Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fifty Shades of Greed

There are some who say that money and politics have always been a thing, that it’s always been this way, where politicians take the side of the highest bidder.  To be sure, there always HAS been some cases where the idea of legislation that actually benefits the populace and allows the nation to grow is sidetracked for “favors” to a donor where the end result is suspect.  But certainly in this century, money talks much louder than ever, and, in the wake of the Citizen’s United decision in 2010, the gloves seem to be off (better to reach into one’s wallet, I guess).

Some folks have noticed.  On the left, liberal websites like Daily Kos decry the Koch Brothers attempts to buy a pipeline, at $250K per vote.  On the right, sites like Gateway Pundit call out George Soros and various labor unions.  Stephen Colbert even tried to start a PAC (for humor value or was it the real deal – who knows for sure).

Noticeably one name was absent from much of the hoopla.  Can you guess who?

I’m not the only person who noticed this.  Mike Qualley, PPA’s Minnesota State Director, has picked up this thread before.  I got a note from him that said, “Day after day I see post after post, articles and news stories blasting the Koch brothers for their tactics. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with what the Kochs are doing, I don't! However, they are not the only billionaires pulling stunts to try and run our lives. Yes, you guessed it – I'm talking about none other than Sheldon G. Adelson!”

I remembered back before he turned completely turncoat, when Senator Harry Reid, (who is no stranger to the “Damn the Koch Brothers” parade), went so far as to say, “Leave my good buddy, Sheldon Adelson, alooooooooone!”  Many times grassroots groups will talk about a movement to overturn Citizen’s United, or call for removing money’s influence on the political process, but they never discuss one of the richest men in the world and his “Personal Presidential Primaries.”

But what to do?

Qualley has an idea: “When we see a post on Facebook or Twitter about the Koch brothers, let's all take the time to place a comment to remind whatever group or news source that is posting the article, as to what kind of underhanded shenanigans that Sheldon G. Adelson is pulling to try and get his bill to ban Internet poker passed in Congress.  Somehow the media and pundits from both sides of the aisle are afraid of Adelson, I have no idea why, but they are.  We need to make light of what he is doing to further discredit him in this fight.”

I concur – the more times we can remind everyone – left and right – that Adelson is trying to buy laws like you and I would buy bananas, the more likely folks will get on board.  It’s shameless “Crony Capitalism” – some have written about it (here, here, and here), but the MSM (and damn Harry Reid) need to be more aware (OK, the Washington Post got it – once).  And frankly, I would appreciate it if more of my lefty friends and politicos would slam the slimy bastard (Adelson, for those who may have missed this).

And, as always, we must remain vigilant.  It’s headed for a showdown, and we need all the ammo we can muster.

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