USA: main Presidential candidates are millionaires

This video from the USA is called Only in a Mad World is There Such a Wide Rich-Poor Gap.

By Tom Carter:

The American presidency: Only millionaires need apply

28 May 2007

Most candidates for president in the 2008 US elections from both of the major political parties filed their personal finance disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) last week.

The reports indicate that the top candidates from both parties are all multimillionaires.

Over the past several decades, huge amounts of wealth have been concentrated in the hands of a tiny financial elite at the expense of the rest of the population.

One consequence of this social stratification is that the interests of the very rich have more and more openly come to dominate American politics.

This political fact is reflected in the personal wealth of those considered serious contenders for the presidency.

Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani’s net worth almost doubled in 2006 to more than $30 million.

Cashing in on his national celebrity following the September 11 attack, he made $11.4 million from some 124 recent public speeches, for which he charged as much as $200,000 apiece.

He also made $4.1 from his consulting firm Giuliani & Company, $1.2 from his law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, and $3 million in advance royalties for his recently published book.

Republican candidate Willard “Mitt” Romney is by far the wealthiest of the current contenders for the White House, with personal assets by most estimates of well over a quarter of a billion dollars.

Romney has yet to file his personal financial disclosure report.

According to an article earlier this month in the Washington Post, he “will also disclose that he has between $70 million and $100 million set aside in a blind trust for his five children and 10 grandchildren.”

Romney, the former governor of the state of Massachusetts, former CEO of Bain & Company, and CEO of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, made his millions as a venture capitalist.

Bain Capital, which Romney founded in 1984, was responsible for financing Staples, Domino’s Pizza, Brookstone, and other firms.

Republican candidate John McCain’s net worth is estimated at anywhere from $20 to $32 million.

His wife, Cindy McCain, is the daughter of a millionaire Arizona beer magnate.

In addition to a long list of stocks, securities, and investment funds, the senator listed an agreement with A&E Television Networks to make a film based on his book Faith of My Fathers.

US big business and campaigns: here.

The OECD says gap between rich and poor is widening.

Neoconservatives as US Republican candidates’ advisers: here.

Women voters and non-voters in US elections: here.

Candidate Tancredo against hurricane Katrina victims, see here.

8 thoughts on “USA: main Presidential candidates are millionaires

  1. Romney’s dog
    Posted by: “Compañero” chocoano05
    Tue Jul 3, 2007 10:48 pm (PST)

    Mitt Romney’s Unfortunate Dog An Enemy Combatant?
    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    On arrival in Guantanamo, prisoners coming out of the metal containers from the planes were put into dog cages…keeping them there ten-twenty hours at a time, thus forcing them to defecate and lie in their own defecation.

    –via the World Prout Assembly report

    If there was ever any doubt about Mitt Romney’s willingness to inflict cruelty and inhumane conditions on another being, Anna Cox’s follow-up story,8599,1638065,00.html in Time should settle the matter:

    The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier – with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it – to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.

    Massachusetts’s animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from carrying an animal “in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon.” An officer for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to a description of the situation saying “it’s definitely something I’d want to check out.” The officer, Nadia Branca, declined to give a definitive opinion on whether Romney broke the law but did note that it’s against state law to have a dog in an open bed of a pick-up truck, and “if the dog was being carried in a way that endangers it, that would be illegal.” And while it appears that the statute of limitations has probably passed, Stacey Wolf, attorney and legislative director for the ASPCA, said “even if it turns out to not be against the law at the time, in the district, we’d hope that people would use common sense…Any manner of transporting a dog that places the animal in serious danger is something that we’d think is inappropriate…I can’t speak to the accuracy of the case, but it raises concerns about the judgment used in this particular situation.”

    Isn’t Mr. Romney, by his own admission as well as those of his breathless supporters, a rather stunningly wealthy man? One has to wonder why he didn’t simply rent an RV for the drive from Boston to Ontario, or better yet, charter a bloody private plane. Mean and miserly types I can handle–I simply avoid their company. Cruel, thoughtless, compassion-free people are another thing altogether: I want to see them experience firsthand the misery they inflict on others.

    So I propose herewith that we put Mitt Romney in a cage strapped to the roof of a station wagon, drive it around at 65-70 mph, and see how long it takes for him to, ah, lose control. Then we can hose him off and put him back in the cage, soaking wet, and drive around some more until twelve hours have passed.

    What a heartless, hideous man.


  2. Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” redwoodsaurus
    Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:55 pm (PST)
    Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns

    August 17, 2007

    Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared
    with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal
    money in battleground congressional districts and states
    after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP
    election strategy.

    Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at
    least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006,
    officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at
    the Commerce Department received at least four briefings all
    in the election years of 2002, 2004 and 2006.

    The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether the
    White House’s political briefings to at least 15 agencies,
    including to the Justice Department, the General Services
    Administration and the State Department, violated a ban on
    the use of government resources for campaign activities.

    Under the Hatch Act, Cabinet members are permitted to
    attend political briefings and appear with members of
    Congress. But Cabinet members and other political
    appointees aren’t permitted to spend taxpayer money with
    the aim of benefiting candidates.

    During the briefings at Treasury and Commerce, then-Bush
    administration political director Ken Mehlman and other White
    House aides detailed competitive congressional districts,
    battleground election states and key media markets and
    outlined GOP strategy for getting out the vote.

