Grassroots or Astroturf: Footprints on the Campaign Trail

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Produced by: 
KBOO
Program:: 
Air date: 
Fri, 10/08/2010 - 12:00am
Twenty-Three minutes with Common Cause: Public funding, fusion voting & Third Parties

This is KBOO’;s News & Public Affairs Day – second only in poularity to the Grateful Dead – and joining the “whole Sick Crew”  here at the station my guest is Janice Thompson with Common Cause Oregon.   In this perhaps America’s most contentious election cycle in a long time, we have been asking the question:  what is the role of Third Party candidates, what, indeed is the effect of Third Party campaigns on the Democrats and Republicans.  Can we really call those campaigns which are financed by the redoubtable Koch Brothers grassroots?  More like Astroturf’?  And more importantly the topic of publicly-financed campaigns – America’s political system is Capitalism – not to be confused with Democracy.  The two systems have emerged from the churn running on parallel tracks and borrowed time.  At some point in the brief history of the USA democracy underwrote capitalism.  But look around:  there has been a seismic shift and quite clearly capitalism is underwriting and over-riding democracy.  And it seems that there is no way out. No way to reverse the algorithm.  As long as capital underwrites democracy, we do not actually have democracy.  Given that there’s no turning back, the way forward is publicly-funded elections.

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