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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Dark Money

Linked by Paul Ciano on February 10, 2019

Via NowThis News:

Let’s play a lightning round game. I’m gonna be the bad guy, which I’m sure half the room would agree with anyway, and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible, ideally to enrich myself and advance my interests, even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people. I have enlisted all of you as my co-conspirators, so you’re gonna help me legally get away with all of this. So, Mrs. Hobert Flynn, I want to run. If I want to run a campaign that is entirely funded by corporate political action committees, is there anything that legally prevents me from doing that?

No.

OK, so there’s nothing stopping me from being entirely funded by corporate PACs, say from the fossil fuel industry, the health care industry, big pharma-entirely, 100% lobbyist PAC funded. OK, so let’s say I’m a really, really bad guy, and let’s say I have some skeletons in my closet that I need to cover up so that I can get elected. Mr. Smith, is it true that you wrote this article, this opinion piece for the Washington Post entitled, ‘These payment to women were unseemly. That doesn’t mean they were illegal.’?

Well, I can’t see the piece, but I wrote a piece under that headline in the Post, so I assume that’s right.

OK, great, so green light for hush money. I can do all sorts of terrible things. It’s totally legal right now for me to pay people off, and that is considered speech. That money is considered speech. So, I use my special interest, dark money-funded campaign to pay off folks that I need to pay off and get elected. So now I’m elected, now I’m in. I’ve got the power to draft, lobby, and shape the laws that govern the United States of America. Fabulous. Now, is there any hard limit that I have-perhaps Mrs. Hobert Flynn-is there any hard limit that I have in terms of what legislation I’m allowed to touch? Are there any limits on the laws that I can write or influence? Especially based on the special interest funds that I accepted to finance my campaign and get me elected in the first place.

There’s no limit.

So there’s none. So I can be totally funded by oil and gas, I can be totally funded by big pharma, come in, write big pharma laws, and there’s no limits to that whatsoever?

That’s right.

OK, so, awesome. Now, Mr. Mehrbani, the last thing I want to do is get rich with as little work possible. That’s really what I’m trying to do as the bad guy, right? So, is there anything preventing me from holding stocks, say, in an oil or gas company, and then writing laws to deregulate that industry and cause, you know, that could potentially cause the stock value to soar, and accrue a lot of money in that time?

You could do that.

So I could do that. I could do that now with the way out current laws are set up? Yes?

Yes.

OK. Great. Is it possible that any elements of this story apply to our current government and our current public servants right now?

Yes.

Yes.

So we have a system that is fundamentally broken. We have these influences existing in this body, which means that these influences are here in this committee shaping the questions that are being asked of you all right now. Would you say that that’s correct, Mr. Mehrbani or Mr. Shaub?

Yes.

All right, so, one last thing, Mr. Shaub: In relation to congressional oversight that we have, the limits that are placed on me as a congresswoman-compared to the executive branch and compared to, say, the President of the United States, would you say that Congress has the same sort of standard of accountability? Are there more teeth in that regulation in Congress? On the president? Or would you say it’s about even? Or more so on the federal?

In terms of laws that apply to the president, yeah, there’s almost no laws at all that apply to the president.

So I’m being held, and every person in this body, is being held to a higher ethical standard than the President of the United States?

That’s right, ‘cause there are some ethics committee rules that apply to you.

And it’s already super legal, as we’ve seen, for me to be a pretty bad guy, so, it’s even easier for the President of the United States to be one, I would assume.

That’s right.

Thank you very much.

Paul Ciano

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