There are memes circulating around that assert both sides; that democrats are taking in more money, or that republicans are. They’re both not wrong, except that the ones that point the finger at democrats leaves out entirely all of that dark 501(c)(4) money at the heart of the IRS nontroversy.
Let me digress to the IRS "scandal" for a moment. The scandal was that everyone who applied for 501(c)(4) tax exemptions, with the exception of one organization, got their exemptions. The one organization that was denied status is called "Emerge America". They were denied status for three different branches; Emerge Nevada, Emerge Maine, and Emerge Massachusetts. They were denied because they were clearly set up to help get female democratic candidates elected. Everyone else who applied got their tax exemptions. So Karl Rove’s GPS (all of the different flavors) is tax exempt. They spent $70.5 million tax exempt dollars in 2012. They were the top dark money spenders. Here’s the list of the top 10 biggest 501(c)(4)s:
- Crossroads GPS – $70.5 million
- American Future Fund – $23.6 million
- Americans for Tax reform – $15.6 million
- American Action Network – $10.6 million
- League Of Conservation Voters – $9.6 million
- The NRA – $7.4 million
- Patriot Majority USA – $6.3 million
- Americans For Responsible Leadership – $5.5 million
- Planned Parenthood – $4.1 million
- Republican Jewish Coalition – $4.6 million
Notice that all but two are right wing organizations, and one of them has the word REPUBLICAN right there in the name. They all received 501(c)(4) status. That was the real scandal with the IRS. Now I can see letting Planned Parenthood and the NRA keep their exemptions. They really are issue oriented organizations, and will support whoever supports their cause in any given race. But the rest are a joke, and they’re robbing us all blind.
Okay, enough of that. Back to the topic of this post. I understand that most people posting political memes don’t take the time to fact check, and that virtually no one who posted the "who raises more money" memes bothered to get the numbers I just got for you together. So how is a person, too intellectually lazy to get the facts, to know what the truth is?
We have an answer now, and we’re about to get some confirmation of that answer. Yesterday, Harry Reid (D) announced his support for a constitutional amendment proposed by Tom Udall (D) and Michael Bennett (D) to get money out of politics and overturn Citizen’s United and McCutcheon. Reid said he would "force multiple votes" on the proposed amendment if he needs to. Did you notice all the Ds involved in this effort? How about the Rs? Did you spot any of those? Yeah, me neither.
Don’t get excited, this isn’t going to go anywhere. There will most definitely be a filibuster to avoid a vote. We can’t have an actual vote because that would give us a record of which members of the senate are pro big, dark, corporate money and we can’t have that. We know that Mitch McConnell loves this system because he’s on record saying he’s for it. The best we can hope for with this effort on Reid’s part, is to get a record of which senators are on which side. We will never get the house on record because Boehner won’t ever bring this to the floor.
But you should believe Reid when he says he’s against the big money, and you will have to believe that Boehner is for it when he never puts it up for a vote. You should believe that Udall and Bennett are earnest in their efforts to get the money out, and you should believe every vote that every politician casts. Those votes paint a much more accurate picture than the unsourced memes do.
Believe how the politicians vote because those votes never lie. You should believe Harry Reid on Citizen’s United, just like you should believe him on this:
Yup, that’s Harry Reid being a giant hypocrite. But in his defense, I believe he’s being a giant hypocrite because he has to be. Under our current system, he doesn’t have a choice, but to kiss Sheldon’s ………..ring.
Do I think that democrats would want to take the money out of politics if they were winning the "giant pile of cash" race? No, I’m not an idiot. But I don’t care about motivations. My only concern is with results. If I get the good result I’m after, I don’t need you to have been altruistic while doing it. This isn’t a "democrats are the good guys" post. This is a "believe your own lying eyes instead of that stupid meme" post.
So next time a republican refers to the "IRS scandal" or tells you that unions are spending way more money on elections, tell them to shut the fuck up and believe their own lying eyes. They won’t, but telling them to shut the fuck up with impunity will give you a little satisfaction.