Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s recent $50,000 campaign contribution from the far-right nut-case bankrollers, the Koch brothers, won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has followed both over the past few years (or decades).
On Tuesday, a campaign finance report was filed detailing the Virginia gubernatorial candidate’s campaign haul thus far along with the donors who have contributed to his grand total. Over the second half of his campaign in 2012, Cuccinelli has raised $1,074,150.
There are no contribution limits in Virginia and corporations are permitted to give directly to political candidates, according to Virginia’s campaign finance laws.
Thus, Intrust Wealth Management’s $50,000 contribution to Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial ‘war chest’. Intrust Wealth Management is one of numerous corporations owned by the billionaire Koch brothers. The $50,000 contribution comes on top of the $10,000 contribution made by Koch Industries in the first half of 2012.
So what’s the big deal anyways, why should Virginians and Americans in general care? Don’t individuals and corporations have a right to give freely to whichever political candidate or group they choose?
What is at issue are the level of contributions that mega-wealthy individuals like the Koch brothers have and are pouring into the political sphere, trumping the contributions and political influence of the ‘average America’. Thus, what is at issue in the debate over Koch brother political contributions is the potential political power they wield indirectly through their political contributions.
But there is also another issue that concerns Virginian’s in particular, and it’s Cuccinelli’s extreme right political views and the views of those who fund Cuccinelli’s political ambitions. We’re not talking about the conservatism of a Bob McDonnell, who looks mild next to Cuccinelli. We’re talking about a political figure who thrives on throwing liberal ideas under the bus and watching them slowly trampled over. This isn’t the type of political figure who see’s compromise as a virtue, and neither do his fat-cat donors.
Demagogues like Cuccinelli have achieved astounding levels of political power in the midst of what could be a political crisis of sorts across the U.S. And as they have risen to power they have championed their political vision to the exclusion of all others. But that’s not how politics works in a democracy.
Politics in a democratic society works by consensus and compromise. But because political figures like Cuccinelli can lean on donors like the Koch brothers, consensus and compromise are apparently no longer worth striving for.