Last month, Texans United to Amend set up an exhibition table at the Texas State Republican Convention in Ft. Worth (thanks to Mike Badzioch). On one of the days, I helped out. We were all glad to hear that Republican delegates shared the same concerns we had about the influence of too much money in politics. It’s hard to say what percentage of all the delegates agreed with us, but of the delegates who stopped at our table to talk, 95% of them agreed with us on the 2 issues that we discussed with them.
Besides the issue of too much money influencing our political process, the other issue we discussed with them was our belief that corporations are not people and should not have the same constitutional rights as individuals. From what I could tell, none of them had heard of a constitutional amendment to solve these 2 issues. However, those in agreement with us, did not seem adverse to a constitutional amendment.
None of this should be too surprising. Republicans and Republican leaders, past and present, have spoken out against money in politics, the Citizens United decision, and corporate personhood. Here is a sampling: Continue reading
Posted in campaign finance reform, Citizens United, Corruption, Money in Politics
Tagged anonymous attack ads, campaign finance reform, Citizens United, corporate personhood, corporations are not people, money in politics, Newt Gingrich, Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator John McCain, Senator Warren Rudman, Super PAC, Texans United to Amend, Theodore Roosevelt, Trevor Potter
Over the last several weeks we’ve seen two more state government high ranking officials resign over alleged campaign finance abuse and other ethics violations. Near the end of November, Utah’s then attorney general, John Swallow, announced his resignation from office effective December 3. Mark Darr, Arkansas’s current lieutenant governor, recently announced his resignation effective February 1.
Former Attorney General John Swallow was accused of failing to disclose business conflicts of interest, giving preferential treatment to donors, and violating attorney-client privilege while serving in the attorney general’s office. On January 11, 2013, businessman Jeremy Johnson accused Swallow of being part of a plan to bribe a U.S. senator to derail a Federal Trade Commission probe into an internet marketing company owned by Johnson. Continue reading
Posted in Money in Politics
Tagged Attorney General John Swallow, business conflicts of interest, businessman Jeremy Johnson, businessman Jonnie Williams, campaign finance abuse, ethics violations, Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr, McDonnell Scandal, misuse of government funds, money in politics, quid pro quo, Senator Paul Bookout, State Treasurer Martha Shoffner
The current fight to get money out of politics prompted by the Citizens United decision is not the first time that a crusade has been necessary to fight against the crony capitalism of big business and politicians, and a Supreme Court that protects them. Over 100 years ago, Teddy Roosevelt championed progressive policies such as trust busting and increased regulation of business. His domestic policy centered around what he called the “Square Deal”, promising the average citizen a fair share. It took the human suffering of the Great Depression before many of these progressive policies were passed into law. Over the last 30-40 years, there has been a concerted effort by corporate and moneyed interests to weaken or overturn many of these laws. Continue reading