May 31, 2012

Flashback Video: Joe Lieberman In 2000 Called Secret Campaign Cash “Indefensible,” Now Pushes Bill To Keep Political Money Secret

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are leading an effort to keep more secret money in our election system. Two weeks ago, a Senate panel approved a bill that would prevent the public from learning about which taxpayer-funded companies are funneling money into political campaigns. As Mother Jones’ Gavin Aronsen notes, the legislation is the latest effort in a big business-fueled lobbying campaign to block a presumptive executive order from the Obama administration that would force government contractors to reveal their campaign donations.

On the Citizen Vox blog, Rick Claypool explains how the law, which is disingenuously titled “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act,” would work:

Here’s how things work in the real world: If corporations like Lockheed Martin or Academi (formerly Blackwater) want to pour millions to elect a candidate they think will reward them with government contracts, then they will find a way to make sure that the candidate knows. All KPOFCA does is keep the public, not politicians, in the dark.

It should come as little surprise that most of the bill’s co-sponsors are known enemies of clean elections — like Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who recently submitted a brief to the Supreme Court calling for Citizens United to be upheld.

But Lieberman’s efforts to pass the bill can be seen as a reversal of past positions. In 2000, Lieberman worked closely with then-Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) to propose legislation that would bring transparency to corporate and union cash in elections. In a speech on the Senate floor, Lieberman called secret donations “indefensible”:

LIEBERMAN: We’ve seen increasing use of the most egregious violation of the clear intention of our campaign finance laws, so-called 527 organizations that not only invite unlimited contributions from corporations, unions, and individuals, but, keep them a secret!

Finally, we have come to a point in our campaign finance laws that members can no longer defende the indefensible. This is a victory for common sense, for our democracy, for the public’s right to know. It has value in itself, but I hope it will also be a turning point that will lead us to further reform of our campaign finance laws. […] I hope and believe that the debate tonight and the vote tomorrow is the beginning of finally returning some limitation, some sanity, some disclosure, some public confidence to our campaign finance laws.

Watch it:

Why is Lieberman flip-flopping on disclosure? It might relate directly to Lieberman’s retirement, which will come at the end of this year. As Republic Report has covered, one of the biggest forms of legalized bribery in Congress is a dynamic we call “Backdoor Bribery.” That’s when a lawmaker indicates that he or she will retire, then begins making special deals or proposing targeted giveaways in Congress so that lobbyists or private entities will pay them million-dollar salaries when they leave Congress. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) blocked labor reform in his last term in office, then went to work for an anti-labor lobbying group after he retired. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) blocked derivatives reform in his last year in Congress, and now works for Goldman Sachs. Lieberman’s office told Republic Report earlier this year that he would not disclose any current job negotiations with lobbyists. But he is spending a great deal of time partying with K Street influence peddlers, many of whom represent firms that would be impacted by the campaign disclosure executive order.

  • Richard Adlof

    Also should be filled under “douhetastic whore.”

  • WilliamSchwartz

    Lieberman should be tried for treason. He was instrumental in orchestrating the war in Iraq on behalf of AIPAC based on lies he knew about. He is a disgrace to America and to honest people around the world.

    • Eesther

      The rantings of a depraved anti-Semite.

      • CatKinNY

        The rantings of a depraved anti American traitor. You put the interests of a foriegn government ahead of the interests of your own country; be glad it’s not 1952, or you’d be in front of a congressional committee. As it is, why don’t you just move to Israel and have fun beating up and burning the small businesses of black immigrants. The video of Krystalnacht II made me want to puke. Opposing the fascist, war mongering policies of Netanyahu is not anti semitism, you moron, it’s anti Nazism.

        • Guest

          hope you find and take your meds.

          did you know that many anti-semites suffer from ED? it’s a scientifically proved fact. see, those who “can’t get it up” feel utterly inferior and weak and seek to compensate for their sense of worthlessness by behaving with moronic, irrational hostility toward those they believe are responsible for their eversoft penises.

          • CatKinNY

            What, exactly, does opposition to the right wing Israeli government and it’s apartheid policies have to do with antisemitism? Lots of American and Israeli Jews oppose Netanyahu and his unholy alliance with the right wing Rapture crowd in congress; are they all limp dicked antisemites? And don’t count on the present apparently Israeli friendly policies of those Evangelicals, honey; a lot of them dress up in sheets on weekends, and all of them want you to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, after which you’re on your own. Those of you who do not accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior are not going with the Evangelicals in the Rapture – your going to hell. With friends like that, you really should reevaluate who you’re accusing of antisemitism. And if you want to engage in argument in a forum like this, you’d be well advised to step up your game. Silly, junior high school ad hominem attacks on unknown opponents, like implying that a woman is probably suffering from erectile dysfunction because she disagrees with you, frequently backfire. You could argue, I suppose, that you’re doing your bit to dispell stereotypes about Jews – in this case, the myth of Jewish intellectual superiority, but somehow, I don’t think that’s what you had in mind.

  • All I can say is thank goodness that he’ll soon be out of office and off of my screen. However, he may be able to make BIG money peddling his douchebaggery behind the scenes from K Street. What is the lesser of those two evils?

  • Joe “the whore” Lieberman, that fine, fine, fine, Israel firster, treasonous douchebag purporting to be a human being. If Americans don’t deserve what they get, I dunno who does. Electing this POS to any public office is the highest form of psychopathy and masochism ever displayed.

  • Allinecropps

    lieberman need to go home to, and take all the worthless supreme court dead bets that we have that have gone over to the dark side, it is really sad when the american people can not depend on the u s supreme courts to make a fair decision because they are in the pocket of big business we are all in a world trouble

  • WilliamSchwartz

    Lieberman’s thirst for blood is legendary in Washington:
    On June 22, 2006, Lieberman voted against two Democratic amendments to the annual defense appropriations bill, including S. 2766, which called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. S.2766 did not set a withdrawal deadline, but urged President Bush to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2006. Both amendments were defeated in the Senate, 60-39.[109] On the January 14, 2007 episode of Meet the Press, he attempted to link Iraq to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, asserting that the U.S. was “attacked on 9/11 by the same enemy that we’re fighting in Iraq today.”[110]
    As late as January 20, 2011, Lieberman “continued to insist that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction even though none were ever found after the invasion of Iraq,” and “also said that despite the enormous cost to the U.S. in blood, prestige and treasure he does not regret his vote for war and would do it all over again.”[111]

    He has one goal and one goal only: Use every resource America has to offer, every penny he can find, every soldier he can sacrifice to further the zionist supremacist agenda. He is a traitor and should be in jail together with Jonathan Pollard and Rosen.

    • Eesther

      williamswhartz is just another simple yet pathetic anti-semite.

      his only goal is to delegitimize and destroy Israe.

  • Bill49259

    Never did like this guy and never will, I am so glad he never became President.

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