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By Georgia Logothetis:
Seeing Red Over Pink
The Komen Foundation’s public rationale for defunding lifesaving services at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the country, as summed up by the press, “is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress—a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.”
According to Komen’s spokesperson, the charity’s new policy bars grants to organizations that are under such investigations. Specifically, Komen has decided to sever financial ties if a grant applicant or any of its affiliates is “currently under a local, state or federal formal investigation for financial or administrative impropriety or fraud.”
When the money flows out of Komen to clinics to pay for mammograms and other screenings, Komen has decided to rely on the existence of an “investigation”–meritorious or not, politically motivated or not–to justify its defunding.
With respect to the money flowing in to Komen?
That’s a whole other story.
Paying for It
Most people in Congress are very, very wealthy. It’s the natural by-product of a campaign system engineered by and for the benefit of the richest Americans. Campaigning after all is a 24/7 job, and few members of the 99% can afford to balance the time constraints of fundraising and campaigning without quitting their normal income-producing job. It’s why running for Congress is a rich person’s game. It’s why we end up with charts like the one above.
When rich people run for office, they typically spend their campaign time doing two distinct things: (1) they spend upwards of five or six hours a day calling the wealthy and the super-wealthy for money; and (2) they spend the rest of their time at “grassroots” events, parades, or debates trying pretend that they didn’t just spend the bulk of their day courting max out checks and listening to the needs of the 1%.