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Look Who's Covertly Controlling the GOP: Karl Rove, Scheming Election Theft and Raising a Fortune for Vicious Attack Ads

Karl Rove is no longer merely Bush’s Brain; he’s the man who swallowed the Republican Party.

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CRAIG UNGER: Right, exactly. I mean, there are two United States Supreme Court decisions that are among the two most controversial in history. And one, of course, is in 2000,  Bush v. Gore, and the Supreme Court, by a five-to-four margin, effectively appointed Rove’s candidate president of the United States. And again in 2010, also by a five-to-four majority, the  Citizens United decision opened the gateway for the super PACs and for the billion dollars Rove controls today.

And Rove has always known this, I think, about the judiciary—excuse me. In Texas in—back in the '80s, he started taking over the Texas Supreme Court, and he flipped it from heavily Democratic to heavily Republican. He did the same in Alabama. A lot of people don't realize he had a real power base in Alabama. And he played a key role in the appointment of U.S. attorneys. And it’s also—one of his clients was John Ashcroft of Missouri, and Rove made—got him appointed attorney general of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: And he was one of the names being mentioned if Akin were to pull out.


AMY GOODMAN: We only have a minute to go. As you wrote this book, as you wrote  Boss Rove, what most surprised you? What do you think it’s most important to understand about this man who has now become perhaps the most powerful political operative in America?

CRAIG UNGER: Well, I think it’s the enduring aspect of the changes. We see it in the Siegelman going to jail, that this is—this started over 10 years ago with Siegelman, and now he’s going to jail perhaps for eight years. I just think it’s an absolute travesty. And Siegelman is just one example out of dozens and dozens. So, you have what I think are real threats to democracy that have a lasting power, and with things like the voter suppression drive, that these—a lot of these issues are real threats to democracy.

AMY GOODMAN: Craig Unger, we want to thank you very much for being with us, author of  Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power. It hits the bookshelves on September 4th. He’s contracting editor at  Vanity Fair, where you can read an  excerpt from Boss Rove. We’ll link to it on our website.

That does it for the show. We’ll be broadcasting two-hour specials every day from the Republican and Democratic conventions.

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