THE BLOG
10/25/2010 11:54 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If you don't vote, they win and you lose

Secret wealthy individuals and corporations, both foreign and domestic, are financing attack ads against Democrats from one end of the country to the other. But just because they're secret, does that mean we don't know who they are? I, for one, am ready to drop the incredulity and admit that I know exactly who they are.

I'm not harboring any secrets, nor did Karl Rove mistakenly email me his donor list.

Well, okay, I don't know exactly who they are. But I know the donors funding these lying deceitful campaigns are the Wall Street tycoons, Big Oil interests, outsourcers, and others that oppose the progressive agenda in Washington, D.C. And I think everyone in Washington - the political parties, the pundits, and the politicians who are all huffing and puffing - know what I'm talking about.

They may hide in the shadows, but we all know the funders of these ads are exactly the same corporate special interests that want to continue tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas. They are the same oil and coal interests that want to keep their heads in the sand and profits rolling in by opposing any shift away from the disastrous energy path we're on. They are the same Wall Street CEOs and greedy bankers that brought the economy to the brink of collapse, took our bailout money, and now pay for ads blasting members of congress for supporting the bailout.

They have to sit in the shadows because their consciences - or their agendas - won't stand up to public scrutiny.

They want little or no government involvement in their business, except when they need a bailout or a preferential tax break or subsidies to prop themselves up. They can't stand the public attention that comes with participating in politics because they are selfishly feeding at the government trough despite ads railing against the "out of control" deficit and national debt as if the policies they've fought for over the past decade had nothing at all to do with it. They think government is there to work for them or to get out of their way, not all of us.

In short, they're the same crowd of CEOs, plutocrats, and large corporations that have always financed campaigns. They're financing political party committees and congressional candidates right now. They will seek a return on all these investments come next January if their candidates win. That's bad for you, it's bad for your family, and it's bad for America.

If they win, you lose

Have you ever known someone who was hiding in the shadows to be on your side? We don't need to know who they are in order to start standing up to them. If they're going to pollute our democracy with their secret millions, we need to flood Election Day with votes.

Then, we need candidates to speak out and will tell us they pledge hit these corporate interests where it hurts: their political power. As soon as they come back after the election, Congress ought to pass legislation that gets themselves off their dependency on these big checks and that exposes the outside money. The Democratic leadership should take up and pass the Fair Elections Now Act with the less controversial disclosure portion of the DISCLOSE Act appended. Even if it's the last act of a Democratic-led Congress, they ought to do it.

It's time for elections to be of, by, and for the people again. We can start on November 2 by rejecting the big money and their candidates. And we can continue fighting for it by telling Congress enough is enough.