Tag Archive for oligarchy

Frackenlooper’s unholy alliance

Dear Governor Frackenlooper,

I come by my Democratic credentials much like USAA insurance.  My father was a +50 year member of the IBEW; my senior speech in high school was on provision 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act.  A trip to the Ludlow Massacre site was a nice family drive on a Sunday afternoon.  I have been steeped, like a teabag, in a soup of labor law and collective bargaining jargon. “Kellogg, Brown and Root” plus “Halliburton” were dinner topics  in our household growing up.

It pains me, then, to have to leave the only political party which I have held in high esteem, a party that has been ready to protect the worker and our rights to a decent, living wage and the principles of due process.

I have regularly sent checks to the Colorado Democratic State House and Senate campaign funds, the national funds, President Obama, John Kerry, Bill Clinton and even Michael Dukakis.  Jimmy Carter will always be my personal hero.

I have been a committed member of the teachers’ union for more than 30 years, carried a picket sign in the 1976 teachers’ strike, been a precinct committee person, a canvasser, a poll watcher and an election judge.

HickenlooperThe Democratic Party cannot count on me from now on.  I will be a spoiler, a Ralph Nader – ready to split the vote from here on out.  You, Governor, give me no choice.  You and your friends, former Governor Ritter, Senator Bennet, and Phillip Anschutz, among others, have chosen to support the Oil and Gas lobby against the citizens of the state of Colorado.  You are no better than Governor Elias M. Ammons, calling  in the National Guard against defenseless miners at Ludlow in 1914.  You have formed an unholy alliance against the people of Colorado; you have chosen money over the public good.  You need to be recalled!!

Once a geologist, always a geologist!

Elaine M. (Earnest) Doudna

 

P.S. If you think that my salutation is disrespectful, please consider your threat to sue municipalities that ban fracking as insulting !   We are just shaking in our shoes.. OOoooo!!! I just feel like Daddy has taken us to the wood shed for a good whoopin’.

Sing out, Louise: “It’s beginning to look a lot like oligarchy”

As seen on Huffington Post by Leo Gerard

[As sung to “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas, Meredith Wilson, 1951]

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look in Tiffany’s store, glistening once again
With Wall Street bonus trinkets all aglow.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Art flies from Christie’s.
But the amazing sight to see is the tax cut guarantee
For the most wealthy.

Hedge funders content, still paying 15 percent
Is the wish of Boehner and Mitch.
Help these hurt least by financial crises
Is the Chamber of Commerce pitch.
And the GOP and Tea Party can’t wait for Congress’ new session.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go.
There’s treats in the tax break deal for all the very well-heeled:
Estate tax gifts for billionaires, you know?
It’s beginning to look like oligarchy
Secret campaign gifts
Give scions power in Congress halls to force jumps to all their calls,
Always good and swift.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
If you’re doing drugs.
Look at unemployed stats; foreclosures still roaring fast,
‘merican dreams and life savings both mugged.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas:
Food bank grocery lists.
The only break the unemployed see is 13-month’s reprieve
jobless benefits.

Aid and career counselors for jobless 99ers
Was the wish of Bernie and friends;
Help through COLAs for veterans and grandmas;
Was the hope of liberal House Dems;
Both crushed, progressives now all dread Congress’ new session.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go.
There is a poisonous pill slipped into the tax cut deal:
Robbing Social Security, oh no!
It’s beginning to look like oligarchy.
Soon budget cuts will start
And the thing that will make them sting is the knowledge that you bring
Of the pain they’ll impart.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go.
Take a look in Congress Hall, middle class badly mauled,
By demands from Republicans, you know?
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Debts are racking up;
To help jobless 15 million, the bill’s $900 billion
— With the wealthy’s cut.

A steady job with good pay, health benefits to stay
Is the wish of the middle class.
A good economy; hope, security
Are the goals of the working class.
But they know Congress handles their concerns very last.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
No money for construction or local government bond funds.
The stimulus will be much too low, so
It’s beginning to look like oligarchy;
Shake hard workers down
And give to the wealthy few, untrue to the red, white and blue,
Their greed has no bounds.

Solutions to the nation’s Greed Crisis

By Ron Forthofer, as published in the Longmont Ledger, December 12, 2010

Image courtesy of the Sunlight Foundation

During the recent financial crisis, the primarily privately controlled Federal Reserve led an effort that guaranteed almost $13 trillion of taxpayer money to bail out the financial sector.

