Yes to Corporate Special Interests, No to American Jobs
Early this morning, news broke that a top aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) was leaving Cantor’s staff to form a new “Super PAC” to suck up unlimited cash from corporations, right-wing billionaires, and anyone else who might seek to influence one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington.
Here’s the rundown.
WHO: Rep. Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader.
WHAT: A new “Young Guns” Super PAC. Young Guns is the name Cantor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA) — who are aged 48, 41, and 46, respectively — have given to themselves.
WHAT’S A SUPER PAC: It is a new kind of PAC created by the infamous Citizens United decision. Such PACs can take in and spend unlimited amounts of money from anyone who wants to give it to them. The only real restrictions are that its donors must be disclosed and it can’t directly coordinate its activities with candidates.
WHY THIS IS A PROBLEM: It gives corporate special interests like Wall Street banks and Big Oil an even more direct hotline to one of the most powerful politicians in Washington. Campaign finance reform advocate Fred Wertheimer told the Los Angeles Times:
A super PAC to support a movement being led by key House Republican leaders opens the door wide to influence-buying with these leaders by allowing donors to give corrupting, unlimited campaign contributions to directly support the efforts of the House leaders.
WHAT’S IT GOING TO DO: According to Cantor’s top aide John Murray, who will be leaving his office to run the Super PAC:
It’s going to support free market, pro-business candidates and ideas, and the need to change the way Washington works.
THE YOUNG GUNS AGENDA: If the “Young Guns”-style Tea Party candidates elected with Cantor’s help in 2010 are guide, corporate special interests and the ultra-wealthy will fund this new to PAC to elect more people who will:
- Kill American jobs — 2 MILLION of which have been threatened by GOP bills the House has passed so far this year
- End Medicare
- Manufacture crisis after crisis, pushing our economy closer and close to recession
- Slash Social Security
- Cut taxes for the wealthy
- Cut taxes for giant corporations, including Big Oil and the Wall Street banks
- Eliminate the government agencies and rules that protect our food, water, and air
- Take away health care for more than 30 MILLION people
- Push an extreme social agenda targeting gays and women’s health care
WHAT’S MISSING FROM THE YOUNG GUNS AGENDA:
- American jobs. In fact, Cantor said this week that he won’t even put the put the president’s jobs plan up for a vote in the House of Representatives.
IN ONE SENTENCE: Instead of focusing on putting more Americans back to work, Eric Cantor is focused on raising corporate special interest cash in order to elect more extremists and advance his own political future.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
How can we get majority audiences consuming culture about minority experiences?
The four habits of highly successful social movements.
How Obama is jeopardizing Medicaid.
Recusing America from Wall Street.
How global fossil fuel subsidies make everyone worse off.
A 96-year-old woman was denied a voter ID because she didn’t have her marriage license.
Herman Cain tells Occupy Wall Street protesters, “If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!“‘
Meet the “99 percent” who are protesting at Wall Street.
Anti-Muslim activist calls for mass murder of congressmen, Muslims, journalists, academics, and liberals.
VIDEO: Corporate Media Shows Its Disdain for The 99 Percent Movement
The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.