News & Features » News

Campaign-finance tyranny



It's time for another Hightower Hog Report!

Yes, here come the banking lobbyists. There's the HMO crowd. Oooooh -- that big fat one is the military industry. And here come the Wall Street piggies. All of them are rushing to the federal trough to get billions in benefits, breaks and loopholes, because -- hey! -- they paid their way in.

These are the corporate interests that pay the bribery money to elect both Democrats and Republicans to public office, then have their hirelings repay them ten-, a hundred- or a thousand-fold at the expense of you and me.

This "you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours" system works extremely well for the incumbent politicians and their corporate sponsors, so that's why there's no rush in Congress to reform it.

Of course, our lawmakers know that we know that they are sleezeballs, so they all have to pretend to be "doing something" about cleaning up the corruption. The Republican speaker of the House, Dennis-the-Menace Hastert, for example, says that he definitely, absolutely, cross his heart or hope to die intends to bring the issue of campaign-corruption reform to a vote. Sometime. Maybe in September, says the slippery speaker.

He knows that this is a transparent fraud. If the House does not approve a reform bill by August, there will be no chance to pass it in the Senate ... and, once again, reform will be strangled in a parliamentary maneuver.

But guess what? I've got the direct phone line to Speaker Hastert's office! Please take a couple of minutes to call his office and tell him we don't want delay and strangulation. Here's an idea: Tell Speaker Hastert that we want basic reform to be voted on by July 4, an appropriate date: We want to be freed from the tyranny of special-interest money.

The name of Hastert's aide handling this issue is Bill Koetzle. Call him at (202) 225-2976.

Jim Hightower is an author, radio commentator, public speaker and political sparkplug from Austin, Texas. For more populist commentary, visit his website.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.