HIGHTOWER: Attorneys General Launder Corporate Campaign Cash

Oh, good. Just what we need: a brand spanking new loophole in our already-corrupt system of financing political campaigns.This new loophole is even stinkier than most, because it's been gouged out by the very officeholders who're supposed to be protecting us from the power of big-money corruption: state attorneys general. Right -- the top legal officers in each of our states! As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, a group of Republican attorneys general, including Charlie Condon of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas, have devised a sneaky way to take secret campaign contributions from tobacco companies, high-tech firms, gun makers, and other giant corporations, promising not to file big lawsuits against them. Instead of serving as "the people's lawyer," these elected AGs are conspiring to be 'the corporation's lawyer," serving the special interests at the expense of the public interest.The sneaky part is that these AGs are laundering their corporate contributions through the national Republican Party -- a maneuver that lets them hide the identity of the corporations and the amount contributed. Representing the Republican Attorneys General Association, Cornyn of Texas has sent a letter to companies soliciting $25,000 or more from each of them. The cash is run through the national GOP, then dispersed to support the election campaigns of these Republican AGs -- all without revealing who gave what to whom.Cornyn, who has been an obedient servant to corporate power in Texas, says simply, "I trust that we're complying with all applicable laws." So far, the A.G.s have amassed more than a quarter of a million bucks in their corrupt fund.This is Jim Hightower saying ... What shameful hypocrisy that this gaggle of politicians, who're sworn to enforce the law, are using legal technicalities to create a secret conduit to funnel corporate cash to themselves. And these guys wonder why there's so little respect for the law ... and for them!

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