    Commerce and Treasury political appointees later made
    numerous public appearances and grant announcements
    that often correlated with GOP interests, according to a
    review of the events by McClatchy Newspapers. The pattern
    raises the possibility that the events were arranged with the
    White House’s political guidance in mind.

    The briefings are part of the legacy of White House political
    adviser Karl Rove, who announced this week that he’s
    stepping down at the end of the month to spend more time
    with his family. Despite Rove’s departure, investigations into
    the briefings are expected to continue.

    One congressional aide, who asked to remain anonymous,
    said the investigation was revealing “a number of
    remarkable coincidences” similar to how Treasury and
    Commerce events appeared to coincide with the strategy in
    the political briefings. However, it remains to be seen
    whether the subsequent department actions were
    intentional, said the aide, who asked not to be named
    because the investigation is ongoing.

    As part of the probe, committee investigators found that
    White House drug czar John Walters took 20 trips at
    taxpayers’ expense in 2006 to appear with Republican
    congressional candidates.

    In a separate investigation, the independent Office of Special
    Counsel concluded that GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan
    violated the Hatch Act, which limits the political activities of
    government employees. Witnesses told investigators that
    Doan asked at the end of one political briefing in January
    2007 what her agency could do to help GOP candidates.
    Doan has said she doesn’t recall that remark.

    Violations of the Hatch Act are treated as administrative, not
    criminal, matters, and punishment for violations ranges from
    suspension to termination. The administration has not taken
    any action against Doan.

    Even so, the Hatch Act “is an important statute and it needs
    to be enforced,” said James Mitchell, spokesman for the
    Office of Special Counsel. “One of the effects we hope our
    investigations will have is to deter violations during the
    upcoming election cycle.”

    In the months leading up to the 2002 election,
    then-Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Bush’s former
    campaign finance chairman, made eight appearances or
    announcements with Republican incumbents in districts
    deemed by White House aides either as competitive districts
    or battleground presidential states.

    During the stops, he doled out millions of dollars in grants,
    including in two public announcements with Rep. Heather
    Wilson, a New Mexico Republican in a competitive district.

    Republicans ultimately regained control of the Senate and
    expanded their majority in the House of Representatives in
    the 2002 elections.

    In 2004, Evans and his aides significantly scaled back
    appearances with candidates, but an assistant treasury
    secretary returned to New Mexico to announce with
    Republicans Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Steve Pierce the
    release of $2.5 million in economic development funds.

    Evans, who now heads the Financial Services Forum, a trade
    association for financiers, declined comment, a Forum
    spokesman said.

    In 2006, Evans’ successor, Carlos Gutierrez, and his aides
    also made public announcements with several Republican
    congressional incumbents, including in the battleground
    states of Missouri, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Weeks
    before the 2006 election, Gutierrez and Congresswoman
    Wilson announced $3.45 million in grants for Albuquerque
    organizations. Also in the weeks before the election, a
    deputy secretary and Republican Sen. Rick Santorum
    announced that the department would be investing $2.25
    million in Philadelphia.

    The same year, then-Treasury Secretary John Snow and
    Santorum announced an award of millions in tax credits to
    Pennsylvania organizations. Santorum later lost his seat.

    Snow and his aides also made appearances in 2006 with
    Republican incumbents or doled out grants in Virginia, Iowa
    and Ohio, states seen as crucial to the GOP retaining control
    of Congress.

    Bush’s first treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, stuck mainly to
    giving speeches praising President Bush’s economic policies
    rather than appearing with candidates. O’Neill was
    unceremoniously dumped after disagreeing repeatedly with
    the White House.

    Current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. was sworn in
    shortly before the 2006 elections. He and his aides have
    made few grant announcements.

    Administration officials denied that any Treasury and
    Commerce events were orchestrated to help the Republican
    Party win elections. The officials said White House aides who
    briefed the departments were careful not to encourage the
    appointees to act on behalf of the Republican Party on
    government time.

    Commerce Department spokesman Dan Nelson described the
    meetings as merely “informational.”

    “They were not a call to action,” he said.

    Nelson said grants are awarded after a competitive process
    and aren’t selected based on political considerations.

    Ted Kassinger, the Commerce Department’s former general
    counsel and a deputy secretary in the Bush administration,
    said the department was especially careful about avoiding
    the appearance of political favoritism during Evans’ tenure
    because of the former secretary’s close ties to President

    Kassinger, who left in 2005, said the department turned
    down several requests from political candidates to make
    appearances because they seemed to be campaign events.

    “It was certainly a concern of mine that the work in the
    department be separated from campaign activities,” he said.
    “At the top level there was never a discussion of ‘What can
    you do to help these guys?'”

    One former political appointee who attended a briefing said
    for all the hoopla over the briefings, he wasn’t impressed
    with them at the time.

    “It wasn’t rocket science,” said the appointee, who asked to
    remain anonymous because he didn’t want to be publicly
    linked to the controversy. “It’s like, ‘Yeah, no kidding. We

    But John D. “Jerry” Hawke, who served as Treasury
    undersecretary for domestic finance in the Clinton
    administration, said the campaign-style briefings for Treasury
    appointees were unusual.

    “Nothing remotely like that happened,” during the Clinton
    administration, Hawke said. “I never experienced anything
    like that. The notion that the White House would be holding
    meetings with Treasury appointees just didn’t fit.”


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