Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More corporate cash, less transparency

Still wondering what my problem is with money and politics?

Four years ago, President Obama banned corporate and union donations from funding his first Inauguration. Not this time.

This time, the man who railed on how Citizens United would “open the floodgates for special interests” by allowing unlimited contributions from corporations and “America’s most powerful interests” ….is accepting unlimited donations to his inaugural committee from corporations. So far 20 corporations and nine unions have dropped cash on the shindig says The Hill.

Not only are the doors wide open, but the curtains are shut — from transparency, that is. Four years ago, Team Obama listed all its inaugural donors AND the amount they coughed up in a searchable database.

But this year, says the Sunlight Foundation, they only showed WHO gave. Not how much. And it’s not searchable — just a massive list. 

Four years ago, inaugural contributions were capped at $50,000. This time? Oh, don’t stop. Please don’t stop. The Presidential Inaugural Committee was offering packages for between $10,000 and $1 million — check out the invites here

So forgive me for not swooning at the president's lofty progressive rhetoric yesterday. A little less conversation and a little more action, please.

This development was revealed on the same weekend that protests in Austin at the Capitol (and around the country) against pesky things like Citizens United and corporate personhood went mostly unreported -- unlike the Gun Appreciation Day festivities, mind you.

Misplaced priorities much?

So as you read other things in other places about money being mother's milk and all that, just remember that only children suckle from teats. We all need to grow up and get real about what kind of politicians we want.

I would be remiss in not noting that my state Senator, Rodney Ellis, and Rep. Senfronia Thompson in the Texas House have taken the initiative in this regard. Encourage your own representatives at every level -- local, state, and federal -- to follow their lead.

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