Saturday, August 28, 2010

Please Don't Squeel While Your Democracy is Being Crushed

MeanMesa has spoken often in previous postings about the autocracy's lingering legacy of corruption and class warfare.  Perhaps even the most generous of MeanMesa visitors has occasionally considered some of this ranting a bit hyperbolic.  However, now -- almost two years after the end of the despot -- very material, tangible toxins are still emerging from that fetid attack on the nation.

Of course, we are speaking of the so-called Roberts' Court.

Just because democracy once again gasped a breath in the atmosphere of a ravaged country, an empty treasury, a wrecked economy and a street-wide riot of every hill billy and bigot sober enough to stagger out of a VFW bar, there is one institution of power and ideology which remains starkly in tact.

The Supreme Court.

Now, we've seen the Roberts Court in action -- the entire world of jurisprudence, not to mention justice, has been cast into a medieval "battle of the Titans" between the fascist Justices appointed by the unelected autocrat and the more or less rational justices who populated the court before the coup.  The reign of this monstrosity has been formidable.  The 5 Reactionary Supremes of the autocratic ilk have made real any cheezy wet dream of every corporation rich enough to catch their ears  -- that is, any sociopath with a more corrupt scheme to catch their fancy.

The most recent outrage is, of course, the Citizens United ruling which invited absolutely anyone with a pocket full of money to sabotage any election they wished.  MeanMesa has posted about this insult before ( Two Tales of "Corporate Personhood"  --  Monday Morning With the Chief Justice -- The Supreme Court Address the WRONG PROBLEM  -- Finally Quotes From the Decision ) but now -- at the dawn of the 2010 mid-term elections this November -- the "reeking, far from fresh chicken" has finally come home to roost.

Our corporate masters have dug deep into their pockets to purchase a few more scraping servants in the next Congress.  Is MeanMesa off on another of those irritating exaggeration rants?

The numbers say not.  Gliding through the Google, MeanMesa has collected a very abbreviated list of some of the more interesting PAC (Political Action Committees) who are now "flexing their new gossamer wings" to make shadow contributions protected by the Citizens United ruling.  Each block of cited material follows a source link.

From Democracy21 -- Link here.

Here's a quick guide to the groups, the interests behind them, and how much money they are planning to raise ahead of November:

American Crossroads: Founded in March by Rove and Gillespie to counter ad spending from liberal outfits like and labor unions, this 527 group says it plans to raise and spend upwards of $50 million before November. So far, the group is focusing on 11 key Senate races, including Nevada, where the group has run two ads attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. But Collegio says American Crossroads will begin targeting House races closer to Election Day. According to Internal Revenue Service records, the group has raised roughly $8.5 million so far — including $1 million from Dallas energy executive Trevor Rees-Jones.  $50,000,000

Crossroads GPS: A spinoff of American Crossroads, this 501-c4 group can keep its donor list private — a major selling point for individuals and corporations who want to anonymously influence elections. While it won't run ads, the group is picking up some of the pricey administrative tasks that the RNC has usually taken on, including building a database that allows them to microtarget voters in certain congressional districts with outreach specific to their interests.

American Action Network:
Modeled in part after the liberal Center for American Progress, this 501-c4 group is headed up by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman and managed day-to-day by Rob Collins, a former top aide to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. Together with its sister group, the American Action Forum (see below), the outfit plans to be something of a GOP think tank, helping to craft the Republican message. But this side of the operation will focus more on advocating candidates than on policy development. A GOP source tells The Upshot the group is looking to spend as much as $25 million to influence the midterms. Already, the group has launched an ad against Charlie Crist, who quit the GOP to run as an independent in Florida's Senate race. The group has just launched a $450,000 campaign trashing Democrat Paul Hodes in New Hampshire's Senate race.  $450,000

American Action Forum: An offshoot of the American Action Network, this group will focus more on formulating policy and helping GOP candidates deliver their message than on running ads attacking specific candidates. Fronted by Doug Holtz-Eakin, a former economic adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign, AAF lists Coleman and former governors Jeb Bush and Tom Ridge as board members.

Resurgent Republic: Founded by Gillespie and several GOP pollsters last fall, this group aims to be the Republican equivalent of Democracy Corps, a polling and research group founded by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and former Clinton operative James Carville. The nonprofit group will try to improve GOP messaging through polling and research groups and will work directly with other Republican groups in the network.

Republican State Leadership
Committee: This 527 group plans to spend at least $40 million to influence state elections, including gubernatorial races, ahead of next year's planned redistricting debate. While Gillespie is the chairman, other advisers on board include former Rep. Tom Reynolds, who used to chair the House GOP campaign committee, and former RNC chair Mike Duncan (who is also working for American Crossroads). $40,000,000

From TalkingPointsMemo -- Source:  Link here.

CongressDaily (sub. req.) crunches the numbers and finds that the Citizens United Political Victory Fund has given almost $200,000 to candidates in 2010 races, all to Republicans.  $200,000

The PAC, which is behind the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the door for campaign contributions directly from corporations, donated thousands to conservative and tea party-type candidates.

From the New Yorker -- Source:  Link here.

Americans for Prosperity, meanwhile, has announced that it will spend an additional forty-five million dollars before the midterm elections, in November. Although the group is legally prohibited from directly endorsing candidates, it nonetheless plans to target some fifty House races and half a dozen Senate races, staging rallies, organizing door-to-door canvassing, and running ads aimed at “educating voters about where candidates stand.” 

Though the Kochs have slowed Obama’s momentum, their larger political battle is far from won. Richard Fink, interviewed by this spring, said, “If you look at where we’ve gone from the year 2000 to now, with the expansion of government spending and a debt burden that threatens to bankrupt the country, it doesn’t look very good at all.” He went on, “It looks like the infrastructure that was built and nurtured has not carried the day.” He suggested that the Kochs needed “to get more into the practical, day-to-day issues of governing.”  $45,000,000

Interested in even more of this stinky stuff?  Just Google PAC money flowing into GOP campaign coffers for the 2010 midterm elections.  It's all there.

The old law preventing direct corporate contributions is still in effect, but the Citizens United ruling opens the flood gates for what MeanMesa calls "corporate assistance" contributions.  The plutocrats such as the Koch Family (Grampa Koch started the John Birch Society -- the family's latest hobby projects are a squid cluster of "think tanks," the CATO Institute, the American Heritage Foundation, etc.) has declared open war on the Obama administration and are among those unAmerican billionaires who are willing to sacrifice the country to get the black man out of the White House at any price.

So, after raising a few thousand bucks to get your favorite Democrat on the ballot, don't be shocked when your candidate is suddenly facing a multi-million dollar "movie" about his child molesting and cannibalism problems.  Naturally, no one will actually be responsible for the movie because the Roberts Court has decided that such a requirement would violate the "freedom of speech" rights of a corporate person.

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