Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Occupy Wall Street hates money in politics

Here's an excerpt of an interview on NPR with a member from the Boston branch of Occupy Wall Street explaining why he's protesting:
BLOCK: And Jason, give me some examples, if you could, of the ways that the economic imbalance that you're talking about, you think are dangerous to the country or undermining the country in some way.
POTTEGER: Well, I think a great example is the fact that, you know, a corporation doesn't really even have to give either candidate any money to start undermining the process these days. What's to stop a lobbyist from going up to a congressman or a senator and saying, if you don't vote the way we want you to, we're going to spend $10 million in your district running ads against you.
The Washington Post gives the same line in "What Occupy DC wants: Less corporate money in politics."  But here's the thing: I'm going to guess that these protesters have no problem with unions or left-leaning political interests spending as much as they please on political campaigns.  And which groups are pushing the boundaries of free speech in political campaigns?  Here's Open Secrets' list of "Heavy Hitters" which they characterize as: "In boxing, big punchers seek knockouts. In government, the same principle applies: The wealthiest corporations and special interest groups usually pepper politicians with overwhelming amounts of money in hope of influencing the political process."

Here are your Top 10 "Heavy Hitters":

Top 10 Heavy Hitters:
ActBlue $55,093,735
American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $45,820,853
AT&T Inc $41,660,404
National Assn of Realtors $40,020,510
Service Employees International Union $37,151,289
National Education Assn $36,433,925
American Assn for Justice $34,328,421
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $33,824,355
Laborers Union $31,640,067
American Federation of Teachers $31,342,403

I'd be willing to give up AT&T and those people in the funny jackets for all the rest, except I believe in the First Amendment.


$$$$$$$ said...

That list is woefully incomplete.

George Soros gave more money to 527's and other advocacy groups just in the 2004 election cycle - nearly $25 million - than most of the listed donors gave in the entirety of 1989-2012. He may have tossed in another buck or two since then.

The Koch Brothers are known to have given over $196 million to Republican think tanks; that figure does not include their funding of Tea Party activities, their seminars, lobbyists, or direct campaign contributions.

According to the criteria and data, Koch Industries is #82 on the donors list. George Soros' companies don't appear at all.

It is unknown, and legally unknowable, what Soros or the Kochs have delivered to super-PACs, which are nearly restriction-free.

And that's just one prominent example from each side of the political divide. Those fellows aren't alone.

If you want to think the teachers, the electricians and the beer wholesalers are in the forefront of money in politics, Soros, the Kochs, and all their less notorious friends are delighted that you think so.

Anonymous said...