June 23, 2012

Election Money Madness by Donald L. Cleveland

            The madness of spending money to win an elected office is reaching a point similar to the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland.  Elections are no longer won on the issues of the public welfare, but on the largess of the greatest propaganda machine output.  “A lie told often enough becomes the truth!” 

            Just for example, according to Mother Jones, the present dollar cost of Abraham Lincoln’s campaign was $2.8 million.  Then 100 years later, the Humphrey-Nixon-Wallace race topped $600 million.  Many thought that the 2008 Presidential Election was a barn burner with a $1.8 billion spent.  The interim U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United has opened the flood gates.  Now, PAC’S and large corporations can open their treasuries to elect those who will do their bidding.   News sources are predicting unprecedented spending in this year’s election.  Business Week and Reuters News have projected that at current levels of fund raising and spending the 2012 Presidential election will reach $6 billion in spending. News Max.com has predicted a total of $8 billion.

            While the candidates try to imply that it’s the small contributions that drive their campaigns, the reality is that few average citizens can afford a $35,000 a plate dinner to be with a candidate.  Then when it comes time to pitch a point to provide a change in the law it just takes a phone call from a member on the large contributor’s list to get an appointment with the chief of staff, the candidate or the President.  A contribution of $5 to $100 might not even merit a robo signature letter reply to a request to visit the Whitehouse.

            The large contributors also know how to butter their bread on both sides.  The Fanjul family , Florida sugar barons, have provided large contributions to both parties.  They could then ensure that regardless of who won, they could still get a favorable hearing on sugar subsidies and import duties.

            So, it is really important to ask if one vote really counts in an election dominated by such vulgar campaign spending?  Does your vote count?

One vote counts.  Make your vote count (editor's note)!

June 16, 2012

Archaic Immigration Laws

Obama-Napolitano Announcement Keeps Over 800,000 Dreams Alive
Today, President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitanoannounced that the Administration will stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible youth.  The Administration will also review and grant, on a case-by-case basis, deferred action and work authorization to young people who are not in deportation proceedings and who meet the following criteria:
  • Entered the United States before the age of 16 and have not yet turned 30.
  • Have continuously lived in the United States for at least five years.
  • Are currently in school, have graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses.
Over 800,000 students will benefit from this decision, which means that over 800,000 dreams have a better chance of being fulfilled.  Preserving the ability for students in this country to go to school and on to college without fear of being ripped away from their US homeland is more than a victory for these students.  It is a victory for the country, because we will all be enriched by the talents and contributions of these young Americans.  Read NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s letter to President Obama and Secretary Napolitano.