Corporate And Union Money Isn’t Killing Democracy
Lance Haun | Rehaul
January 25, 2010
I am sorry but Humpty Dumpty has already fell off this wall. To think that a mangled piece of legislation known as McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform (or any of its predecessors) somehow fixed corporate and union influence is, to put it lightly, bullshit. If corporate and union influence has really killed democracy, it happened decades ago. I don’t think that’s reality though.
From the time they were conceived to present time, corporations and unions (and to a lesser extent, special interest groups) have been trying to sway the will of the people they influence the most using various methods. In the past, it may have been by force or intimidation. Other times it was with sweetening them up. Almost always, it involved money. Lots of it.
Fast forward to now. Wait, that is now.
Intimidation still happens. Sweetening still happens. And lots and lots of money is still happening. Don’t believe me?
From 2002 to 2006, the top 20 Republican backing companies spent around 70 million dollars on those three elections. Do you think that’s crazy? The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) alone spent around 60 million dollars trying to get President Obama elected in 2008.
What limits are we getting rid of exactly? The ability for a corporation to spend almost ten million dollars supporting candidates? The ability for a union to spend tens of millions of dollars on a single campaign? Give me a break. Whatever these campaign finance restrictions were doing, they certainly weren’t limiting the amount of money corporations and unions could use to support campaigns.
The true promise may not be restricting cash flow but certainly transparency is, right? Who is pushing the buttons behind the curtains is important too.