Democratic Leaders Rake in Corporate Cash as “Squad” Sticks With Sm...

Are you wondering why Democratic Party leaders have only sternly worded statements and tepid pleas for civility, while Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, "The Squad", speak truth to power? Follow the money.

"The Squad" relies mostly on small donations, while "... 344 corporate-related PACs made 520 contributions to the six Democratic House leaders in the second quarter, totaling nearly $1.2 million."

image source

As Ocasio-Cortez advocates for the Green New Deal, the top House Democrats rake in contributions from the PACs of fossil fuel companies such as Dominion Energy ($10,000), BP ($6,000), ExxonMobil ($2,500), and TransCanada ($1,000).

While “the Squad” supports Medicare for All, pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, and certain health industry trade associations, which oppose the program, support House Democratic leaders. The leadership members’ second-quarter donors include the PACs of Eli Lilly and Company ($15,000), AmerisourceBergen ($7,500), Blue Shield of California ($7,500), UnitedHealth Group ($7,500), Johnson & Johnson ($6,500), Abbott Labs ($6,000), Pfizer ($5,000), and Amgen ($4,500).

As the two sides battle it out for the party’s future, they are relying on their core constituencies to help them along: For “the Squad,” it’s the diverse groups of people who helped them win congressional seats for the first time in 2018. For the establishment, it’s the corporations that have sent lobbyists to their offices and checks to their campaigns for many years.

AOC says,“Are we headed to fascism? Yes, I don’t think there’s a question.”

Establishment Democrats are afraid to use the words "White Supremacy". (quote source) See Mike Luckovich comic.

Which do you respect?

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Related: "Corporate team of rivals: Harris now in top tier with Biden to prevent a progressive nominee" (Common Dreams)

[...] No one has summed up Biden’s political stance better than Elizabeth Warren, who told the California Democratic Party convention five weeks ago: “Some Democrats in Washington believe the only changes we can get are tweaks and nudges. If they dream, they dream small. Some say if we all just calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses.” She added: “When a candidate tells you about all the things that aren't possible, about how political calculations come first . . . they’re telling you something very important—they are telling you that they will not fight for you.

Being preferable to Joe Biden is a low bar, and Kamala Harris clears it. But, like Biden, she stands to lose potential support from many self-described liberals and progressives to the extent they learn more about her actual record. [...]

Only someone more moderate will appeal to swing voters.

if I learned anything working as a legislative aide, it was that changes usually need to happen slowly to get those more conservative used to an idea before they will support it. Biden might not be perfect, but isn't it more important to beat Trump?

I'm more radical than you, Andrea. I see the election as corporate rule versus democracy, where dark money (often fossil fuel/weapons industry money) is on the brink of eliminating the last vestiges of constitutional government. While the GOP is in bed with open fascists and building concentration camps, corporate control also has a stranglehold on the Democratic Party. Corporatist Democrats might seem more honest and respectful of civil liberties, but White Rich-Guy patriarchy wearing a softer glove will still doom us.

Bolsonaro's destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest accelerated Climate Destabilization's hard deadlines. Only someone willing to fight the billionaires like Bernie Sanders can make a difference during this end game. His new green new deal could appeal to those needing jobs. Pandering to swing voters isn't political leadership. It didn't get us to the moon, and it can't rescue the future. Bernie isn't afraid to tell truth to power. The public (especially swing voters) need to experience a left-radical conversion that's as powerful as Trump delivered to the  racist right-radicals. What has begun with the young, like the Sunshine Movement and Climate Justice Alliance, has great potential to bring a phase change as drastic as the Nazi takeover we're getting at this moment from the extreme right. It has the same power as religious conversion, facing the truth of our near-term danger. This is exactly the time for the US to move sharp left, and likely our last chance because the fascist crackdown is hardening.

image source Climate Justice Alliance

Greetings Ruth, 

I don't think it's fair to lump all corporations together. Some corporations have done a lot of good for this country. Yes, Koch Industries are pure evil, but some corporations have helped us destigmatize the queer movement. Many corporations have staff "queer groups" that help people feel accepted in their corporate jobs- and those are the people we see marching in pride parades across the country, not the "evil corporations" some would like us to believe. Perhaps some day they will have atheist groups too.

What we need is socially responsible corporations that pay a living wage, something that could be done through legislation (like tying a CEO's wage to the income of their lowest earners), not through the complete dismantling of the system, because we have no other system to fall back on, do we? We have let too many big corporations stifle innovation. We've let Facebook and Google gobble up too many start-ups, when we could have followed in Europe's footsteps and regulated them, but we didn't.

Do I think some corporations have gotten too big and too powerful? Yes, especially in the technology sector. But what exactly is the plan of the "far left" here? This is an atheist group - technically we are all far left. Being a socialist doesn't make anyone "far left," is just makes them socialists.

So, what exactly is the socialist plan besides taxes? (Companies that pay high taxes can still rape our planet) I'm going to say something controversial that a lot of Americans don't want to believe, refuse to believe or simply don't know about: A lot of companies are foreign, but even those that are not-  don't *have* to do business here.  We need real solutions that help Americans and the planet....for those who will inherit the earth after we are all gone...if Donald Trump doesn't end it first.

You have a good point about socially conscious corporations, Manny. My impression is that employee ownership, such as Redner's supermarket chain, is an idea. Personally I think corporate charters should be conditional, open to review every 5 years, and their inner workings subject to scrutiny. 

The very idea of corporations as legal entities began, I understand, in the 19th century as temporary measures to enable some public works projects. Since then it's grown and metastasized.

Greetings Ruth,

I've heard of that concept before, and like the idea of employee ownership. I also like the idea of open review for corporations of a certain size. And the reason I say "certain size" is because we should want to encourage start-ups without stifling innovation and entrepreneurship.

I'm also thinking... probably not too far ahead, "employee-owners" will become even more important as robotics and automation start taking over regular jobs. Not only will people need a source of income, but there will be more Americans managing and making sure their respective companies are staying on an ethical track.

Koch Industries does not give a damn about you, your water, your food supply, your land and environment, or your health. I'm sure they are not alone in their beliefs and endeavors. Right now they stand out as the worst of the lot, and I hope Charles and David are soon united again.

Not giving a damn about anyone else is typical of America’s ruling class, because it’s the origin of America’s sociopaths.

Andrea, in normal times people accept change slowly. Trump has noisily ended those normal times. The squad however does need allies.

Beating Trump should be of all importance but claims of taking away gun rights are like a shot to the head. We need people to double down here and get busy without the Dems fighting each other. Dump Trump should be the war cry and this moron can only play to his limited base in limited areas, talking the same old nonsense that he did over 2 years ago. 

Study the Trump Tweets and call him out on his lies and exaggerations. This is the only way of beating him that I see. Expose him fully.

We have to get out the vote in all states! It is a miserable job, but if we want sanity in the leadership of our nation, we have to work for it. I am all for Bernie because he is a scrapper and he knows how the system works. Elizabeth has youth and education on her side and I would love to see her preside over the Senate. 




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