One way to discover what a candidate’s priorities would be if they were to take office is to see who is supporting their election. This year, it is hard to know exactly who is funding the Republicans, because they are being supported by numerous outside organizations that are spending tens of millions of dollars but that do not have to report where they are getting that money from. What is clear is that eight misleadingly-named corporate front groups are planning to spend more than $250 million this election cycle, with almost all of it devoted to defeating Democrats and electing Republicans.
- Chamber of Commerce – $20.5 million spent so far – planning to spend $75 million or more total – 501(c)(6) organization – does not have to disclosure its donors
- Americans for Prosperity – planning to spend $45 million – run by the billionaire Koch brothers – donors are not disclosed – organization has led the fight against tobacco regulation, and also bankrolled the start of the tea party and opposition to health care reform
- American Crossroads – $13.5 million spent so far – expect to spend $55 million total, plus $10 million on get out the vote efforts – run by Karl Rove and GOP consultant – funding is funneled through a spinoff organization – the Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies – which does not have to disclose its donors
- Americans for Job Security – $8 million so far – 501(c)(6) trade association, founded by insurance and logging interests – no donor disclosure, but is known to have received funding from the pharmaceutical industry and other industries over the years
- American Future Fund – $7.7 million spent so far – expects to spend $25 million total – Iowa-based organization that appears to have ties to the ethanol industry – does not disclose its donors
- 60 Plus Association – expects to spend $6.9 million – appears to be a pharmaceutical industry front group, and has fought to privatize Social Security and to eliminate the estate tax – does not have to disclose donors
- Club for Growth – $4.5 million spent so far – aiming for $24 million total – does not disclose donors
- American Action Network – plans to spend $25 million – does not disclose its donors
This huge influx of money to fight against Democrats is great evidence that large corporations know that it is Republicans who will do their bidding in Washington, while it is Democrats who have fought to curb those corporate interests in order to protect every day Americans.
For example, Democrats are:
- Reforming Wall Street by regulating derivatives, working to prevent future bailouts, and creating a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Reforming Student Loans by shifting $65 billion away from subsidizing banks and toward increasing student loans
- Reining in Shady Recruiting and Tuition Practices at for-profit colleges and universities
- Stopping Abusive Health Insurance Industry Practices by ending pre-existing condition exclusions, retroactive policy cancellations, and requiring that at least 80-85% of your premiums are spent on health care
- Reining in the Credit Card Industry by prohibiting retroactive interest rate increases and limiting fees and penalties
- Phasing out the Medicare Donut Hole and ended unnecessary insurance industry subsidies in the Medicare program
In short, corporate interests are spending $250 million to fight Democrats because they know that Democrats are working to break the stranglehold that those interests have on our political system. If you want to make sure that secretive corporate donors are not able to buy the election for the Republicans, sign up to volunteer for your local Democratic candidate, write a letter to your local newspaper editor, and talk to your family, friends, and neighbors to remind them that the Democrats are on our side, while Republicans are on the side of secretive corporate interests.