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Martha Coakley's Corporate Connections

Democrats Going Down in Flames

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Martha Coakley is going down in flames.

So is the Democratic Party.

Why?

We found the answer earlier this week at – of all places – The Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

Timothy Carney was giving a powerpoint presentation about his new book: Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses.

Here’s the book in a nutshell:

“Both parties are the parties of big business,” Carney said. “They both promote corporate socialism.”

I sat there in the front row at Cato, in wonder.

Listening to the talk – as Carney outlined how Obama had cut deals with Billy Tauzin and the pharmaceutical industry.

Thinking to myself – is this why Martha Coakley is having such a hard time in Massachusetts?

She’s just another corporate Dem — just like Obama?

Then, lo and behold, as if I was channeling Carney, he calls up a slide on his powerpoint.

On the big screen at Cato is an invitation to a corporate fundraiser – that night at the Sonoma Restaurant on Capitol Hill – for Coakley.

And I say to myself – wait a second.

Coakley is in the middle of a tight race and she’s flying to DC one week before the election to be with a group of corporate lobbyists?

Yes.

She is.

And then Carney went down the list of 22 members of the host committees – meaning they each raised $10,000 or more for Coakley.

“Seventeen are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients,” Carney said.

“You see the names – Gerald Cassidy, David Castagnetti,, Tommy Boggs – those are all lobbyists I’ve highlighted there who have clients who are drug companies, health insurers, hospitals or all three,” Carney said. “AHIP, Phrma, Pfizer, Blue Cross – everybody is covered there. Aetna somehow isn’t. I don’t know how they got left out.”

“These are the special interests,” Carney said. “These are the people trying to elect Martha Coakley to be vote number 60 for health insurance.”

Carney then puts up a slide showing how the Phrma cash went from supporting Republican candidates for President in the past – to supporting Barack Obama in 2008.

“Barack Obama raised $2.1 million from drug companies in 2008,” Carney said. “That’s about equal to what John McCain raised plus what George Bush raised in both of his elections. It’s the most by far any candidate has raised from the drug industry.”

The people of Massachusetts already have tried a corporate reform that forces them to buy junk insurance.

They don’t like it.

They’re waiting for a candidate that will deliver a message they’ve been waiting to hear.

Single payer.

Everybody in.

Nobody out.

Put the private insurance companies out of business.

Drive down the cost of drugs to the levels of say Canada or the UK.

But Obama, Coakley and the Democrats are awash in corporate cash.

They have made their choice.

And they deserve to lose.

Onward to single payer.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER is editor of Single Payer Action.