Saturday, October 1, 2016
By Jim Hightower
In a mindboggling trick, some magicians levitate themselves. But remember, the key word in “magic trick” – is trick.
And magicians aren’t the only ones performing. Scott Walker, for example, is quite the political trickster.
This right-wing extremist became so unpopular in his first term as Wisconsin’s governor that he faced a recall election in 2012. Yet, he seemed to rise in front of our very eyes, miraculously lifting himself above the public’s anger to avoid defeat.
How’d he do that?
As reported by The Guardian, some 1,500 secret emails, court testimonies, and financial records were recently uncovered, revealing that Walker had a hidden lifeline of corporate cash hoisting him up.
Despite a Wisconsin law specifically prohibiting corporations from funding political candidates, millions of those banned dollars were pumped into the governor’s campaign.
The trick is that corporate checks were sent to supposedly independent political outfits that – thanks to the Supreme Court’s ridiculous Citizens United decree – are allowed to take unlimited campaign funds from corporations without disclosing the names of the donors.
This is all provided that the independent groups don’t in any way coordinate their electoral efforts with the campaign of the candidates they want to elect.
Even when obeyed, this farcical rule essentially sanctions organized corporate corruption, but Walker and company didn’t even try to follow the rules. Rather, the governor asked everyone from the Koch brothers to Home Depot to Donald Trump to funnel checks to the “independent” political groups backing him.
Walker wrote personal thank-you notes to the donors, and even had his media strategist handle the ads for both his campaign and the groups.
Scott Walker, his front groups, and his corporate donors aren’t a magic act – they’re debouched thieves, stealing our democracy to impose their plutocracy over us.
The cat’s out of the bag.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.