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Ear to the Ground

OWS Might Get a Super PAC

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Posted on Feb 16, 2012
666isMONEY (CC-BY)

How’s this for diversity of tactics? To the dismay of many of his cohorts, Occupier John Paul Thornton in Alabama is attempting to fight fire with fire by petitioning the Federal Election Commission for approval to form an Occupy Wall Street political action committee. If he succeeds, he’ll be eligible to raise as much dirty money as his corporate-backed opponents.

Says Thornton: “The thinking is, if Occupy is going to evolve and to become an actual political player, it needs to participate in major political games.” —ARK

Mother Jones:

Newly published FEC documents show Thornton requesting to establish his group as a super-PAC, the type of political outfit that can spend and raise unlimited money so long as they don’t coordinate with candidates. The documents list Occupy Wall Street as a “connected organization,” with a street address of “NONE AND EVERYWHERE” in the city of “ALL OF THEM.” Thornton wasn’t trying to be cheeky here, he says. Thornton says he plans to launch a website for the super-PAC soon. All he’s waiting for is the FEC’s blessing.

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By gerard, February 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic—Yes.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, February 18, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic—The question is which way the profit motive would push.  History is not silent on this question.  One might look at Roman mining and shipping practices in the ancient world, at the 18th-century British West Indies, or the use of slave labor, and the fate of the slaves, under Nazi Germany for an answer.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, February 18, 2012 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

Wealth is created by “human activity”, be it physical or intellectual.

We lose most of the time because we (workers) are only guests in someone else’s game. How can one collectively bargain when the human beings on the other side reduce one of your most valuable assets (your labor) to the level of the cost on a balance sheet?  If democracy provides a desirable model for society in general, why is it not practiced more in the free-market?

Cooperatives like the Mondragon Corporation in Spain may serve as a basic model in creating a more democratic free market.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/14/1026374/-Mondragon-a-possible-way-out?via=blog_744899

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By heterochromatic, February 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

gerard—-is there supposed to be a connection between
privately-run prisons and prisons being humane?

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By gerard, February 17, 2012 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Please go to:

http://occupywallst.org/article/f18-international-day-action-we-are-all-greeks-now/

and cruise around. Find information on OWS action to de-privatize prisons and do away with dehumanization behind bars

and on other #OWS actions nationwide

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Hey, it’s a brand.

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By gerard, February 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

“This caught us completely by surprise,” said Bill Csapo, an activist affiliated with the Campaign to Occupy Wall Street in New York. “I don’t think any of us would agree that a super PAC is the right way to go.”

“communications for the the campaign, said he has contacted Thornton to change the name of the Occupy super PAC or else disassemble it completely. “Thornton has no connection whatsoever to Occupy Wall Street or the New York General Assembly,” insisted Csapo.”
—from a report by John Hudson in The Atlantic Wire

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By Robespierre115, February 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

@vector56 or they could follow the lead of our actual neighbors across the border: Form new, radical political movements to win elections while keeping the street movements intact to apply pressure when needed. Spain is a disastrous example, the “indignados” huffed and puffed without any organized, clear alternatives and now the ultra right-wing won the elections.

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By gerard, February 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Well, it seems that this idea has absolutely no backing from Occupy Wall Street and the guy who
started it has no connection to the movement and is not known among them. Denials and refusals can be found at:

//www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/02/occupy-organizers-call-super-pac-change-name-or-disassemble/48869/

and elsewhere.  Look around.

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By felicity, February 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

An interesting, if false when spelled out, take on
super-pacs was revealed this morn when a campaign
worker for Rick S. said that there was absolutely no
connection between the people who donate to super-
pacs and the candidate.

Specifically, he was asked to comment on the aspirin-
between-the-knees guy by a funder of Rick’s campaign.
Does that mean that the ‘funder’ in this case is
throwing his money down an empty rat-hole in that
Rick has no intention of reciprocating the favor? 
What a waste of money if so.

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By vector56, February 17, 2012 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

I am not sure of Thornton’s motives, but at some point the Occupy Movement is going to have to “have a bowel movement or get off the pot!”

If the so-called 99% want to change the way our political system works, they will need to directly engage that system. 

A parallel strategy might be to form “Cooperatives” like those of the Mongragon Corporation (Spain);

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

Socialism within a corporate shell.

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By heterochromatic, February 17, 2012 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

and I’m glad that you’re not one of them what’s telling
OWS to take it to the mattresses.

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By heterochromatic, February 17, 2012 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

had you said “always eschew investment opportunities
usurious”

I would have said, sometimes “why?”

I

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

What, was OWS supposed to eschew usury?

The police wouldn’t let them keep mattresses in the park, so they couldn’t use them to stuff all their piles of money in.  That’s the problem.

I think besides a SuperPAC they could consider a mutual fund.

But anyway, thanks for giving me an opportunity to say ‘eschew’.  My day has not been entirely wasted.

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By pabelmont, February 17, 2012 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic: Just why the 99% should trust any particular new so-called “99%-PAC” is of course quite a question. Who would choose ITS purposes? But assuming the 99% DID trust it and did fund it, it could receive money from anyone, even BIG-BANKSs, BIG-OIL, etc.,  and m/billionaires. Why not? The issue is not the source of funds but the CONTROL of spending the funds and the political decisions about which candidates to back.

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By heterochromatic, February 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

and if the OWS superpac is backing a candidate likely
to win and wield influence, it’ll draw big chunks of
money from Wall Street firms.

just like a lot of the money donated to OWS in NYC got
put in an interest-bearing account.

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By Robespierre115, February 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Well, the movement is officially dead if this becomes the norm. Wasn’t OWS a rebuke of the current political system? OWS, another victim of postmodernist fantastical thinking.

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By pabelmont, February 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Hmm, $5 per person for 99% of Americans (or $10 for 25%) would be a big chunk-of-change. Would THIS PAC understand banking law enough to REALLY and VALUABLY oppose BIG-BANKS?  would it understand BIG-OIL’s regulatory and tax breaks well enough to REALLY and VALUABLY oppose them?

Etc.  Hope so. He can have my $10.

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