“State for Sale” reads the lead story on the Huffington Post this morning. It’s a very sad story – how one man freed by the Citizen’s United Supreme Court to spend as much as he wants can essentially buy a state legislature.
That state legislature has now redistricted to favor conservative candidates and passed voter id laws to restrict the poor, college students and minorities from voting.
Is your state next? Of course, it is. All you need is one of the country’s wealthy “elite” and a little political ambition. Most state campaigns are only a few thousand dollars. Spend two or three times that much and the legislature will fall into your lap like a ripe apple.
What will the new legislature do? Cut university funding and repeal taxes? You bet!
This is the brave new world of Citizens United. Aren’t you glad you’ve lived to see the day when corporate personhood become the law of the land? It arms every wealthy conservative activist with the tool for victory – the power to use as much money as he wants.
Even some North Carolinians associated with Jesse Helms think that Pope has gone too far. Jim Goodmon, the president and C.E.O. of Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns the CBS and Fox television affiliates in Raleigh, says, “I was a Republican, but I’m embarrassed to be one in North Carolina because of Art Pope.” Goodmon’s grandfather A. J. Fletcher was among Helms’s biggest backers, having launched him as a radio and television commentator. Goodmon describes Pope’s forces as “anti-community,” adding, “The way they’ve come to power is to say that government is bad. Their only answer is to cut taxes.” Goodmon believes that Pope’s agenda is not even good for business, because the education cuts he’s helped bring about will undermine the workforce. “If you want to create good jobs, you need good schools,” he says. “We’re close to the bottom out of the fifty states in education spending, and if they could take it down further they would.” He says of Pope, “It’s never about making things better. It’s all about tearing the other side down.”
The article is written by Jane Mayer.
- Art Pope, Citizens United, And North Carolina Politics (huffingtonpost.com)
- How One Man Took Control of North Carolina (politicalwire.com)
- Jane Mayer: Art Pope, Citizens United, and North Carolina politics. (newyorker.com)
- Equality Under Attack: North Carolina (guprogressive.com)
- North Carolina Governor Calls On Congress To Suspend Elections (outsidethebeltway.com)