Art Pope wasn't the first rich guy to try to buy our democracy, but he may be the most diabolical. After test-driving his electioneering strategy in the ouster of Richard Morgan, he went on to buy the North Carolina House and Senate in 2010, and is now angling to acquire the governor's mansion and the NC Supreme Court.
(I predict he'll fall short on the latter, making the new Justice Ervin, perhaps, our last fragile defense against Pope's full-fledged corporate takeover.)
These developments should scare the crap out of any thinking person here in North Carolina, and the rest of the country should take notice too. Art Pope clones are popping up everywhere, as noted in this frightening New York Times story.
Since 2008, when Missouri abolished contribution limits, Mr. Sinquefield has donated more than $20 million to local candidates and political action committees, driving the political debate on issues like education, upending the political world here and making him perhaps the most influential private citizen in the state. More than half of that money has gone to advance his signature cause: eliminating state and local income taxes in Missouri, a major source of government revenue, and replacing them with sales taxes.
Unless and until we get a new US Supreme Court (or a federal constitutional amendment) to overturn Citizen's United, democracy in America will continue to be bought and sold by privileged assholes who believe that their money makes them right.
To my knowledge.
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