Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) just said the quiet part out loud regarding corporate corruption and our pay-to-play political system.
Lauren Windsor with The Undercurrent caught the Republican politician from Alabama on video explaining how “special interest groups run Washington,” clarifying that he doesn’t mean that “metaphorically,” but “literally.”
NEW: GOP Rep Mo Brooks says prime committee chairmanships cost a minimum of $1 million and are paid by special interest groups as "a quid pro quo" for favored legislation#ALsen pic.twitter.com/SswSObhpf7
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) April 15, 2022
He goes on to explain that if you want to be chair of a major congressional committee “you have to purchase it” at a minimum bid of a “million dollars” while again stressing that he means this literally.
According to Brooks, there are tiers by which committees are divided into groups, with those designated with the “A” being the most expensive, “B,” the median, and “C,” the cheapest.
The designation for these committees in these price ranges is assigned by the importance given to them by special interest groups and how decision-making within these committees helps them advance their agendas.
Where does a congressman get a million dollars to become chair of these committees? Not from “Joe and Jane citizens back home” as Brooks tells it, accurately assessing that your average person can’t contribute that type of money. Politicians get it from special interest groups in a quid pro quo, and then these special interests then gain leverage on those politicians to be able to tell them what to do.
In the video, Brooks explains how a former candidate for National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chair — which serves as a vehicle to funnel money being paid for these committee assignments — had a brochure with price listings on it and said he would charge politicians less money for these committees.
Mo Brooks is no saint. After supporting Donald Trump’s unhinged conspiracy theories about election fraud in the 2020 election, he committed the unforgivable sin in the MAGA world of straying just a tiny bit from devout loyalty to the dear leader by saying that Republicans should put the 2020 elections “behind us.” This fleeting moment of accepting reality cost Brooks dearly, with Trump rescinding his endorsement for his Alabama senatorial bid, although Brooks’s underperformance in the poll is probably also a major factor in Trump turning his back on him.
Whatever the case may be, Brooks’ explanation of political corruption and the pay-to-play nature of Congress ring true for those of us sick of the toxic influence of corporations and big money in our political process. Don’t rush to give Mo Brooks too much credit either. He might be playing the populist politician now that he is running for Senate in a tough race, but he sure wasn’t outspoken about this stuff until he was caught on camera.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from@tomaskenn.