by Enver Masud
"The Money Trail" on ABC World News Tonight was, arguably, the most
interesting feature on network television coverage of the Republican and
Democratic party conventions. American elections are, after all, all about
money, and since 1976 they've been about money more than ever before.
Mr. Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity explains: "In
1976, in a landmark case, Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court framed campaign
spending as a free speech issue. In other words, wealthy individuals can spend
as much of their own money as they want on their own campaign.... The Court also
held that while advertisements expressly advocating the election or defeat of a
candidate could be regulated, advertisements about issues could not be
restricted under the Constitution."
As a result, writes Mr. Lewis in "The Buying of the President," "Politicians
and their parties can collect and spend as much money as they want." Before the
first vote was cast in the presidential primaries a private referendum had
already been conducted among the nation's financial elites as to which candidate
would earn the party's nomination. "In every election since 1976," says
political fund-raising consultant Stan Huckaby, "the candidate who has raised the
most money by the end of the year preceding the election, and who has been
eligible for federal matching funds, has become his party's nominee for
As of late June, according to Common Cause, the Republicans had raised $137
million in soft money; the Democrats $119. U.S. Senator Russell Feingold calls
it "legalized bribery," and corporate donors expect to be generously rewarded.
In past years, the federal government alone shelled out $125 billion a year in
corporate welfare according to a special report in TIME magazine.
An indication of the character and views of each presidential candidate follows:
Republican George W. Bush
George W. Bush was a director and shareholder of Harken Energy when in
January 1990 it was granted "exclusive rights to carry out exploration,
development, production, transportation, and marketing of petroleum
throughout most of Bahrain's Gulf offshore areas." The company drilled two
dry holes, but "Bush had sold off
two-thirds of his holdings in Harken for nearly a million dollars, and
bought a small share of the Texas Rangers, a deal that ultimately netted
him--with a helping hand from Texas taxpayers--some $15 million."
Mr. Bush has said, "America should not interfere in Israel's democratic
process and America will not interfere in Israel's elections when I'm the
president." He would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He says that
his favorite philosopher is Jesus.
Mr. Bush is for free trade, and the World Trade Organization. He inherits
his dad's foreign policy advisors: Richard B. Cheney--his choice for
vice-president, Colin L. Powell, and Condoleeza Rice. He will also be advised by
former Reaganite, Paul D. Wolfowitz, who believes in "exporting American
values," and wants to base U.S. troops in Southern Iraq to help Iraqi dissidents
overthrow President Saddam Hussein.
Democrat Al Gore
Armand Hammer, of Occidental Petroleum, described as "the Godfather of
American corporate corruption," liked to say that he had Al Gore's father
Senator Albert Gore, Sr. "in my back pocket." Upon his election to the U. S.
House of Representatives, "the Gore relationship with Hammer had already begun
to transfer from father to son."
Mr. Gore has consistently adopted positions similar to that of the Israeli
lobby. In March, 2000 responding to a question about re-locating the U.S.
Embassy to Jerusalem Gore said, "The outcome I think is hardly in doubt and my
desires are the same as your desires."
Mr. Gore, an interventionist, is for the World Trade Organization. His choice
of Sen. Joseph Lieberman for vice-president--portrayed by the media as Mr.
Morality, and who believes that all human beings are created in God's image--puts
him even more firmly in the grasp of the Zionist lobby courted by the
Clinton/Gore team. As for Mr. Lieberman's morality, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor
of "Tikkun," writes: "Identifying Lieberman as a moral hero only makes sense when
we narrow our vision of 'morality' to the sphere of sexual ethics and abandon
the Biblical insistence that social justice is the core of ethical life."
Third Party Candidates
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, an attorney has devoted his adult life
and earnings to consumer causes--essentially a struggle for social justice.
Republicans and Democrats, he says, are "rotten to the core," and "have turned
government over to big business." He calls George Bush "a wholly owned
subsidiary of the oil industry."
Mr. Nader favors leading the effort for nuclear disarmament, cutting defense
spending in half over 10 years, lifting the sanctions on Iraq, and "waging
peace." He supports peace in the Middle East "based on respect for civil
liberties and human rights."
Reform Party candidate Patrick Buchanan was speech writer for President
Nixon, communications director for President Reagan, and presidential candidate
in 1992 and 1996. He left the Republican party to join the Reform Party in 1999.
In Nixon's "White House that became notorious for its dirty tricks, Buchanan
quickly developed a reputation as the toughest trickster of all."
Mr. Buchanan opposes the World Trade Organization, would withdraw American
troops from Europe and much of the world, end sanctions on Iraq, and end Israeli
lobby domination of Mideast policy. He favors Palestinian statehood, and
Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Mr. Buchanan quotes Harry Truman on the
Presidency being "pre-eminently a place of moral leadership." Mr. Buchanan is
being challenged by Mr. John Hagelin--another claimant to the candidacy of the
American Muslims, while participating in ever larger numbers in the
political process, reflect the divisions among Muslims worldwide. Unable to
agree on a single presidential candidate, they are likely to have a greater
impact on congressional, state and local races, than on the presidential race.
Mr. Eric Erfan Vickers, a Muslim civil rights activist and lawyer, is
running as a democrat for the U.S. House of Representative from St. Louis,
A few Muslim candidates are running for state and local office. These
include: Morshed Alam--City Council, Queens, NY; Hassan Fahmy--Council seat in
Prospect Park, NJ; Lateefah Muhammad--Mayor, Tuskegee, AL; Syed R.
Mahmood--State Assembly, CA; Karriem Mohammad--State House, MI; Akhtar
Sadiq--State Senate, GA; Mr. Saghir Tahir--House of Representatives, NH; Karim
Shahid--State House, GA; Muhammad Abdullah--House of Representatives, MI.
The most crucial factors influencing the outcome of presidential elections,
say academic analysts, "are the state of the country and the state of the
economy." Six of seven forecasts presented at the annual meeting of the American
Political Science Association foresee Mr. Gore winning the election in November.
[Enver Masud is an engineering management consultant, author of "The War on
Islam," and founder of The Wisdom Fund--www.twf.org. This article was published
in England in Impact International,
"Code of Ethics for U.S. Government
Service," about.com, July 11, 1958
["Thousands of voters turned up at the polls two years ago and found their names
had been removed from the electoral roll."--Julian Borger, "Blacks aim to
avenge Florida's 2000 poll," The Guardian, November 2, 2002]
Bev Harris, "System
Integrity Flaw Discovered at Diebold Election Systems" Scoop, February 10, 2003
["In the two years before the elections, the Florida secretary of state's office
quietly ordered the removal of 94,000 voters from the registries. Supposedly,
these were convicted felons who may not vote in Florida. Instead, the
overwhelming majority were innocent of any crime, though just over half were
black or Hispanic."--Martin Luther King III and Greg Palast, "Jim Crow
Revived in Cyberspace," Baltimore Sun, May 8, 2003]
Bev Harris, "Inside
A U.S. Election Vote Counting Program," Scoop, July 8, 2003
Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You
[The Supreme Court, in five straight campaign-finance decisions, has largely wiped out
post-Watergate campaign reforms and, in the case of corporate contributions, undone
nearly a century of law. Adding to the anarchy, Congress has been unable to agree on
legislation requiring donors disclosure. For those who violate what's left of the law,
there is little risk of punishment, because the FEC, paralyzed by a partisan split, has
been unable to agree on much enforcement.--Dana Milbank, "Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign
finance," washingtonpost.com, June 30, 2011]
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