Opinion: Barbra Streisand bemoans large political donations -- by others

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Update on celebrity politicking: One-time singing sensation Barbra Streisand has come out against the recent Supreme Court ruling giving corporations the legal right to make political contributions as she does.

In a widely-overlooked item on Huffington Post this week, Streisand complained that the overwhelming 2008 ‘historic victory’ of Barack Obama ‘was a mandate for change,’ as was the awarding of overwhelming congressional majorities to progressive Democrats.


But, according to Streisand, who says she’s been a longtime supporter of free speech, progress in Washington has been stymied not by political infighting but by big money.

‘Frustration has given way to anger,’ Streisand says, ‘as voters have witnessed the inability of our lawmakers to make progress on issues like health care reform, financial regulation, and energy policy. This inaction is due to a tidal wave of big money from the health insurance industry, Big Oil and giant financial institutions who have mobilized to challenge the people’s mandate for change.’

She adds: ‘The same financiers, whose greed contributed to the downfall of our economy, contribute significantly to candidates expecting a favorable return on their investment.’

She favors new laws limiting large corporate contributions because ‘campaigns funded by small-donor driven public financing can turn Washington, D.C., away from ‘rule by the monied’ and towards ‘rule by the many.’'

In addition to performing at Obama fundraising events, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ website, Streisand herself has donated in excess of $600,000, mostly to Democrats or Democratic groups over the years.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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