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Conservative groups have spent up to $75 million in undisclosed funds, dwarfing left

As you know, the conservative groups that are plowing huge sums of money from undisclosed donors into the midterm elections have been defending their actions by insisting that groups on the left are doing the same.

So I thought it would be interesting to do a straight-up informal comparison: How much in undisclosed donations is being spent by the right on independent expenditures and election communications, versus how much is coming from the left.

Here are the results. According to data from the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, conservative groups that have spent significant sums have plowed nearly $75 million in undisclosed donations alone into this election.

By contrast, liberal groups have spent under $10 million -- around one eighth that sum. And much of that is coming from groups that weren't set up just to influence elections.

News orgs have done comparisons along these lines before, but they've only compared overall spending, which is to say, disclosed and undisclosed donations taken together. And I am emphatically not trying to show here that the left, which is benefiting from huge amounts of labor cash, is being hugely outspent in an overall sense.

What I've done here is an informal comparison of only undisclosed money, which is at the heart of the searing national debate over whether our elections are being swamped by secret cash.

When you compare the two lists of groups -- which you can see after the jump -- the disparity is almost comical. As you can see from the lists, the undisclosed cash flowing from the right goes far beyond what's coming from Karl Rove's groups or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Around a dozen conservative groups with very anodyne names have also kicked in big six- and seven-figure sums.

The total on the right: $74,733,356. On the left: $9,868,057. And the groups on the left, unlike on the right, consist of well-known names like the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife.

The figures I'm using come from Sunlight Foundation's list of groups spending money on the election. According to Sunlight, any group that isn't marked "donors" on its list has not disclosed its sources of funding.

Now, a major caveat: This is largely a back-of-the-envelope calculation, because my tally is, of necessity, going to be flawed. For one thing, we can't be sure precisely what much of this money is being spent on. I've tried to compensate for that by only including groups on both sides that are vaguely recognizable and seem to be directly and broadly investing in the national elections.

Another problem: Groups on both sides are also spending money on field operations, which isn't included here. I've also not included groups on both sides that are spending comparativly insignificant amounts.

If I've missed any significant spending on either side, let me know and I'll update. Similarly, if there are groups on that list that shouldn't be there, I want to know that, too. This is meant to be a working tally, not a final pronouncement.

Check out the lists of groups and their totals after the jump.

Conservative:

American Action Network: $4,930,690

American Future Fund: $13,829,863

Americans for Job Security: $5,833,469

Americans for Limited Government: $705,045

Americans for Tax Reform: $3,545,412

Center for Individual Freedom: $1,886,869

Crossroads GPS: $11,484,016

Ending Spending Fund: $1,150,000

Revere America: $1,539,048

60 Plus Association: $5,574,166

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: $23,644,188

Republican Jewish Coalition: $610,590

Total: $74,733,356


Liberal:

Working America: $2,005,965

VoteVets Action Fund: $1,869,086

Defenders of Wildlife: $1,094,188

NARAL Pro Choice America: $281,951

National Wildlife Federation Action Fund: $278,835

CSS Action Fund: $1,377,680

Communication Workers of America: $1,174,194

Sierra Club: $296,059

Our Future Ohio PAC: $1,711,283

United Mine Workers of America Power PAC: $315,905

Total: $9,868,057

By Greg Sargent  | October 22, 2010; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Harry Reid's closing message: You'd have to be crazy to replace me with Sharron Angle
Next: Juan Williams gets it right

Comments

"Hah! Chump Change". Meg Whitman.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama's ADVANTAGE in 2008 - $700 Million for Obama


$87 Million for McCain


Over $600 Million difference

Were you complaining then?>


When the democrats were far ahead in the money, the left did not complain

And please don't give us the disclosure/ undisclosure story


The democrats LED in undisclosed money in 2000, 2004 and 2006


That argument makes NO SENSE - the democrats used UNDISCLOSED CASH.


The only reason the democrats don't have more undisclosed cash is Obama TRIED to take more control over the democratic money.

It wasn't because Obama felt like he wanted to do anything in the field of Campaign Finance.


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice work, Greg.

You can't have democracy based on the 'principle' of one dollar, one vote.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: And your point is ... ?

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who knows anything about Campaign Finance knows that this is a bogus issue for the democrats.


This is like a bank robber saying that the banks should not be robbed.


This issue is just another in a long like of DECEPTIONS BY OBAMA.


____________


Greg


Do you want reasonable people to take you seriously? You aren't doing it here.


I would say that is Obama's problem as well - Obama has not acted in a way in which reasonable people would continue to take him seriously.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 22, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

But but....Soros!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

$75 Millions For Secret Bribes To Republican Candidates;

Not A Penny For Wall St. Reformers.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Hurt US Congress signs are now everywhere in Virginia !!!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/21/hurt-us-congress-a-sign-of-political-times/

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 22, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The only way anyone could be dumb enough to think that Obama spent 600 million in undisclosed donations in his Presidential run is if they were a retarded assh0le.

