At Risk: America’s Democratic Heritage

A letter to the Editor Written by SEA Member, John Hancock for the Concord Monitor, published on July 5, 2012

Reacting to the Citizens United decision, President Obama stated, “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests.” But despite Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito’s arrogant denial, that’s exactly what’s happening.

In the 2010 election hundreds of millions of dollars were spent across the nation without the public knowing the source of these campaign funds. In the waning weeks of the 2010 campaign the people of New Hampshire were bombarded by a reported $1.5 million from anonymous donors in television advertisements by the group Revere America, which smeared Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, Democratic candidates for Congress. Revere America is a deceptively designated 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization that’s exactly like Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads GPS.

Rove credits Citizens United with enabling him to raise a projected $240 million to defeat Obama and other Democrats. Rove is infamous for running dishonest campaign commercials as he did in 2010 against Democratic Senate candidate Paul Hodes.

Citizens United did reaffirm the Supreme Court’s support for accountability in campaign spending. But led by Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans including Kelly Ayotte are expected to filibuster the disclosure bill. Whatever benefits unions have derived from Citizens United will likely be lost as the overtly political reactionaries on the John Roberts court continue their own despicable campaign to destroy organized labor.

America’s democratic heritage is being lost as the super rich like the Koch brothers, sponsors of the noxious Tea Party, corrupt the government while engineering the corporate coup that’s taking over our country.

JOHN S. HANCOCK

Concord

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