Friday, October 3, 2014

Koch, MS, Wal-Mart, Blue Cross, Verizon, Exxon, Comcast, Pfizer Buy Statehouses? (Don't Kid Yourself That It's Only Congress)

It's so thoughtful that someone has collected the names of the what you might call freedom offenders in one essay, isn't it? (Not that these are the only guilty parties, of course. North Carolina personally salutes Duke/Progress Energy who (as companies are people, right?) brings Gov. Pat McCrory to the forefront of the lack-of-freedom marketplace!)

Thanks, Jim!

The corporate purchase of Washington is pretty widely reported, but — keep up now — the kleptocratic stinkiness (is) fast consuming our statehouses as well. The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) has devised a layaway purchase plan allowing brand-name corporations to make secret donations of $100,000 or more a year to the RGA in support of the corporate-friendly agenda of various GOP governors. And a lot of execs have been buying.
These are chieftains of brand-name corporate giants who have secretly funneled millions of their shareholders’ dollars into the “dark money” vault of the Republican Governors Association. In turn, the RGA channels the political cash into the campaigns of assorted right-wing governors. This underground pipeline has been a dream come true for corporations, for it lets them elect anti-consumer, anti-worker, anti-environment governors without having to let their customers or shareholders know they’re doing it.
But — oops! — the RGA made a coding error in its database of dark money donors. So in September, a mess of the GOP’s secret-money corporations were suddenly exposed, standing buck-naked in front of customers, employees, stockholders and others who were startled and angered to learn that the companies they supported were working against their interests.
. . . Feed the RGA’s political-favor-meter with $250,000 a year (as Coca-Cola, the Koch brothers, and others do), and the association cynically anoints your corporation with the ironic title of “Statesman,” opening up gubernatorial doors throughout the country. Well, sniff the participants, the money buys nothing but “access” to policymakers. But wait — when was that access put on the auction block? Shouldn’t everyone have access to our public officials? Of course, but call your governor and see if you can even get an office intern to call back.
. . . Now let’s call the roll of some of the privileged corporate dreamers that were pulling the wool over our eyes, hoping we would slumber in ignorance: Aetna, Aflac, Blue Cross, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Exxon Mobil, Hewlett-Packard, Koch Industries, Microsoft, Novartis, Pfizer, Shell Oil, United Health, Verizon, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.
The corporate donors to this previously secret scheme of plutocratic rule says it’s OK, for they also give money to Democrats. Oh, bipartisan corruption — that makes me feel so much better, how about you?

Rob Kall of OpEdNews arranged a conversation between Paul Craig Roberts and Noam Chomsky on these issues and many more of interest to my readers.

It is available as an audio podcast and I recommend it wholeheartedly:

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