Your Election is being Bought by 47 Billionaires (and they are Buying War, Climate Change)

The Public Interest Group Education Fund and the NGO Demos released a study in early August on the financing of the presidential campaign.

They found that nearly 60% of the almost quarter of a billion dollars raised by Super PACs from individuals derived from just 47 people, who gave at least $1 million each (obviously some gave much more).

47 people. That’s democracy?

Of these 47, the most generous (or greedy) are Sheldon Adelson and his wife, who gave $36 million themselves. Since the total known amount from individuals is $240 million, some 15 percent of the individual contributions, or one-sixth, are coming from one family.

Some 94% of these funds came from a little more than a thousand donors, each of whom gave $10,000 or more (47 clearly gave a million or more).

There are also super pacs funded by corporations, not just individuals! And there are anonymous donors.

The Super Pacs are turning this presidential election into a toxic slamming match beyond anything seen in the recent past.

These extremely wealthy and arrogant people are not giving this money for their health. They are expecting something for it.

The Koch brothers want to kill green energy and preserve the value of their petroleum.

Sheldon Adelson and his wife want Mitt Romney to start a war with Iran on behalf of Israel. (Adelson when in Israel is a major backer of far rightwing Likud Party PM Binyamin Netanyahu).

If you put your politicians up for sale, as the US does (alone in this among industrialized democracies), then someone will buy them– and it won’t be you; you can’t afford them.

After Nicolas Sarkozy lost the presidency in France, SWAT teams went into his house looking for evidence that he had received $50,000 illicitly from the L’oreal heiress. $50,000? Our politicians get that in their sleep; and it wouldn’t be illegal!

Mother Jones reported on this study.

53 Responses

  1. Sarkozy and Kickback Pakistan Submarine Order

    Heiress money is peanuts, the French authorities will be looking at party funding in the hands of Sarkozy in the ’90s. Sarkozy’s party is under fire for alleged kickbacks of around $2m in Pakistani sub deal. Timeline Karachi bombings and kickbacks. Latest report provides a new twist after the French judge visited the United States and got access to past hearings of Omar Sheikh. Karachi bombings linked with Daniel Pearl murder.

  2. Dear Professor Cole

    It is only now fifty years later that I recognise the value of having studied Roman History at School. Rather than being just another boring piece of memory work and the subject of tedious translations it does in fact give insight into the machinations of today.

    Thank you for the introduction to the New Crassus and the New Catiline conspiracy.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Crassus it is interesting to note crucified Spartacus and the slave army but came unstuck in Syria.

  3. Yeah, romney is going to start a war because somebody gave him money. I mean if he’s president sheldon will just walk in with the receipt and demand a war, and romney will just drop his head and say yes master? For heaven’s sake.

    Last time I checked every American has one vote, and this still hasn’t changed. Some people have more money than others to PROMOTE their views, but that’s it. The internet is pretty damn cheap and available nearly everywhere, that’s good enough of an equalizer for me.

    By the way, European leftists have the same complaints about the rich and evil elite running their so-called democracies as the American ones. Yet reading your post you state that this is only a problem in America. If I had to guess I’d say you’d still be making this post even if the laws in the US were the same as France.

    I certainly would’t mind if so-called ‘progressives’ start donating equally, maybe 1000 per person. I’m pretty sure convincing the rich and greedy *(&^*(#$ like michael moore and al gore won’t be a problem.

    • Right, because your internet post gets read by Romney and Obama right? This post is likely going to get you an invite to dinner with Romney right? And since its so full of great information I’m sure he will invite you over for a chat about policy right? I’m sure since you have an internet connection your also well connected in real life and are able to pull corporate strings that allow for market changes right? Those connections also allow you to provide employment for politicians or their connections before or after office right? Oh, and I bet your wealth allows you to submit your voice everywhere you would want right? You could in one call have your secretary work on getting your message on billboards, radio, the internet, your 100,000 followers on FB and Twitter and he/she would handle it all for you right? I can go on. You’re really full of shit right?

    • Please do yourself a favor and re read what you wrote over and over and over again.