Maybe you should look into why moveon closed down its 527. Here is a link to an article by this little known blogger back in June of 2008.


http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/moveon_to_close_its_527.php

MoveOn, the advocacy group supporting Barack Obama, has decided to permanently shutter its 527 operation, partly in response to the Illinois Senator's insistence that such groups should not spend on his behalf during the general election

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

If this doesn't get fixed this will be the end of American democracy. We need the Disclose Act now.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse


Politico had it correct in an article this week: the reason the democrats have less money going through certain groups is that Obama tried to TAKE CONTROL of the democratic money - and channel it through groups he controlled.


This has NOTHING to do with Obama's positions on campaign finance.

The ONLY part of Campaign Finance Reform which actually worked to level the playing field - Obama WRECKED by pulling out of the Presidential fund in 2008.


So Obama's record on campaign money is HORRIBLE.


This issue is RIDICULOUS for Obama and the democrats - I think more and more people will be happy to see Obama LEAVE WASHINGTON if he is going to continue to act the way he has. This is like an immature child who doesn't play but the rules, but complains when he is penalized. Obama is completely WORTHLESS. This is the US government here - is is NOT the place for deception after deception.


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 22, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Disclosure is the most important thing.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If this doesn't get fixed this will be the end of American democracy. We need the Disclose Act now.
-----------------------------------
I agree with michiganmaine. It needs to be fixed on both sides. Now.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

ALL,

@wapo:

-New GOP money is old GOP money-

Despite tea party energy, outside groups funded by Swift Boaters, other old hands

The donations are part of a broader pattern of giving this year dominated by longtime party fundraisers, Wall Street financiers and energy tycoons. Despite the burst of new political energy surrounding the tea party movement, only a thin slice of the population is donating, with the number of Americans giving $200 or more dropping dramatically.

Records suggest that much of the money fueling a wave of negative attack advertising comes from a stable of old political hands with roots going back as far as the Nixon era.

American Crossroads, one of this year's biggest Republican-friendly spenders, has received 42 percent of its money from a dozen supporters of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the independent group that ran ads in 2004 accusing Kerry of lying about his war record, according to a Washington Post analysis. The single biggest contributor to the group, with $7 million, is Bob J. Perry, the Texas home builder who was the top Swift Boat financier.

Perry and other Swift Boaters have given millions more to other prominent conservative groups as well, including the Republican Governors Association and the First Amendment Alliance, an independent group funded primarily by energy executives from Texas and Colorado.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/22/AR2010102203567.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

So basically it's just like what Krauthammer said long ago, "Whining squared." The Dems do it too they are just getting beat.

"KRAUTHAMMER: This is whining squared. First of all, eight to one, well, there is a "one" obviously. Democrats are also in the game, but they are losing the game, so they are very unhappy.

...

TOTENBERG: The question is we know from where.

KRAUTHAMMER: The question is what's affecting, the implication is that the President, you showed that clip of the President, and the implication is that the Republicans are purchasing this election. This is nonsense. One example: Rove has raised $50 million; the unions have set aside $100 million in this election, and the difference is...

PETERSON: I think it's more like $200 million.

KRAUTHAMMER: ...that a union member doesn't have a say in whether it goes to a Democrat or Republican even if he is a Republican. So let's not hear this whining about how the money is (unintelligible). That's not why Republicans lost in '08 and not why Democrats are going to lose in '10."

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

So basically it's just like what Krauthammer said long ago...
===============================

No. It's what Dick Durbin said: banks "Frankly Own The Place".

Corporations bought our government, and you sit here rooting for it like it's your football team.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

But that all pales by comparison to . . .

Squirrel!

I mean,

Soros!

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"you sit here rooting for it like it's your football team."

Haha, exactly. Shorter Republican Tea Party:

"Go Goldman Sachs Go! Go Bank of America Go! Go JPMorganChase Go! Yay big banks! Yay Wall Street! Hurrah hurrah!

Hey. Why does the economy suck?

SOROS!"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

SBJ: "KRAUTHAMMER: This is whining squared. First of all, eight to one, well, there is a "one" obviously. Democrats are also in the game, but they are losing the game, so they are very unhappy."

This is for a very obvious reason. The GOP mainly represents the ultra-rich and corporate interests. They are who have the money. Without fixing this, those interests will get much stronger. And regular folks, middle class folks, working class folks, will lose out even further. As more and more money has gotten involved in politics the middle class has fallen further and further behind. Our society has become more and more unequal. And you can't have a democracy in a highly unequal society.

This isn't about whining. It is about democracy. I don't think most on the right are actually very interested in democracy. They are interested in gaining more power in order to build and maintain their growing wealth--to maintain this unequal society that benefits them so much.

This isn't about whining. It is about defending what is left of democracy plain and simple.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

No, no Ethan. It's, "Go retarded assh0les!"

@iftheunder:

"The giant public workers' union AFSCME, which has spent $87.5 million, "is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections."

"That's in part a result of Citizens United, which allows it to spend directly from its treasury."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1010/AFSCME_big_spender.html

"There is one overriding issue that makes unions’ giving so noxious:

"Previously, most labor-sponsored campaign ads had to be funded by volunteer donations. Now, however, AFSCME can pay for ads using annual dues from members, which amount to about $390 per person. AFSCME said it will tap membership dues to pay for $17 million of ads backing Democrats this election.

"The idea that working people can be forced to give up their earnings to fund campaigns that they may not personally support (or that, frankly, come much lower on their priority list than other household expenditures) is about as un-democratic as you can get."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/376691

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Paco

I didn't say it was undisclosed


You should read the Politico article from earlier in the week - this disparity is a result of Obama attempting to take control of the democratic money - and the resulting mismanagement.


Again, your comments are completely inappropriate, and you are WRONG again.

Nothing is worse than someone who is wrong and nasty about it.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

If this doesn't get fixed this will be the end of American democracy. We need the Disclose Act now.

------------------------------------

Michiganmaine is right. We need to get this fixed on both sides and quit rooting for corruption. Fix it now.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Working people aren't forced to give up money to unions. It is democratic. You vote for the leadership of your union. If you don't want them to defend their members and democracy, you can try to vote them out. Again, it seems the right wing hates democracy.

But unions have to disclose. Corporations, which don't ask each stockholder if it can use money for elections, don't have to any more.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"Working people aren't forced to give up money to unions."

This is crazy talk. If you want to teach you'd better join the union. Then they get to spend your dues however they see fit, no matter who you support. This is extremely naive.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Probably a good time to throw this out there:

"Voters are divided as to whether it is important to know who paid for campaign ads – 49% say it is important while 50% say it does not matter much."

http://people-press.org/report/666/

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

If this doesn't get fixed this will be the end of American democracy. We need the Disclose Act now.

------------------------------------

Michiganmaine is right. We need to get this fixed on both sides and quit rooting for corruption. We can argue about unions so that we don't fix the problem.

Fix it now.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

sbj, and anyone else who seems to not like this storyline, so you have no problem with people not knowing who's funding the ads that are trying to influence who they choose to represent them?

Posted by: sargegreg | October 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is extremely naive.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 2:51 PM
===========================

What is naive, sbj3, is pretending that the politicians you support (or Commentary's writers, for that matter) care about working people.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

No. Actually unions are democratic. Same as our nation. I mean, I don't get to say how my taxes are spent except by voting in elections. Same in the union. I wish none of my money went towards the war in Iraq. But there is little I could do about it except vote again the Repubs.

Same thing in a union. It is called democracy. Something you seem to be against.

And, sbj, that poll is far off the other one's out there.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Voters are divided as to whether it is important to know who paid for campaign ads – 49% say it is important while 50% say it does not matter much.
-----------------------------------

Here's the rest of the survey result:

"And for the most part, they say they have no difficulty determining who is paying for campaign ads. More than half (55%) say it easy to tell who paid for the ads while 32% say it is difficult."

-------------------------------------
How does this poll reconcile with the other polls that say 3/4 Americans is concerned about anonymous donors?

Perhaps, it is all true? Those who think they know who donate are ok with the donations, and 3 out 4 who don't know who is donating, are concerned about it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

And, sbj, that poll is far off the other one's out there.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 3:03 PM
-------------------------------
Follow the link to the poll.

I'm not so sure there is that much disparity here. The people polled believe they know who is donating. It's all in the question being asked, isn't it?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

It is the height of false equivalency to compare unions to the concentrations of concentrated wealth represented by Chamber of Commerce and Rove's sleazy operation. The Radical Right's secret money groups are comprised of mutlinational corporations that are the richest entities on the planet. They can take care of themselves without additional help. Unions are comprised of individual human beings, specifically working class Americans, who have little to no political power UNLESS they are organized and act in a concerted manner. This is just one more example of the Radical Right's scheme to undermine every alternative power base in our nation -- whether it is unions or the government itself -- because they know that, in a pure free market world, the capitalists rule everything.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Good catch 12bar. Nonetheless, most people in most polls are concerned.

Posted by: michiganmaine | October 22, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "sbj, and anyone else who seems to not like this storyline, so you have no problem with people not knowing who's funding the ads that are trying to influence who they choose to represent them?"

Do you have a problem when average union workers are forced to spend their money to fund ads they don't agree with?

I'll be completely honest, the whole secret money thing doesn't bother me too much. I'm smart enough (?) to not base my vote on a TV advertisement. When I read my voter pamphlet every election I always look to see who is writing the arguments for and against and I take it with a grain of salt.

And if any elected official is corrupted by money spent on their behalf - well, then they are *all* corrupt. The Dems have been huge beneficiaries of soft money - were all those Democratic politicians corrupted by that corporate money?

And if a politician is corrupt we have ways of dealing with that: law enforcement and the political process (elections, impeachments, and so on).

And we can all see what policies are pushed by what parties and vote people in or out based on that.

Greg - I don't think you give people enough credit for being sensible. I saw a CoC ad last nite and ignored it. I always ignore any ad paid for by the California Teachers Association.

