House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 5, 2013. Cantor will resign as majority leader within weeks, according to leadership aides a day after he was defeated in the 2014 primary election by David Brat. (Photo: Christopher Gregory / The New York Times)November's political races will feature an all-out battle for control of the US Senate. Eric Cantor's "upset" Virginia primary defeat raises two integrity issues barely covered in the media that are red flags for those concerned about vote manipulations.
Political races this November will feature an all-out battle for control of the US Senate. The "upset" Virginia primary defeat of Eric Cantor raised two critical election integrity issues that few in the mainstream media have covered, but which should set up serious red flags for those concerned about manipulations of the 2014 and 2016 elections.
The first alarm is the hidden connection that Professor David Brat's victory had to the Koch Brothers dark money network: hundreds of millions of dollars in "charitable contributions" to inoculate American academic institutions and media with extremist libertarian philosophy, promoting the Ayn Randian culture of greed while boosting radical Tea Party candidates. The net effect has been to undermine the civility of American politics, divide the Republican Party, stalemate Congress and hobble government institutions.
Most pundits reflecting on the Virginia race have myopically ignored the money-in-politics corruption, because outwardly, Cantor outspent Brat by a huge margin. Instead they focused analysis on immigration issues, intraparty Republican division, Cantor's complacency as a candidate, or the possibility of Democrats in the open primary crossing over to vote for his radical opponent.
David Brat was not just any economics professor. He was director of Randolph-Macon's Moral Foundations of Capitalism program, a curriculum underwritten by John Allison's BB&T Bank's charitable foundation. Allison is on the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, which means Rand's thousand-page ode to antigovernment libertarian capitalism, Atlas Shrugged, is usually included in the curriculum. Allison is also the CEO of the Cato Institute, the Koch-funded, far-right think tank working closely with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to set back the social reform and safety net programs of the 20th century.
ALEC has promoted legislation for voter suppression and antilabor laws, and its legislative members have pushed extreme gerrymandering in states such as Wisconsin, North Carolina and Michigan.