Election Day is behind us now (someone please tell Rep. Allen West [R-Fla.]), and there’s plenty to be happy about. Nov. 6, 2012, brought a wave of victories for working families and the defeat of some seriously scary candidates backed by billionaires and their deep pockets.
This is a cross-post from the Alliance for Justice blog, Justice Watch.
We all know how big business has eroded the American dream by getting Congress and the executive branch to change the rules to favor corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. But it hasn’t stopped with two branches of government. Corporate special interests have spent decades working to put their thumb on the scales of justice. The campaign finance decision in Citizens United is only the most prominent example.
One of the key front groups for the 1 percent is Crossroads. “Crossroads” is actually multiple groups formed by former GOP operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, with the shared goal of electing anti-worker candidates. The most important entities within the Crossroads family are American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
We’ve been talking a lot lately about the current financial state of play in electoral politics. Despite the mega-finances poured into the current election cycle, working families have more power than they think—power at the polls.
This is an excerpt from The Hill, by John Logan, professor and director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University.
Conservative activists in California are promoting a deceptive ballot proposition that would increase the ability of business groups and billionaires to dominate state elections. The measure, Proposition 32, claims to be an even-handed effort at campaign finance reform—but nothing could be further from the truth. Prop. 32 (or “Stop Special Interest Money Now,” as its big money supporters prefer to call it) would cripple the ability of unions to participate in politics but have little or no impact on unlimited spending by corporate executives and other wealthy individuals.
Some folks have been trying to make political hay with the easy availability of union financial information. As noted in an earlier post, however, The Wall Street Journal’s methodology in “discovering” the levels of labor union spending was fatally flawed and painted a false (and politically advantageous) picture.
And now Steven Law, the president of American Crossroads, a Republican super PAC, is using ridiculous fictions to try to defend the activities of the Karl Rove-backed group, claiming that the hundreds of millions of dollars that American Crossroads will spend on the election will somehow be dwarfed by what unions will spend.
With less than 100 days until the election, campaign finance is a topic that everybody in Washington, D.C., and on TV is talking about. Yet according to a recent poll by the Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, most Americans are unfamiliar with outside campaign spending and don’t know important terms and concepts.
Unless the nation’s campaign laws that allow corporations and the wealthy unlimited—and, many times, anonymous—campaign contributions are changed, “we will lose the right to collectively bargain,” within the next 10 years, says United Steelworkers (USW) Present Leo W. Gerard.
Speaking to a group of USW members in Homestead, Pa., over the weekend, Gerard warned that without a massive turnout of union voters this fall, the unprecedented flood of campaign cash to candidates and barely concealed extremist front groups could swing the election to candidates dedicated to destroying the union movement.
The top 1% is scared about people like “the nails ladies” having the vote. The wealthy know that economic inequality is rising and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is enormously unpopular. Turning unions into bogeymen is inevitable.
And so the right wing is excited today about a Wall Street Journal article purporting union spending on politics is far greater than known and is as big a factor as excessive corporate money in politics.