Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In with Money, out with The League of Women Voters.

I guess some people weren't "listening to them."

It's a familiar line heard often at townhall meetings, shouted by misinformed tea party protesters around the country. But now those voices seem to be broadening their "your not listening to us" theme to their fellow Americans. Take the story of the League of Women Voters, in this Capital Times editorial:

The League of Women Voters, founded 90 years ago as an extension of the women’s suffrage movement, has worked harder and longer than any other group in the United States to ensure that this country’s elections are fair, that citizens can engage, and that the promise of American democracy will be fully realized.

Historically, candidates of all parties have respected and worked with the league.

But as big money has taken over the electoral process, the league has been pushed aside by the power players, who would rather manipulate elections than allow voters to make honest and informed choices.

The 2010 election season saw several ugly and discouraging assaults on the league’s work nationally by political insiders … After backers of a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois organized an interruption of a league-sponsored debate -- by demanding that the crowd recite the Pledge of Allegiance and then shouting down the moderator -- the moderator received death threats.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the FBI was called in to investigate. La Crosse and Milwaukee-area debates were also interrupted, as were debates in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states.

With tens of millions of dollars flowing into the political process from corporations and wealthy individuals who want to buy results favorable to their interests, it is now possible to gain that control via television ads, mass mailings and appearances on “echo chamber” talk radio and television programs. And thanks to favorable rulings by the current Supreme Court, the political players can send their messages anonymously and with no limits on spending.

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