Koch brothers, with Citizens United behind them, announce their intention to buy election

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.

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  1. Posted June 2, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I am in favor of the move to amend. Of course when the Supreme Court overturns Montana’s finance election law (the one that bands corp. contributions to state races), the odds of amending the constitution to eliminate Citizens United will sink to nearly zero. The corp.’s will purchase all the local politicians they need in Lansing and other state capitols. Lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce already call most of the shots in Lansing (an expected by product of term limits). The Kock brothers and ALEC (among others) have been waging their war against democracy for along time. Since they have just about crushed the labor movement, they have now moved in to consolidate power.

  2. Watching Laughing.
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Seems like these Wealthy Billionaires are just an extension of the dark ages. Just slaughter all in the path of the elites.
    Just can’t use a hatchet or sword these days,,,sort of.

    What an election this is going to be.


  3. Edward
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    How is it that two men can spend more money on the election than all of the individual Republicans combined, and people don’t seem concerned? This, I would think, would qualify as treason.

  4. Watching Laughing.
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry forgot,,,

    They are psychopaths, IMHO.


  5. Eel
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Romney: “Corporations are people, my friend.”


  6. Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made the graphic which accompanies this post. Clearly, that case in Miami, where the one guy ate the other guy’s face, was at the forefront of my mind last night, as I was fighting off sleep, and wrapping up this post. I guess I kind of equated the psychotic behaviors. At any rate, I hope it doesn’t detract from the seriousness of the post. If it does, I can remove it.

  7. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    This is just about the only case I can think of where Chinese law sounds appealing, if you own a big corperation and you sicken a lot of people, or you make China look bad internationally; they execute you. If corperation-people are really people, why aren’t they subject to laws human people are? Why can’t the US head of, say, BP, be executed for all the destruction his company wrought? Why did they just get a fine? Why didn’t anyone go to jail? If I wreaklessly caused an oil leak that destroyed a coast of the US, you’d think I would do a little time, right? Why is it the ultrawealthy corperations are defined as people but they can cause untold destruction and not be prosecuted as people? With all of the penalties real people must face?

  8. kjc
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Damn unions.

  9. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Also…if corperations are people, they can seek so-called ‘limited liability’ status to shield them from prosecution. I am a person, why can’t I do the same? If I share the same ontological status as a corperation, why can’t I seek to have limited liability? What is the difference between me and the other being if we are identical ontologically? Was no one who approved this donkeyshit on the SCOTUS aware of the reductio ad absurdum? Are THEY JUST BLIND TO LOGIC? OR DO THEY HAVE AN EVIL WILL??

  10. Oliva
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    (I’ve missed you all. Have been bringing up the rear for a good long while, remain in awe of Mark’s tremendous energy and significant contributions, even at the busiest points in life.)

    I’m with you, kjc, re. damn unions (appreciating your actual meaning)–so damn essential. I’ve been having a chance to witness some Teamster prowess at a slight remove and l-o-v-e it. “Solidarity forever, ’cause the union makes us strong.”

    And the one place I appreciate money in politics is an old joke my friend used to tell to make me chuckle every time. It requires a prop–a dollar bill. Then you say–and I know it’s not completely nice, but chuckling is so dear and necessary: “Barbara Bush is so popular–they even put her picture on the dollar bill.”

  11. Dan
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    if corporations are people, then I assume it is not legal for Just for Men to merge with Men’s Warehouse?

  12. Posted June 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Welcome back, Oliva! I hope you can make it to the next Beer with Bloggers :)

  13. Mr. X
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been saying for years that they won’t take us seriously until we begin to pull them screaming from their limos and eating their flesh in the streets. As distasteful as a mouth full of Koch might be, I think it might be worth it.

  14. Oliva
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    “I’d like to buy the world . . .”
    –a Koch

    (Hey, TeacherPatti. I really wanted to come. Hope it was as good as I imagined it.)

  15. Linda L
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    There’s nothing distasteful about a mouth full of kock.

  16. Karen Koch
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Or a mouthful of money………………

  17. Eel
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Or a mouth full of Kock wrapped in hundred dollar bills.

  18. Les
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Or sucking cock for coke?
    Nothing wrong with that.

  19. Meta
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    In another 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court today declined to revisit Citizens United.

    In a brief unsigned decision, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to have another look at its blockbuster 2010 campaign finance decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-to-4 vote, the majority summarily reversed a decision of the Montana Supreme Court that had refused to follow the Citizens United decision.

    “The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law,” the opinion said. “There can be no serious doubt that it does. Montana’s arguments in support of the judgment below either were already rejected in Citi­zens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case.”

    The four members of the court’s liberal wing dissented in an opinion by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who said that Citizens United itself had been a mistake.

    “Even if I were to accept Citizens United,” Justice Breyer contined, “this court’s legal conclusion should not bar the Montana Supreme Court’s finding, made on the record before it, that independent expenditures by corporations did in fact lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption in Montana. Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that court concluded that the state had a compelling interest in limiting independent expenditures by corporations.”

    Read More:

  20. Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    There’s no way Romney can put together an electoral win. The map is against him, even without the capacity for rigging key states against him, he would have an almost impossible time of it.

    You can use the handy electoral-map tool at 270towin.com to look at the electoral college scenarios. If you can come up with one that you believe could possibly take Romney to victory, I’d like to see it, because I can almost guarantee I will be able to show how it isn’t viable.

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  1. By Fox News sinks to an even more despicable low on June 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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  2. […] were finally waking up to the fact that our nation had been hijacked by the likes of ALEC and the Koch brothers. Instead, though, it’s like there’s a giant black cloud hanging over Providence today, […]

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