Koch brothers $$$ behind The Pledge
In pondering the question of the Grover Norquist problem I have been getting closer to seeing the bullying as something that is larger than the money he represents. I mean, he IS all about wielding that wad of cash to “Primary” those running for elected positions. As he says, he doesn’t directly threaten them (the politicians), he just notes that if those running either don’t sign on to his pledge or go against what his pledge stands for he will carry the message to the voter so that the voter may act. He said something like this on CBS's 60 Minutes with a smirk on his face and his ego stuck way out in front of the camera.
The first problem is I don’t like bullies. The second problem is that Norquist represents everything bad that money has done to our political system. The idea that one person can so thoroughly subvert the system is the opposite of what democracy is and what it stands for. By extension, it means also that we (this country) no longer have the moral high ground to tell other countries about democracy. This also means that old boy Grover has access to OUR representatives that normal people do not have. That he can threaten is a large problem and will not, has refused to, release our elected officials when they have asked him to release them. To say that, forever, there is no need to raise revenues through taxes is absurd on its face. Some of these pledges date back to the early 1990’s!! Over twenty years have come and gone and to imply that nothing has changed… simply stupid.
It hit me recently that what is needed is a short cut to release our politicians from this absurd burden of enforcement by Americans for Prosperity and Grover Norquist. It’s simple, really, we declare victory and go home… well not exactly. What The Grover and his ego holds over each politician is money. He tells them that if they veer from the pledge in even the slightest degree his organization will “Primary” the politician. It is the ability to use his hidden money to put up opposing candidates of the same party against the incumbent representative. Here I mean to say that the money is hidden because Norquist’s organization does not have to disclose where the funding comes from!! That’s right, there is NO disclosure. The threat would be meaningless if we could GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.
There is a massive movement afoot to have ONLY publicly funded elections. If that becomes law and there are penalties, felony conviction assured, for any who either give or take, money or trade outside of the public funding then Norquist goes poof and disappears.
In the meantime here is a release for any who have signed onto and come to regret that decision to join the Norquist pledge:
Pledge for the American Process
I, ______________, have determined of my own cognizance that the group Americans for Prosperity and specifically Grover Norquist has misled the country through its pledge to accept no present or future tax increases. This pledge has crippled the political process and debased the people elected to represent their constituency. As such, I, ________________, do hereby renounce and rescind my former pledge to the Americans for Prosperity. As a free agent in the process of democracy I now re-pledge my fealty to my constituents and my country. I agree to pursue the best interests of the United States of America and to listen to and work for those individuals who elected me.