It was this same sector that, through its crimes and speculation, had almost caused the collapse the world’s financial system. Yet many of these wealthy gamblers were bailed out while the needs of the public were mostly ignored. The interests of the wealthy on Wall Street took precedence over the interests of Main Street. Warren Buffet stated it well in a November 26, 2006, New York Times article: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

When most of the Wall Street bailout occurred,there was nary a word about the consequences for the deficit or long-term debt. However, since then, there has been a steady drumbeat about the debt, with particular concern raised about Social Security and Medicare, two programs that greatly benefit the public.

On Feb. 18, President Obama joined the debt effort when he created a commission to make recommendations on reducing the budget deficit and long-term debt. The commission co-chairmen presented their personal proposals just last week, a few weeks before the full commission’s results are due. As expected, the commission co-chairmen laid out a proposal that mostly, but not completely, targeted programs benefiting the public.

I am personally all for being fiscally responsible, but it needs to be done in a way that protects the public’s interest. For example, instead of the path they took, the co-chairmen could have presented ideas such as:

~ Reinstating the progressive tax levels from the Eisenhower era, thus requiring that those who greatly profited from the financial crimes and speculations of this decade share in the sacrifices demanded of “we the people”;

~ Placing fees on speculative financial trades/activities that would raise large sums while simultaneously decreasing the risk of another financial disaster;

~ Ending corporate welfare;

~ Re-regulating the nation’s utilities to prevent price gouging and to provide better service;

~ Eliminating the endemic fraud and incredible waste in military contracting;

~ Reversing the wasteful privatization of the military effort and other public work;

~ Greatly reducing the military budget, which is almost equal to the rest of the world’s military spending combined; we need a military for defense, not for running an empire;

~ Ending our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and paying reparations for the devastation we’ve caused;

~ And enacting single-payer health-care reform.

The co-chairmen clearly could have taken on the greed, fraud and waste inherent in our corporate-dominated system that benefits the few at the top, but they didn’t. Unfortunately their proposals were not surprising. In “The Wealth of Nations” Adam Smith warned us about a similar situation: “The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.”

How much longer will we tolerate the transfer of wealth to the top while we are made poorer and poorer? Almost a century ago Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Which do you want, democracy or oligarchy?

Ron Forthofer was the 2002 Green Party candidate for Colorado Governor. He lives in Longmont.

Gessler blowing money like there’s no tomorrow

Scott Gessler, Republican candidate for Colorado Secretary of State

Scott Gessler, Republican candidate for Colorado Secretary of State - spending money like it's going out of style

From ColoradoPols.com:

Gessler Just Keeps Pissing in the Wind
by: Colorado Pols
Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:31:58 AM MDT

We’ve been fascinated with the campaign of Republican Secretary of State candidate Scott Gessler over the last year, but not in a good way. For most of the last 18 months, Gessler has been spending his campaign cash as fast as he can raise it; in 2009, he brought in almost $87,000 but spent an incredible 86 percent of that money.

Gessler managed to contain himself (somewhat) in the first quarter of this year, raising $53,000 but spending only $38,000, which for Gessler just about qualifies him as Scrooge McDuck. But then there was the reporting period that ended on May 26, a one-month time frame during which Gessler brought in $16,363 but spent $18,045, most of which went to consultants and rent (hint: if you are paying consultants more money than you are raising, you might want to consider changing consultants).

When you add it all up, since he first began his campaign in Q1 2009, Gessler has raised a solid $156,057…yet has spent $130,725, for a cash-on-hand amount today of a little over $25,000. For you math whizzes out there, that means Gessler has spent .84 cents out of every dollar raised, and we’ve only just made it to June.

Folks, we’ve never seen a candidate, for either Party, with a consistent burn rate this high.

Gessler has actually out-raised incumbent Democrat Bernie Buescher, but while the latter has brought in abut $137,000, he still has $74,125 cash on hand. That’s just poor campaign management when you have outraised your opponent over the course of 18 months but only have a third as much money in the bank. And that’s what makes Gessler’s campaign one of the worst statewide organizations we’ve seen in the last 10 years.

I’d like to point out that Longmont’s new conservative majority also raised and spent gobs and gobs of money to put total incompentents on council – and they won. Gessler has the eager support of Longmont’s right-wing oligarchy who, flushed from their recent success are dabbling in larger issues.

Voters are advised to look carefully at who’s backing Mr. Gessler – follow the money and you’ll find wealthy developers eager to build their soon-to-be-foreclosed projects.

Read more about Scott Gessler:

Scott Gessler: By the company he keeps

What’s behind this curtain?

Scott Gessler’s Fundraising Black Hole

Reception in Longmont held by the financial oligarchy

Who benefited from outside influence?