The latest co-signed bit of sunshine from the Pennacchio team.

Last week we showed how corporations and special interests hide behind hip, pastoral, patriotic sounding PACs to funnel huge sums of money to Congressional campaigns. As of September 30th, Bob Casey and Rick Santorum shared 239 of the very same contributors. This week, how PACs control our government by controlling the candidates.

Since 1907, it has been illegal for corporations to contribute money to federal campaigns; for unions, since 1943. PACs provide a nifty end-run around the law. Last year, PACs dumped $310.5 million into federal campaigns. And why not? In 2004, Boeing spent $1.6 million on campaigns through its PAC and collected $17.1 billion in government contracts, a 1,068,650% return on investment! There are similar figures [.pdf] for other contractors, and lengthy rap sheets detailing their corporate misconduct, here.

Bob Casey, Jr. says he can take PAC money and remain independent. So why is Mr. Casey’s response to 45 million Americans and 1.38 million Pennsylvanians with no health insurance so anemic? He supports expanding CHIP, which covers children only, and employer incentives, which don’t protect against skyrocketing costs, won’t reduce paperwork, and are not mandatory. We lose business and 18,000 lives [.pdf] each year because of our backward, cost-prohibitive system of health care funding. A 2003 study showed that 2 out of 3 Americans would prefer universal health care to our current system. Why doesn’t the supposedly populist Casey champion universal health care? Maybe it’s because he’s taken money from 28 insurers, 12 drug companies, 11 hospital and 15 medical specialty PACs, many of whom prefer to control their costs by raising premiums and limiting our access to care. This is why we pay more than twice as much per capita for health care [.pdf] as other industrialized nations, nearly all of whom get better results!

Casey says he can’t support a woman’s right to choose or embryonic stem cell research because it’s against his religion. Yet his church opposed the war in Iraq, which Casey says he would have voted to initiate and fund, and which he supports to this day. Why? Perhaps because he’s taken from 15 defense contractors, none of whom would be pleased to see the United States leave Iraq now.

Do politicians like Casey want to take what amounts to bribe money? We don’t think so. They think that without it, you can’t win races. Yet with it, Democrats are not winning races. With it, our civil government, once the envy of the world, has been gutted. With it, we’ve exchanged our common wealth for generational debt. With it, people exist to serve corporations, not the other way ’round. Let’s face it folks, this isn’t working. And every politician who takes PAC money is propping up a system that strangles democracy and picks our pockets clean. Enough is enough.

Chuck always says that you can’t change politics without changing politics. That’s why Pennacchio for PA doesn’t take PAC money. But the other side of the equation is this: we have to take back our government, we have to do it without a zillion dollars, and the people in control don’t want to hand it over. In the weeks ahead, we’ll talk about how we’re going to make it happen. Look for our next mailblast on Rick Santorum, and why it pays to be crazy.

Julian, Stephanie, Sabra, Dan, Liz, Albert, Danie, and Dave

0 0 votes
Article Rating