Brooklyn Broadside: Super PACs Are Corrupting Presidential Election Process

April 19, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Dennis Holt

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN — In this century, the Supreme Court of the United States has had a significant impact on the executive branch of our government — i.e., the president of the United States.

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It picked the president in 2000, with momentous results. This year it will make a decision on the health care reform legislation, which will have a major impact on this year’s election. But the decision that will have the greatest impact now and for as long as it remains in force is Citizens United, which ruled that corporations are people.

This led to Super PACs (political action committees), which permit people to donate money to political campaigns under the radar. As a result, huge sums of money, more so than ever before, are being used to influence the election.

The Romney people are going to raise at least $600 million more, and other groups will come up with even more millions. President Obama will be forced to do the same to remain competitive. Anybody who thinks this is healthy for the political system or our government is part of the 1-percent crowd or benefits directly from it in some manner.

In a sense, the ability for relatively few people to spend so much money is politically dangerous. It is almost like having a cartel of Manchurian candidates that are truly a threat to our national security. Obviously, if they influence matters, income inequality will not only continue, but will get worse.

It will take another Supreme Court decision to rescind the first one so getting the money issue back into balance isn’t going to happen overnight. But there is hope.

In New York, a group of “1-percenters” from both parties, including David Rockefeller, Chris Hughes, Barry Diller and Danny Meyer, has started a process to enact a public financing system in New York state. The group is called New York Leadership for Accountable Government. This is a start at the state level. The group will encourage other states to take similar action.

This is setting the stage. Historically, state actions have influenced people at the national level, which is what is needed. If President Obama is re-elected, there will be a major effort to make corporations into corporations again, and not people.

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