Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Montana decision another nail in Democracy's coffin

Harold Hamm
You can bet Harold Hamm has a big shit-eating grin on his face today. Billionaire Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources is also Mitt Romney's chief energy adviser. Continental Resources is currently drilling in the Bakken shale, located in North Dakota and Montana. He's contributed $985,000 to the pro-Romney super-PAC with more coming. But Hamm himself just got the gift of a lifetime.

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in the Montana Citizens United case, put another nail in the coffin of American democracy (what's left of it). The ruling struck down the state of Montana's century-old law that limited political campaign spending corporations amd established the power of a small group of multi-millionaires and billionaires like Hamm to buy the state's elected officials, judgeships and other political appointments on the cheap. What a gift to the Koch Bros. and other deregulation-mad oil, mining and gas frackers. What a disaster for the environment, for public space, public schools, and public decision-making.

The ruling's effect will reach far beyond Montana and into every state and municipal election nationwide. Here in Chicago we've already had a taste of plutocrat rule when the deep-pocketed group Stand For Children came into town and financed the election campaigns of loyal pols who then passed the anti-union SB7 bill. In Wisconsin we saw the Koch Bros. and friends pour $47 million into the Walker recall election.

Even as we now campaign in Chicago for an elected school board, we must also make sure that any new board is truly representative of this city's communities and not another electoral playground for the self-interested corporate elite or nothing will have really changed.

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