There is no doubt in my mind that the United States is facing a clear and present danger. Our Congress and our Administration has never been more corrupt; their votes available to the highest bidder – possibly including foreign sovereign nations who do not wish America well.
The legal means to convey funds to members of Congress and the Administration seems fairly simple. The special interests contribute to so-called tax-exempt charitable foundations which, in turn tailor their activities to support the politician and his political agenda.
Precisely the means used to convey lobbyist and special interest cash to Arnold Schwarzenegger so he can claim that the citizens of California are not paying for his celebrity- lifestyle food, lodging and travel expenses.
Now we find that the New York Times is reporting …
“Congressional Charities Pulling In Corporate Cash”
“Representative Joe Baca has achieved near celebrity status in his suburban Los Angeles district, as much for his record of giveaways — Thanksgiving turkeys, college scholarships, spare boots for firefighters — as for anything he has done in Congress.”
“That generosity is made possible by the Joe Baca Foundation, a charity his family set up three years ago to aid local organizations. It provides another benefit, too: helping the Democratic congressman run something akin to a permanent political campaign.”
“Joe Baca T-shirts and caps are given out at the charity’s events, where banners display his name. Local newspapers mention the charity’s donations, and cable stations show appearances by Mr. Baca and his family at functions his foundation supports.”
“But unlike most private foundations, Mr. Baca’s gets little of its money from its founders’ pockets. Instead, local companies and major corporations that have often turned to Mr. Baca’s Washington office for help, and usually succeed in getting it, are the chief donors.”
“A review by The New York Times of federal tax records and House and Senate disclosure reports found at least two dozen charities that lawmakers or their families helped create or run that routinely accept donations from businesses seeking to influence them. The sponsors — AT&T, Chevron, General Dynamics, Morgan Stanley, Eli Lilly and dozens of others — contribute millions of dollars annually in gifts ranging from token amounts to a check for $5 million.”
“Despite rules imposed in 2007 to curb the influence of special interests in Congress, corporate donations to lawmakers’ charities have continued, thanks to a provision that allows businesses to make unlimited gifts to them. And while business executives say they want to give to a good cause, their pattern of spending — contributions that often are not disclosed, in apparent violation of ethics rules — suggests another reason.”
Plausible deniability …
“Like Mr. Baca, other members of Congress benefit from the good will that their corporate-financed philanthropy generates among voters. The lawmakers defend the donations, saying they have no influence on the politicians’ positions on legislation or policy. They also say that they typically do not serve on the charities’ governing boards or solicit contributions themselves.”
The simple truth is that corporations do not spend money foolishly or needlessly; using their corporate contributions in random acts of kindness. Their charitable contributions, often linked to the desires of their top executives are designed to incur favorable publicity and influence in both local communities, the state and federal governments.
One merely need look at the hundreds of millions of dollars washing through the Clinton Foundation – much of it not reported by name to the authorities or the public – to know how dangerous this practice may be in relationship to foreign sovereign governments like Saudi Arabia which has reportedly given tens of millions of dollars to various Clinton initiatives.
I have little or no faith in the Clintons; especially considering Clinton’s dodgy pardons which seem to be granted to some of his largest financial supporters or to secure political support in various communities. <Source>
You help me, I help you …
Even for politicians out of favor or out of power, directed foundation funds can be used to help those politicians who seek the aid of other politicians. The circle of influence is not just limited to the politician in office. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Clinton’s travels and political activities are supported by his foundation – as a way to keeping the Clintons in the political mix; possibly for assisting those who will be helping Hilary in 2012.
Not limited to politicians …
Key aids and individuals who support political causes and politicians have created their own foundations and think tanks to churn out favorable publicity and position papers to aid political parties and/or individual politicians. Whether promoting cap-and-trade or demonizing the right-wing media, these foundations are also benefiting for contributions from the special interests – all with a “wink-wink, nod-nod) knowledge of what they money will be used for.
Bottom line …
We need to take back our government from those who have sold it to the highest bidders.
We need to restrict Presidential Libraries and politician-related foundations before we find that corruption has become as pervasive as it is in third-world nations.
The democrats talk about raising taxes and closing loopholes – but do little or nothing to restrict the flow of influential “tax-free” funds which are corrupting America. People like John McCain and Russ Feingold have actually subverted campaign finance reform with their loop-hole ridden, unconstitutional efforts.
We need to take action now. To elect “honest brokers” to serve “we the people.” And we need to start in November by restoring the Constitutional checks and balances to our government and removing the disastrous, corrupt one-party rule that is responsible for the continuing damage to the American economy and our ability to defend ourselves from our enemies, both foreign and domestic.
Vote as if your life depended on it – because this time is surely does.