Kudos to Gabrielle Bluestone for her “Meet the New Boss”
tagline from The Who song “Won’t Get Fooled Again
” in this story
. The line is in reference to the investigation of the current Virginia Democratic Governor being investigated while the most recent Republican Governor waits to hear if the US Supreme Court will overturn his conviction.
The Who’s line in “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” concluded, “Meet the new boss …. same as the old boss.” Peter Schweizer, who also serves on our Advisory Board, asks if both will be treated equally in this piece
Whatever you think of the standing of either politician – the clear bad news is that so much money is flowing into politics from suspect places – including overseas interests. In light of this fact can Americans hope we can Take Back Our Republic unless we have serious reform of money in politics?
While not as clever as Gabrielle in her lead, here is our email from earlier today:
The federal investigation into millions in Chinese contributions further tarnishes the political system even in a historically clean state. How many American jobs must be sacrificed for foreign political contributions before we act?
The last Republican Governor is waiting to see if the US Supreme Court will throw out his conviction on corruption charges (see Washington Post), while the current Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe, just learned the FBI is investigating his relationship with Wang Wenliang of China and his huge political contributions (see New York Times).
Years before starting Take Back Our Republic
, I ran the group of Republican Legislative Assistants in Virginia. We prided ourselves on working in a clean government state. We were horrified when a Maryland lobbyist described the process in Maryland for getting bills passed – basically walking around with political contributions.
While neither McDonnell or McAuliffe are running for office (you cannot seek re-election for Governor in Virginia), McDonnell just missed out on being Mitt Romney’s running mate four years ago and McAuliffe is on the Board of the Clinton Foundation, where Wang pledged $2 million. McDonnell’s strong showing in ethnically diverse Northern Virginia was seen as a model for Republicans. These are not little known Governors.
We are not here to give an opinion on the guilt or innocence of any official, and my partisan days are behind me. In full disclosure, I have fond memories of the newly elected state legislator McDonnell showing incredible promise by taking on the Majority Leader on the floor of the House. I’m am sure those on the other side of the political divide have had similar experiences with McAuliffe over the years.
However, these stories from both sides of the political aisle and throughout the country should lead all to consider what we can do as a country to stop foreign interests from, in essence, buying our government and have policies favor them over American companies, workers and even national security interests.
A few possible solutions:
2. We could reform the FEC so they are not deadlocked on every vote – a deadlock that let the porn company
founded by a German convicted of tax evasion give hundreds of thousands in political contributions.
3. We could change the law that allows a foreign player like Wang to give unlimited millions to try to win favor for Chinese interests over American interests – as long as he has a green card.
4. We could require organizations to legally verify they have no foreign contributions in the millions they are using to influence US policy.
I am making a rare stop on Capitol Hill this afternoon, and hope these ideas can help create solutions so that we are reading less stories like the ones above.
John Pudner, Executive Director
Take Back Our Republic