Campaign-finance tyranny

It's time for another Hightower Hog Report!

Yes, here come the banking lobbyists. There's the HMO crowd. Oooooh -- that big fat one is the military industry. And here come the Wall Street piggies. All of them are rushing to the federal trough to get billions in benefits, breaks and loopholes, because -- hey! -- they paid their way in.

These are the corporate interests that pay the bribery money to elect both Democrats and Republicans to public office, then have their hirelings repay them ten-, a hundred- or a thousand-fold at the expense of you and me.

This "you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours" system works extremely well for the incumbent politicians and their corporate sponsors, so that's why there's no rush in Congress to reform it.

Of course, our lawmakers know that we know that they are sleezeballs, so they all have to pretend to be "doing something" about cleaning up the corruption. The Republican speaker of the House, Dennis-the-Menace Hastert, for example, says that he definitely, absolutely, cross his heart or hope to die intends to bring the issue of campaign-corruption reform to a vote. Sometime. Maybe in September, says the slippery speaker.

He knows that this is a transparent fraud. If the House does not approve a reform bill by August, there will be no chance to pass it in the Senate ... and, once again, reform will be strangled in a parliamentary maneuver.

But guess what? I've got the direct phone line to Speaker Hastert's office! Please take a couple of minutes to call his office and tell him we don't want delay and strangulation. Here's an idea: Tell Speaker Hastert that we want basic reform to be voted on by July 4, an appropriate date: We want to be freed from the tyranny of special-interest money.

The name of Hastert's aide handling this issue is Bill Koetzle. Call him at (202) 225-2976.

Jim Hightower is an author, radio commentator, public speaker and political sparkplug from Austin, Texas. For more populist commentary, visit his website.

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