Amazing Information! This is a perfect look at the hugely negative impacts of Citizens United on the American political system.
I’m a numbers guy. Numbers don’t lie. Numbers are real. Of course, they can also be manipulated. I discovered this wonderful site after someone tried to make the argument that the Koch Brothers are outspent by liberal groups and unions.
I was intrigued! This person provided a link, right there for all to see, that clearly showed that most of the top organizations over the past 25 years were supportive of Democrats and many were unions. The data can be found by going to the “Influence & Lobbying tab, selecting Organizations, Heavy Hitters, and then pulling up the Heavy Hitters list. I was astounded! Actblue spent over $100M. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal workers spent over $61M.
Then I realized, this is a picture of spending from 1989 to 2014 and while certainly true, didn’t paint an accurate picture of life after Citizens United. As I dug deeper into the site I found list after list that painted a very frightening picture of the new America and its political system that is spending astounding sums telling us who to vote for. In the 2012 election cycle, conservative “outside” groups (Super PACs/501c organizations) spent over $269M dollars. Liberal “outside” groups spent $58M.
The system was bad before Citizens United. Now we have corporations and the rich bombarding us with information supporting their candidates and issues, not because it is what is best for us or for America, but what is best for their interest.
I am reminded of Jackson Browne’s song, “Lives in the Balance,” from 1986. He bemoaned how they sell us the President the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars.
So now we are in the era where the rich, corporations, the gun industry, and the industrial military complex (which Dwight D Eisenhower warned us about back in 1961) are essentially running the country. Oh yeah, the Unions play a role, too. But it is small by comparison. But that is not my point!
Somehow, if we are going to continue to be a great nation, we need to get all this outside money out of elections. The Koch Brothers, the Unions, the NRA, the Right To Life Crowd, the Pro Choice Crowd, Corporations, Industries, and everyone else. I’m not sure if it is possible to put the genie back into the bottle, but I sure hope so for the sake of my children!