Columns » Hightower

It's official: Money owns U.S. elections




Barack Obama was right on target two years ago when he denounced the Supreme Court for allowing unlimited corporate cash to flood into our elections, calling it a "threat to democracy."

But now that gushers of that money are pouring into this year's Republican presidential campaigns through SuperPACs, he has pivoted adroitly from condemning such corrupt funds — to creating one of his own. Savvy, or cynical?

I call it sad. Not because Obama wouldn't stand on principle, but because his switch affirms that special-interest money now governs us, too powerful for even the sitting president to resist.

These SuperPACs, all of which are creatures of a handful of rich Americans, were already the biggest power in the Republican presidential contest. Front-runner Mitt Romney has been powered to the front by a $30 million SuperPAC financed chiefly by Wall Streeters. They want to buy a president who'll undo Obama's financial reform law that restrains some of their greed. That's what our "democracy" has become. Sad.

Rather than taking the high road and rallying a public that's thoroughly disgusted by this, Obama now joins Romney et al on the money-slicked low road. His SuperPAC, named Priorities USA, is as corrupt as the Republicans'. All of them perpetuate the ludicrous legalistic fraud that the secretive funds operate independently of the candidates.

Come on — hand puppets act with more independence than SuperPACs! While Obama piously says he won't work directly with the PAC, he has directed cabinet officials and White House aides to rustle up big donors to fund it.

What we're getting this year is not a presidential election — it's an auction! And it'll keep getting worse until we, the people, repeal the Supreme Court's money rule.

Go to if you want to help.

Jim Hightower will be in Colorado Springs on Feb. 25 to speak at the El Paso County Democrats' first Will Rogers Dinner and Gala at Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Tickets are $90. For information, call 473-8713 or go to

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast