Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Why have disclosure of money?

Recent events have brought about interesting thoughts concerning attitudes about race relations in the South.  All of a sudden it seems conservative Republican leaders are giving serious thought to removing the Rebel battle flag from the top of public buildings--not only in South Carolina, but elsewhere in the Ol'e South.  Clearly, this change of heart was brought about by all of the adverse publicity concerning racial hatred involved in the slaughter of nine people as they worshiped in an old African American church in South Carolina.

The lesson to be learned from the shameful tragedy of the church in South Carolina is that now some of our Republican politicians are stumbling over themselves to hurry and return money which has been revealed to have come from Earl Holt, III.  Holt is a leader in a white supremacy group known as the Council of Conservative Citizens.  Ted Cruz, it was discovered, had accepted $11,000; Ran Paul an undisclosed amount; and Greg Abbott $1,000.  As soon as word got out they had received campaign money from this group, all suddenly had a pang of conscience to the extent that Ted Cruz wants to donate his to the victims of the killing.  My question is, if their hearts were in the right place and truly believed all Americans were brothers, at least in the eyes of God, why did they not consider giving the money back or not accepting it in the first place?  It seems pretty clear the motivation for these politicians returning the tainted money was the public revelation of from whence it came.  Voters, however, should know the source of hate speech, or speech contrary to the voter’s personal interest.

To me the scenario of politicians giving campaign money back once it is disclosed makes the very point that they do not want the public to know that many of their supporters are among tainted, unacceptable groups to a majority of Americans.  Why then should we continue to allow secret donors to buy our elections?  Even worse, we don’t even know who the buyers are, or what the ultimate price of the sale could be.

I’m appalled at good union members, workers and retirees, who do not see the dangers of letting folks like the Koch brothers spend almost a billion dollars to elect their choice of the next president of the United States.

Benefits such as the right to collective bargaining--in order to demand safer working conditions, to not be summarily discharged from your livelihood because someone didn’t like the way you parted your hair this morning--are important issues the Koch brothers and their followers do not like.  They would like to have the ultimate authority and make working people just one step away from being slaves.

It is far better for all of us if we could be protected against such occurrences--which are nothing more than buying elections, but even worse are elections bought when we don’t even have an idea who the buyers are!  We should not allow democracy to be for sale!

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