Author Topic: Who bankrolls Bush and his Democratic counterparts...  (Read 61 times)

infinite59

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Who bankrolls Bush and his Democratic counterparts...
« on: January 17, 2004, 07:21:46 PM »
Who Bankrolls Bush and his Democratic Rivals?
A look at the presidential race
January 09, 2004 <http://www.bop2004.org/bop2004/report.aspx?aid=132>

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2004 - Enron Corp., the Houston-
based energy firm that touched off a financial, legal
and political scandal when it declared bankruptcy in
December 2001, remains the top career patron of
President George W. Bush, whose prolific fundraising in
2003 shattered all previous records for candidates.
Enron's employees and political action committee have
given more than $600,000 to Bush over the course of his political career,
according to a new Center for Public Integrity book, The Buying of the
President 2004 (HarperCollins).

In 2003, executives of the reorganized Enron-including
Joseph W. Sutton, the company's chairman-continued to contribute to the Bush
campaign.

Bush has already raised more money than any other
candidate in history in the year before the election, a whopping $85.2
million. That comes in the context of what has already been a record primary
season for candidate fundraising. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean opted out
of the public financing system, which limits what candidates can spend in the
primaries, citing the need to challenge Bush's prodigious fundraising as his
reason; Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry followed suit, relying on his personal
wealth to fuel his campaign. Late entrant Wesley Clark touted the more than
$10 million his campaign raised in its first full quarter of fundraising, and
even dark horse candidate Dennis Kucinich touted his larger-than-expected
campaign coffers on his Web site.

Every major White House contender who has held past
elective office has "career patrons," or longtime
financial sponsors, who have underwritten his or her
political career. And every major aspirant has used his government position
to help his patrons.

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really
Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers-and What
They Expect in Return by Charles Lewis and the Center
for Public Integrity is the only book to offer
investigative profiles of all the major party candidates
for president. The book tracks each candidate's
relationships to his or her career patrons.

A team of 53 researchers, writers and editors at the
Center for Public Integrity gathered and analyzed tens
of thousands of pages of government data obtained from
the Federal Election Commission, state campaign finance regulatory bodies,
and federal agencies through the Freedom of Information Act, to provide the
most in-depth analysis of the large donors behind those seeking the White
House. The money race has its costs, the Center
found:

  * While he was governor of Texas, Bush relied on
    Enron and its then-chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay for
    more than just campaign contributions. When Bush
    needed help launching his education plan, Lay,
    through the auspices of a quasi-official advisory
    group called the Governor's Business Council,
    pledged his support. When Bush wanted to start an
    internship program in the governor's office, Lay
    followed through with the funding. And when Lay
    wanted changes to tort, tax or environmental law,
    Bush returned the favors.

  * Bush, who has signaled an interest in Social
    Security privatization, and even appointed a
    commission that concluded in December 2001 that any
    reform of the New Deal program should "include a
    system of voluntary personal accounts," numbers
    financial firms Merrill Lynch & Co. (his second most
    generous career patron), Credit Suisse First Boston
    (fifth), UBS Paine Webber (eighth) and Goldman Sachs
    Group (ninth) among his top ten patrons. All were
    members of a group called the Coalition for American
    Financial Security, which favors privatization-and
    the millions of individual stock market accounts
    (and brokerage fees to administer them) that would
    be created.

  * In 1999, while he was CEO of Halliburton, Vice
    President Dick Cheney wrote a letter to his
    predecessor in that office, Al Gore, opposing more
    stringent air standards. "Implementation of these
    standards," he wrote to Gore, "would cause great
    harm to consumers, my own industry, and the U.S.
    economy and will still not deliver the promised
    significant enhancement of health protection to the
    American public." As Vice President, Cheney played a
    lead role in shaping the administration's energy
    policies, which critics charge will lead to greater
    pollution and lower air quality. In his letter,
    Cheney also called on Gore to address any new
    standards in "full and open debate"- an ironic
    request, given that the secrecy surrounding Vice
    President Cheney's own energy policy task force
    generated an unprecedented lawsuit by the General
    Accounting Office and other suits that will soon be
    considered by the Supreme Court of the United
    States. For more on Cheney's letter, see "Full and
    Open Debate".