      Yeah, romney is going to start a war because somebody gave him money. I mean if he’s president sheldon will just walk in with the receipt and demand a war, and romney will just drop his head and say yes master? For heaven’s sake. – the answer to that actually is yes he will

      Last time I checked every American has one vote, and this still hasn’t changed. Some people have more money than others to PROMOTE their views, but that’s it. The internet is pretty damn cheap and available nearly everywhere, that’s good enough of an equalizer for me.

      That’s of course unless you live in Florida and their is a Bush running……oops too soon? Yeah the internet, nope cant do that with sopa and pipa looming, let me guess your going to say sopa and pipa dont have anything to do with it, so id like you to read the acts.

      damn breaks over, but ill chat with your nasty illogical unethical response that’s already been written by you while hoping someone would type this

    • The radical increase of inequality in America in the last 30 years – you’re saying that just happened, out of the blue? Not a result of lobbying for policies too complex for most citizens to understand the consequences?

      It’s obvious that there can never be too much inquality for you. I hope your grandchildren enjoy living like El Salvadorean campesinos.

    • No one said this and what you present is a caricature and a straw-man, but that (i.e. the scenario you draw) is, in fact, what it amounts to: Romney has surrounded himself with the same neo-liberalists with whom Bush surrounded himself – it’s the same crew and they will dictate foreign policy. Not that Obama is any different. Indeed, Obama’s real crime is that he has been a bit too soft-spoken and apparently (please note, only apparently) benevolent, all the while tightening the reigns of tyranny to the point where the president now has vast autocratic and judicial power that even an Augustus or Tiberius would not have arrogated to himself (Tiberius famously rejected a policy of secret, extra-judicial assassination).

      Honestly, anyone stuck in the Conservative-Liberal/Republican-Democrat paradigm is not paying attention. One vote is not the same as having a voice, or a view that is predominate and to argue that my voice and vote count as much as a Koch or an Adelson is just plain disingenuous and dumb. Oil lobbyists do not “promote” views, AIPAC lobbyists to do not “promote” views, NRA lobbyists do not “promote” views in the way you and I would by visiting a rep in DC or voting in Congress. They use the power of money and intimidation and purchase huge amounts of elite influence. That is why, say, in the case of Palestine you almost never hear a Palestinian voice, or in the case of climate change, despite the scientific communities overwhelming (97 vs. 3%) consensus, you always get “balance” in the news via some un-credentialed crackpot who is the scientific equivalent of a Holocaust denier, and why gun control is utterly off the table (God, if you listen to my democratic rep or Obama they are scared to death of the issue).

      As to the internet as “equalizer”, that is simply navel gazing – the networks and major papers still predominate, hence when someone such as Thomas “Suck. On. This.” Friedman scribbles and babbles, people, unfortunately, listen – including our political elite. In fact, the wire services often drive even what’s reported by the “alternative” media. As for the left, while it is thrown some sops on network television, (a few minutes by Krugman here, a few by Greenwald there), you will never hear Chomsky interviewed on the mighty, liberal PBS Newshour, any more than you will have Jill Stein included in the presidential debates. And please, do tell, where the voices are in the MSM whose underlying principles are the fundamental human right to universal access to a living wage, health care, a strong social safety net, and a clean environment? Who believe that equal justice should be visited on any politician who commits war crimes and violates our constitution, whether a Bush (who did with gusto), or an Obama (who does with gusto)?

      As for Europeans having the same complaint (“Look at Willy over there – he spilled the milk! Never mind my mess!”), that does not mean the complaint is not valid. If Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, etc. etc. etc. complained about the U.S. violating their sovereignty, would it mean we had not (by the way, we have, but the internet is good enough for you so you might not know that)?

      Your final point is particularly ludicrous. Look, 1% of the people in this country own more than the bottom 60%. That’s not a pinko-liberal notion, that is a simple fact based on which economists, social scientists, and government planners function.