I *do* have a problem with massive amounts of anyone's money being spent on politics - seems it could go to a better cause. And I don't think freedom of speech means being free from criticism (via anonymity).

But it's legal. Congress can change this, and the democratically controlled congress could have changed this. Instead, they tried to ram through a highly partisan bill that was intended to help their party only for the 2010 election.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Awesome work!

It's a real shame that a vast majority of the media machine is skewed demonstratively in the GOPs favor. Otherwise, I'm sure this utterly absurd attempt by massive corporations and billionaires would be huge news.

You still have our kudos!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 22, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Money Is The Root Of All Evil"
and right now; Republicans have grafted on to the biggest taproot in recent memory.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Great post, Greg. Keep in mind also that the corporate front groups have promised to spend a total of more than $250 million in secretive cash trying to buy Congress for the Republicans. This includes:

Chamber of Commerce – $20.5 million spent so far – planning to spend $75 million or more total – 501(c)(6) organization – does not have to disclosure its donors

Americans for Prosperity – planning to spend $45 million – run by the billionaire Koch brothers – donors are not disclosed – organization has led the fight against tobacco regulation, and also bankrolled the start of the tea party and opposition to health care reform

American Crossroads – $13.5 million spent so far – expect to spend $55 million total, plus $10 million on get out the vote efforts – run by Karl Rove and GOP consultant – funding is funneled through a spinoff organization – the Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies – which does not have to disclose its donors

Americans for Job Security – $8 million so far – 501(c)(6) trade association, founded by insurance and logging interests – no donor disclosure, but is known to have received funding from the pharmaceutical industry and other industries over the years

American Future Fund – $7.7 million spent so far – expects to spend $25 million total – Iowa-based organization that appears to have ties to the ethanol industry – does not disclose its donors

60 Plus Association – expects to spend $6.9 million – appears to be a pharmaceutical industry front group, and has fought to privatize Social Security and to eliminate the estate tax – does not have to disclose donors

Club for Growth – $4.5 million spent so far – aiming for $24 million total – does not disclose donors


http://www.winningprogressive.org

Posted by: WinningProgressive | October 22, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Liam wrote:

"Money Is The Root Of All Evil"


Lack of moeny is the root of all evil.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

OT:

-Forged e-mail is circulated anonymously in apparent attempt to taint Alex Sink-

A forged e-mail that attempts to show Democrat Alex Sink was linked to a "pay to play'' scheme with convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein has emerged in the highly-contested governor's race.

The e-mail — circulated by an anonymous operative who will only call reporters from a blocked phone number — concerns efforts by the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm in 2009 to land a lucrative contract with the State Board of Administration, on which Sink sits as Florida Chief Financial Officer.

A court-approved law firm that has all of Rothstein's e-mails proclaimed the e-mail a fake, as did one of the recipients. The law firm, Berger Singerman, has strong Democratic ties; the e-mail recipient is a Sink supporter. A Republican operative who worked out of Rothstein's firm of Rothstein Rosenfeld Adler also said the correspondence appeared doctored.

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/forged-e-mail-circulated-anonymously-apparent-attempt-taint-alex-sink

Why does the Republican Tea Party hate fair elections???

Next thing you know we'll be hearing from Jeb Bush: "Americans, DON'T VOTE."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

The new health care law crushes small businesses "with billions in penalties."

FALSE

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/oct/18/us-chamber-commerce/us-chamber-says-health-care-law-hammers-small-busi/

John Raese:

Under the new health care law, "the first person (a) patient has to go to is a bureaucrat. That is called a panel."

PANTS ON FIRE!

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/oct/19/john-raese/john-raese-says-health-care-law-forces-patients-go/

Michael Bennet:

Ken Buck wants to "outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape or incest."

TRUE

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/oct/18/michael-bennet/ken-buck-opposes-abortion-including-cases-rape-or-/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Rick Scott:

-Says Alex Sink's plans for governor include $12.5 billion in new spending-

...It's disingenuous to suggest her plan is to simply add that $9.2 billion cost to a $70 billion state budget in one lump sum. It's similarly disingenuous to ignore all the policy statements where Sink says she can save money -- by reforming state contracting, reducing state office space and eliminating unneeded management positions.

FALSE

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2010/oct/21/rick-scott/rick-scott-says-alex-sink-practices-obama-math-bud/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Haha. I just read sbj's little rant about undisclosed funding in elections.

I don't think there is anyone on this board who thinks, for a single second, that if Dems were getting a $65 million dollar advantage coming from undisclosed sources, sbj's "completely honest" opinion would be the 100% complete opposite of what he wrote.

It's freakin' hiliarious to watch self-proclaimed "libertarians" defend the right of giant (possibly foreign) corporations and oil barrons to drown out any semblence of a voice from the average citizen, all by funneling/laundering tens of millions of dollars through front groups in an effort to influence our public elections whilst hiding in the shadow of anonymity.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 22, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Liam wrote:

"Money Is The Root Of All Evil"


Lack of moeny is the root of all evil.

Posted by: 54465446 | October 22, 2010 3:22 PM |

..................

