PELOSI AND CORPORATE GOVERNMENTCleaning up the swamp of congressional corruption? That’s what Nancy Pelosi promised to do when she became speaker. Instead, she has been personally involved in even more cozy corporate-congressional collaboration than has been seen under previous speakers. In addition to frequent private meetings with corporateers in Washington, she hosts corporate executives and billionaires for private lobbying conferences at her own hotel, the Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, California. And in many cases, the Pelosi family has financial as well as personal connections with the very corporations who benefit from laws Pelosi helps pass, or who benefit from her refusal to permit reform legislation to pass.
COZY CORPORATE-CONGRESS RELATIONSHIP BENEFITS BOTH, HURTS WORKERS
Corporate owners who give money to politicians get big benefits. They get favorable legislation, special government deals with huge profits, and protection from justice. For example, a Mr. Khosla who has given Pelosi and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee almost $170,000, got a tax credit for the Stion firm he backs of $37.5 million from the economic stimulus legislation. Quite a good investment! The members of the House and Senate also benefit personally, both from campaign funds that enable them to stay in office, and from access to special financial deals not available to the masses. In some cases, the benefits are very direct: cash money. If a billionaire stays at Auberge du Soleil to lobby Pelosi, the room rent and other payments go to the owners of the hotel: the Pelosi family. What a deal! Some of the biggest financial legislation of recent years was structured to benefit Pelosi interests, like the Pelosi financial investments in AIG. One of the biggest benefits to the rich is from inaction, such as the refusal of the Pelosi leadership to allow labor law reform. The Pelosi winery, restaurants and hotel are 100% non-union. Sadly, unions get suckered into giving her money too. But they don’t get anything out of it.
THE RESULTS: WAR, POVERTY, OPPRESSION
Despite the expectations of many, Pelosi refused to stop war funding under Bush, and she has promoted more money for war under Obama. War is a very profitable business, except for soldiers and working people. But the corporate owners don’t care about them, so Pelosi doesn’t either. Despite a little inadequate relief for some of the unemployed, most poor people are just as abandoned under the Democrats as they were under the Republicans. Working people are suffering increasingly from cutbacks, layoffs, furloughs, and the complete failure of the Democrats to keep their promises on labor law reform. And the Democratic administration has defended each violation of human rights enacted under Bush.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?
Some things you can do include participating in demonstrations, writing letters, giving money to good causes that oppose corporate domination, and getting active in groups that fight the cozy relationship between corporations and government. And one key to stopping Pelosi and her type is to VOTE AGAINST THEM. Both Democrats and Republicans are involved in the corporate corruption of government, in promoting wars, in keeping workers out of work while profits soar. But people who decry these things keep getting suckered into voting for the “lesser of the two evils.” Pelosi has an opponent in the November election, Gloria La Riva, who is a strong opponent of corporate government, and who really means it when she says she is against war, and poverty, and homelessness, and favors working people running this country. Her party, the Peace and Freedom Party, is running candidates for every statewide office and for US Senate. Vote for them, support them, and you will be casting the only effective votes against corporate government. Look them up on www.peaceandfreedom.org
Napa County Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party