      They can purchase enormous political influence and power. Koch is a prime example with their astro-turf Tea Party. Do you think it’s a f*****g coincidence that the Koch backed Tea Party is now a political dynamo taking over the House and found all over the MSM while Occupy flounders with a reputation as DFHs? The true Left, what little there is, works on a shoe-string. One simple example: what scenario seems more plausible to you: a few dedicated environmentalists and scientists working on a shoe string budget are making up climate change as an elaborate hoax in the interest of sneaking in a left wing agenda or the oil and coal companies are using their enormous profits to create a PR juggernaut to sow doubt and inaction on climate change because it’s in their interest due to the billions and billions in profit they bring in by selling their poison? Gosh, how many tree sitters control congressmen as opposed to how many oil and coal executives? I’m sure there is some balance there – must be 50% donations from Green Peace and 50% from Exxon. No? Gee, what a shock! Oh, but the right to vote makes the tree hugger and oil executive equal. Golly gee, what a great democracy!

      The tell-tale to that is that most public research polls show the US to be, in fact, a left-leaning country in terms of its political views and desires, but is malleable enough that both parties now can shape it to vote against its interest in the interest of the few. Romney may well become the next president, and if he does he will give himself a big ass tax break (How do you spell conflict of interest?), and his Catholic second in command will have LOTS of Eucharists to celebrate as he crucifies the poor and disenfranchised on a cross of avarice and intellectual cruelty and (paradoxically), ignorance.

      But long since, in the words of Agamemnon (via Homer) there is nothing left to do but to, “Let us each man go to his own country!”

      But for Infidel, if he still doesn’t get it, let me just quote Petronius from whom Dick Cheney stole a page: “Laecasin!”

    • And this attitude is why we’re in the mess we’re in. Continue burying your head in the sand and pretend that everything is hunky dory. I don’t care about right and left, conservative and liberal, republican and democrat… I care that my country is being bought. The writing has been on the wall for awhile. And actually, yes Romney would bow his head and say yes, and find a reason to go to war. We’re working on it now, and it will happen. Donors DO expect something for their money or there would be no work for lobbyists. If the money didn’t buy policy the uber wealthy want, they wouldn’t donate so much. Pull your head out of the sand, educate yourself, and forget about right and left, everyone does this, and it’s time we figure out how to stop it, and vote for the people that will stop it. (Starting with congress and the senate who realistically are the ones making these laws, and yes they’re bought too.)Mmmmkay?

    • “Last time I checked every American has one vote, and this still hasn’t changed.”

      Research shows that 85% of all elections in the US, and I have no doubt that it applies to UK as well, are won by the party /individual who spends the most money on canvassing / advertising / promoting etc.

      That simple fact, as well as showing that the majority of voters cannot think for themselves, also sums up that what we have laughingly called democracy is now completely dead, the ruling class know they can literally buy the vote.

      The implications of that are terrifying as it means that any protest, any desire for change will, in the majority of cases, be ineffective, and even when in the odd case that the 15% of elections are won by someone promoting change contrary to what the ruling class want, they will simply withhold or manipulate the economy to prevent any change being carried out.

  4. And don’t forget George Soros, who in the 2004 election gave $24 million (you read correctly: $24 million) to various 527 groups in support of the Democratic candidate John Kerry. Buying elections is a sport in which both Republicans and Democrats participate.

        • By far the worst offenders.

          Also, republicans have a legacy of bigotry, hatred, and deceit. What makes you think today is ANY different.

    • But by definition the Party that appeals the most to the rich has a advantage, and the more polarized wealth becomes in America, the less that advantage has to do with the actual needs of the citizenry, yes?

      • “But by definition the Party that appeals the most to the rich has a advantage, and the more polarized wealth becomes in America, the less that advantage has to do with the actual needs of the citizenry, yes?”

        So that explains why Obama won the election in 2008, and the Democrats carried both houses of Congress–it was because the Republicans had the advantage by appealing to the rich.

        And it further explains why Meg Whitman (who spent $177 million on her campaign) lost the 2010 California gubernatorial race to Jerry Brown (who spent $36 million on his campaign). It was because Meg Whitman had the advantage by appealing to the Republican rich.

        Using your logic, can we assume that the Republicans and their wealthy donors “bought” the electoral successes for both Barack Obama and Jerry Brown, respectively?

        • So that explains why Obama won the election in 2008, and the Democrats carried both houses of Congress–it was because the Republicans had the advantage by appealing to the rich.

          It certainly tips the scales in their direction, even if it isn’t the sold controlling factor.

