’s candidates, parties or committees. Previously, a single donor was limited to $123,000 in direct donation to parties or committees, or $2,600 in individual contributions to 17 candidates for a total of $46,200 and an additional $70,800 to a political action committee (PAC) or group within a two-year federal cycle. Keep in mind this is only on the federal level, these wealthy donors are not similarly limited at the state or local level. Mr. McCutcheon though, he is outraged his voice is limited, his ability to buy his own personal Congressman or woman is limited in this way.
Those who have joined in his suit, they are also similarly outraged. They are:
- The Republican National Committee
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joining as an outside party
Oh, did I forget to mention Shaun McCutcheon is a little known multi-millionaire from Alabama who is active in conservative circles? Yes, indeed our friend Mr. McCutcheon is another one of the ‘big’ donors who likes to buy up legislators to make certain his personal agenda is well represented at the expense of all the rest of America’s citizens. He is the CEO of Coalmont Electrical Development, an engineering firm specializing in mining. He is according to the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead, a sincere Republican and Activist. This sincere member of the 1% first broached the idea of his lawsuit to further strip your and my voices from the public forum at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)2.
We need too really think hard about this one for just one minute, currently a single donor can give $123,000 in any two-year cycle. This amount is twice what the average American family earns, that is two times what the Average American Family has to pay their bills with, save against catastrophe with, save for their children’s future education with, pay for their healthcare with, feed themselves with and contribute to political campaigns, candidates, committees and parties from. Consider some of this:
A bit of history is important, limits were put in place to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption after Nixon and the Watergate scandal of the 1970’s. Watergate led to changes in campaign financing, as well as, the Freedom of Information Act in 1974. In addition to these legislative changes, it became expected that candidates would disclose personal finances including tax filings. In fact, Mitt Romney was the first presidential candidate since that time to balk at the release of personal financial information, wonder why that was.
So we must ask the question, like so much else we achieved to move this nation forward toward equality in the past one hundred years, why this why now? I think I can answer this question, we have the perfect storm, we have a court that will continue to strip away, every progressive accomplishment and every citizen’s right we have gained. Someday, those at the top will look back and it won’t be Ronald Reagan they will worship it will be George W. Bush, who tipped the scales of the Supreme Court in their favor.
Are you willing to see this happen? I am certainly not prepared for the slide backward, not in my lifetime. I am constantly astounded when anyone who is barely able to meet their rent or mortgage defends the likes of Shaun McCutcheon, the infamous Koch brothers or for that matter the GOP and their slimy Right Wing minority the Tea Party contingent. Is it not clear yet? These people are not your friends, their version of the American Dream is an American Nightmare for 99% of us, this Shutdown is only a taste of what is to come under their vision of our future.
Tell SCOTUS, tell your Representative, tell the Administration: Enough is Enough. Return America to the People. Restore Campaign Finance.
Tell the Supreme Court No: http://www.demos.org/mccutcheon-v-fec-new-citizens-united
Complete Analysis: http://www.demos.org/publication/stop-next-citizens-united
Brief filed with court: http://www.demos.org/publication/amicus-brief-supreme-court-mccutcheon-v-fec
Report Special Interest over National Interest: http://www.demos.org/publication/billion-dollar-democracy-unprecedented-role-money-2012-elections
Super Pac money Auctioning Democracy: http://www.demos.org/publication/auctioning-democracy-rise-super-pacs-and-2012-election