But, the most disturbing similarity between the two is direct corporate sponsorship, and the more obscure soft corporate funding through their respective host committees. While the GOP Convention website proudly boasts their corporate sponsors on their homepage, the Democrats have also accepted corporate funding while trying to maintain the sheen of grassroots funding. Corporate funders for the GOP include Google, Microsoft, Wellcare, Walmart, Chevron and an assortment of energy companies among others. Democratic sponsors include AT&T, Bank of America, Duke Energy, Time Warner Cable, UnitedHealth Group, Piedmont Natural Gas, and US Airways. Coca Cola and Wells Fargo have covered their bets by sponsoring both conventions.
There will be no grassroots takeover happening anytime soon in either major party — they’ve successfully purged or assimilated them into the establishment. But hey, at least we know who’s pulling the strings on our duopoly puppet show.
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Ron Paul officially put to bed speculation he would be returning to the presidential stage this year as a candidate — or that he’d endorse any of the remaining candidates — on Tuesday’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
“The system is very biased,” Paul responded when asked by Leno whether he’d give it a shot as a third party or independent candidate.
“We talk a lot about democracy, and send our troops overseas, and want to spread democracy. But democracy isn’t all that healthy in this country. Because if you’re in a third party… you don’t get into the debates. The truth is I had tried to do for the last five years, what I have done, in a third party, I probably wouldn’t have gotten… made it to your show.”
Leno acknowledged Ron Paul’s refusal to be given a speaking role at the RNC last week, asking “If you had endorsed Romney, would you have gotten a speaking role?”
“I imagine I would have,” Paul replied, careful not to mention Romney by name.
Leno pressed for information on how negotiations went down with RNC event managers, Paul explained “the tent was too small and we had too many people.” Asked again if a Mitt Romney endorsement was a prerequisite, he confirmed it was, but “it’s not in writing.”
Leno cracked wise back, “kinda like NBC. Yeah okay, I get it.”
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