Friday, November 02, 2012

In Florida politics, Big Money has a way of staying out of sight ... by gimleteye

There is a terrific episode of Frontline, "Big Sky, Big Money" that illustrates in awful detail the impact of the Bush Supreme Court's Citizen United decision. 

There won't be much news in it, for those who have closely followed the campaign finance abuses that are now standard operating practices in Florida. The episode demonstrates why Big Money as expressed through massive secret contributions is primarily a Republican phenomenon but not exclusively so. It also addresses the stubborn refusal of the US Supreme Court to reconsider Citizens United, despite the clear and blatant abuses of law that miscreants manage to hide under the broad umbrella of secrecy, legitimized by the Court.

For Floridians, the last line is chilling, "Big Money has a way of staying out of sight." That is so true in Florida, where Big Sugar and the billionaire Fanjuls can now exert enormous influence over state and local legislatures through proxies that are impossible to trace.

The collateral damage is the disappearance of diverse voices within the GOP, leaving the party to extremists and sycophants. Our latest example: the political hit job on GOP county commissioner in Lee County, Ray Judah. Judah was singled out by Big Sugar for daring to protest the pollution wrecking real estate values and quality of life and the environment; all the result of Big Sugar's domination of Florida water supply. No different from the story told by Frontline in Montana, brought to light by disgruntled Republicans.

Big Money has a way of staying out of sight.

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