          It’s an “all else being equal” situation. Of course, running Barack Obama against that sack of potatoes and his crazy girlfriend isn’t “equal.”

        • I guess Rick “I have not been indicted” Scott’s purchase of the Florida governorship with near $100 million of money he got by robbing Medicaid and Medicare through his HCA-Columbia operation is not in any way probative of how the way money works in the American spoils system 2.0.

          And yes, FL Democrats can’t find their majority of registered voters, here, to turn out to vote, against near $100 million in negative advertising, against a candidate unfortunately named “Sink.” And for the same set of reasons, good old boy corruption and all, and the power of money, of course, FL is saddled with a permanent Red legislature and the culture of “development” that’s sinking whatever was good about FL (from my point of view, of course.)

          There were, of course, local reasons why Whitman lost to Brown. But of course in your form of discourse, one is only limited to a very tiny stream of permissible disputation.

    • Yeah, we’ve got Soros – and the GOP has the Kochs, Scaifes, Coors (yes the beer people), Olins, Bradlys, Waltons, Mognahans, Adelsons etc.

      Sometimes I think Soros only exists so that the Right can go “But! But! Democrats do it too!!!!”

      • “Sometimes I think Soros only exists so that the Right can go “But! But! Democrats do it too!!!!””

        …except that…Democrats do “do it too!!!!” You will recall that during the 2008 campaign, Obama pledged that if McCain accepted publicly-financed campaign dollars and the accompanying restrictions, he (Obama) would too. Well, McCain did accept public financing, and Obama reneged on his pledge and went on to amass as large a campaign chest as he could. So much for living up to a pledge for campaign financing reform, as well as living up to his word.

        If you think that Democrats would not try and amass as large a campaign financing chest as they could, regardless of what Republicans might do, then I have some beautiful ocean-front property in Arizona I would like to sell you sight-unseen.

        • Bill,

          To put things in perspective, the Koch family alone has already spent more money on this election than was spent in the entire 2008 election.

          If you think the Democrats are supposed to just unilaterally disarm in the face of that kind of political influence buying I’ll take you up on that ocean-front property in Arizona.

        • …except that…Democrats do “do it too!!!!”

          But to a much lesser extent. An order of magnitude less.

          Mote, beam, and all of that. I can tell how terribly seriously you take this matter by the total and complete absence of any comments from you about the vast majority of the problem.

  5. Mr. Cole, thank you for this posting. You and I both know exactly where this is heading. ‘My guy can buy more media time and shout down the other guy’. Scientific research is clearly pointing out that all either side has to do is sway those voters that dont really have an entrenched ‘economic interest’ in which one wins and so can indeed make a decision based on issues that effect them but only at the level where they have an opinion rather than an interest. My great fear is that the real issues are too subtle for most voters to understand fully. Few realise that each war damages and weakens nations. Military victory merely reinforces hegemony and weakens the resolve of subject nations to be loyal. When Macedonia took over the Athenian allience nobody could have guessed that it would lead to such stunning military victory or that it would cause the total collapse of Greek military dominance and reputation and usher in the emergence of a new empire, a new kind of empire that would rule more by combining culture, adopting foreign religion (happily) and not seeing a problem with immigrants (Republicans wont know what I am on about, being more aware/in awe of this nations military power).
    I digress too far. My point is this, a bought and paid for election is of no use to Americans if those at the top, end up not needing to convince voters and instead hood-winks them. America becomes the next Greece not the next Rome.

  6. Hello Juan, Just came across your website due to someone posting your list of ‘white terrorists’ on facebook. Glad to have ‘discovered’ you and look forward to reading more of your work.
    And thank you for this article as well, I’ve posted it on facebook.
    Best wishes and gratitude,
    Jack

  7. And do you have any doubt that they told Romney it would be Ryan or no hundreds of millions in further contributions?

  8. Citizens United was truly a watershed moment in history. Whatever the intentions of the U.S. Supreme Court, five justices managed to end democracy as we previously knew it.

  9. A sales transaction can only occur if the buyer is a willing buyer. Yes, the rich are highly objectionable. Wealth corrupts and we should have a law which prevents people from becoming wealthy, no question about it.

