Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Are Who We Take Money From, Part 2

In Part 1 I took a look at the wisdom of having Wal-Mart as a sponsor of a NHDP event. It turns out that the same event was also sponsored by GE, The Genesee & Wyoming RR, Unitl, and Fidelity Investments aka FMR.

General Electric/GE is one of the top manufacturers of nuclear weapons. They also build nuclear power plants, and are one of the leading suppliers of depleted uranium, which is being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. GE is currently engaged in a court battle. They're challenging the Federal Superfund law. It seems that being forced to clean up their messes (and they've needed to be forced on numerous occasions) is hurting their stock prices. I'm ashamed that my party (I'm still a registered Democrat...for now) is taking money from this evil corporation.

The Genesee & Wyoming Railroad is actually a conglomerate of a bunch of small railroads with lines in Canada, Australia, Bolivia, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the US. The CEO is John Hellmann, who used to be an investment banker with Lehman Bros. He worked for Weyerhauser Corp. in Japan and China. I didn't find anything sinister - but I may not have dug deep enough.

Unitl is a utility company. In NH, they recently decided they'd like to raise their rates. The rate increase for residential customers would be 9%. Unitl is asking for this increase because their revenue is down, due to customer conservation.

Fidelity Investments/FMR - are #2 in political campaign contributions from the security and investments sector. They are second only to Goldman Sachs.

As it happens, the NHDP is now sharing their funding sources with GOP candidates. Senate candidate Bill Binnie has received $4,800 from Wal-Mart so far, and Ovide Lamontagne has received $2,500 from FMR.

I'm aware that times are tough - but sharing donors with the other guys leads cynical folks to reiterate the view that there isn't a dime's bit of difference between the two parties. We can't take the moral high ground if we're feeding from the same corporate trough.

cross-posted at Blue Hampshire.

1 comment:

DissedBelief said...

Exactly Susan. This leads us voters to deep despair and hand wringing. With each passing day I become more disillusioned with the Dems. And no surprise little Rand won in deeply fried Kentucky. To be endorsed by Palin no less? And the Tea Part i ers are different from the Republicans? Your phrasing is perfect, in that if all our public servants voted into office by us have their hands in the same trough, perhaps the answer is to stay en masse away from the polls and boycott them the way I'd like to see us all boycott BP / Arco!! Let's at least make THAT happen. Shut them down, and put them out of business.