Friday, March 8, 2013

Senator Carl Levin promises to tackle "secret money" before leaving at the end of his term

Although I'm sad to hear that Senator Carl Levin (D - MI) will not be running again in 2014, I'm happy to know that one of his priorities during the next two years is doing something about the "secret dollars" flowing into political campaigns.  From Senator Levin's recent email:
A third item I want to tackle is a growing blight on our political system that I believe I can help address: the use of secret money to fund political campaigns. Our tax laws are supposed to prevent secret contributions to tax exempt organizations for political purposes. My Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations needs to look into the failure of the IRS to enforce our tax laws and stem the flood of hundreds of millions of secret dollars flowing into our elections, eroding public confidence in our democracy.
In my opinion, "secret money" as well as big, but not-so-secret money is the main reason the Republicans in Congress are refusing to consider increasing revenue through closing tax loopholes that are essentially welfare for the wealthy and corporations.  As a result, average citizens have to bear cuts like these:  32 of the most damaging Sequester cuts.

Many of the biggest donors to Republicans, for example, the Koch brothers oil & gas barons,  do not like government and have an "I've got mine, to heck with the rest of you" attitude.  Their political agenda includes issues like these:
Repealing health care reform
Dismantling collective bargaining rights*
Fighting Wall Street reform
Keeping corporate money in elections
* Michigan becomes a "Right to Work" state later this month in large part because big money from the Kochs and Michigan's own Dick DeVos was used to bludgeon the Republicans with threats of funding "righter" candidates to run against them.
As Involved Voters, we need to get the message out about what happens when we let our government go up for sale to the highest bidder.  One dollar, one vote is the opposite of democracy and is counter to our Constitution.