July 31, 2012
Mitt Romney’s overseas trip has been fodder for the press and media as quite a source of humor and more example of fumbling and mumbling we have seen from the candidate since the primary season kicked off. Something that has been noted is that his trip was in reality a visit with potential donors for funding his silk stocking presidential campaign. The question I ask is when did this become ok for politicians in the US to seek campaign funding overseas?
The bundlers who put together funds for campaigns such as Romneys will expect to have favorable access to their candidate should he win. What happens when the bundlers are foreign and in direct competition with the interests of Americans? Can we trust Mitt to keep the interests of Americans in mind when his fund raising may come directly from foreign competition? If Mitt accepts money from mainland Chinese interests, can we trust him to represent American’s best interests if they are in direct competition with those of China? I believe his presidency is up for auction to the highest bidder.
International fundraising is done under the rubric of collecting donations from expatriate Americans. Expatriate Americans who happen to host $10k per plate dinners for their foreign friends to meet candidate Romney, for example. If the host is American, no problem if he puts the 1-2 mil collected from his foreign guests under his name, right?
Under current law, anyone with citizenship or a green card may donate to a campaign, but let us be clear: that is a very low hurdle for huge bundles of money to jump on it’s way from one nation to the candidate in the pursuit of undeserved favor and alliance. It is tantamount to bribery by a foreign entity. Funny how times change. A hundred years ago, that was considered a high crime. Make no mistake, the US has excelled at this practice with buying its own puppet dictators over the years, but now the game could be played on the American people, where we elect a puppet president obedient to a dark multinational financier.
I’m not an authority on the history of campaign funding, but I do remember a time in my life when international funds for campaigning were strictly forbidden. Later the rules changed so that there were strict limits placed on funding so that no one donor could become the sole recipient of the benefits of their elected candidate’s authority. Also, sources for campaign funds had to be disclosed so that voters could see who the candidate would likely favor in office. My sense of things is that the funding from international sources has grown over the years and instead of trying to stem the tide or at least disclose the extent to which the monies flow in from over seas, we have just opened the floodgates and declared all money from overseas to be just fine. (No thanks to the SCOTUS decision on Citizens United)
It may well be that allowing unlimited funding from foreign sources essentially puts our country up for auction to the highest bidder for the next four years. I think Americans deserve a president who does not bend over for his British and Israeli banking benefactors. When it comes to the American people or his rich friends, which side do you think Mitt will take?
The lack of controls over campaign funding continues to be the single most powerful factor contributing to the disconnect of the federal govt with the will of the American People. The escalation of international funding of campaigns only widens the gulf between the will of the American people and the choices made by their leaders.
- There’s No Hiding It: Citizens United Wasn’t About Speech, It was About the Takeover of Democracy (garyalanfinkelstein.newsvine.com)
- ‘Dark Money,’ Secret Donors Behind Half Of Independent Election Spending (huffingtonpost.com)
- Candidates look overseas for campaign cash (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: Romney Bundler A Registered Foreign Agent For Hong Kong (thinkprogress.org)
- Mitt bundler was ‘go-between’ in Plame outing (politico.com)
- Companies Bigger than Countries: Transparency needed for all (one.org)
July 6, 2012
We have seen shenanigans in voting laws across the country under the guise of creating barriers to voter fraud. The numbers on cases of voter fraud vs the instances of humans struck by lightning make it obvious that voter fraud is teeny tiny problem. Also, we have seen how the changes in voter laws in an election year are being drummed up in the Red GOP states only. It makes me wonder, why do only the Repubs seem to believe that vote fraud is a problem. You only hear about this plague, this tumor on our body politic in the GOP camp.
Why is it only the GOP states that think we have a vote fraud problem? The reason I ask is that the measures these states are taking far and away do more damage to a free and fair vote than they protect the system from fraud. Could it be that the voter fraud is actually a lie perpetrated in order to disenfranchise thousands of legitimate voters from the rolls in key states that could swing the election?
How is it fair if hundreds or thousands are removed from voter rolls to protect us from the 10 or 20 people that vote fraudulently in a state?
Through the early 2000s, there have been allegations of vote mishandling through the hacking of computerized ballot and counting systems in place now. We have some evidence but no real formal investigation to show that rigging the vote count by election officials is an actual problem. It is well documented that some poor and minority dominated areas in red states, have suffered reduced access to voting, not just registration, but such things as numbers of voting machines and hours of operation rigged and not given due diligence. My sense of it is that the GOP loves to play around the edges of every election and jimmy the system in as many ways to Sunday as they can invent without getting caught.
The fact that they must go to what are unfair and extreme measures to swing the vote count in their favor shows that they have very little to go on in terms of public policy and benefit to the average citizen. I believe that some of their measures are so clumsy that they will be read by the public for what they truly are. In a way, the fact that so much money is spent still gives me hope that the vote count is still at least conducted partially fairly.
I wish there was a mechanism in congress to remove electoral votes from states whom continue to exhibit improper voter registration and counting. Dishonest conduct in elections is tantamount to treason and should be rigorously penalized but not at the expense of the honest average citizen voter.
- Is Voter Fraud A Problem? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Behind the Myth of Voter Fraud (washingtonmonthly.com)
- UFO Sightings Are More Common Than Voter Fraud (motherjones.com)
- Pennsylvania Voter-ID Law Could Disenfranchise Up To 750,000 (Talking Points Memo)