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Democratic Voices

May 16, 2003

Republicans Rigging Rules

Republicans are effectively rigging the rules of American politics to give themselves an unjust and inequitable degree of power. Their percentage of the population or the support level for their policies does not justify these efforts. The rise of “modern” or “Bush Republicanism” is the story of the rise in political power of Wall Street and the super-wealthy.

It is also the story of collapse of the checks and balances systems in our political system. Our current Corporate Crime Wave, the collapse of political morality, tons of campaign cash, a Madison Avenue advertising agency approach to politics and a deliberate attempt to control the courts, regulatory agencies and/or the election machinery combine to give us our current political crisis!

We are living in an era of massively corrupt government controlled by the wealthy and completely unresponsive to middle class or poor Americans. This government is a creature of the same wealthy forces that even more completely control our television, radio, magazine and newspaper media outlets. They own most of the book makers and much of the retail distribution chains for books, newspapers, and magazines.

With advertising dollars, Democrats are trying to counter much larger amounts of Republican/Big Business advertising dollars plus complete Republican control of the media. Almost all media reporting has a strongly Republican /Corporate Spin. Fox and MSNBC should be required to file with the Federal Election Commission as arms of the Republican National Committee. The Clear Channel network of radio stations has even a stronger Republican bias. It should be broken-up into many companies by new stronger anti-monopoly laws for many reasons.

CNN, ABC, and CBS lean Republican and Corporate in their coverage of the news. All are very weak in reporting on Republican corruption or scandals. None have given serious news coverage to the apparently hidden ownership role played by Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska in the largest manufacturer of electronic voting machines and his apparent lying in official documents. The situation seems to clearly violate the Senate Ethics Committee rules. It may violate laws. After meeting with Hagel on this issue, the head of the Senate Ethics Committee staff resigned. This is a serious scandal and only one of many concerning Republicans and the election process. Everyone should read Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast for insights into Republican election law violations and fraud. Black Box Voting by Bev Harris will give details on Hagel and electronic vote fraud issues. Many other examples can be found at, or on our message board at

Serious problems in our court systems are the direct results of the Republican Party trying to pack our courts with highly partisan Republican political militants. The Supreme Court no longer places the Constitution or the will of the majority of American citizens over the desires of the Republican politicians who appointed them. Readers should examine The Betrayal of America by Vincient Bugliosi.

The rise to power of the Texas Republican Party began with a serious, long-term plan to pack Texas courts with Republican militants. It was successful. Republican judges have repeatedly blocked investigations into election fraud and/or vote recounts in Texas elections where Republicans have won under very suspicious circumstances.

The Texas Attorney General gave the green light to Texas Republicans (with the active support of the Bush White House and Tom Delay) to try to re-district Congressional seats in Texas three years after the 2000 Census ( and after the first of only five Congressional elections under that Census has already been held). This was done even after the US Supreme Court had already approved the current plan. The only way to block this rigging was for Texas Democrats to boycott the injustice in Texas by leaving the state. The Republican-biased media focused on the tactic used to fight the rigging of the system instead of the injustice that triggered the boycott.

With the active assistance of the Republican Governor of Texas, state police were sent from the Republican Police State of Texas to Oklahoma to try to get Oklahoma authorities help for the Texas Congressional Delegation by five additional Republican seats. Oklahoma declined to act on behalf of the Texas Republican Party, Tom Delay and the White House in this purely political, strong-arm tactic.

The Republican Party has been spinning these events like a Texas tornado. They have been suggesting that Texas Democrats should have gone to court instead of boycotting. They have not said that Texas courts are under the control of Republican militants in most places and especially at the higher levels. These events have proven that the Republican Party will ignore political traditions and abuse their offices in the quest for power.

Republican Senate Majority leader Bill Frist showed the Republican contempt for political traditions when he announced his attempt (with active White House support) to lower the sixty vote margin to close debate in the appointment of federal judges. This number is a long-standing Senate tradition. Frist wanted a new fifty-one vote margin to eventually prevail because Democrats in the Senate were blocking Republican efforts to pack our federal courts with even more Republican militants. No President has been able to completely politicize our federal courts in modern history. Resident Bush seems determined to change our court system where only his brand of Republican makes all decisions regardless of majority viewpoints or accepted legal traditions!

Frist is so closely controlled by the giants of the healthcare industry and drug companies that he is called “Senator HMO” in Tennessee. The entire Bush Administration stinks of Big Oil. No Worldcom or Enron executives have been jailed under the Bush White House. Efforts to halt off-shore money laundering by Big Business to avoid taxes have been weakened. Wall Street firms that cheated and lied to investors in the stock market bubble got fines but no jail time for those involved. They were able to keep most of the profit. Anti-pollution measures have been weakened greatly. Opponents of government regulation have been placed in control of government regulatory agencies everywhere. The corruption of the system is evident everywhere we look. All campaign contributors get their way at our expense in the policies of the Bush Republicans.

Real campaign finance was crippled by Republicans in Congress and opposed as long as possible by the Bush Administration. The weak measures that passed are now being dismantled by Republicans in our court system.

The situation may soon get much worse. The Federal Communications Commission will likely follow the orders of Corporate America and their Republican tools by permitting a vast expansion of media concentration. The FCC under Michael Powell has completely failed to enforce antimonopoly rules. We need an informed citizenry to make our American Democracy work. Media concentration limits the access of our citizens to many different sources of information and opinion. Big Business should not be permitted to control what we see, hear and read. Media concentration is also bad for our economy. Advertising rates are rising because of media concentration. Business owners who buy advertising should support stronger anti-monopoly measure in media ownership.

The Republican voter needs to seize control of their Party from the corrupt- and Big Business for the sake of American Democracy. The Republican Party needs a strong internal reform movement. In the meantime, we need to fight Republican spin and efforts to rig our political system everywhere it can be found… which seems to be almost everywhere.

Stephen Crockett
Al Lawrence
Co-hosts: “Current Affair” News Talk Program
WEKR 1240 am radio
(931) 433-3545

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