I suppose by now I shouldn't be surprised in the least at the sheer amount of corruption and shadiness that runs rampant in the American political system. Occasionally, however, even I'm shocked at some of the outrageous conflicts of interest that arise.
Hart Intercivic supplies electronic voting machines to many locations in the United States - including the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma and half of the state of Washington - where they'll be voting on marriage equality. These machines are infamous for making "mistakes" like when it added an extra 10,000 votes in one Texas county that hadn't been cast.
As of last year, a private equity firm called HIG Capital is heavily invested in Hart. Who controls HIG Capital? Why, many of the owners - including the company's founder - all come from Bain Capital. Isn't that convenient how they invested right before their former boss got the Republican nomination for President?
H.I.G. Capital employees have given $338,000 to Mitt Romney's campaign. That amounts to over $1500 per employee. Bain Capital, Mitt's former company, by comparison, only gave him $268,000. H.I.G. is the 11th largest donor to the Romney Campaign. Clearly they are working really hard for their man. It appears that they will work even harder on election night. Although not boisterously promising to deliver states where their machines are to Romney as Wally O'Dell of Diebold did for Bush in 2004, they can alter hundreds of thousands of votes and swing the vote in the crucial swing state of Ohio.
Will Mitt's cronies steal our democracy the way they stole our jobs? Time will tell, but they have certainly positioned themselves to do so if they choose.
Democracy is for sale in America, ladies and gentlemen. But it's not cheap - only cheapened.