I think that grand Jewish lad, JC, would side with me on this one. He could not even afford a pair of new sandals. That is why he walked on top of the water, to avoid getting his old pair water soaked.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised. If Democrats applied themselves...moved out of Mom's basement, got a good paying job, managed their credit, they'd (well, other than being conservative) be able to contribute more. But when the bulk of your voters are thos on the dole, what can you do?

Posted by: luca_20009 | October 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world do regular people like those Conservatives posting comments here support the overweening power of the huge corporations and applaud the efforts of the Plutocrats to take further control of America and Americans? I honestly don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

But when the bulk of your voters are thos on the dole, what can you do?

Posted by: luca_20009 | October 22, 2010 3:40 PM | R

................

Borrow four trillion dollars to pamper the fat cats?

At least that is the medicine Mitch The Economy Euthanizer, McConnell has prescribed.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@ (possibly foreign)bbqmadness:

"It's freakin' hiliarious to watch self-proclaimed "libertarians" defend the right of giant (possibly foreign) corporations and oil barrons to drown out any semblence of a voice from the average citizen."

Glad you are entertained but I intend on voting in November so I can't see how my voice is being drowned out. I work for a large corporation - I expect many Plum Line readers do - and while the employees will be voting I doubt that the "corporation" itself can fit in the voting booth.

Y'all are just making excuses for the upcoming Dem losses.

Call me a liar all you want (it no hurt me!) - I still prefer smoked brisket to BBQ chicken, any day.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world do regular people like those Conservatives posting comments here support the overweening power of the huge corporations and applaud the efforts of the Plutocrats to take further control of America and Americans? I honestly don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 3:41 PM |

...............

They have contracted Joe The Plumber Syndrome.

Not a pot to piss in, but they want the Fat Cats to like them.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

Not money, but the love of money: "For the love of money is the root of all evil . . ."

It was (according to tradition Paul who wrote it, in 1 Tim 6:10)

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

If this undisclosd money is somehow responsible for the current Democratic electoral circumstances, what would their prospects be without the CU decision?

Also, if the Supreme Court's opinion is that anonymous corporate donations are constitutional, how would the so called Disclose Act not be ruled unconstitutional?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

List the names of the anonymous donors, indicating whether they are domestic or foreign, and I guarantee that list will be on the front page of every newspaper in the country.

Of course people care. They care a whole lot more if they start seeing surprising names and countries.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

When the democrats had the advantage in this kind of money -

When Soros was giving his millions

Did the democrats complain??? Never heard a peep.


What is WORSE - OBAMA SHUT DOWN THESE GROUPS.


Because Obama wanted to CONTROL the money -

So you think that Obama is setting a good example?


NO ONE can TRUST Obama because of what he did in 2008,

So NO ONE is going to disarm around Obama, only to see Obama change his mind and people get caught.


Obama is the PROBLEM HERE, NOT ANYONE ELSE.


If the liberals can't see that, they are either being DISHONEST OR IGNORANT.


Sorry guys, but this is a worthless conversation.


If you are SERIOUS about Campaign Finance Reform - PROPOSE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE DETAILS.


Otherwise, get lost.


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

All, Juan Williams has now gotten it right:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/juan_williams_gets_it_right.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid was born in Kenya. Jomo Kenyatta's housemaid told me that she cut the umbilical cord.

She swears that Harry is really a black man, who is suffering from a skin condition known as Reverse Bohnerism.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"if the Supreme Court's opinion is that anonymous corporate donations are constitutional, how would the so called Disclose Act not be ruled unconstitutional?"

SCOTUS said that it was legal to make the contributions but that the government could require disclosure. Only the government can't require disclosure because the GOP won't allow the legislation to pass. So I ask again: Why is the Republican Party in favor of using secret corporate money to influence American elections? More to the point, why do those Conservatives commenting here -- regular Americans, I presume -- support corporations using secret contributions to influence our elections?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world do regular people like those Conservatives posting comments here support the overweening power of the huge corporations and applaud the efforts of the Plutocrats to take further control of America and Americans? I honestly don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 3:41 PM
=============================

Luca_20009's comment provides a clue.

The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn't even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"If this undisclosd money is somehow responsible for the current Democratic electoral circumstances, what would their prospects be without the CU decision?"

The Democrats would still have a tough midterm. Seems to always happen.
------------------

"Also, if the Supreme Court's opinion is that anonymous corporate donations are constitutional, how would the so called Disclose Act not be ruled unconstitutional?"

We need some good constitutional lawyers to draft a bill that passes muster with the SC and get donations disclosed. I believe that the future of our democracy hangs in the balance. If we leave our democracy in the hands of Big Money, we will get what Big Money wants us to have.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"We need some good constitutional lawyers to draft a bill that passes muster with the SC and get donations disclosed."

It isn't the Supreme Court that is holding out for muster; it is the Republicans in Congress. The Supreme Court said disclosure was important and invited Congress to act. But Congress can't pass any disclosure legislation because the GOP won't allow it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Only the government can't require disclosure because the GOP won't allow the legislation to pass."

