More and more we see naked attempts to control the country and the rest of us by the ultra wealthy. With phenomena like the Citizens United decision, the courts seem increasingly happy to flagrantly hand power over to the ultra-wealthy few. Sponsoring the redistricting they want is another way in which the plutarchs exert control.

Corporations Bankrolling Redistricting Efforts

Special interests throwing big bucks into redrawing political borders for political allies.

by Ben Johnson

Who would you rather redraw your voting districts: Politicians, powerful special interests, or corporations? How about the Koch brothers?

It’s a tough call, but don’t worry, the decision is already being made for you.

A new report out from < a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/hidden-hands-in-redistricting-corporations-special-interests" target="_blank">ProPublica says that corporations, unions and other special interests are bankrolling civic-named organizations like The Center for a Better New Jersey, and Fair Districts Mass. Protect Your Vote. The goal? Redraw the political borders so that come election time, their favorite candidates win with the least amount of resistance.

From ProPublica:

Skillful redistricting can, of course, help create Republican or Democratic districts, but it can also grace incumbents with virtually guaranteed re-election or leave them with nearly no chance at all. In the process, it can also create seats almost certain to be held by minorities or break those same groups apart, ensuring that they have almost no voice.

But it’s not cheap, and that’s where corporations and other outside interests come in. They can provide the cash for voter data, mapping consultants and lobbyists to influence state legislators, who are in charge of redistricting in most states. Outside interests can also fund the inevitable lawsuits that contest nearly every state’s redistricting plan after it is unveiled.

The first in a series on redistricting and the 2012 elections, the report gives examples like Minnesota’s group Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting. The group describes itself as independent. But who’s heading the group — and who is paying its bills — show common threads with Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, funded by conservative billionaires the Koch brothers. Both Fair Redistricting and the Freedom Foundation’s tax filings have the same address, that of husband and wife Jack and Annette Meeks. Fair Districting is registered under the name of Jack, who is on the board of the Freedom Foundation — where wife Annette is the head.

In Massachusetts, Fair Districts Mass says its goal is helping minorities in the Boston area find better representation. But the group’s funding — which can include unlimited donations from corporations — doesn’t need to be detailed under current law. Perhaps more interesting: minority groups say new districting maps proposed by Fair Districts Mass won’t actually help minorities at all.

Even though the numbers might look as if that might be favorable to communities of color, if you look at voting patterns, it actually won’t be. Alejandra St. Guillen of Latino organization Oiste tells ProPublica.

It’s happening all over the national and political map. In California, unions are trying to use similar methods to help their preferred candidates. Florida Rep. Corrine Brown, a Democrat, represents one of the most strangely-shaped districts in the state – the result of a deal with other legislators to scoop out African-American communities that would support her, while removing them from challenging candidates in other more conservative districts.

Meanwhile in Texas, a redistricting map signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry is under new scrutiny from the Department of Justice, for what the DOJ says is purposfully disenfranchising minority voters, according to Talking Points Memo. Photo by Jana Birchum/Getty Images (A new Texas congressional redistricting map is seen August 9, 2003 in Austin, Texas. The map was re-drawn by state legislators to allow Republicans to win more congressional seats in the U.S. Congress.)

Originally posted on Slate.com

Be aware. Take notice. Stand up for yourself.

39 Responses to “Another Mechanism of the Corporatocracy”

  1. I think you know what socialism is. Socialism helps the people; it do everything for them. It helps those who struggle, whereas capitalism just throws them on the scrapheap. Socialism tell you where to go; what capitalism does with all its facile telling you to buy things you even need. Socialism safeguards the threat of the tyranny of capitalism.

  2. Anti-corporatism protests in New York persist unabated with protesters continuing their campaign against the US government, demanding an end to corporate greed and top-level corruption within the establishment, Press TV

  3. OK …here is a “free market capitalist” who belives in small federal government….who made a career out of being paid by federal tax dollars..not tpomention his very nice retirement. The military is 1/3 of the fed budget…and it need not be. there

    What a hypocrite.

  4. Most deregulation was conservative ideology. As long as banks could sell bad paper, they did, even though it was supposedly “AAA”. Deregulation (mostly by consevatives) brought about this mess. So, why do you champion conservatives?

    Your understanding is pretty vague. But no, I do not plan to shut up and let a bunch of NeoCon crooks continue to screw the US. I am upset by the Neil Wolin pick, though.

    We no longer have capitalism; we have corporatism. Cap. was killed 25 yrs ago by NeoCons.

  5. desoron thiberns says:

    Yeah. I didn’t mean to say corporatism, commercialism etc isn’t rife in elite football. Just look at the “ad-wars” b/w Nike

  6. Invictus here, folks: Occupy Wall Street has been the subject of debate with friends and colleagues. Some confusion and misconceptions are out there regarding the protesters’ message: I’ve heard that the OWS movement is anti-capitalist, anti-Semitic, Pro-Socialist, Pro-Marxist, or a combination thereof. Or that they’re just — as Atrios re-popularized the phrase long ago — […]

  7. HOW ABOUT TAKING MONEY FROM THE CORPORATIONS FOR SS?
    Ron plan will balance the budget in 3 years without raising taxes!
    Social programs remain untouched as the BIG problems are resolved.
    Government employees will be phased out as they quit/retire or moved to other jobs.
    Learn more at

  8. I was mainly thinking about economic development. And yes, I don´t want to believe in cities for dummies”. This exemplary view suggests policy makers and/or RDA´s just have to follow the 15 or whatever steps of setting up a city” and everything will be fine. No it won´t. Regional development depends highly from the specific setting of the region and its actors. example: many regions tried to just imitate the sillicon valley and ended up failing in a “sillicon nowhere”.

