Just what we need: Big money gets in on Cabinet nomination fights


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Citizens United, you suck. I can't put it more starkly than that, although I could easily launch into an unprintable rant. Instead, I'll share an L.A. Times article that I ran across today that tells about more big donors with more money than most of us will see in our lifetimes are pouring more of their more money into more political fights and more candidates.

That's a whole lotta mores.

This anti-democratic practice is now sliming its way into supporting and opposing Cabinet nominees. One deep-pocketed backer of Chuck Hagel's (associates don't believe he knows Hagel personally, nor do they think he has any business ties to the defense industry) got involved after he saw all the attacks coming Hagel's way.

So what's a rich guy to do? Buy the nominee a Cabinet post, what else?

L.A. Times:

Bill Benter, a prolific donor to Democrats and liberal groups who keeps a low public profile, financed an ad campaign by a group of centrist national security veterans who hailed Hagel's "bipartisanship and independence of conscience and mind."

Benter's backing of Hagel, who will appear Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, comes as a small number of extremely rich donors are increasingly engaging in independent efforts to shape national politics. [...]

The intense fight over Hagel spotlights how wealthy interests are seeking to shape policy even beyond campaigns and traditional lobbying.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, which advocates for campaign finance reform, said, "Obviously, anyone who spends huge amounts of money to advocate for a Cabinet official is going to have a reasonable expectation of special access to that person."

This system of trying to purchase our officials hasn't served us well, and will only result in more corruption.

As you can see, I'm an equal opportunity smacker-downer of people using their wealth to buy influence. Benter is pro-lib, but that does not justify what he did nor what has been going on since the Supreme Court's terrible 2010 ruling.

And now it's spreading to Cabinet picks.