Secret corporate cash perverts elections… and public policy

Corporate political money doesn't just buy elections – it buys government policy.

Corporate political money doesn’t just buy elections – it buys government policy.

Check out Americans for Prosperity, a fine-sounding group organized under the tax code as a “social welfare” organization. But, having poured some $40 million into the 2010 elections to help elect candidates who would push its agenda, exactly whose welfare and prosperity is it pushing?

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OpenSecrets.org – a follow-the-money watchdog – gives us a peek at the who’s who of selfish interests behind AFP. Start with its founder, board chairman, and generous benefactor, David Koch, a far-right-wing Republican billionaire dedicated to imposing a corporate plutocracy over America. Big Oil also contributed to the torrent of special-interest cash that AFP unleashed on the 2010 elections, as did Art Pope, a discount-retail tycoon whose foundation slipped $1.6 million into AFP’s political work. Pope sits on AFP’s board, and on the board of the virulently anti-government Bradley Foundation, which added half-a-million bucks to AFP’s electioneering effort.

What did they buy? A corporate-hugging tea party takeover of the U.S. House, a flock of vituperative union-bashing governors like Wisconsin’s disgraced Scott Walker, and the perversion of the Republican Party’s entire policy agenda into Koch-headed nuttiness. AFP’s political honcho even brags about fomenting nuttiness, pointing out that every Republican candidate – from local to presidential – must now be in lockstep with Big Oil in denying the existence of climate change, because the party’s electorate has turned anti-science. “That’s our influence,” he gloated. “Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it.”

AFP is secretly amassing even more corporate cash this year for even more ridiculous electoral “achievements.” To follow the money, keep in touch with www.OpenSecrets.org.

“Koch-Connected Group Shows Holes in Disclosure Requirements,” www.opensecrets.org, March 5, 2012.

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