The Hightower Report

Who's really electing our leaders?

A big surprise in this year's elections is that American politics has become dominated by the least likely of participants: shy people. That's strange, since running for office is an ego game, attracting those at ease with self-promotion. But the hot new trend is to campaign anonymously, not even whispering your name to voters.

Of course, these are not the campaigns of actual candidates, nor are the campaigners even people. Rather, they are corporations, empowered by the Frankensteins on our Supreme Court to possess the political rights of us real, human-type people. Using their shareholders' money, corporate entities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to elect or defeat whomever they choose.

You would know these corporations, for they are major brand names from Big Oil, Big Food, Big Pharma, etc. Normally, they are not at all bashful about promoting their corporate brands, but – shhhh – they want to be totally secretive about their massive spending to decide who holds office in America. They realize that their self-serving campaigns would alienate their customers, employees, and shareholders, so they're keeping their involvement hush-hush.

One agency could compel them to reveal their spending on what amounts to a corporate coup of our democratic elections: the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is supposed to guard the right of investors to know how corporate executives are spending their money. But this watchdog isn't barking, much less biting, thus allowing CEOs to take unlimited amounts of other people's money, without their permission, and secretly pour it down the darkest hole in American politics.

SEC's inaction is gutless, making it complicit in the corporate corruption of our governing system. To help make it do its duty, link up with Public Citizen: www.citizen.org.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More campaign finance
Follow the Money ... to the Polls
Follow the Money ... to the Polls
Election funds flow to and from candidates and PACs

Mike Clark-Madison, Oct. 19, 2018

Point Austin: Money and Minds
Point Austin: Money and Minds
Campaign finance reform is not a zero-sum equation

Michael King, April 20, 2012

More The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The Donald Show

Jim Hightower, July 10, 2015

The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The damning nuttiness of the GOP's "Hell No" faction

Jim Hightower, Aug. 15, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

campaign finance, Securities and Exchange Commission, Public Citizen

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle