January 22, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

How Corporations Became People

I am honored to have participated in the current Citizens United package in Mother Jones by the very dogged and pains-taking Andy Kroll.  This issue lays out clearly and importantly the trajectory of campaign finace reform; abuses leading up to the series of regulations, now flattened by the disasterous Citizens United ruling by our highly (yes still) politicized Supreme Court. Many thanks to Tim Luddy for another great adventure with Mojo (in my silver anniversary with that mag!) You can read here:


Here we see the whole tarnished golden road.  Starting with TR, I found myself in a kind of homage to Keppler, Opper and Nast. So the black line with soft tone look of Puck became the motif.

Tom The Hammer Delay, hitting the high money mark.

Nixon!!! ‘Nuff said.

McCain, Mr. Keating Five.  Reformed, backslid, then once again . . sigh, who gives a damn anymore?

Mr. Constipated Sunshine, John Roberts, turning the spigot, never thinking twice.

It all started with Theodore. A reformer who started out begging for money from the big boys. Morgan said, “He got down on his knees to us!” Basically the whole story seen in one moment.
Here are Andy and Monika Bauerlein on Democracy Now. Two very good interviews:


  1. ALEX MCCRAE says:



    You’ve aced it, yet again, Mr. Brodner.

    I love you’re “Nasty’ satiric twist on what I view as a kind of abiding trickle-down-shady-campaign-financing-in- America scenario; dirty politics personified, as it were, in the enabling decision(s) coming down from the highest court in the land, majorly swayed by the markedly-politicized, ideologically conservative bloc of Justices Kennedy, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and the Chief Justice himself, John Roberts.

    Steve, your superb opening illo for this Mother Jones, Andy Kroll piece has managed to capture the characteristically taciturn, bump-on-a-log Clarence Thomas in probably his most animated state on the bench in years, w/ that modest upturned hand gesture, mimicked to his extreme right by the unpredictable Justice Kennedy’s passive wave to the plebs in the peanut gallery. (Thomas still couldn’t mange a hint of a smile, though. I think he’s lacking fiber, both character-wise, and his basic daily roughage requirements.)

    Your rendition of the quintessential flip-flopping Washington Beltway wonk, the grinning Dick Morris, is priceless. The introduction of that comely, come-hither, dainty female foot I would guess is an allusion to this pie-hole flapping pundit-for-hire’s embarrassing hour-of-shame, midstream into directing Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign drive? As memory serves me, Morris was forced to resign as chief campaign manager after he allegedly allowed a hired prostitute he was ‘seeing’, to listen in on a private phone conversation between he and Clinton….. And he got caught. Oops!

    I thought your depiction of high finance whiz, Larry Summers, was quite fitting, wrapped in the traditional Mandarin orange robes of a typical Buddhist monk; Summers, in the day, often being reverentially referred to as some manner of genius guru re/ all things pertaining to high-roller finance and world economies.

    ‘Oh give me an Om where Lawrence Summers doth roam, and I’ll give you a house full of dirty politicking mantras.’ (Groan)

    Tom “The Hammer” Delay, garbed in his prison-issue stripped getup, w/ your followup illo of him “hitting the high money mark” as a sledge hammer-personified, was so spot on. This guy was evil incarnate, in my view. (I could see him rendered, cartoon-wise, as perhaps a manic woodpecker, or perhaps a crazed hammerhead shark. I may give that one a try, myself.)

    Of course 2008 presidential aspirant, John McCain, ironically the co-sponsor of the benchmark McCain/ Feingold campaign financing reform act of 2002, was caught w/ his pudgy little digits in the cookie jar in the Keating & Co. finance debacle; yet received merely a stern official Fed reprimand for his suspicious dealings in the dirty deed.

    Your Chief Justice Roberts*, gleefully controlling the flow of ‘mana’ from the effusive corporate spigot, facilitated by the fairly recent momentous court decision essentially deeming corporations the equivalent of people, (relative to political contributions), reminds me of the renowned pioneering California visionary, William Mulholland, who as the head honcho at the nascent L.A. DWP forever transformed the character and fortunes of the once semi-dessert terrain of the L.A. Basin into a flourishing metropolis and a magnate for many of the greatest (and lesser) dreamers, entrepreneurs, and creators of our generation.

    Mulholland’s DWP ‘golden’ spigot spewed a seemingly infinite stream of precious water from the remote Owens Valley, shadowed by the great Sierras, into a thirsting Southern California, via a series of aquaducts, and dams. This ultimate unfettered flow of life-supporting water translated directly, and indirectly, into countless personal fortunes, a huge influx of humans, transforming L.A. into one of the today’s most thriving cities on the planet. Water=$$$$$$!

    To this very day, many folks in the Owens Valley/ High Sierras region rue Mulholland’s then revolutionary water diversion scheme. I guess the Mulholland apologists would argue that this marked the epitome of 20th-century progress writ large; all in the name of the greatest good for the greatest numbers. But I digress.

    I think I’ve rambled on quite enough here, Steve.

    Thanks for allowing me to add my perspective on issues I think we both know are serious, and important at their core, but can always afford some satirical prodding, cajoling, and spoofing, when warranted.

    Keep up the great work!

    *Chief Justice Roberts seems to have redeemed himself, to some degree, in the eyes of the more politically progressive, liberal folks out there, w/ his recent casting of the critical deciding positive ‘yea’ vote amongst his Supreme Court peers in support of so-called Obama Care; even though his written opinion deemed the penalty for those folk not complying with, or signing up for universal Obama Care as a tax, and not a fine, as such.