by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for EcoWatch
from the foreword to Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
American democracy is under assault.
In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.
Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.
The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States—they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.
I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous. We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.
The most corporate-friendly Supreme Court since the Gilded Age had declared in its notorious Citizens United decision that corporations are people and that money is speech. Those who have the most money now have the loudest voices in our democracy while poor Americans are mute.
And the money is talking; in 97 percent of federal elections over the past two decades, the best-funded candidates were victorious.
America, the world’s proud template for democracy and a robust middle class, is now listing toward oligarchy and corporate kleptocracy.
America today is looking more and more like a colonial economy, with a system increasingly tilted toward enriching the wealthy 1 percent and serving the mercantile needs of multinational corporations with little allegiance to our country.
These radical forces already dominate the national press, with Fox News and talk radio snugly in the pocket of the corporate Right.
This is the first time in American history that corporate and media interests have been so clearly and so perilously aligned.
With the media in their hands, and unlimited money, the final strategy of Rove, Koch, the Chamber of Commerce, and others of that ilk is to permanently cripple representative democracy by stopping Americans from voting.
A boatload of new Jim Crow laws target Democrats by erecting impediments that deter poor and minority communities, senior citizens, and students from exercising their franchise.
Voter suppression is a crime.
In Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Greg Palast details each of these devious scams for disenfranchising vulnerable voters . . . but also, crucially, Palast here follows the money that powers the machinery of democracy’s destruction.
This is not a partisan issue. Clearly the GOP agenda is to suppress votes, as Karl Rove has repeatedly and unashamedly signaled. But Billionaires & Ballot Bandits exposes the vote-count blindness, biases, venality, and ballot gaming by Democrats as well. I don’t believe there are Republican children or Democratic children.
Every American citizen ought to have the right to vote and everybody ought to have the right to clean air and clean water, to integrity and transparency in the marketplace, and to a functioning democracy.
Palast is the last of the great, old-fashioned muckraking investigative reporters. He’s an “outlier,” unafraid of corporate tyrants. Together, we have been investigating and exposing voter suppression for years. In 2008, we co-wrote a story for Rolling Stone warning of the ugly future of a new Jim Crow operation.
Now, it’s here.
Voter suppression is real. And it’s happening to YOU. But there is something that you can do to prevent it. That is the message of Palast’s book.
Remember, this is YOUR democracy. You can do all the campaigning you want, but if your vote isn’t counted, you’re going to lose the presidency—and our democracy.
Read our book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. Pass on the link www.BallotBandits.org and download the 7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits. And get the word out! There’s still time to steal back your vote..
Read Kennedy’s entire A Hostile Takeover of our Country in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal and Election in 9 Easy Steps by Greg Palast. The New York Times bestseller includes a 48-page comic book insert by artist Ted Rall.
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Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and Vultures’ Picnic.
Author’s proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.
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