Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bush Prosecuted Mississippi Democratic Judge

It's a Raw Story.

The cast of characters includes some familiar faces. with from former Democratic Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman's case: Karl Rove, Republican "consultant" William Canary, Bill's wife US Attorney Leura Canary, current Republican Alabama Republican Governor Bob Riley, etc., plus Justice Antonin Scalia and the Choctaws (Doesn't Antonin Scalia and the Choctaws sound like a cheesy Jersey bar band from the early '70s?)

This story also details something I've been interested in since last year: How the US Chamber of Commerce became an implement of Republican power. The Chamber is our country's largest trade organization. In the past decade since Republican BBF Tom Donohue took charge, has spent $369,914,680 topping opensecrets' lobbyist spending chart. The organization also spent $60 million during the last presidential election.

Three months ago The LA Times took a closer look after Donohue pledged to "punish" populist "ani-business" candidates:

Under Donohue, the organization has also frequently aligned itself with GOP priorities.

Since he took over the chamber, contributions by businesses have soared, often to pay for political advertising known as "issue ads," which are exempt from many of the Federal Election Commission limits.

Under a system Donohue pioneered, corporations contribute money to the chamber, which then finances attack ads targeting individual candidates without revealing the name of the businesses involved in the ads.

In 2000, drug companies paid the chamber to run advertisements in Michigan to help elect then-Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham. Pharmaceutical companies that year gave the chamber additional millions to run issue ads attacking mostly Democratic House candidates. And large corporations paid $1 million or more to support advertising campaigns against judges deemed too friendly to plaintiffs.

There has been pressure from lawsuits and government activist groups to require the chamber to reveal the source of its political funds and more details on its spending.

Donohue is not inclined to do so.

"I will disclose any funds I am legally required to disclose -- and not disclose any others," Donohue said. "We are exercising our constitutional right to petition the government and we will continue to do so."
If by "petitioning the government" Donohue means accepting big money from big business to run blind "issue" ads attacking primarily Democratic candidates, then he's stretching the definition pretty damn far. More proof that we'll never have "free" elections in this country until we get meaningful election reform.

Workers make less due to inflation, health care and cost of living increases. Big business makes more and more money. Big business spreads some of that profit around under the radar to the Tom Donohues to keep things headed in this "right" direction. As it stands right now, this game is fixed.