OBAMA AND DEMS WITH ADVANTAGE?

Last Sunday morning, as I basked in the sunlight outside a coffee shop with the New York Times, I came upon an op ed piece entitled "Big Money's Alarming Political Edge."

The occasion for naming a new Supreme Court Judge has rekindled the liberal bitterness among some in the media over the Court's Citizens United ruling in January which gave freedom of speech protections to corporations, unions, and non-profits.

Theuse of the word "Alarming" in the article title no doubt meant that theauthor felt republicans would benefit more from the Court's decision.

Any doubts were erased when the article was read.

According to the author of this piece, due to the ruling the US Chamber of Commerce was putting into action its "most aggressive drives ever" to raise money "to favor mainly republicans" in 50 races this fall....

..."most aggressive drives ever" the piece said, while unions were merely "working to keep pace" for their democrat favorites.

Really? Merely "working to keep pace?"

According to data on OpenSecrets.organd provided by the Federal Election Commission as of March 21, 2010,union donations to democrat candidates and causes have amounted to morethan "working to keep pace."

Since 1990, those unions rated in the top 50 of industry donors as ranked by OpenSecrets.org have donated $636 million to democrats while donating $52 million to republicans (92% vs. 8%).

ServiceEmployees International Union President Andy Stern said, "We spent afortune to elect barack obama." To which Joe Biden would later reply," we owe you."

Republicans enjoy no such huge advantage from any industry in OpenSecret's top 50 rankings.

Nosingle industry group on the list donated more than $333 million torepublicans over the same time period when unions were investing over ahalf billion to democrats.

Even the oil and gas industrydonations fell short of the unions while donating a paltry $186 millionto republicans such as Bush/Cheney since 1990.

The writer of the NY Times piece suffers from the same misconception of republicans and big business donations and lobbying efforts as most of the public.

APew Research Center Report in February 2010 found that commondescriptions of the republican party were, "for the rich, corporateinterests and greed."

Democrats were seen in the same report asthe party that "stands for the average person, the middle-class and theworking class."

Asked which party is more influenced bylobbyists and special interests, 40% of respondents said thatrepublicans were, while 32% chose democrats.

Thus, it is not surprising from this report that many across the U.S.A. would incorrectly figure that the Citizen's United ruling would favor republicans.

Excludingunions from the OpenSecrets top 50 industry list, we find that since1990 total industry donations to political campaigns/causes/lobbying ofdemocrats equals $3.959 BILLION, while the same source of donations torepublicans over the same period totaled $3.954 BILLION....virtuallyeven but democrats with slight edge.

If you add the unions backinto that mix, then totals to democrats go to $4.595 BILLION, whilerepublicans increase to $4.006 BILLION (53% VS. 47%), a larger edge todemocrats.

Since Citizens United was the political action groupresponsible for this ruling, let us look at how liberal groups andconservative groups compare over the last 20 years in supporting theirrespective causes/candidates.

Democrat/liberal groups, such as MoveOn.org,have since 1990 donated or invested $141 million in political races andcauses, while republican/conservative groups, such as Citizens Unitedhave given $106 million to their side...again, a slight edge todemocrats.

If we look at just the top 10 industry groups whichhave donated to political causes/campaigns over the last 20 years(includes biggies like lawyers/law firms, securities/investment, realestate, health professionals, insurance, and oil and gas industries),we find that dems lead this top 10 group with $2.45 billion compared tothe $1.99 billion received by republicans...edge to democrats.

Non-profits?

Since1990 non-profit organizations have donated $47 million to democratswhile only $15 million has gone to republicans...edge to democrats.

Thismisconception about big business being in the pocket of republicans isperpetuated by ignorance and false rhetoric from the media and thegovernment.

Chris Good writing for the Atlantic (Jan. 21, 2010)said: "as the pro-business party in US politics, republicans have had aclose relationship with business than have democrats."

Right.

CNN's"legal expert" Jeffrey Toobin said on Mar. 15, 2010: "The politicaleffect of, if not intention for, the decision was clear: Citizens United looks to be a big win for republicans, who are the likely beneficiaries of the newly lubricated corporate largess."

Uh huh.

Democrat Senator Arlen Spector called the Court's decision, "conservative activism."

The Slate'sNathaniel Persily was silly in writing on Jan. 25, 2010: "Corporationmoney will flow in great amounts towards ads supporting republicancandidates. Union money will flow as well, but not as much, so democrats and their causes might be at an disadvantage."

But not as much. horny.gif

A New York Times (Jan22, 2010) story said about the Court's ruling: "A conservative majorityhas distorted teh political system to ensure that republican candidateswill be at an enormous advantage in future elections."

Reporting for the Washington Post (2/17/2010), reporter Dan Eggan stated: "Corporations have traditionally favored republicans in their contribution patterns."

Really?
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