    But power also corrupts, and when people in a position of power abuse that power by taking money from the rich for favors which the powerful can bestaw, we should not blame the rich, we should blame the people in power who are being bribed. We do not do that. We reelect them and want to prevent the rich people from using their money. The people who are being reelected by the money are corrupt and are one third of the problem. We should have laws to prevent people from becoming powerful.

    The third leg of the triangle is people who see the advertisements on television, ads which are purchased by the rich in behalf of the people who are powerful, and base their votes on those meaningless advertisements. Those ads are almost always lies, paid for by money that we hate, and we still allow those ads to determine our votes. And the we don’t blame ourselves, we balme the people who bought the ads and, we claim, bought our government.

    Money is not the problem, voters are getting the government we elect.

    • Wealth and power are definite problems, but if a politician good or bad doesn’t have the funds or support to get themselves noticed, then how are the masses going to find out about them?

    • The problem is not that power corrupts. The problem is that pathological personalities are attracted towards positions of power.

  10. Efficiency is everything these days. That’s why buying the government is so CHEAP! The BIGs have not only legalized oligarchy but made it ridiculously cheap. Quarter of $1B sounds big but is only (only!) $250M, chicken-feed for these bozos.

  11. Imagine the firestorm when they get no return on their investment! I wonder how long it will take for Koch, Rove, and Adelson to realize that Romney is not–NOT–going to win, no matter how many billions they poor on behalf of his hapless campaign. Ask Sharron Angle, Linda McMahon, Meg Whitman, Steve Forbes. All greatly outspent their opponents, and all lost.

    At some point, wall-to-wall smear ads lose their effectiveness–perhaps because of that very ubiquity. As in a horror flick filled with gratuitous violence, a constant barrage of ads about how horribly evil Obama is quickly becomes dull, predictable, and tedious. The GOP SuperPAC donors clearly feel that more is better. But, with everything, there is always a point of excess in which more becomes counterproductive. We are now seeing this universal law in action as it relates to campaign spending.

  12. Correction: those 47 billionaires are attempting to buy the election.

    But they’re probably going to lose, and all of that money will be wasted. This time, anyway.

  13. A plutocracy is the opposite of democracy. To anyone claiming that the US is a democracy, this chart is a good proof it isn’t.

    In a plutocracy a tiny sliver of the populace get to decide policies and just about everything. The rest of society has no voice at all. And that once in four years dropping a ballot is inconsequential as all those who are elected are in essence in the pocket of big money.

  14. Dr. Cole

    I am a eighteen year old who is by no means an expert in politics, but one day aspire to be and your post interested me. I found issue (keep in mind, no expert) with several things here.

    When did it become a bad thing to donate to your political party? Should someone, (millionaires, billionaires) donate to Obama’s campaign, they would be highly praised.

    We are expected to vote on ideology, and today, Romney/Ryan’s policies cater more toward that of wealthy Americans. So my question is, why are these people being persecuted?

    Hope you can get back to me, regards.

    • It became a bad thing when you could donate unlimited amounts anonymously. It became a bad thing when the cost of elections was driven so high (again, thanks to unlimited amounts of money) forced politicians to cater to the uber-wealthy and corporations or they couldn’t run. It’s a bad thing when a system of back scratching between the wealthy and the politicians they own replaces democracy. It’s a bad thing when Jack Abramoff can go on national TV and talk about how he owned over a hundred politicians.

      Oh, and the very idea that anyone in this society could “persecute” millionaires and billionaires is laughable. The powerful can’t be persecuted by the powerless.

    • So my question is, why are these people being persecuted?

      They aren’t being persecuted, in any way, shape or form. Did you mean “criticized?”

      They are being criticized because the scope of their economic power creates an uneven playing field, producing distorted outcomes that are further and further away from the results of a fair contest of ideas.

      The self-interest of the donors is far from the only concern a supporter of democracy should take into account.

  15. Infidel,

    Your post typifies the average raging right winger’s inability to discern fact from fiction. You’re comparing Michael Moore to people like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson? That’s like comparing the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean.

    You people make these irrational analogies that fall in line with your irrational narrative that you manufacture with the help of Fox News and then pretend that your skewed opinions are fact. When in fact, they are not.

    But it does point out a very important aspect of opinions like yours: You absolutely have lost reality with what real wealth is and what real riches are. You think of a rich person, you (of course) think of someone like Michael Moore, who isn’t even rich compared to the Koch Brothers and Adelson. Not even CLOSE. But to you, it’s all the same thing.

    The irrational part is that the problem is whenever money is compared to free speech, then only those with the most money get their ways, which are to exclusively protect their own interests and, of course, in America…that means screwing the poor and middle class.

    You can try to justify it all you want but it’s wrong and you come across as a sycophantic cheerleader who is just cheering for those who have already won and have already been given everything they want. Right now, if the middle class isn’t preserved from all of the wealth that was stolen from them over the past 6 years, there will be no middle class left.

    • Michael Moore goes out and urges the Occupiers to return to Zacati Park, then goes home to a $2M mansion. He’s worth $50M. There are other multimillionaires who make their money by being progessives- selling books, being journalists, etc. George Soros didn’t make his money by being a leftist and he doesn’t feign being a commoner. To people on the bottom, it is all the same. They don’t know what ‘real wealth’ is and they don’t care. I don’t think the bottom 5% feel any solidarity with the middle 94%.

      • Michael Moore is strictly small-time compared to the Kochs. The Kochs could afford to hire Michael Moore to shoot home movies of their grandkids’ birthday parties.

        • Yes, it’s all relative. If we include all 7 billion people on earth, the top 1% is anyone who earns $48,000 per year. If we’re going to draw a line based on income, why not draw it right there at $48,000? The answer, of course, is that that would make far too many Americans uncomfortable.

  16. CORRUPTION

    The Federal Reserve – a private corporation owned and controlled by corrupt billionaire families and their puppet millionaires and private foreign and American banks.

    The Military Industrial Complex.

    US Congress: corrupt millionaires and other puppets.

    The FDA with its executives and their conflict of interests.

    The corrupt controlled mass news media.

    And other corruptions.

  17. An answer, if not THE answer is to demand accountability …. on the part of brain dead idiots (both sides of the aisle) who repeat sequences they have been taught by the spiritual leader du jour (again, both sides of the aisle) as if it were logic, without questioning their sanctified beliefs.

    When we get into the habit of asking people “why” and demanding logical, factual responses, then obscene, and obscenely large, campaign contributions will become less important.

    This requires effort. Excuse me while I continue my research in the current state of Egypt’s constitution.

  18. It’s not the Presidential campaign that is really going to be broken by money- it’s all the others. The research shows that in Senate and House races, the side that spends the most- that is to say, buys the most TV advertising- wins 90+ percent of the time. Cit Uni means Republicans will outspend in every race.

    Ben Franklin remarked that democracy will fail when the people realize they can vote themselves money. Well, the rich have realized they can buy politicians and make them hand over all the money.

    We are learning that democracy is incompatible with unlimited campaign spending.

    And that is the root of just about everything that has gone wrong with the US over the past thirty years.

    A constitutional amendment that completely cut private funding of political campaigns would not automatically fix all that is wrong. But without it nothing can be fixed.

  19. There is a simple answer here:
    1-Turn off your TV’s!!! Or at least have the good sense to mute the commercials.
    2-Watch the debates
    3-Look for a non-partisan analysis of the debates (usually available the same day)
    4-Take what you learned from the first three steps and use your brains to vote.

    If you don’t have the energy or sense to do these simple things, DON’T VOTE!

    There are more regulations on the content of a commercial for a bag of Cheetos than for a candidate. Candidate commercials are not required to tell the truth because they are not selling a product.
    If you’re letting these commercials influence your vote, then you are being bought by their bull@#!$ and their billfolds!

  20. A miilionaire who regulary donated once told me that for every dollar he contributed to political campaigns he saw a tenfold return on his money.

    Enron once did an internal study that calculated the return on investment on their political contributions; they attempted to quantify the positve effects of their corporate funding of political action committees.

  21. Yes, the greed for money and power is killing America.

    A solution is to vote in a presidential candidate and other candidates that want to and will take money out of politics.

