Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Connecting the dots on Democratic corruption

Some are rightly complaining about the avalanche of secret money in political campaigns since the odious Citizens United decision. Still the best broadcast news outlet in America, NPR has a great series about it that will probably disgust you. I believe that if elected officials are going to be bought and paid for, the public has a right to know who owns them. Lack of transparency is the foundation of corruption, something the United States doesn't do nearly as well at as it should.

But while the conventional wisdom is that the secret money is helping the corporate Republicans, the corporate Democrats are doing just fine, outspending the GOP by nearly 50 percent in key races.

The New York Times reports that Democratic candidates have outraised their opponents over all by more than 30 percent in the 109 House races The New York Times has identified as in play. And Democratic candidates have significantly outspent their Republican counterparts over the last few months in those contests, $119 million to $79 million.

And where's the money coming from?

The excellent non-profit, non-partisan journalism organization Pro Publica did an excellent story entitled 'The New Democrats: The Coalition Pharma and Wall Street Love.'

It portrayed a Democratic Party completely under the influence of, among others, banks, big pharmaceutical interests and insurance companies.

(And that's the national Democratic Party. The New York state Democrats have their own myriad of corruption scandals, of which the Aqueduct racino mess is only the latest of many)

The influence of the banks was illustrated by the Wall St. bailout that was approved by a Democratic Congress. The influence of insurance companies was illustrated by the great giveaway misnamed as health care 'reform.'

Now, I read that the UK congolomerate GlaxoSmithKline is in trouble for having sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant, according to the NYT, despite warnings from employees.

Last year, Glaxo gave 63 percent of its political 'contributions' (legal bribes) to Democrats.

Note: the Green Party, both nationally and in New York State, does not accept contributions from (as per the GPUS website): corporations, labor organizations, national banks, government contractors or foreign nationals. Green candidate for NY governor Howie Hawkins does not accept corporate contributions either.

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