Why Isn't Corruption Illegal In American Politics? And Why Did Big Companies Spend $5.8 Billion To Influence Government?
Everyone in Washington knows that Chuck Schumer is one of the shadiest and most corrupt Members of the Senate, right up there with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Whip and member of both the Budget and Finance Committees John Cornyn. Cornyn is best known as a whore for Big Oil, which has given him $2,876,106 for services rendered since being elected to Congress. The financial sector (Wall Street) has given Cornyn far more-- $7,940,416 since he was first elected in 2002. They've been even more generous-- or strategic-- with McConnell, who's been buttered up with $11,444,704. McConnell took the biggest legalistic bribes from Wall Street of anyone Congress other than presidential candidates... and Chuck Schumer.
Since Schumer was elected to the House in 1980 and then to the Senate in 1998, Wall Street has bought hm off with the sweet sum of $21,052,681, the most to any Member of Congress other than presidential candidates. In return, he takes care of their interests-- big-time. When the crooked banksters started whining recently that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were making them look bad, they went to Schumer, who promised to balance Warren and Sanders with Wall Street-friendly Democratic Senate candidates like Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL) and Ted Strickland (OH) and to block progressive candidates like Alan Grayson (FL), P.G. Sittenfeld (OH) and Joe Sestak (PA). Schumer belongs in prison, not Congress. Schumer may be the worst, but he's hardly the only corrupt senator and far from an outlier.
If you didn't watch the video above from Represent.Us, now's the time to take a look. At the base of corruption is an ugly senatorial fact: the number of American voters for or against any idea has no impact on the likelihood that Congress will make it law. The Princeton University study they drew from says flatly, "The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." In other words, corrupt powermongers like Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell don't care what you think, what you say or what you want. They work for Wall Street. Obviously.
Not just Wall Street, of course. Economic elites, business interests, people who can afford to hire lobbyists... crooks like Schumer and McConnell pay close attention to this demographic. "When they want something, the government is much more likely to do it... They get what they want and guess who winds up paying for it!" It gets worse: "Right now it's perfectly legal to buy political influence in America." The video explains how it's done-- and why good-for-nothing careerists like Schumer and McConnell rise to the top of the Beltway heap.
As for the second question in the title, about why the 200 most politically active companies in the U.S. gave $5.8 billion dollars to grubby politicians and lobbyists in the last 5 years, well... good return on investment. Those same companies got $4.4 trillion in taxpayer support!
Yesterday Alan Grayson sent out a note to his supporters explaining how the Big Money interests and their lobbyists are working their magic in terms of Fast Track Authority and the TPP.
A week ago last Tuesday, the Senate voted against taking up the "Fast Track" trade giveaway bill. Hooray! Every Republican expressed support, but every Democrat except Sen. Carper (D-DE) voted against it.
But just two days later, 13 Democrats switched sides. They were against it, before they were for it.
What happened during those forty-eight hours? Well, an awful lot of corporate lobbyists billed an awful lot of hours. But the official explanation was that Mitch McConnell had agreed to a separate vote on a currency manipulation bill. Which may never pass the Senate. And may never come to a vote in the House. And may never pass the House. And may never be signed by the President. And if all those things somehow do come to pass, it can join the utterly ineffective existing laws against currency manipulation.
But that was the cover story for those 13 switched votes.
And yesterday, on another Senate vote, 13 Democrats wandered off the reservation. As a public service, I am providing their phone numbers, e-mail addresses and office addresses below.
Q. If we don't stick together, then how can we possibly win?
A. We can't.
There's one last Senate vote today. Tell them "NO" on Fast Track! Call or e-mail - right now. Below is a list of every Senate Democrat who voted to let Fast Track steamroll over us. Pick one, pick them all, and MAKE THEM LISTEN.
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)