    With my limited knowledge and experiences I know of one individual that has gone on record for taking money out of politics, Professor Juan Cole, author of this blog.

    He posted on 07/06/2011:
    “10 Ways Arab Democracies Can Avoid American Mistakes”.

    His first way describes taking money out of Politics:

    “1. Contemporary political campaigns in the US depend heavily on television commercials. In the UK these ads are restricted, and in Norway they are banned. Consider banning them. But whatever you do, do not let your private television channels charge money for campaign advertisements. Television advertisements account for 80-90 percent of the cost of a senate or presidential campaign in the US, and the next presidential campaign will cost each candidate $1 billion. The only way a candidate can win is to fall captive to the billionaires and their corporations, leaving the people powerless and victimized by the ultra-wealthy. Consider putting a ban on paid radio and television political ads in the constitution, because otherwise if it is only a statute, the wealthy will try to buy the legislature so as to overturn it.”

    The remaining 9 ways will accelerate the rebirth(birth) of democracy in America. All 10 ways should be adopted in America.

    Read the blog at: link to juancole.com

    And, if you read Cole’s biography you most likely will agree with me that Professor Cole would become a great President. He graduated high school valedictorian and summa cum laude at the University of Michigan. He’s gifted with intelligence, wisdom, honesty and spirituality. And speaks a dozen Middle East languages and dialects.

    link to juancole.com

    Please read the above links and help convince Professor Cole to run as a presidential candidate.

  22. While Sheldon Adelson may or may not specifically want a war with Iran – it’s wildly crazy and thus an extraordinary claim, so I would love to see extraordinary evidence to support it. What is perfectly reasonable is the concern that Adelson would want US foreign policy to strongly support the right-wing (Likud, et al) in Israel.

    But there’s the other layer to Adelson’s interest in this election. Adelson is worth about $25 Billion, most of which is tied up in his multi-billion dollar casino and related operations in Macau, which is very much part of China. Doing business in China is tricky, and during the global economic downturn, Adelson got himself in trouble. During that time, he was assisted by Leonel Alves who is both a lawyer and a part of the government of Macau. In order for Adelson’s investments to survive the downturn, he needed several things to be approved by the Chinese government. Adelson appears to have personally direct the payment of US$700,000 to this guy, despite the concerns of his internal council and the lack of detailed invoices justifying that payment for “legal services.”
    link to propublica.org

    To boil it down, it looks like Sheldon Adelson may have personally directed payments that a reasonable person would suspect were in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. While it seems unlikely that Adelson would actually go to jail over this, one way you can be punished for violating the act is that all the profits you made as a result of paying bribes would be forfeit.

    Adelson made many Billions of dollars as a result of the Macau/Chinese government approving his requests during that time period.

    So more than “security for Israel”, Sheldon Adelson may be willing to spend tens of Millions of dollars this election cycle in the hopes that a Romney DoJ would turn a blind eye to the serious allegations of wrong doing, which might save him Billions of dollars.

    But that’s just plain old-fashioned corruption. In context, though, things are quite a bit more potentially nasty. It is probably pretty tough to prove bribery without some cooperation by the party that was bribed. In this case, that party is part of the Chinese government. That means that the Chinese government could decide to keep mum, thus protecting Adelson’s billions. Or the Chinese government could decide to fabricate evidence implicating Adelson. Bejing has a lot of influence over Adelson at this moment.

    So today, in our democracy, we have a Billionaire who appears to be attempting to buy influence with what he hopes is the next President, but that Billionaire is in turn, potentially under the thumb of Beijing.

    It’s this kind of nasty mess that makes it clear that we desperately need campaign finance reform.

  23. You would think US citizens would be smart enough to see through the buy out of elections by corporate power and rich individuals but they continue to get most of their news and opinion from TV, not the internet. The Arctic is losing ice cover fast and permafrost is melting due to fossil fuel use and resultant forcing of heat increase. The consequence of corporate buy out of elections won’t be an Earth fit for life to survive in. Instead the guaranteed acceleration of a cascading event of unimaginable proportion affecting food production and stress on populations will proceed unbearable.
    It’ll take an act of God and great bravery to undo this mess.

Comments are closed.