LOL

Or, you know, maybe the Dems could work with the opposition party to craft bipartisan legislation that doesn't unfairly advantage one party over the other and include special carve-outs?

Just an idea.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn't even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it."

Maybe for some. Others I think are just so conditioned to being knee-jerk opposed to anything Liberals like that they would even oppose THEMSELVES if Liberals came out in favor of them. Critical thinking it ain't.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"unfairly advantage one party over the other"

How?

"include special carve-outs"

Like what?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@sbj

"Call me a liar all you want..."

I didn't actually call you a liar. I have complete confidence that you meant what you said. I was merely noting that were the situation were reversed, you're opinion would be reversed as well. So, I called you an unprincipled hypocrite.

But to be fair, that's based on a multitude of subjects, not just this one. :D

As for my "honest opinion" on campaign finance: this whole mess is the exact reason we need publicly funded elections/candidates, strict restrictions and rules for disclosure from all outside groups, and new rules that dismantle the incumbancy-protections that both parties have created.

Both parties would kill that bill in a heartbeat, though.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | October 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

But Congress can't pass any disclosure legislation because the GOP won't allow it.
-----------------------------
Thank you, wbgonne, I stand corrected.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 22, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world do regular people like those Conservatives posting comments here support the overweening power of the huge corporations and applaud the efforts of the Plutocrats to take further control of America and Americans? I honestly don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 3:41 PM |

________________________________________

1) Because they think what is good for corporations is good for the economy.

2) Because they fear the government more than corporations.

Posted by: sold2u | October 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention the millions in free, slobbering publicity from the MSM.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | October 22, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne:

=========
http://www.afj.org/about-afj/press/disclose-act-letter.pdf
=========
http://campaignfreedom.org/blog/detail/ccps-analysis-of-the-disclose-act
=========
Roll Call reported that, "[m]ost Republicans continue to argue that Van Hollen and Schumer are being disingenuous in their appeal for bipartisanship. ‘Unlike prior election initiatives, the Schumer-Van Hollen bill up to now gives every indication of partisan motivations," reads an April 15 [letter] three House Republicans sent to House Administration Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.). "Despite the chairman's failure to respond to our request for cooperation, he continues to deceitfully assert that he has reached out to Republican on what he claims should not be a partisan issue.'"

The Hill also noted that the three Republicans-Reps. Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy and Gregg Harper-sent a letter to Van Hollen and Brady requesting a "true bipartisan process," including committee hearings:

Van Hollen did not respond to the letter. Brady acknowledged receipt of it but did not agree to sit down with the Republicans.

"Changing the rules on the conduct of elections always requires great care," says the letter, signed by Lungren and Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Gregg Harper (R-Miss.). "It implicates core constitutional rights, and it raises the risk that one party will rig the rules to help its own candidates."
=========

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

here's a perfect example of unions run amok. This is from the Marietta Times:

I'm Jade Thompson and my husband, Andy Thompson, is running for the Ohio House of Representatives. I am a teacher at Marietta High School. Imagine my chagrin when my friends and colleagues began showing me the awful attack ads against my husband which they had received in the mail. Now imagine my dismay when I saw that those defamatory mailers were paid for by the Ohio Education Association - my teachers' union. In effect, they are using my union dues to attack my husband! This is a new low, even for the OEA.

simply amazing. The lady is required to pay her union dues because of this:

"After all, as the general counsel for the NEA once said in federal court, "if you take away payroll deduction, you won't collect a penny from these people, and it has nothing to do with voluntary or involuntary. I think it has to do with the nature of the beast, and the beasts who are our teachers ... (They) simply don't come up with the money regardless of the purpose." Teachers, this is what your union thinks of you.

So stow that nonsense about unions being Democratic. As long as thier dues are deducted automatically the union bosses will spend it as they see fit and the heck with the lowly beasts who hold the jobs and earn the money.

Shameful.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 22, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

1) Because they think what is good for corporations is good for the economy.

2) Because they fear the government more than corporations.

Posted by: sold2u | October 22, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the response. I have a couple more questions if you care to explain.

1. Why do you think that what is good for the multinational corporations is good for the American economy? For instance, outsourcing American jobs to India and China is undoubtedly good for the multinational corporations but it probably isn't very good for the American economy and definitely isn't any good for the American worker.

2. Why do you fear the government more than big corporations? And even beyond that, isn't is possible that sometimes it's better for the Big Corporations to be in control and sometimes it's better to make sure that the Big Corporations follow some rules? Isn't government how we make and enforce the laws that control the Big Corporations? Who else can do it?

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@bbq: Is there such a thing as a "principled hypocrite?"

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

sbj3:

Nothing in those comments substantiates your assertion that the bill would unfairly advantage the Democrats or make favored carve outs. The comments sound like political posturing, nothing more.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

In other words. SBJ just being SBJ.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"As long as thier dues are deducted automatically the union bosses will spend it as they see fit and the heck with the lowly beasts who hold the jobs and earn the money."

