America for sale

Republicans believe America is for sale to the highest bidder. Or so it would seem.

CNN’s “Political Ticker” reports:

“The Senate Democratic leadership failed Thursday to muster up enough support for a bill that would have put new restrictions on political television advertising by special interest groups.

“The attempt by Senate Democrats to break the Republican filibuster on the 'DISCLOSE Act' means that organizations and groups running political TV commercials do not have to disclose who is funding the ads.

“Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that such disclosure was not needed. Even if the Senate approved the measure, it likely would not have affected the midterm elections – and it would have only been enforceable in federal races.

“So, how much is being spent by outside groups on TV ads in this election cycle, federal and state combined? Here are the staggering statistics:

“167 different interest groups have spent $140 million so far on political television commercials in the 2010 election cycle. At this point in time in the last midterm election, 2006, less than half that amount was spent on TV ads.

“In 2010, 83 groups have run $54 million in commercials targeting federal races, while 84 organizations have spent $86 million on state contests.

“And expect this number to more than double in the closing weeks.”

And, who profits from this obscenity? Broadcast media, of course. Once trusted to be the watchdogs over such conflicts of interest, the media are now the only big business in America protected by the First Amendment.


Who are the powerful monied interests behind these ads? From the New York Times an exposé of these so-called “grassroots” groups:

“With every election cycle comes a shadow army of benignly titled nonprofit groups like Americans for Job Security, devoted to politically charged ‘issue advocacy,’ much of it negative. But they are now being heard as never before — in this year of midterm discontent, Tea Party ferment and the first test of the Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited, and often anonymous, corporate political spending. Already they have spent more than $100 million — mostly for Republicans and more than twice as much as at this point four years ago.”

Read “Hidden Under Tax-Exempt Cloak, Political Dollars Flow,” Mike McIntire, The New York Times, 23 September 2010: LINK

Has the “government of the people, by the people and for the people” perished from the earth?


Jerry Critter said...

It would certainly appear that the republicans are for sale to the highest bidder; the Democrats too, maybe.

B.J. said...

Critter: I have no doubt there are “money-grubbing scum” (David Letterman quote) on both sides of the aisle, but as my post points out 1) the Democrats are trying to get full discosure on these groups and their ads, and 2) most of the ads are pro-Republican.

Ahab said...

Grassroots groups? More like astroturfing!

tnlib said...

This is really sad news and somewhat maddening. Sometimes, I almost wish the GOP would win and then all these crazies would get their just rewards. Of course that just means all of us would suffer while they would just get richer.

Sue said...

Do these ads really get looked at like the GOP hopes they do? I thought TV viewing was way down. I think the ads that are pro-Republican are so outlandish that people are turned off by them and maybe the GOP will actually suffer the consequences.

I'm with you Leslie. If the thugs take over the House then Americans can actually get a better feel for what they are all about. It will help dems in 2012.

B.J. said...

Ahab, you are right. I should have worked “Astroturf” into the post!

Leslie and Sue: Not to put too fine a point on it, but if these poor people didn’t learn what things are like under Republicans during the first six years of the Bush administration, I see no hope of them learning now. Look what would have happened to Social Security if they had gotten away with privatizing it. It would have gone the way of folks’ 401Ks.

They all have self-induced amnesia about what got us into the economic mess.

I do have an article from the conservative Frum Forum – “The Real Winner of the Republican Primaries” by Andrew Pavelvey – which says Obama was the “real winner,” because after two years of the Tea Party idiots in Congress, Obama will be a shoo-in in 2012. This article was in Infidel’s “link roundup” last week. I will put a link to it in DemWit’s “FYI.”

Thanks for reading, guys! BJ

tnlib said...

The thing is, public memory is very short - even with the Dems.

I saw a poll today that says voters are way more unhappy with the GOP in Congress than the Dems.

Nance said...

"Once trusted to be the watchdogs over such conflicts of interest, the media are now the only big business in America protected by the First Amendment."

Well stated, BJ. I can't help but look at those millions raised for the campaign and think of how much of it comes from the very wealthiest 2% who fight fair taxation. That's just perverse.

Vote With Your Remote!

Frodo, things go worse with Koch said...

Rachel Maddow, and pardon Frodo for the absence of specificity, reported that 43 people, all of whom are fiscally defined as billionaires, provide nearly 100% of the money to support the reactionary right.

That, dear friend, is your "Tea Party."