Friday, July 23, 2004
The problems of money influencing the American political system run far deeper than the stereotypical image of some fatcat robber baron stuffing money into a politician's pocket in return for political favors. In fact, reform movements often get sidetracked trying to prevent this kind of quid pro quo corruption, and miss the larger picture of wealthy interests buying the way into office for candidates who already agree with their agenda.
But, every now and then, some rich son-of-a-gun comes along who forgets that Americans - even politicians - don't like it when people try to buy our votes, and makes a money-for-vote offer too blatant to let pass without comment.
As Chip Scutari and Robbie Sherwood report in The Arizona Republic, Cox Communications is the latest in this long line. In a recent letter to Arizona legislators, the Cox Communication political Action Committee pushes legislators to sign a "tax-equity" pledge, whereby legislators would agree to tax the satellite t.v. industry - Cox's competition. The Cox PAC will base its decision on whether to give any funds to a candidate "largely on your response".
In other words: don't tax our competitors and receive nothing, or tax our competitors and . . . .?
Kinda makes you wonder what they're saying to your representative in Congress. Kinda makes you wonder what your "representative" is saying back.