  * While governor, Howard Dean pushed for utility
    contract provisions that aided the power companies,
    but cost Vermont families millions of dollars in
    skyrocketing rates. Vermont has the sixth highest
    utility rates in the country, due in part to a
    series of long-term contracts between its major
    power companies. After years of pushing for Central
    Vermont Public Service Corp. and the smaller
    utilities it held to absorb the excess costs of
    their expensive contracts, Dean's Department of
    Public Service agreed to let ratepayers be billed
    for more than 90 percent of the excess costs-which
    could soar into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
    Central Vermont Public Service Corp. donated more
    than $10,000 to Dean's Fund for a Healthy America
    PAC-a hefty contribution in a state that limits
    campaign contributions for statewide offices to
    $400.

  * Securities and Exchange records show that Acxiom,
    a company that was seeking Homeland Security
    contracts, agreed to pay Gen. Wesley Clark hundreds
    of thousands of dollars for his help in persuading
    the government to buy the company's wares. Clark was
    a registered lobbyist while he served as a military
    analyst on CNN, and was still a lobbyist when he
    declared his candidacy on Sept. 17, 2003.

  * Rep. Richard Gephardt tried to lower taxes on
    alcohol at least five times over the years, much to
    the pleasure of his largest career patron, Anheuser
    Busch, which has given him more than $517,000 over
    the years.

  * Senator John Kerry wrote letters to the FCC asking
    it to delay its spectrum auction, keeping in line
    with his brother's law firm, which represents the
    telecommunications industry and has given the
    senator more than $210,000.

  * After receiving hundreds of thousands of
    contributions from biotechnology companies, Senator
    Joseph Lieberman hired the industry's top lobbyist
    for his staff and went on to introduce and co-
    sponsor bills for which this sector lobbied.

As previous editions of the book illustrated in 1996 and
2000, big money, special interests and large
contributors pre-select the candidates for president
before a single primary vote is recorded, and they
influence the policies and platforms of the candidates
seeking the nation's highest office.

The Buying of the President 2004 also provides new
information about the "Top 50 Patrons" of the two major political parties,
which illuminates the relationships between the presidential candidates and
their respective parties. For example, the top "soft money" (large, unlimited
contributions) donor to the Republican Party since 1991 has been Philip
Morris, contributing $10.3 million. The top "soft money" donor to the
Democratic Party since 1991 has been the American Federation of State,
County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), contributing $16.5 million.

The book includes chapters on the bitter primary battle
Bush campaign workers waged against John McCain, and
looks closely at the Florida recount of 2000 and how President-elect Bush
failed to reveal the names of hundreds of donors on his disclosure forms,
including that of White House strategist Karl Rove. The book also profiles
the Republican and Democratic parties, and offers an in-depth look at the
first years of the Bush administration.

The Center for Public Integrity will continue to update
its information on the candidates and their career
patrons throughout the 2004 campaign on our Web site.

In 1996, the Center released the first edition of The
Buying of the President, a month before the first
caucuses and primaries. It became a finalist for the Investigative Reporters
and Editors (IRE) annual book award. As part of its continuing look at the
1996 campaign, the Center broke the "Lincoln Bedroom" campaign finance
scandal involving the Clinton White House; its Public i report won the
Society of Professional Journalists "Public Service" newsletter award. In The
Buying of the President 2000, which was also a finalist for the IRE book
award, the Center was the first to identify Enron as Bush's top career patron.


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Trauma-san

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Re:Who bankrolls Bush and his Democratic counterparts...
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2004, 10:39:22 PM »
Hey! At least this one slams both sides!
 

infinite59

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Re:Who bankrolls Bush and his Democratic counterparts...
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2004, 08:50:30 PM »
Hey! At least this one slams both sides!

There are no sides.  Democrats and Republicans are the same thing.  Each side is ran by big business.  If you want a real candidate; you would have to vote for someone who isn't paid for by special interest groups.