Friday, November 15, 2013

The Corruption at this Democratic Fundraiser Will Make You Laugh...But Then It Will Make You Cry

Last night, in my hometown of Philadelphia, President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser to raise money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). The fundraiser aimed to raise a million dollars for the DSCC.

Huffington Post reported on this event, and this part immediately caught my eye:
The event, which will take place at the home of Comcast executive vice president and major Democratic fundraiser David L. Cohen, is co-hosted by credit card and energy mogul Richard Vague. The fundraiser will feature Obama and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). Bennet is head of the DSCC; Pennsylvania does not have a Senate contest in 2014, but does have many wealthy donors.
First of all, it is worth noting that neither Bob Casey nor Michael Bennet is up for re-election in 2014. But that's just a digression. 
What is really revealing is the host: Comcast executive David L. Cohen.
What was Cohen doing back in February? Why, he was hosting fundraisers for Pennsylvania's Tea Party Republican governor Tom Corbett!
A major Pennsylvania Democratic donor has announced that he will back Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's bid for reelection in 2014, according to multiple state news outlets. As first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen hosted a January fundraiser for Corbett at his Philadelphia home that helped net the governor $200,000 for his reelection campaign.

"I expect to support Gov Corbett," Cohen told the Inquirer in an email message this week.
The Naked Philadelphian, a blog covering Pennsylvania politics, also reported on Cohen's decision to fund the incumbent governor's reelection. A source close to Comcast who attended the fundraiser told the blog, "Comcast is a business in the state of Pennsylvania. They need to be able to talk to both sides." Comcast is headquartered in Philadelphia.

This is not Cohen's first time reaching a hand across the aisle. He has donated to powerful Republicans in Washington, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.); Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
 Nor is it Cohen's first time giving to Corbett, according to campaign finance data available through the National Institute of Money in State Politics. In his 2008 bid to be reelected state attorney general, Corbett received $1,500 from Cohen.
And how about back in June? He was hosting a fundraiser for PA's Tea Party Republican senator Pat Toomey!
Democratic powerbroker David L. Cohen has already crossed party lines to raise money for Republican Gov. Corbett.

Now, the executive vice-president of Comcast is holding a fundraising reception at his home for Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
“Pat Toomey is a smart and gutsy legislator, and exactly the kind of person we need in Washington,” David L. Cohen wrote in an email soliciting attendees and donors for the event. He said Toomey, elected in 2010, has made a “noticeable mark” in the Senate, and praised him for championing legislation that would have extended background checks to firearms purchases made at gun shows.
Comcast is also a powerful and reactionary force in Philadelphia politics. Recently, it was one of the biggest opponents of Philly's attempted paid sick leave legislation:
The biggest opponent of the bill is Philadelphia-based telecommunications giant Comcast. Almost all of the $108,429.25 Comcast spent on lobbying in 2011 was in opposition to paid sick days. It also is a major contributor to Mayor Nutter, contributing $7,500 to his campaign in 2011 and an additional $8,500 in 2012.

Comcast is also heavily involved with the American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," and has representatives on both the Communications and Information Technology Task Force and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. As the Center for Media and Democracy reported, ALEC has had opposition to paid sick days on its agenda since 2011 -- specifically, state bills that would preempt local paid sick day efforts -- and ALEC members have consistently been vocal opponents to the common-sense legislation in almost every city and state it has emerged.
This fundraiser really exemplifies the corruption of the Democratic Party, doesn't it? The plutocracy finds ready friends on both sides of the aisle. 
If you live in PA (I don't any longer), give Casey's office a call and ask him why he's going to fundraisers hosted by one of Pat Toomey's donors. I'd be curious what kind of response--if any--you get.

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