Unions are workers' collectives designed to give the worker some bargaining power against the employer. The purpose of unions is to collectively bargain for worker's benefits. You act like unions are the workers' enemies but unions are actually made up of workers. When you wreck the unions the individual worker is completely at the mercy of his employer. That's why Big Corporations want to destroy the unions.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

OT:

WHEEEEEE!!!

-Virtual border fence a $1 billion failure-

The Department of Homeland Security is backing off what was to have been a multibillion-dollar effort to build an "invisible fence" that was meant to catch drug and human traffickers with cameras, vibration sensors and other high-tech devices.

Of the projected 2,000-mile impenetrable wall of technology that the project was supposed to supply, only about 53 miles of unreliable monitoring systems were built. And the price tag for that work, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, was in excess of a cool $1 billion.

[...]

A Government Accountability Office report blamed Homeland Security for not adequately overseeing Boeing's work, concluding that those lapses led to cost overruns and delays.

The $6.7 billion virtual fence project was part of former President George W. Bush's border security plan. Its planned 2,000-mile reach was supposed to supplement about 600 miles of physical fencing along the border.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101022/pl_yblog_upshot/virtual-border-fence-a-1-billion-failure

George W. Bush hasn't been president for 2 years... and we are STILL paying for his insane Republican bull__t.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

this guy don't get out much:
=======
The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn't even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.
=======

Try life in my 'hood son. It isn't that anyone denies anything to anybody.

It is that many of us still believe that folks should EARN what they have. After trillions in transfer payments our treasury is empty and our prisons are full. We're divided into workers and drones and the liberals continue to hammer the workers so that they can give to the drones.

I have more than a curtain rod because I earned what I have. What did the folks living on "entitlements" earn? And by virtue of what amount of work? If all a young girl must do is have an illegitimate child to obtain funding, why the f word would she go to work?

Economic down turns like this should be tough on the welfare system. We're living scared for our jobs and pinching pennies. Meanwhile the welfare folks don't face a layoff and the government continues to grow.

And you think that the losses you face this time around are because of undisclosed campaign financing? Talk about rank denial.

I live in the hood I see the failure of the welfare state each and every day. Liberalism has failed us. It was a nobel effort but it is long past time for us to move on.

No amount of slander will alter my pov. I am tired of being called a racist for calling it as I see it. We've created a permanent underclass of people who are simply not prepared to contribute to our society and yet clamor for ever more largesse taken from those who are contributing.

All this bubulum stercus about denying people stuff is nothing but bigotry. Try getting out of your gate guarded ivory tower for once and join me in the failed liberal state of Ohio. come to my town, which has been under Democrat controll for most of the past century. See what Democrats and liberalism do to people's spirits.

shameful.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: I'll have to assume that you did not read my post or the links, then.

That's okay - you don't have to.

Hi Liam.

Go retarded assh0les!

Posted by: sbj3 | October 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, that is no way to talk about The Tea Party, especially after you donated so much money to Sharron Angle.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 22, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Skip

"I am tired of being called a racist..."

You've been trying to bait people with that line all week.

FAIL!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mr Sargent, it seems that the WSJ begs to differ:
"The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is now the biggest outside spender of the 2010 elections, thanks to an 11th-hour effort to boost Democrats that has vaulted the public-sector union ahead of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a flock of new Republican groups in campaign spending.

The 1.6 million-member AFSCME is spending a total of $87.5 million on the elections after tapping into a $16 million emergency account to help fortify the Democrats’ hold on Congress. Last week, AFSCME dug deeper, taking out a $2 million loan to fund its push. The group is spending money on television advertisements, phone calls, campaign mailings and other political efforts, helped by a Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on campaign spending.

“We’re the big dog,” said Larry Scanlon, the head of AFSCME’s political operations. “But we don’t like to brag.”

[. . .]

The union is spending heavily this year because “a lot of people are attacking public-sector workers as the problem,” said AFSCME President Gerald McEntee. “We’re spending big. And we’re damn happy it’s big. And our members are damn happy it’s big—it’s their money,” he said."

soooo, what have we here? AFSCME, a gummint employee union is spending big on Democrats It is easy to understand why. Thus Far the Democrats have sent billions in money borrowed from our children off to the states to ward off layoffs. It hasn't worked perfectly but let's look at the alternatives for the union.

If the Republicans win on the theme of smaller government, who suffers? why government employees of course. Quel Dommage!

Sorry Mr Sargent but Krauthammer got this one right: whining squared.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 22, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

this guy lives in fantasy land:
===============
Unions are workers' collectives designed to give the worker some bargaining power against the employer. The purpose of unions is to collectively bargain for worker's benefits. You act like unions are the workers' enemies but unions are actually made up of workers. When you wreck the unions the individual worker is completely at the mercy of his employer. That's why Big Corporations want to destroy the unions.
=======================

Socialism at its finest eh?

Certianly the union legal counsel was at odds with the union members when he called them beasts. How so very heartwarming.

