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After the Supreme Court’s democracy-mugging decree that corporations can dump unlimited amounts of their shareholders’ money into our election campaigns, a guy named Larry sent an email to me that perfectly summed up what had just been done to us: “Big money has plucked our eagle!”
Thanks to the court’s freakish Citizens United ruling, the Koch brothers have already amassed an unprecedented $900 million electioneering fund, making them the Godfathers of tea-party Republicanism. Thus, such presidential wannabes as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker are shamelessly scurrying to kiss the Koch ring and pledge fealty to the brotherhood’s extremist plutocratic agenda.
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But big money is not only corrupting candidates, but also greatly diminishing voter participation in what has become a made-for-TV farce. The biggest chunk of cash spent by Koch, Inc. will go right into a mind-numbing squall of ads. They will not explain why we should vote for so and so, but instead will be nauseatingly-negative attack ads, trashing the candidates the Koch syndicate opposes. Worse, voters will not even be informed that the the Kochs paid for this garbage, since the Supreme Court says they can run secret campaigns, laundering their money through front groups to keep voters from knowing what special interests are really behind the attacks.
We saw the impact of secret, unrestricted corporate money in last year’s midterm elections. It produced a blight of negativity, a failure of the system to address the people’s real needs, an upchuck factor that kept nearly two-thirds of the people from voting, a rising alienation of the many from the political process – and a Congress owned by corporate elites. The Koch machine spent about $400 million to get those results. This time, they’ll spend more than twice that.
“16 Koch Budget is $889 Million,” The New York Times, January 27, 2015.
“Shine light on campaign ‘dark money’,” The Austin American Statesman, February 1, 2015.
“Koch Network Vows To Spend Nearly $900 Million To Buy Presidency And Congress,” www.alternet.org, January 27, 2015.