Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Cracking Down On Corporate Crime: Band-AIDS Vs. Radical Transformation? A Roundtable Discussion of Capitol Hill's Corporate-Funded Proposals, and Some Radical Alternatives

July 18, 2002
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

"House Approves Tough Business Reform Measure"

"House Republicans In Scramble To Act Over Company Fraud"

"House Ok’s Tough Action Against Fraud — Public Anger Fuels Fast Response On Corporate Crime"

These are a few of yesterday’s headlines from the mainstream media. Republicans in the House are scrambling to appease an angry public following a wave of corporate scandals. They are concerned that the public will turn against them in the upcoming congressional elections.

And yet, the Washington Post reported yesterday House Speaker Dennis Hastert defied the pleas of several rank-and-file Republicans, and rejected the Senate’s reform bill. The decision gave accounting industry lobbyists more time to press their congressional allies for leniency. Now House GOP leaders are already maneuvering to delay and dilute the Senate’s reform bill.

So we have two stories about what’s going on: the Republicans are acting "tough on corporate crime", and, the Republicans are as usual trying to subvert the Democrats, who are even tougher on corporate crime.

But no one in the mainstream media is asking, are the Republicans and Democrats actually very different on this issue? Are they really trying to reign in corporations? Both parties are funded by corporations. According to the nonpartisan organization Democracy 21, corporations and business executives have poured a staggering $1 billion in soft money into Washington in the last decade. They gave $636 million to Republicans and $449 million to Democrats.

Today on Democracy Now! we’ll have a different kind of discussion. We’ll compare the corporate-funded proposals on Capitol Hill, but then we’ll broaden the discussion to take a look at some revolutionary proposals that come not from corporate-funded politicians, but from the people.

Guests:

  • Damon Silvers, associate general counsel of the AFL-CIO.
  • Richard Grossman, co-founder of Corporations, Law and Democracy.
  • Bob Monks, founder of Institutional Shareholder Services, Lens Investment Management, and Hermes-Lens Investment Management. He is a well-known, Republican shareholder activist.
  • Robert Hinkley, corporate securities lawyer of 22 years. He is a former partner in the New York law firm at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He left his partnership with Skadden to promote a legally enforceable Code for Corporate Citizenship.

Related links:


The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.