Sheldon Adelson

THE GIANT VS. THE MIDGETS – Rep. Hank Johnson, Congressional Record, 12.12.12

Congressional Record
112th Congress (2011-2012)

“Then you have the commercial committee, let’s call it, of ALEC. They produce legislation such as crush-the-union legislation, also misnamed right-to-work legislation. It is not right-to-work, it is crush-the-union.”

“So the bill, or the bills, that have been passed out of the Michigan assembly in both their house and senate are products of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, almost word for word.”

“And guess what? Those corporations, pursuant to Citizens United, can participate in the campaign process. They can do electioneering. They can influence elections. They can give money to organizations that support candidates. And so it’s an ugly lobbying situation when you put corporations with legislators in a wining-and-dining setting with added benefit of campaign More →

One Percenters Buying Themselves an Aristocracy

The U.S. Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. What this nation needs now is separation of wealth and state.

Without such a protection, Americans stand to lose their democracy. They’ll be ruled instead by an aristocracy of 1 percenters.

That’s the 1 percenters’ plan. To them, it was no more than a perk when the U.S. Supreme Court enabled politicians to open their wallets for unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions. That’s because way before the 2010 Citizens United ruling, 1 percenters were working on a takeover. If the 99 percent don’t stop them soon, don’t establish some sort of separation of wealth and state, then the nation will lose its founding precepts — that all men are created equal and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Aristocracies can ignore the governed.

Already the 1 percenters have been extraordinarily successful. The rich really do enjoy advantages. They’ve succeeded in stuffing Congress with their peers. In America, fewer than 1 percent of all people are millionaires. In Congress, 47 percent are. The median net worth of a U.S. senator in 2010 was $2.56 million.

To read this incisive article by Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers, please click here

The Endgame For ALEC?

In a sense ALEC is merely a middle man in a process that Citizens United streamlines. The 1% component of the vast right wing conspiracy that Hillary Clinton spoke of is the ultimate leadership thereof because they bankroll it. In the earlier setting, then, the valuable function that ALEC served is, being brutally honest, really nothing more than a very cumbersome way of sifting through politicians, post election, to identify those with votes for sale. And the cumbersome aspect derives from the fact that, selected this way, not every vote from every politician can be counted on virtually every time. I mean, that was just inherent in a system where the “mating dance” ultimately choregraphed by ALEC was the only means possible to stretch decades old rules designed to prevent exactly what ALEC found a way to do.

…Moving forward, however, the Koch brothers, Adelsons, etc. can just recruit from a sufficiently deep national talent pool that consists of the Karl Rove types, basically assign them as team manager/coaches, provide a direct budget and check in with weekly conference calls to see how the “recruiting” is going. And since basically none of the “players” can take an independent credit for the development of their “politicial” careers, one would certainly posit that the loyalty factor would far exceed even the best case possible in the same “market” under the current “business model”. These folks are already buying election after, but now they can just do it easier, faster, and cheaper.

Please click here to read the entire analysis by long time ALEC investigator “oldpotsmuggler”, and if you can rebut it in any manner, please post your comments.  I think this is one of the more insightful analyses about ALEC I have seen in a long time.

Opponents Of Health Reform Spent More On Ads Trashing The Law Than Obama Spent On Ads For President In 07/08

The health insurance industry secretly sponsored over $100 million in anti-health reform ads through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

[This analysis, by Lee Fang, takes a long NY Times article, ferrets out the key points and presents them in a very understandable format.]

“…quantifying the money is critical in understanding at least part of the reason why public opinion soured so quickly on a law that contains extremely popular provisions.  In addition to the paid-advertising, healthcare industry interests and other opponents of the bill spent a great deal on direct lobbying, campaign donations, and public relations campaigns. This story, however, only concerns the ad-war that helped turn Americans against the bill.”

“…total (spent) on negative health reform-related advertising to $323.75 million.”

To read all of this excellent analysis, please click here

The effect of this amount of misinformation has had great impact on public perception about the Affordable Care Act.  You can read about this–and try to understand it–by reading the NY Times article, Distaste for Health Care Law Reflects Spending on Ads which goes into more depth on this issue.  Read the article by clicking here

This is the conservative echo chamber at work.