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The Midmorning Refill: Time to speak up and vote or forever hold your peace

Today’s Flickr photo

Flickr photo by kevp65.

If you read one thing today . . .

There’s an election going on today, in case you haven’t heard. We hope you voted for the candidate of your choice, whether he or she be Republican, Democrat, Green or Independent. Democracy is truly a wonderful thing to see in action. Visit the HuffPo for a running blog on the election. David Corn in Mother Jones warns that the Democracy we so cherish is being threatened by the secretive nonprofit PACs that have poured money into the election:

The secret and unlimited flow of dollars into congressional campaigns this year is largely unprecedented—at least since campaign finance reform was implemented following Watergate in the 1970s. Almost half a trillion dollars have been spent so far by outside groups—with about one-quarter of that coming from dark-money groups that don’t disclose donors. And it’s not just a Republican phenomenon. Unions and Democratic-leaning advocacy outfits are playing the game. Still, the advantage goes to the GOP. Of the outside groups not connected to either political party, those supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats have so far spent $119.2 million, and those supporting Democrats and opposing Republicans have dumped $73.8 million into races. This split is dramatic, but there’s another factor to consider: Much of the pro-Democratic money comes from large membership groups (including the SEIU and the National Education Association), yet much of the pro-Republican money originates from a small number of millionaires (or billionaires). Consequently, fat cats have gained even more disproportionate influence.


With the likely GOP takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, organized labor is bracing itself for what could be some rough waters over the next two years. Steven Greenhouse’s story in the New York Times highlights the concerns of labor leaders:

“Republicans are likely to pursue a version of what Samuel Gompers often said: ‘Reward your friends and punish your enemies,’ ” said Joseph McCartin, a labor historian at Georgetown.