Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Dollar, One Vote

Getting What They Pay For

 ~ Where can you reliably get a return on investment of 22,000%? Not even Wall Street insiders can profit like that consistently, but corporations can.

They just "invest" in politicians.

The Fossil Fuel Industry is particularly adept:
The dirty-energy industry lavishes money on campaigns and lobbying. Not surprisingly, among its favorite sons are Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who famously apologized to BP for Congress’s criticism during the Gulf oil disaster, and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), who insists the science of global warming is a hoax and has likened the US Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo. Rep. Barton has raked in $1,914,183 and Sen. Inhofe $1,287,950 from Big Coal and Oil—amounts that bring to mind social critic Upton Sinclair’s observation: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Here in the Pacific Northwest the linkage is clear, with King Coal and Big Oil pouring nearly $5M into the coffers of federal politicians since 1999, a figure which doesn't include corresponding "investments" by those firms' major shareholders, nor any sums given to lobbyists, PACs and the new Super-PACs. The chart at the top shows corporate donations to candidates, and the results they bought.
Their contributions since 1999 from coal and oil companies show up as the length of their bar, and the percentage listed with each bar displays the share of the time that they have sided with the fossil-fuel interests in twelve key votes. Seven of the top eight recipients of dirty-energy political dollars voted with Big Coal and Oil 100 percent of the time. Of the twelve who received the least dirty-energy money, nine never voted with Big Coal and Oil, two voted with them just once, and only one voted the Big Coal and Oil line.
Money well-spent for those corporate interests, but not so much for the people.

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