The Grotesque Corporate Monstrosity Unleashed By Citizens United
By Robert B. Reich, Robert Reich's Blog
If Mitt Romney becomes president I’m to blame. Ten years ago I ran for the Democratic nomination for governor of
I blew it. In the final week of the primary I was neck and neck with the state treasurer, but then my money ran out, which meant my TV ads stopped. Declining the suggestion of my campaign manager to take out a second mortgage on my home, I frantically phoned anyone I could find who hadn’t yet contributed $500, the maximum state law allowed. I didn’t raise beans. In the end, the treasurer won the primary, Romney won the general election and became governor, and I went back to being a professor.
But my fantasy of beating Romney may be nothing more than a fantasy because Romney had — and still has — something I never did, and I’m not referring to his gleaming white teeth, carefully-coiffed hairline, or height. He has money, and he has connections to much more money.
Mitt Romney was and is the candidate of big money.
In the last weeks before the just-completed
It came from a Super PAC called “Restore Our Future,” which can sop up unlimited amounts from a few hugely wealthy donors without even disclosing their names. That’s because “Restore Our Future” is officially independent of the Romney campaign — although its chief fundraiser comes out of Romney’s finance team, its key political strategist was political director of Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, its treasurer is Romney’s former chief counsel, and its media whiz had been part of Romney’s media team.
“Restore Our Future” is to Mitt Romney’s campaign as the dark side of the moon is to the moon. And it reveals the grotesque result of the Supreme Court’s decision a year ago in Citizen United vs the Federal Election Commission, which reversed more than a century of efforts to curb the influence of big money on politics.
If income and wealth in
Other candidates have quietly set up Super PACs of their own, but his unique ties to big money enable Romney to take most advantage of the Court’s scurrilous invitation.
The New York Times reports
More than anyone else running for president, Mitt Romney personifies the top 1 percent in
It’s his connections to the epicenters of big money in
Romney, in other words, is the candidate Citizens United created, the creature given life by the Supreme Court playing Dr. Frankenstein. Romney is the true son of Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito.
Given what the Court has wrought, my conscience is less burdened. Had I whipped Romney’s ass ten years ago I might only have delayed his awakening. But I fear for the country.
Robert Reich is professor of public policy at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was secretary of labor in the
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs