In January of this year, former Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee Chairmen, Michael Steele and Howard Dean, spoke on two panels about the impact of Citizens United for law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge at their DC and Atlanta offices. The panels were entitled “Effective Corporate Political Engagement and Compliance in the 2012 Election Year.” Citizens United allows for unlimited contributions by corporations to super PACs, but bars coordination between super PACs and their respective campaign committees.
Of note: Steele says that the window of opportunity for corporations to donate with much less public scrutiny will close in the next election cycle, and that corporations should act now to take full advantage before new regulations are implemented. Later, the panel discusses the ties between the Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, and the Romney campaign. Specifically, they all have a chuckle about how the Romney super PAC is run by former Romney aide Charlie Spies, and that his wife, Lisa Spies, is a finance chair on the campaign. Dean jokes that “a Chinese wall construction company would be very active in the Spies household.” Funny… non-coordination is a farce.
Campaign finance reform must be the first and foremost cause to anyone wishing to see substantive progress in any other major political issue. To concentrate on anything else is to put the cart before the horse. How can change be made when politicians are beholden to moneyed corporate interests? Why didn’t we get substantive financial reform when there was broad consensus for it, or for health care for that matter? Because of the finance and insurance lobbyists who bankroll politicians’ campaigns. The power incumbency will protect the wealth incumbency because their interests are one and the same. Join the fight to eliminate corporate personhood and to institute public financing of campaigns! Democracy depends on you!
Check out these sites for more information on how you can make a difference: