Follow the Money

We all develop an almost unconscious skill– judging the message by the messenger. Like when you half-notice a commercial about clean water, green energy, we care… we’re Beyond Petroleum…

Well, it’s hard not to flash on exploding oil rigs and dying birds. It’s a survival skill to not trust words over actions.

But when the message is appealing, and constant, and on the TV every thirty seconds– and the messenger is some bland organization like ‘Committee for a Better America’ ( I just made that name up, though there may be one)– it’s hard to sort out motive. Motive, of course, is the essential information you need when someone is trying to get your money or vote.

The ‘Citizens United’ decision by the Supreme Court lets corporations act as persons in the political realm. They’re persons just like us except more powerful. Kind of like the gods in Greek myths. Except they’re real. Don’t tick them off.

The Senate is voting on a measure today that would require big money to show its face. This is essential if we are to evaluate the flood of political speech coming our way. We need to know the interests of the speaker. The Disclose Act is a very mild reform, but it’s a start.

The Senate has before it a measure, known as the Disclose Act, that would fix this mess; the House has already passed its version. Unfortunately, it has not been able to attract any Republican support and therefore is short of the necessary 60 votes. In its current form, the measure would go beyond expanding disclosure requirements to prohibit certain kinds of corporations — for example, government contractors — from seeking to influence federal elections. But supporters are said to be willing to strip out all but the disclosure portions of the legislation and to delay its effective date until after the upcoming election.

Follow this link to the Washington Post for the rest of the article.

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