May 30, 2012

Corporations Close Ranks Around Lamar Smith And Successfully Protect Him From Tea Party Challenge

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) was protected by Corporate America in his primary election.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is one of Congress’s most loyal allies of Big Money. Earlier this year, he championed the “anti-piracy” legislation that would give the government huge internet censorship powers on behalf powerful entertainment and media corporations.

As a result, Smith faced a primary challenge from a former local Sherrif, Richard Mack. Mack is a national Tea Party leader who made opposition to internet censorship legislation a top-line issue in his campaign.

But Big Money soon closed ranks around Smith, working to kill off the Tea Party challenge. Smith raised $1.3 million for his reelection bid, while Mack only had $50,000 on hand. At least half of Smith’s campaign war chest came from Political Action Committees (PACs), which are specifically set up to allow special interests to influence our politics. The incumbent congressman received a dozen times as campaign cash much from PACs as Mack had in his entire campaign.

According to campaign finance disclosures, 97 percent of these PAC donations were from corporations. Smith won his primary last night with 79 percent of the vote.

Running for Congress takes money. A lot of money. Until we fix our broken campaign finance system, it’ll be very difficult to unseat Members of Congress like Smith who do Big Money’s bidding.



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  • Nothing the blood of patriots can’t fix.

  • R Andrew Ohge

    Why would anyone that wants to keep it’s Customer Base rally around this Texas-Sized Tool? An old saying: “Either you’re part of the solution-or you’re part of the problem…” Guess which Lamar is.

  • Rasimus

    Somehow overlooked is the fact that the opponent violated a fundamental rule of American politics. You never challenge an incumbent of your own party. Barring malfeasance in office you simply don’t do it.

    And it should be noted amidst the bleating about evil corporations (aka investors, shareholders, retirement funds, business owners, employees, supported industries, etc.) have a right to express their political preference through campaign contributions. The challenger apparently was unable to generate any level of significant (or wide-spread) financial support–hence no popular appeal for his challenge.

    As I understand it, that is exactly how democracy functions and what the First Amendment defends.

    • Show me one small shareholder, small business owner, employee, supported industries (whatever that means) that has been able to buy a politician to represent their greedy interests?

      Are you people ever ashamed of being on the wrong side of history all the time? When will you get tired for excusing the inexecusable and justifying the unjustifiable? Disgusting!

  • Republican, Tea Party, Libertarian, Democrat…is there a difference?

  • CatKinNY

    Will the Tea Party notice that when they want to challenge an incumbent, big business will only back them if the incumbent is sometimes willing to put the country ahead of big business? Probably not.

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