Here is a short, and very relevant, history lesson.
The Roman Senate governed Ancient Rome for five centuries. It looked much like the Congress today. The purpose of the Roman Senate was to rule in accordance with the wishes of the Roman People. The building in which the Roman Senate met, the "Curia Julia," still stands in Rome today.
In 27 B.C., Augustus Caesar formally took control of Rome, and established the Roman Empire. But the Roman Emperors didn't abolish the Senate. Instead, the Roman Senate continued to meet, for five more centuries, doing pretty much nothing.
During the Roman Empire, the Emperor held all the power. The Senate was simply a debating society, chosen by the Emperor, and serving at his pleasure. To prove this point, in 39 A.D., Emperor Caligula appointed his horse, Incitatus, to the Roman Senate.
What we are heading for, here in America, is something very much like that. The way things are going, Big Money will choose our "leaders" in Congress, and they will serve at Big Money's pleasure.
Big Money doesn't put horses in Congress. Just the hind-quarters of horses.
For the past few weeks, we have shown how Big Money is trying to select - not elect, select -- the Congressman from my district. Big Money has now spent three times as much in lying TV attack ads as all of the money that my Republican opponent has raised. Big Money is going all out to replace me in Congress, because I can't be bought.
Big Money doesn't care who replaces me, as long as he's pliant. It might as well be Caligula's horse.
We are at a turning point in our own history. What will we be? A government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Or a dictatorship, ruled by the Empire of Money?
P.S. To the 2000 supporters who have contributed to our campaign since this corporate firebombing began, from my heart, thank you.
It looks like the drug companies don't like me.
No, strike that. It looks like the drug companies really, really hate me. And they'll do everything within their power to get rid of me.
This month, the "60 Plus Association" is pouring over $600,000 into negative ads against me. And who is the "60 Plus Association"? The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has "outed" "60 Plus" as a front for PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Holy Harry and Louise! We're being attacked by Big Pill!
Do you know what message Big Pill is using to numb, sedate, narcotize and stupefy the electorate? It's the shocking revelation that I voted for health care reform. Which Big Pill says will cut $500 billion from Medicare benefits - a total lie that FactCheck quickly exposed.
Next month, who knows what Big Pill will spend to defeat us? $1 million? That's the profit that Merck, a single drug company, makes every hour.
We need a cure for what ails us. And what ails us is the anonymous corporate manipulation of public opinion by front groups like "60 Plus." Contribute $25, $50 or more to our campaign, and help put a chill on "Big Pill."
Before it's too late.
Oil billionaire David Koch is spending $250,000 on attack ads against me this week. But I'm not the only one. In fact, he is deploying his polluting billions toward this modest goal:
Choosing our next government.
In more than 50 Congressional races across the country, in the next two months, Koch will be spending $45 million. To give you an idea of how much money that is, the total amount of all PAC contributions to all candidates so far is roughly $200 million.
And much of the money that Koch is using in this attempted leveraged buyout of our Government comes from . . . you and me.
For many years, Koch had a contract to extract oil from federal and Indian lands. In return, Koch was supposed to pay a royalty. A jury found that Koch underpaid the Government by $210 million.
Media Matters says that Koch has received $100 million in government contracts in the last ten years alone.
And Koch has paid for his assault on progressive government during the past decade largely with tax-deductible, tax-free foundation money:
- $120 million from the "David H. Koch Charitable Foundation,"
- $48 million from the "Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation," and
- $28 million from the "Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation," Charles Koch controls.
So there you have it. It's the taxpayers who have inadvertently underwritten the Koch assault on social services, a clean environment and good government.
From time to time, we will keep you posted about the Koch scheme to dictate who wins and who loses elections in America. In the meantime, thank you for your support for clean government. And special thanks to the 1000+ supporters who answered the call, and made a contribution to help us fight back.
Let me tell you something else about David Koch, the billionaire who is spending $250,000 in attack ads this week, to try to defeat me.
In 1999, Koch Industries was indicted on 97 counts of violating the Clean Air Act, and related criminal laws. Why? Because Koch's Corpus Christi oil refinery had dumped 91 tons of benzene, a carcinogen, into the environment.
Four Koch employees faced up to 35 years in prison. And Koch was liable for $350 million in fines.
It didn't look good for Koch. But 2000 was an election year. So Koch dragged out the case, and spent $900,000 to help get George Bush and other Republicans elected. Not to mention doling out $20 million to right-wing think tanks, which churned out anti-Gore propaganda.
And guess what? Two months after John Ashcroft was sworn in as Bush's Attorney General, the Bush Administration settled the case for less than six cents on the dollar. John Ashcroft - the best Attorney General money could buy. The money that Koch spent on the 2000 campaign bought Koch a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card.
David Koch learned an important lesson about government in 2001. If you can't beat it, buy it.
And that is what David Koch is trying to do today. Having bought the Executive Branch in 2000, now he's going for the Legislative Branch. A twofer.
Tomorrow, we'll tell you how Koch pays for all this. But in the meantime, think about this: can we even call ourselves a democracy, when in each election, one man determines who wins and who loses?
I was elected to Congress because 171,000 people chose me to represent them. But suppose that only one person got to choose all the Members of the House and the Senate. And the President, too.
That man would be a king.
So meet David Koch, the man who would be king. King of America. The one who is spending $250,000 on attack ads this week, to defeat me. The one who wants to choose all of our so-called "elected representatives."
As we told you yesterday, Koch inherited his $17 billion fortune from his father. Who helped to industrialize and arm America's then-enemy, the Soviet Union.
And we told you that New Yorker magazine has documented Koch's relentless and unscrupulous attack on the Obama Administration, which has grown so many tentacles that insiders refer to it as the "Kochtopus."
What we didn't tell you is that Koch's company, Koch Industries, is one of the Top 10 Air Polluters in the United States. Koch has caused over 300 oil spills. Koch has paid $35 million in pollution fines.
So now you know where Dirty Dan Webster's support comes from. Dirty money. Literally.
And now you know why Koch is so anti-government. For him, no government would mean no fines for dumping his toxic waste wherever he feels like it.
If David Koch chooses all our leaders in November, how long will it be before we have any chance to take back our government from him? Years? Decades? Ever?
We'll tell you more about King David of Koch tomorrow, but in the meantime, if you can help us fight back, please do.
A couple of weeks ago, we suggested that Republican Dan Webster isn't the real opponent in this campaign. He hasn't been on the ballot in a quarter of a century. Dan Webster couldn't beat a pair of fives with a full house.
I said that someone else would be the real opponent. Now we know who that is.
His name is David Koch. He has $17 billion. And he is spending $250,000 of that in attack ads against me this week.
David Koch is the owner of the second largest private company in America. He made his money the old-fashioned way: he inherited it. Incredibly, his father got rich helping to industrialize and arm the Soviet Union.
Koch lives in New York. He often attends the theater. As far as we know, he has never been to Orlando. But he wants to choose who represents Orlando in Congress. And it isn't Alan Grayson.
For many years, David Koch was a member of the Libertarian Party. He serves on the board of directors of the right-wing Cato Institute. He is a reclusive billionaire whose political dirty tricks are exposed in the current issue of the New Yorker Magazine. The title of that New Yorker article is "Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging war against Obama."
What it comes down to is this: who is going to choose our leaders? Us, or a crackpot billionaire like David Koch?
More on this tomorrow. In the meantime, if you can help, please do. Because if we don't, then David Koch will buy the House, the Senate and, in 2012, the White House.
It's been a month since the Supreme Court spoke.
Now it's time for US to speak.
The Democratic Leadership has finally come out with a plan. And, thanks to your participation, the plan includes three of our proposals.
So far, the plan would:
- Stop foreigners from buying our government.
- Prevent government contractors like Blackwater from stealing our elections.
- Force disclosure to shareholders when a company wants to bribe and threaten elected officials.
The Supreme Court needs to understand that this is a democracy. OUR democracy.
It's urgent that we act. I'm going to be speaking with a key congressional committee chairman, Rep. Bob Brady, with a simple message: Let's go!
Chairman Brady is in charge of the House Administration Committee. Our bills are assigned to his committee. He needs to hear from all of us that saving our democracy just can't wait.
Please join me. Call Rep. Brady's office in the House Administration Committee and ask him to save our democracy. The phone number is 202-225-2061. Tell him that he needs to move the bill as fast as possible. You can also weigh in at the committee web site.
In the weeks ahead, I'll be keeping you informed. I'm working to include all of our proposals in the final bill, and make it as strong as possible. After all, it's not enough to disclose political looting and bribery. We must STOP it.
Call Brady's office in the House Administration Committee and tell him to MOVE the bill: 202-225-2061
Seven out of ten Americans think corporations ALREADY have too much influence over elections.
Eight out of ten Americans want restrictions on corporate spending on elections.
Almost eight out of ten Americans think that shareholders should get to vote before their companies spend one dime on elections.
Call Bob Brady's office at 202-225-2061 and tell him what you think. What we think.
Corporations are not people. Corporations do not breathe. Corporations do not fall in love. Corporations do not have children. Corporations do not lose their jobs. Corporations do not fight and die in war.
This is obvious to everyone but five justices on the Supreme Court.
Time to fight back.
Member of Congress
Standing up to the corporate overlords and their cadre of lobbyists on Capitol Hill makes you a target. I always knew that.
But the Supreme Court's ridiculous decision to allow unlimited corporate money to buy political elections has changed the rules. And though I know we'll be outspent by the likes of Exxon or Saudi Aramco, I know we can win in November.
If people join together, we can create something more powerful than any soulless corporation.
That's why I'm asking you to join me as a member of my "Save Democracy Alliance" and commit to making a monthly contribution to my campaign at a level you can afford. With exactly 10 months to go to Election Day, your contribution will have a huge effect.
This election is going to be nasty, no matter who our opponent ends up being. The Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United will unleash unlimited corporate spending in elections.
Undoubtedly, our efforts to stop them with our "Save Democracy" platform make you and me the corporations' targets.
They want to take us out this November to silence our voices. That's why I need you to show them that people power is stronger than corporate power -- that a congressman and Americans with guts CAN win.
As a special thank you for making the commitment to give every month, we'll send you a "Save Democracy" bumper sticker, exclusively for members of my recurring donor program.
Thank you so much for your continuing support. Please make a monthly commitment to my campaign and join the "Save Democracy Alliance" today!
Member of Congress
We are facing a threat to our democracy.
At any moment, the Supreme Court will announce whether it will allow corporations to spend all the money they want on political campaigns, something that has been illegal in the U.S. since 1907.
Unlimited corporate spending on campaigns means that the government is up for sale to the highest bidder, and that the law itself will be bought and sold. It would be political bribery on the largest scale imaginable.
That's why I'm launching an emergency petition today that I will deliver personally to the Supreme Court. Sign my petition now at SaveDemocracy.net, and tell the Supreme Court that democracy is not for sale.
I've already introduced five bills that would help to counter the effects of a Supreme Court decision that would change our form of government from democracy to corpocracy.
But even before the Supreme Court rules, you can send a message that we are paying attention, and that we will fight to defend democracy.
This issue transcends partisan political arguments. We cannot have a government that is bought and paid for by huge multinational corporations. We must stop this. If this goes unchallenged, then you can kiss your country goodbye.
Member of Congress