Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/368/6035

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2004

Review

The White House For Sale

LAST MONDAY'S TV documentary - The White House for sale - gave a revealing, if none too surprising, insight into how big business dominates the US political system.

Dave Carr

Presented by John Snow of Channel 4 News, he quotes Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address: "All men are created equal" and that America stands for "government of the people, by the people for the people..."

Not so. Less than 2% of the US electorate raise the bulk of funds for the Democrat and Republican parties. Nine out of ten candidates - congressmen, senators or councillors - who raise the most money win elections. Moreover, both Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, George W Bush and John Kerry, are effectively in hock to the big corporations.

Their political careers were built on corporate money. Donations from construction and oil secured Bush the governorship of Texas and later the presidency, and money from the telecommunications industry helped senator Kerry. All these big business concerns were later rewarded after Bush and Kerry secured high office.

Having received donations from Perry Homes, Bush signed the passage of a bill protecting such property construction companies from being sued by dissatisfied home buyers.

He also allowed power-generating companies to avoid cleaning up polluting power stations under the Clean Air Act. Not forgetting of course corporate fraudster and Bush donator Ken Ley of Enron fame. After Bush relaxed price-capping on energy Enron increased its prices by 800%, leading to electricity blackouts in California.

Kerry, who has received the largest amount of donations over the last 20 years, did his telecom backers a big favour when serving on a telecoms senate committee. Kerry ensured that these big players escaped regulation and are now well on their way to securing a monopoly of the TV news media.

'Hard' and 'soft' money

Since the fall of disgraced president Richard Nixon (who was found guilty of taking illegal donations), presidential candidates have been limited to individual donations of $1,000. This limit on 'hard' money was easily circumvented.

Fundraisers, known as "pioneers" in Republican circles, simply got others to give $1,000 each. The pioneers who raised the most were subsequently rewarded with favours. One pioneer who went on to become US ambassador to the Mauritius secured a $1,000 donation from his three-year-old son!

Dick Cheney, as chief executive of Halliburton, got his company employees to donate $1.5 million. Cheney become US Vice President and his former company secured a lucrative contract maintaining Iraq's oil fields.

Of course this hard money pales before the amounts of 'soft' money raised i.e. donations to the parties as opposed to candidates. Some $1.5 billion will be raised by Republican and Democrat parties in this campaign. Two years ago the McCain-Feingold Act was meant to curb this soft money. In fact they raised the limit on hard donations from $1,000 to $2,000.

They also failed to close a tax loophole allowing big backers to donate. Known as the 527's after the tax code, these Republican and Democrat networks can raise huge sums to finance TV adverts rubbishing their opponents.

It's all legit as long as they don't mention their candidate's name. Kerry's Vietnam war record was tarnished by a pro-Bush network advert. Likewise billionaire speculator George Soros has contributed $15 million to the pro-Kerry New Democrat Network.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 October 2004:

Unite And Fight

Why We're Going On Strike


International socialist news and analysis

Troops Out Of Iraq

Israel: Sharon's 'Entanglement Plan'

The White House For Sale

Ukraine: Galol Plant Workers Left High And Dry

Opel Workers - Down But Not Out

Life As A Refugee


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Party Stands To Stop Privatisers

How The NHS Is Being Taken Apart

Wythenshawe: Young People Need Decent Facilities

Four Weeks To Get All Pledges In


Workplace news and events

Nominate Roger Bannister

Manchester Evening News Strike

Support Jaguar Workers

Coventry Workers Fight Back


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 October 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

US:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleJoin the Orgreave Halloween rally

triangleTheresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

triangleThem & Us

Oil:

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleTories and Blairites in pockets of big business: kick them out!

triangleTory oil spoils v poisonous air

Big business:

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleReject Starmer's Single Market u-turn

Construction:

triangleRemove cladding without delay says head of Housing Fed

International

International

18/10/17

Hong Kong

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2