Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What union-busting billionaires don't like to talk about: how they bought the November election

David Koch is the union-busting billionaire who was booed at the ballet after journalists exposed his efforts to destroy the middle class. One of those journalists is a blogger named Lee Fang. Fang has shone a light on the role that Koch and his brother Charles played in funding "charitable" organizations that "educate" the public about why corporations need to be more powerful.

Earlier this month, Lee Fang happened to run into David Koch and his lackey Tim Phillips on Capital Hill -- and he happened to have a videographer with him. So he asked Koch some questions about climate change and the Tea Party (which Koch also funds). Koch cheerfully answered those questions. But there were two things he wouldn't talk about: Citizens United and a secret meeting they held last year with Glenn Beck, the Chamber of Commerce and other billionaires to plan their election strategy.

This is what the billionaires don't want you to know -- how they secretly pull the puppet strings of politicians. The Citizens United legal decision gives the billionaires even more sway over the government. It was a travesty of justice in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporations should be treated as individuals under federal election law. That meant corporations could secretly pour billions of dollars into electing their favorite corporate-friendly politicians. By one estimate, corporations spent $600 million on the November elections.

Justice Louis Brandeis was a much better Supreme Court justice than the ones who voted for Citizens United. He understood the threat posed by billionaires like David Koch. Brandeis said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."