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.
THE SHADOW ARMY
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?