Sunday, December 11, 2011
LESSONS FROM HISTORY
History is amazing and teaches valuable lessons.
1906: Accused of fundraising improprieties, President Theodore Roosevelt calls for a ban on all corporate contributions "for any political purpose," leading to passage of the Tillman Act (named after white supremacist Sen. "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman).
1911: Congress introduces individual spending limits for federal campaigns.
1952: VP candidate Richard Nixon delivers his "Checkers" speech, defending more than $18,000 in secret donations: "Every penny of it was used to pay for political expenses that I did not think should be charged to the taxpayers."
1971: President Nixon tells his chief of staff to tell donors, "Anybody who wants to be an ambassador must at least give $250,000." Dwayne Andreas, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, later delivers $100,000 to Nixon's secretary and helps fund the Watergate break-in.
1974: Congress imposes stricter limits on individual contributions and outside expenditures and sets up the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
1991: Five senators, including Sen. John McCain, are found to have advocated on behalf of Charles Keating's failing S&L after receiving a combined $1.3 million in campaign money.
2002: The McCain-Feingold Act bans soft money in federal elections and bans the use of corporate or union funds to make ads about candidates in the weeks before an election.
2005: GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay is indicted for funneling corporate money through the RNC to Texas Republicans. More than five years later, he is convicted of money laundering and sentenced to three years in prison.
2006: Lobbyist Jack Abramoff admits trading golf junkets, meals at his DC restaurant, and campaign contributions for political favors. President George W. Bush and GOP leaders rush to dump donations linked to him.
2010: Citizens United ruling allows corporations and unions to advocate for or against candidates at any time.
Question: What happened to the good ole days of the Tillman Act and congressional spending limits of the early 1900's?
Fact: In 1971, Nixon started a path of corruption and Watergate.
Fact: Dirty money and corporate greed leads to the "buying of a politician" in Washington.
Fact: The majority Republican appointed Supreme Court Justices unleash a wrath upon this country with the Citizens United decision and more politicians are "bought" to do the corporate bidding. That fact has brought our current Congress to a legislative stand-still and the face of obstructionism is rampant. Today Congress has a very low approval rating, the lowest in many years.
The election in 2012 will be critical to fixing this country and stopping the corruption of politicians and corporations running this country. Corporations are NOT people and the people need to take back their rights. Be involved and VOTE in 2012!