  9. NO DOUBT NOW – THE BEST GOV’T MONEY CAN BUY – 14,000 lobbyists – 535 lawmakers – #OccupyWallStreet –

  10. lettier nadoo says:

    Dear House GOP, thanks for letting the middle class tax credit lapse while vigilantly protecting the top 1%’s tax credit.

  11. doylande gar says:

    I don’t disagree that bailing out corporations that mess up is bad. However there are several problems with letting your response be that simple. 1) Often Management is the problem. It might be prudent to bail out the corporation and put management in jail, for example. 2) Often Laws or regulation is the problem. Make sure the rules are explicit next time so you *can* put in jail. 3) Sometimes total risk is the problem. That’s why we need Glass-Steagel.

  12. geezus fawking kites, people, BREATHE or take a nebulizer. RON PAUL WILL NEVER BE POTUS. not because of votes but because of the PLUTOCRACY

  13. America has and always will be a complicated lass. We are so quick to hate and tell the world how much. As a world.. we need to come together. If we WE ALL DIE!!

  14. mulat miccares says:

    Even in “open bidding” our tax dollars will go to the rapacious Capitalist who wins the contract. If you think we get a “better deal” doing things this way, think again. The Capitalist will hire unskilled, cheap labor (illegal immigrants) to maximize his profit margin. So in the end, taxpayer dollars “goes to the rich”. As long as the State provides the essential infrastructure that enriches the Capitalists, Workers should appeal to the State for laws that establish a dignified living.

  15. B.S….He is known to be the most Liberal president in our history. He just “sides” with whom-ever he needs to to get his agendas passed. He has failed EVERYBODY but the Radical Left is home to him. That is where his socialist policies come in. drunk on his Kool-Aid. This reminds me of a great quote: “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, They know a lot of things that just so.~Reagan. Wake up and get off that Kool-Aid. deadly.

  16. margoodfor says:

    Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: “Killing in the Name”: By Uploaded by tachpense on Dec 23, 2009
    http://t.co/gaPvZfpf

  17. held vilarima says:

    Spain bond yields reach 6%.
    Looks like Spain is on the verge of being taken over by the 1% just like Greece.
    Democracy becoming Plutocracy

  18. and patchefner says:

    I’m really glad my son who just graduated from college is sooo not naive about corporatism. He’s taught me a lot!

  19. off zweida says:

    Is and representative of headed for defeat? Austerity for the middle class & more $ for the wealthy is a plutocracy.

  20. gamalaille says:

    It’s surprising that, even with the economy in such dire straits, Pres. Obama still is so blinded by his anti-corporatism that he wastes his bully pulpit on easily disprovable rhetoric such as this.

  21. sutkan stuppenuse says:

    Nothing in the statement suggests that radical steps are needed or helpful, and it mostly comes across as buzzworded corporatism.

  22. charolli says:

    Corporatism is a total vulgarization of capitalism by Neocons. If people don’t thrive a system will perish. Henry Ford knew that. –

  23. norisforme vis says:

    the point is the Fed is central to the crony corporatism in DC. They cause the boom/collapse & Obama kept Bush’s guy in.

  24. mallarcy bruccia says:

    My biggest hope for the Olympics is that the athletes elevate them all above the disgusting corporatism that has typified thus far

  25. holthon frandley says:

    I for one am happy Ryan wanted to cut farmers off of government welfare. This corporatism fair. But we need to cut defense/military!

  26. Vietnam Savasi’ni protesto etmek icin Hanoi’nin etrafindaki ormanin icinde matematik dersi vermis, 20. yuzyil matematigine (muhtemelen) en saglam damgayi vurmus, gucunun zirvesindeyken her seyi birakip yok olmus bir adam. Soyle muhtesem bir alintinin da kaynagi: Daha onceki bi post’ta bahsettigim siradisi “copyright” girisimini dikkate almayip otobiyografisini Turkce’ye cevirme girisimleri var bugunlerde.

  27. As Ron Paul said we are dealing w/ a soft form of fascism…corporatism is more like it…Fox, MSNBC, etc. are corporations…

  28. Yes it was a smoke and mirror show to advance American Corporatism at the cost of innocent human lives!! It’s all about $$$$$

  29. The Occupy protestors should stop fighting corporatism and stuff. Instead, they should zero in on the real problem in America: Glee.

  30. he is all that stands between us and full blown corporatism. Corporations bought the mine and we got the shaft.

  31. pieseh wuenishaha says:

    Renowned political activist Ralph Nader will speak about “Corporatism and Social Class” TODAY at 4 pm in PMU S Ballroom

  32. lobackness arbec says:

    O yeah, what do I win? Debasement of currency, more corporatism, more failed Keynesian policies, more police state & war? No thanks

  33. Time to retire plutocracy and oligarchy.REALLY!And not under rocks to reappear when we get complacent or they create another crisis.

  34. midi lognata says:

    One of WikiLeaks’ greatest achievements has been to expose the exorbitant amount of influence that multinational corporations have over Washington’s diplomacy.

  35. Obama May Use Exec Order to Mandate Gun-Control in America: Susanne Posel Occupy Corporatism January 7, 2013    … –

  36. grapplegri pedra says:

    Yeah the whole anti-state thing isn’t working for me. I mean who would build the roads and protect us from corporatism?

  37. frer rose says:

    Just wanted to let the State of Texas know I’m very excited. Looking forward to speaking at Texas AM tonight. Just ca …

  38. darellalu says:

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state & corporate power.” – Mussolin … –

  39. poske jadwa says:

    ..stupidity, & plutocracy. There’s no magic hand that in the marketplace that will prevent injustice & promote the general welfare”..con

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