Somebody, it’s safe to say, really doesn’t like Rep. Peter DeFazio.
Doesn’t like the Springfield Democrat to the point of spending $178,000, so far, on TV ads attacking him as he runs for re-election, with the potential of changing the outcome of the race. But neither DeFazio nor anybody else in the 4th District knows who Concerned Taxpayers for America are or where its money is coming from.
“I am delighted to take their help,” says Republican candidate Art Robinson, “but I have not the slightest idea who’s doing it.”
This is the new politics: the unknown politics.
Last week, The Washington Post reported $80 million spent in independent expenditure campaigns through September — compared with $16 million spent in the 2006 midterm campaign. And the source of 90 percent of the spending in 2006 could be identified, but only half of 2010’s $80 million.
And that’s with all of October still to go. This year, October masks aren’t limited to trick-or-treaters; they’ll also be covering people spending millions in political campaigns.
“There could be as much as $300 million in this election financed by donors about whom the American people don’t have a clue,” warns Fred Wertheimer, president of the campaign reform group Democracy21.
This situation grows out of the Supreme Court’s insistence that money in politics is speech and so resists all regulation. But voters can see where speech comes from and make their own judgments about what it’s worth.
It turns out that whatever the Supreme Court says, money in politics isn’t really the same as speech.
So-called “democracy” for sale. Who will give me $300M? Do I hear $300M? Let’s start the bidding…
As the GOP releases its ‘Pledge to America,’ including a pledge to continue bowing to Big Oil and fighting clean energy, the Sierra Club has launched a new web tool, www.paidforbybigoil.org, to track and publicize outrageous statements made by politicians about Big Oil and other polluters, and connecting those statements to campaign contributions they receive. The comments of candidates will be visible as animated oil slicks with an off-shore drilling platform in the background, and as a twitter feed @paidforbybigoil.
The GOP Pledge, written in part by a former Exxon lobbyist, is out of step with America and completely in line with polluting corporations. It reads in part:
-“We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources.” (Meaning more of the offshore drilling that caused the BP disaster).
-“Oppose attempts to impose a national ‘cap and trade’ energy tax.” (Their cynical scare tactic to mask their opposition to the clean energy solutions and corresponding jobs that Big Oil won’t let them support).
-“Move immediately to cancel unspent ‘stimulus’ funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending stimulus funds.” (An attempt to block investment in clean energy jobs).
“The Republican’s pledge falls exactly in line with the agenda of Big Oil and Coal and their trade groups,” said Sierra Club Political Director Cathy Duvall. “Rather than present new ideas and fight for the clean energy solutions the majority of Americans support, the GOP is hoping for one more refrain of ‘drill baby drill.’ This is why we’ve created PaidforbyBigOil. We want to show just what exactly is spilling from the mouths of Big Oil and the candidates they support.”