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How Corporations Buy Politicians

January 12, 2005

(broadcast stream ) (.wma download)
Guest: Bruce Freed, Co-Director of the Center for Political Accountability.
[Ed: The day after this broadcast, the Washington Post reported on its front page the large corporate donations to the President’s Inauguration campaign.
As the Presidential Inauguration approaches, corporations are shelling out more than $40 million dollars to buy access to the President. They shell out millions more to fete the Republican Congress. What are they getting for their money? Today, we explore the details of this legal and illegal bribery, corruption, and quid pro quo that is endemic to our One-Party State and rarely reported on by a quiescent corporate press. Mark finds the legal corruption more scandalous than the illegal corruption.
(Meanwhile, the President is making District of Columbia taxpayers — who, unlike other American citizens, are not allowed self-government or representation in Congress — foot the bill for his security. Since the residents of Washington are not allowed to participate in American democracy, I think the D.C. government should skimp on the President’s security. Maybe he should move the inauguration to a city where the people are free to elect their leaders. The People of Dallas, for example, may be more inclined to fork over their hard-earned wages to secure the President’s umpteen Inaugural Balls.)

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  • dean February 18, 2005 12:12 pm

    Mark Levine,,

  • Tracie January 19, 2005 11:08 pm

    Tell us about the corporate donations to the former President Clinton – let’s not pretend that this is something new with the Republicans. All of you know this has been going on forever and that your dear darling democrats aren’t exempt.

  • The american Bar Association January 15, 2005 1:07 pm

    You’re in a jail cell with Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, and a lawyer–and you have a handgun with three bullets–What do you do to protect yourself?
    Ans. Shoot the lawyer three times (make sure he’s dead)

  • Randy January 15, 2005 10:40 am

    No personal offense to you Mark, but a bit of humor (albeit truth)on this right to sue matter.
    A Charlotte, NC lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire, among other things. Within in a month, having smoked its entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated that the cigars were “lost in a series of small fires.” The Insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the lawyer had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The Lawyer sued…and WON [stay with this]…
    In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer “held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them
    against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire” and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal procedures, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss or the rare cigars lost in the fire.
    NOW FOR THE BEST PART…After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine. This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.

  • Skip January 13, 2005 6:40 pm

    Dave, Everything below the dollar signs is from the guy in Ohio. As far as JK goes, I have no idea what is going on. He rolled over way too early, as far as I’m concerned. It’s impossible to determine the validity of anything in one day. Even Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, voted against the Barbara Boxer thingee. He was getting hammered on Thom Hartmann’s show last Friday by callers, but he stood by his position. There is just too much stuff going on behind the scenes.