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This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Thursday 30 June 2011

Karl At The Crossroads

Those who look in at the Guido Fawkes blog may have seen a recent reference to “Karl Rove’s American Crossroads”. This is clearly a trusted information source for Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole – but what is American Crossroads? Well, it’s not an exactly impartial organisation – that will surprise no-one who reads the Fawkes blog – but heck, does it get through a lot of money.

American Crossroads is what is known as a “527 organisation”, that is, a tax-exempt organisation created to influence elections. How much influence? Well, they piled millions into a variety of elections in 2010, including almost $18 million in the first 21 days of October alone. One estimate reckoned that their spending for 2010 would be around $52 million.

So who stumps up all that money? Check out this video: over 90% of American Crossroads’ funds comes from billionaires – in one month, it was just three individuals who bankrolled 91% of inflows. Next year it aims to plough a whopping $120 million into efforts to defeat Barack Obama, and replace him with a rather more malleable GOP stooge.

The advertising put out by American Crossroads and its associate Crossroads GPS (a non-profit educational organisation which has no obligation to disclose the identity of its donors) reaches the length and breadth of the USA. The spending power of these groups is only approached by that of the Koch brothers, who will be looking to donate around $88 million to GOP participants in next year’s elections.

Think for a minute: those who run the Fawkes blog also run the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, which is supposed to be about transparency and accountability. Yet they are happy to be associated with an organisation which doesn’t always practice either, while shamelessly attempting to buy elections on behalf of the super rich.

The very richest donating to influence the system in order to keep them rich, or make them even richer, may not be illegal in the USA. But it brings a new meaning to the concepts of equality and democracy.

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