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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 22, 2010


Greg Palast - I'm losing sleep over the millions - or billions - of dollars that could flood into our elections from ARAMCO, the Saudi Oil corporation's U.S. unit; or from the maker of "New Order" fashions, the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Or from Bin Laden Construction corporation. Or Bin Laden Destruction Corporation.

Right now, corporations can give loads of loot through PACs. While this money stinks (Barack Obama took none of it), anyone can go through a PAC's federal disclosure filing and see the name of every individual who put money into it. And every contributor must be a citizen of the USA.

But under today's Supreme Court ruling that corporations can support candidates without limit, there is nothing that stops, say, a Delaware-incorporated handmaiden of the Burmese junta from picking a Congressman or two with a cache of loot masked by a corporate alias. . .

Under the Court's new rules, progressive list serves won't stand a chance against the resources of new "citizens" such as CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Maybe UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), which faces U.S. criminal prosecution and a billion-dollar fine for fraud, might be tempted to invest in a few Senate seats. As would XYZ Corporation, whose owners remain hidden by "street names.". . .

Tara Malloy, attorney with the Campaign Legal Center of Washington D.C. says corporations will now have more rights than people. . . Malloy also noted that under the law today, human-people, as opposed to corporate-people, may only give $2,300 to a presidential campaign. But hedge fund billionaires, for example, who typically operate through dozens of corporate vessels, may now give unlimited sums through each of these "unnatural" creatures.

And once the Taliban incorporates in Delaware, they could ante up for the best democracy money can buy. . .

We've been there. The 1994 election brought Newt Gingrich to power in a GOP takeover of the Congress funded by a very strange source.

Congressional investigators found that in crucial swing races, Democrats had fallen victim to a flood of last-minute attack ads funded by a group called, "Coalition for Our Children's Future." The $25 million that paid for those ads came, not from concerned parents, but from a corporation called "Triad Inc."

Evidence suggests Triad Inc. was the front for the ultra-right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers and their private petroleum company, Koch Industries. Had the corporate connection been proven, the Kochs and their corporation could have faced indictment under federal election law. As of today, such money-poisoned politicking has become legit.

So it's not just un-Americans we need to fear but the Polluter-Americans, Pharma-mericans, Bank-Americans and Hedge-Americans that could manipulate campaigns while hidden behind corporate veils. And if so, our future elections, while nominally a contest between Republicans and Democrats, may in fact come down to a three-way battle between China, Saudi Arabia and Goldman Sachs.


Anonymous corporations are organized crap said...

The fact is that the reason US auto manufacturers failed is that congress (those bastards don't deserve capitalization) handicapped them while Japan does not allow foreign investment. It was largely assumed the root of this was republican ideaolgy, but I think the end game was to break the UAW.

January 22, 2010 6:45 PM  
Anonymous wellbasically said...

Don't you think it would be better for Muslims to influence the US political process through money rather than through terrorist attacks? As long as the US has defacto governmental authority over the Muslim world, then I have no problem with the people there using money to gain access to our government officials.

January 22, 2010 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm missing something. Are we to believe that corporations had no influence on politics prior to this Supreme Court decision?

January 23, 2010 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 0857 has a point--any comments?
Also, I would submit that if our voters are so easily swayed by a few million dollars in "attack?" ads in the last few days of a campaign, don't we have a far worse problem than corporate influence? Do all y'all really believe that a significant percentage are that stupid/naive/vacuous? If so, isn't that what we should be addressing?
Ill intentioned money in political campaigns isn't exactly new. And perhaps ill intentions are more a matter of where you stand, than the intent of the donor?
Nah... that's not possible. -wam

January 23, 2010 11:24 AM  

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