For those who may have forgotten or if the eighties were before your time, there was a Speaker of the U.S. House named Jim Wright, a Texas Democrat who was forced to resign his speakership—and Congress—over a questionable book deal that allowed him to circumvent federal campaign finance laws. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/12/us/behind-jim-wright-s-book-his-friends.html?pagewanted=2 That was in 1988. Six […]
While the story above by Tom Aswell at Louisiana Voice which I’m reblogging is not related directly to my opinion that Super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups should be broken up, this Jindal escapade is another example how these groups profit certain individuals financially and infringe upon 1st Amendment rights along with those rights as incorporated under the 14 Amendment for the majority of Americans. When individuals or groups can for all intents and purposes rent or buy a candidate and even do so anonymously, what happens to the representation of the less affluential?
Yes, I have heard what seems as many times as Carter has liver pills that the Supreme Court has ruled. My response is that yes SCOTUS did rule, and I accept that decision as law but SCOTUS has also ruled on cases where you or perhaps we may not agree and those decisions are law as well. We cannot pick and choose, and my hope is that a new case will come before the court that eliminates Super PACs and recognizes 501(c)(4) groups as 527 organizations. Admittedly those changes do not “fix” the extreme monetary influence enjoyed by specific individuals, but at least those donating huge sums will have their identities known. Sure establish an arbitrary amount where donations can be made anonymously, but anything beyond that amount needs to be disclosed. The working class individual and retiree of that rung do have legitimate fears of retribution if donating to an individual or cause that his or her supervisors disagree. I do not believe those willing to give 6, 7, and 8 figures face those same threats. Essentially we have investments in a politician which have better return potential than investing in infrastructure.
In reference to the books, my opinion is that Jindal is not the first, the only, or the last to engage in such practices. Clear enough brush back home, and you will find rats and other vermin. You really need to be on guard for a copperhead or cottonmouth because they are present and deadly. Personally on the farm I came across my fair share of yellow jackets as well.
My belief is that this article is important. I’m less concerned about the big donors, but I think that those individuals who donate in amounts of $10, $20, and the like need to understand that more and more in today’s politics that donation is not so much for a cause or an idea. It’s similar to what we term as corporate welfare except that big dollars created from numbers of those small contributions often go directly to the candidate who can in turn try to buy influence if he or she has not been successful at the ballot boxes. If they get elected, their ear has often been rented or bought which is why I think public should know who pulls the strings. The IRS Targeting Scandal issue for me is why isn’t every group applying for that 501(c)(4) status scrutinized even more thoroughly than the those supposedly targeted. It makes no difference to me if the group is left or right. I’m frightened by anonymous or dark money, and as I’ll continue to assert “politics ain’t no charity.”
Disclaimer: I am aware of the conflict between Tom Aswell here and Lamar White, Jr., at CenLamar. I do not know any specifics, and thus am not taking any sides. I respect the work of both and encourage them to discuss any issues amongst themselves as the well intentioned professionals both are. Unlike some disputes, I believe in the credibility of both of these blogs and individuals. That’s simply my personal opinion which is all I feel qualified to offer about that matter.