Saturday, August 6, 2011

Million Dollar Mitt

I’ve been hammering on Obama quite a bit for raking in all of the Wall Street cash he possibly can as he gears up he reelection bid. But in fairness, the Mighty O isn’t the only one who is down on his knees before the Big Money Boys. As The Raw Story reported on Thursday:
Big donors have found yet another way to anonymously funnel obscene amounts of money to political candidates.

Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, received $1 million from W Spann LLC, one of the biggest donations of the 2012 campaign season so far. Months later, the firm dissolved, leaving few clues to the true identity of the donors.

New reporting from NBC's Michael Isikoff sheds some light on the mysterious corporation.

The company was founded on March 15, donated to the Super PAC on April 28, and then closed shop on July 12. Corporate records show it was founded by Boston estate tax planning lawyer Cameron Casey, but the owners were not disclosed. The midtown Manhattan office building where the company was supposedly located has no record of the tenant.

According to Casey's bio, she "develops wealth transfer strategies for private clients" and "provides comprehensive estate planning advice to high-net-worth individuals."

"What you have here is a roadmap for how people can hide their identities" for the purposes of making political donations, former Federal Election Commission general counsel Lawrence Noble told Isikoff. "There is a real issue of it being just a subterfuge."
I have news for former Federal Election Commission general counsel Lawrence Nobel that he probably doesn’t want to hear: nobody cares. Okay, let me rephrase that: nobody who is in a position to doing anything about it cares, including an overwhelming majority of voters.

Last year when the Supreme Court made its horrendous ruling in the Citizens United case, it paved the way for this kind of chicanery. When it comes to political contributions, corporations now have the same rights as human beings…the difference is that a human being cannot be conjured into life for just three months so that it can give out million dollar campaign contributions.

What this case really shows is that, in effect, all restrictions on campaign contributions have now been effectively eliminated. The Big Money Boys have gone from largely controlling the political process to having it completely locked up. The billion or so dollars Obama is expected to raise this time around as well as a similar amount likely to be poured into the coffers of his eventual Republican challenger will mostly be used to pay for absolutely content-free political ads on teevee designed to push likely voters’ every emotional button. Anyone seeking information about the very hard choices the country now faces in those campaign ads will walk away sorely disappointed.

It’s even more appalling when you do the math. Two billion dollars spent on the campaign equals approximately six dollars for every man, woman and child in the United States.

But it’s even worse than that. In 2008, just a hair under 130 million people voted, so that $2 billion is actually more than $15 for every likely voter.

But it’s even worse than that. Major party nominees in the usual two-candidate race can always count on about 40% of the electorate as their base. So they are really fighting over the middle 20%, or about 26 million voters. That means the candidates will be spending approximately $76 for every “undecided” voter this election cycle. All to determine which Tweedledee or Tweedledum is going to pursue the exact same big business, war and empire agenda as the other one would yet give the appearance that we still live in a representative democracy.

I said it before in my May 27th blog post, “Thinking of Making a Presidential Campaign Contribution? If So, You’re an Idiot,” but it’s worth repeating. If you aren’t a millionaire or a billionaire and yet give one red cent to any of the motley collection of charlatans, frauds, zealots and hucksters vying to occupy the Oval Office in 2013, including Mr. Hopey-Changey himself, you are quite simply pissing your money away.