And tell me, why is union membership in the private sector declining steadily? Are you telling me that the employees of Kia in Georgia are being oppressed?

its laughable. Do they teach you this kind of misguided thinking in college these days or did you acquire this incorrect view by ready the international ANSWER web site?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 22, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

still more dogmatic nonsense:
============
1. Why do you think that what is good for the multinational corporations is good for the American economy? For instance, outsourcing American jobs to India and China is undoubtedly good for the multinational corporations but it probably isn't very good for the American economy and definitely isn't any good for the American worker.

2. Why do you fear the government more than big corporations? And even beyond that, isn't is possible that sometimes it's better for the Big Corporations to be in control and sometimes it's better to make sure that the Big Corporations follow some rules? Isn't government how we make and enforce the laws that control the Big Corporations? Who else can do it?

=========
How silly. the jobs don't belong to America. Jobs belong to the firm that does the hiring. And in the world today, as in the world yesterday and in the world to come tomorrow, jobs will go where it makes the most economic sense for them to go.

It is just dumb to take a position that a company has some duty to America to retain jobs here when the market is constantly exerting pressure to keep costs down and quality up. If you're doing something here that can be done for a dollar a day in botsuwannaland, you're vulnerable. It was ever thus. Why do you think those guys threw their wooden shoes into the looms in the 15th century pal?

Time to face the facts of life.

A corporation can't raise tax rates to confiscatory levels and then jail the citizens for failure to pay. A corporation can't impose new regulation on the citizenry and jail the citizens for failure to comply. A corporation can't ignore the will of its customers and long survive. A corporation doesn't have a history of despotism as long as human kind has been around.

When the people fear the government we have tyranny. When the government fears the people we have liberty. Wonder why so many of us in America are what your boy barry calls "bitter clingers" pal?

Socialism on display. What a great way to start the weekend.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 22, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

1) I don't see what the government can do re outsourcing. For low-value added manufacturing, we don't have a comparative advantage. If we are talking textiles, computer assembly, etc the government could tweak the tax code on foreign earnings all it wants and it wouldn't make a difference. The choice is to either do it overseas or not do it at all. Until the US consumer is willing to voluntarily pay more for something made in the US than overseas, low value-added manufacturing aint coming back.

Aside from outsourcing, I believe that what is good for business is in fact good for the economy and the best way to help the poor is to create a favorable economic environment that makes it easy for them to find a job. And while I do believe sensible regulation is necessary, I also think deregulation has benefited consumers greatly and that often gets lost in the argument.

2) Re fearing the government more than corporations, I don't fear corporations at all. The government, well I don't fear it in a tin-foil hat sort of way, but I do believe in unintended consequences and that often times the cure is worse than the disease.

Hope that helps

Posted by: sold2u | October 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Uh, no, Greg.

AFSCME is spending $88 MILLION just by themselves (liberal union for Obama), let alone SEIU or teachers' unions.

Try better sources next time, fool.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | October 22, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"It is just dumb to take a position that a company has some duty to America"

HAHAHA! So true!

Then why do you support groups like Chamber of Commerce and Club for Growth when you KNOW they don't have any duty to America?

Why do you fight for allowing corporate influence in American elections when you KNOW they don't have any duty to support the U.S. of A.?

This is what we've been talking about for months now, ever since Citizens United.

Time to face the facts is RIGHT!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 22, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

sold2u:

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

"Aside from outsourcing, I believe that what is good for business is in fact good for the economy"

I agree that a healthy business climate is important in a capitalist country. But I don't see why that must necessarily entail very large corporations. I think that when companies become so very big -- whether officially deemed too big to fail or not -- they become power centers capable of fostering their own interests even at the expense of what is best for the country. And when they mobilize politically and then form associations with other huge corporations the dangers rise exponentially.

"and the best way to help the poor is to create a favorable economic environment that makes it easy for them to find a job. "

That's certainly true but there will never be 100% employment and there will always be poor people in a capitalist society so the question is what to do about them. More importantly, I am thinking of the Middle Class and the Working Class not the unemployed Poor. I am convinced that huge corporations presently exploit the Middle and Working Classes by, for instance, undermining their ability to organize and bargain collectively.

"And while I do believe sensible regulation is necessary, I also think deregulation has benefited consumers greatly and that often gets lost in the argument."

There may well have been excessive regulation at one point in the 70s. That time, however, is long gone. Beginning with Carter, regulations started getting cut back in 1976. That deregulation exploded with Reagan and continued through Bush I and Clinton. By the time Bush II got in the anti-regualatory dogma was so entrenched that the regulatory agencies essentially no longer functioned.

"I don't fear corporations at all"

I urge you to reconsider this. Concentrated wealth acting in a concerted manner has enormous power in our country. They control our government and us. I see no reason to assume that artificial entities designed solely to generate maximum profits will act in the best interest of anyone but themselves. . Unless you are literally saying that whatever corporations do is, by definition the right thing, then there will inevitably be conflict.

"but I do believe in unintended consequences and that often times the cure is worse than the disease"

Sure. All the more reason for us to elect good leaders and be good stewards of our democracy by staying involved. Government isn't infallible. Neither are big corporations. Both must be monitored closely by the people.

Thanks again. Have a nice weekend.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 22, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

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