According to a new report in Politico, the Koch brothers, through their various front organizations, are set to funnel $400 million of their personal wealth into this year’s presidential campaign. It’s an absolutely staggering amount. To put it in context, these two men will be investing more than John McCain raised during the course of the entire 2008 campaign. (According to federal filings, McCain raised a total of $370 million.) Fortunately, some, like Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, aren’t just accepting this new, post-Citizens United, ‘elections belong to the highest bidder’ paradigm.
…Sen. Bernie Sanders said, “The Koch brothers’ bid to buy elections in America speaks to the obvious need for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and subsequent rulings. In the short term, Congress must pass legislation to require disclosure of the corporations and wealthy individuals behind the ads by outside groups.”
Sen. Sanders said the Koch spending demonstrates that we are no longer a nation of the people, “When one wealthy family spends more money than was raised altogether by the last Republican presidential candidate, it tells us that we are no longer a country of the people, by the people and for the people. We are becoming a country of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.”…
If you haven’t done so already, please take this opportunity to divest yourself of any and all Koch Industry products. I know it will be hard to wipe your ass with something other than Quilted Northern toilet paper, if that’s what you’ve become accustomed to, and wear clothes without Lycra, but desperate times call for desperate measures… Our ancestors gave their lives so that we might be free. The least we can do, I think, is find a substitute for Brawny paper towels.
And, of course, we can support Bernie is his legislative push to see Citizens United overturned. Here, with more on that, is a clip from VT Digger.
…Sanders last December 8 introduced the Saving American Democracy Amendment. His proposal would restore the power of Congress and state lawmakers to enact campaign spending limits, like laws that were in place for a century before the controversial court ruling.
Sanders also is a cosponsor of legislation aimed at curtailing the power of special interest groups by requiring them to disclose more information about their role in purchasing campaign advertisements. The Disclose Act would address some concerns related to the Supreme Court ruling that let corporations pour money directly into campaign ads…
As I just mentioned the other day, in the thread about Ben Cohen’s plan to help us deface our dollar bills, in hopes of spreading the Move to Amend gospel, while there are a great many things wrong in the United States today, I believe that, above all else, we need to focus on getting the money out of politics. Until we do that, I’m of the opinion that no substantive, long-term change is possible. We need to strike at the root of the problem, and stop individuals and corporations from buying our elections under the guise of free speech.
Speaking of the Move to Amend, I don’t generally sign petitions, but their’s, I think, it simple, elegant, and beautiful. Here it is, in its entirety.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
If you’re so inclined, you can sign it here.
And, as long as you’re signing things, how about a letter to your elected officials? Believe it or not, they do count the letters that come in, and a note encouraging them to back the Disclose Act and the Saving American Democracy Amendment, really could make a difference… Should you choose to join me, you’ll find the contact information for your Congressperson and Senators here.
Oh… One last thing… I know some of you don’t think there’s much difference between Obama and Romney. And, to some degree, I’d agree with you. I think, however, that the Citizens United decision, which was decided 5-to-4 by the Supreme Court, illustrates just how important it is that a Democrat holds the White House, especially when we have as many as three Supreme Court justices who could be retiring over the next four years.