Saturday, September 1, 2012

Politicians No Longer Bothering With Public Events - Thanks Citizens United!

Over at, they have an interesting article on yet another negative side effect of Citizens United:
Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan is coming on Sept. 10 for what has become a ritual of the 2012 campaign — a four-figure fundraiser followed by a five-figure fundraiser, both held on the Eastside.

Public rallies and stops are becoming an endangered species of the 2012 campaign.

Two reasons explain the change: One is cash, the relentless drive for dollars in the new, post-Citizens United era of unlimited spending. The other is control, keeping the peoples’ representatives away from hostile constituents and erecting a barrier against gaffes. Gaffes can go viral.


A old tactic from Clinton’s public rallies has been adapted to today’s pay-to-play politics. No longer does a politician get to introduce the president, vice president or candidate. A small-business owner or disease survivor does the honor, giving profuse thanks to the leader.

Otherwise, the big givers get attention. They get treated like royalty at conventions: Just read Ken Vogel’s reporting in Politico on Republican SuperPAC brass in Tampa. Locally, givers get a variety of venues.

A renowned gardening expert hosted Jay Inslee on Bainbridge Island last weekend; the gorgeous Methow Valley digs of a CEO are the scene for an Inslee event this weekend. Or, hold off and go to the Bill Clinton lunch on Sept. 15, and maybe put down $5,000 to have a photo taken with Elvis.

Mitt Romney did not even announce his last Puget Sound foray, a pricey dinner in Medina. The Ryan visit will apparently feature a $1,000 reception and a more “intimate” $25,000 dinner.
In other words, Citizens United did nothing more than make the buying and selling of our government open and legal. And unless you've got mega-millions, there isn't anything you can do until we can get the law abolished.

Now it's clearer why multimillionaire Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele vetoed the Move to Amend referendum. He'd no longer be able to just keep buying elections.

It also shows you what the right is most afraid of: Having the same rights as those they detest and look down on. Elitism at its very worst.

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