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02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

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02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

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02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

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02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

02.19 Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril [2:01 video]

02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

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02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

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02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

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02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

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02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

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02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

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  Print view: The Politicians' Bible: Bringing in the Receipts
POLITICAL ANALYSIS:

The Politicians' Bible: Bringing in the Receipts

by Walter and Rosemary Brasch
Monday, 1 November 2010
The tactic is fear. The facts don't matter.

It will be cold tonight in Pennsylvania, but that means nothing to dozens of politicians who are in their final days of a ubiquitous campaign to get a government job.

There isn't a household in Pennsylvania that has active voters that hasn't been subjected to at least two dozen TV political ads each day, several robo-calls a week, and a few dozen direct mail full-color 8-1/2-by-11 inch postcard campaign ads. Many households have already received three or four dozen such ads in the past month.

Pennsylvanians aren't the only ones who have been subjected to a deluge of political campaign ads the past six months. In California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, in every state in which there is a possibility of Republicans taking Senate, House, and governor seats from Democrats, there is a battle. The tactic is fear. The facts don't matter. It makes little difference. It's the results the politicians, their parties, and innumerable special interest groups care most about.

This year, more than $4 billion will be spent on Congressional and Gubernatorial races on the midterm election. From individuals. From corporations. From special interest groups. Leading the donations from special interest groups are the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which pledged to spend more than $75 million; American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, formed by Karl Rove, George W. Bush's political advisor, which is expected to spend about $65 million; and the Republican Governors Association, which has already donated more than $30 million, leaving the Democratic Governors Association, which has contributed about $10 million, in its dust. Other Democrat-leaning organizations are Act Blue, which will spend about $15 and Moveon, which will probably spend about $25 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Thanks to a 5–4 ruling by the Supreme Court in January, corporations now enjoy the First Amendment rights of individuals. And corporate money, mostly to conservative causes, has poured into the campaigns. None of the special interest groups—no matter which political ideology they embrace—are taxed.

In the third quarter alone, 23 individuals have contributed more than $100,000 each—15 to conservative causes, seven to liberal causes, and one to a non-profit, according to the CRP. Five of the six who gave more than $1 million in the past three months have donated to Republican/conservative campaigns.

The leader in campaign giving, according to Federal Election Commission data, is Bob J. Perry, owner of Texas-based Perry Homes. During the past decade, Perry donated about $35 million to conservative candidates and special interest groups, and was a founder of Swift Boat Veterans, which targeted John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

Perry isn't the only financial whale. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has put up about $140 million of her own fortune in a bitter contest against Jerry Brown for the governorship of California. The job pays $212,000 a year. In Connecticut, Linda McMahon will spend almost $50 million of her own fortune to try to defeat Richard Blumenthal, who has spent about $6 million, for that state's governorship, according to CRP data.

While persons, corporations, and special interest groups are donating billions to the midterm elections, America companies and corporations in every village, town, borough, and city will have outsourced about 1.6 million jobs in 2010, according to data compiled by Forrester Research; the same companies and corporations have outsourced about 5.5 million jobs in the past decade to foreign countries in order to increase the "bottom line." About 14.8 million Americans are unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

On the streets of America, banks and various lending institutions will have foreclosed on about 1.2 million families in 2010, according to Daily Finance.

Here is another statistic. While persons, corporations, and special interest groups are donating billions to the midterm elections, in every village, town, borough, and city in America about 750,000 persons will be homeless tonight. By the time the winners in the Nov. 2 election take office in January, more than 3.5 million Americans, about one-fourth of them veterans, will have been homeless in the year in which more than $4 billion was spent to elect political candidates. The politicians will be warm during their inaugurals; the homeless won't be.


Dr. Brasch's latest book is Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture, a witty look at the mass media and American culture. Dr. Brasch is a former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and multimedia writer/producer. Rosemary Brasch is a former Red Cross family services specialist for national disasters, labor instructor, and secretary.



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This story was published on November 1, 2010.
 

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