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State, national columnists

Government for sale to highest bidder

By April 08, 2014

Look for this advertisement on TV, your local newspaper and online in the not too distant future:

“For sale at auction: 535 Seats in the U.S. Congress – 100 in Upper House and 435 in Lower Chamber. Seats to be occupied by person of buyer’s choice after bipartisan elective process with no restrictions on qualifications of candidates other than those set out by the major bidders.

“Reserve: $1 million per seat.

“Bidder must certify personal net worth of $200 million or more. Average citizens need not apply.

“Seat carries desk on main floor of domed building now referred to frequently as the ‘Cave of the Winds’ and individual offices in nearby structures. Also included with each seat is pro-rated share of sprawling government complex with extensive grounds and adjacent structures, restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, meeting rooms, fleet of vehicles, separate library, priceless art and statues, parking facilities and fountains. Extremely valuable hideaways in main building where nefarious schemes are hatched and assignations conducted under influence of alcoholic spirits will be auctioned apart from general bidding.

“Certifying agency: the U.S. Supreme Court, which is located immediately across the street from auctioned grounds. Bidders should contact chief sales agent John G. Roberts Jr., or one of four assistants – Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

“Authority for sale: The First Amendment of the U.S Constitution free-speech provision as interpreted by sales agent and cohorts. All other heretofore restrictions on buying and selling of seats and or candidates are hereby abrogated. Other adjustments to the elective process will be dealt with as need occurs.

“Dates of sale will be determined but extending over several months, with final purchase culminating in November every two years. All sales are final even if bidder’s candidate fails to win. No refunds granted.

“A separate announcement will follow for auction of residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the city of Washington, District of Columbia.

“Notice: Sales agent expects to change the motto under which Republic was founded to ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy’ with apologies to Will Rogers whose statue occupies a prominent spot in the Capitol building.”

Do you think I’m kidding here? That my poor attempt at satire has no basis in reality? Well, anyone who doesn’t believe that the Supreme Court has not just shouted fire in a crowded theater when it comes to the election process has been spending too much time in Colorado buying more than a little of what we used to be put in jail for smoking.

The bolts that secure the dome to the nation’s symbol of democracy have been more than just loosened by the high court’s narrow decision in the name of free speech to take off the limits on aggregate contributions from individuals to federal candidates and political committees. It of course follows the Citizens United decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions without lifting the restraints on direct contributions to candidates. One can anticipate the death of limits on direct contributions sometime soon.

While the vote last week broke along the usual philosophical lines of this court with conservatives taking the edge, both political parties began immediately rounding up their usual whales to finance the coming midterms. We’re talking about the really big boys here, the multi-billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, the gambling magnate, and the Koch brothers, who already support half the conservative causes in America on the Republican side, and the likes of George Soros and Warren Buffet for the Democrats.

I wonder if the founders of this great nation ever considered that someone might amass the kind of wealth these guys and their families have accumulated and that the corrupting influence such wealth portends ultimately might undercut what they had in mind when they wrote the Constitution and added a bedrock amendment of freedoms? If they meant the First Amendment to be a protection of political speech from government interference as Chief Justice Roberts concluded, is not giving a handful of super wealthy individuals control of the system without restraint doing just about the same?

How can someone who scrapes up one hundred bucks to give to a candidate or a political cause expect to be heard? The truth is he should save his money. Is not his free speech being impinged upon?

Dan Thomasson is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune and a former vice president of Scripps Howard Newspapers. Readers may send him email at: [email protected]

Dan K. Thomasson


Discussion | 10 comments

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  • The MisterApril 08, 2014 - 7:28 am

    Government isn't for sale... it's already been bought. It was created "bought". Senator Simon Cameron said, "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought." Our government has already been bought... by "the banks and corporations that will grow up around them," said Jefferson. He continued, "I believe that (private) banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The (currency) issuing power should be taken from the (private) banks and restored tot he people, to whom it properly belongs."

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  • rlw895April 08, 2014 - 8:01 am

    It's always been the case that democracy is hard. It requires a virtuous public. When that's the case one person's money won't matter. Massachusetts elected Elizabeth Warren. Is she "bought?" Are they more virtuous than us?

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  • The MisterApril 08, 2014 - 9:32 am

    Is Elizabeth Warren bought? We know she's crooked and a liar. For decades she claimed to be part Cherokee, "a person of color", and took every governmental and academic preferential program to further her ambitions. Warren claimed her great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee. That was a lie. The truth is that Warren is as White as her fellow Democrats that formed the KKK. The truth is that Warren's great-great-great grandfather was part of the militia unit that rounded-up Cherokees from their homes in the prelude to the death march known as the Trail of Tears. Isn't that just like a politician... call the truth a lie and her lie the truth.

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  • BJApril 08, 2014 - 9:41 pm

    Her fellow democrats formed the KKK? Mister, what meds are you on?

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  • rlw895April 09, 2014 - 1:32 am

    Yes, a few of her "fellow Democrats" of the 19th century, who became Republicans by the 1960s. History provides too many inconvenient truths for TM.

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  • rlw895April 09, 2014 - 1:53 am

    TM: Is that all you've got?

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  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-owns-the-federal-reserve/10489April 08, 2014 - 8:51 am

    Google... Who Owns The Federal Reserve? The Fed is privately owned. Its shareholders are private banks By Ellen Brown Global Research, February 08, 2014 Web of Debt and Global Research 8 October 2008..... “Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.” – The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s.... For the sake of your Children and Grandchildren Please read this... and VOTE FOR ELEN BROWN FOR CALIFORNIA TREASURER..... Also what I want to know is... Who really owns and controls the Associated Press?..... What members of the Associated Press took part in the Sandy Hook Hoax also? Remember "our" Government is not "our" Government in belongs to the International Banking Corporate Cartel.

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  • SavetheRepublicApril 08, 2014 - 9:01 am

    I also thought about doing a mini analysis of Phil Bronstein and his relationship to the ?San Francisco Chronicle and " The Center for Investigative Reporting" ( NOT ? ) because he did this....February 11, 2013 - A lengthy and in-depth piece by the Center for Investigative Reporting's Phil Bronstein — published in Esquire — details the story of the Navy SEAL who says he was the man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden. Speaking about the raid, he also shares his story about the rough ...... because Osama Bin Laden was dead by the end of 2001, beginning of 2002 so why are "we" propping up the Obama Legend of the killing of Bin Laden? Especially after "our" government killed Seal Team Six?

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  • JagApril 08, 2014 - 9:47 am

    This is one of those spots that the hard left and the hard right come together, There is an idea out there right now called the liberty amendments, the basic idea is for the states to take back control by being able to change laws with two thirds vote it also installs term limits for the house and senate and changes the life time judgeship to the U.S supreme court, It is a good start and I wish we could all get behind it

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  • PornacApril 08, 2014 - 12:41 pm

    The rich deserve the chance to give more because there are so few of them.

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