[imc-st.louis] The Mechanics of Theocratic Corporate Imperialism
joe at iuoe2.org
Tue Jul 13 01:33:14 PDT 2004
I know many of you read the New York Times, but this one paints such a
stark image of how corruption gives the Republican Party its' hold on
power that I had to post it.
Machine at Work
By PAUL KRUGMAN
>From a business point of view, Enron is a smoking ruin. But there's
important evidence in the rubble.
If Enron hadn't collapsed, we might still have only circumstantial
evidence that energy companies artificially drove up prices during
California's electricity crisis. Because of that collapse, we have
direct evidence in the form of the now-infamous Enron tapes - although
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Justice Department
tried to prevent their release.
Now, e-mail and other Enron documents are revealing why Tom DeLay, the
House majority leader, is one of the most powerful men in America.
A little background: at the Republican convention, most featured
speakers will be social moderates like Rudy Giuliani and Arnold
Schwarzenegger. A moderate facade is necessary to win elections in a
generally tolerant nation. But real power in the party rests with
hard-line social conservatives like Mr. DeLay, who, in the debate over
gun control after the Columbine shootings, insisted that juvenile
violence is the result of day care, birth control and the teaching of
Here's the puzzle: if Mr. DeLay's brand of conservatism is so unpopular
that it must be kept in the closet during the convention, how can people
like him really run the party?
In Mr. DeLay's case, a large part of the answer is his control over
corporate cash. As far back as 1996, one analyst described Mr. DeLay as
the "chief enforcer of company contributions to Republicans." Some of
that cash has flowed through Americans for a Republican Majority, called
Armpac, a political action committee Mr. DeLay founded in 1994. By
dispensing that money to other legislators, he gains their allegiance;
this, in turn, allows him to deliver favors to his corporate
contributors. Four of the five Republicans on the House ethics
committee, where a complaint has been filed against Mr. DeLay, are past
recipients of Armpac money.
The complaint, filed by Representative Chris Bell of Texas, contends,
among other things, that Mr. DeLay laundered illegal corporate
contributions for use in Texas elections. And that's where Enron enters
In May 2001, according to yesterday's Washington Post, Enron lobbyists
in Washington informed Ken Lay via e-mail that Mr. DeLay was seeking
$100,000 in additional donations to his political action committee, with
the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting
effort in Texas." The Post says it has "at least a dozen" documents
showing that Mr. DeLay and his associates directed money from corporate
donors and lobbyists to an effort to win control of the Texas
Legislature so the Republican Party could redraw the state's political
Enron, which helped launch Armpac, was happy to oblige, especially
because Mr. DeLay was helping the firm's effort to secure energy
deregulation legislation, even as its traders boasted to one another
about how they were rigging California's deregulated market and stealing
millions each day from "Grandma Millie."
The Texas redistricting, like many of Mr. DeLay's actions, broke all the
usual rules of political fair play. But when you believe, as Mr. DeLay
does, that God is using you to promote a "biblical worldview" in
politics, the usual rules don't apply. And the redistricting worked - it
is a major reason why anything short of a Democratic tidal wave in
November is likely to leave the House in Republican hands.
There is, however, one problem: a 100-year-old Texas law bars corporate
financing of State Legislature campaigns. An inquiry is under way, and
Mr. DeLay has hired two criminal defense lawyers. Stay tuned.
But you shouldn't conclude that the system is working. Mr. DeLay's
current predicament is an accident. The party machine that he has done
so much to create has eliminated most of the checks and balances in our
government. Again and again, Republicans in Congress have closed ranks
to block or emasculate politically inconvenient investigations. If Enron
hadn't collapsed, and if Texas didn't still have a campaign finance law
that is a relic of its populist past, Mr. DeLay would be in no danger at
The larger picture is this: Mr. DeLay and his fellow hard-liners, whose
values are far from the American mainstream, have forged an immensely
effective alliance with corporate interests. And they may be just one
election away from achieving a long-term lock on power.
ACT today. The Democracy you save may be your own-
9408 Ridge Ave.
St. Louis, Mo 63114
"The liberty of a Democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the
growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their
Democratic State itself. That, in its' essence, is Fascism-ownership of
Government power by an individual, by a group or by any controlling
-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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