Really Barbra Streisand, you didn't think anyone would check?
Perhaps she is worried about having her influence diminished now that there are players on the block that can match her wealth and then some. But Streisand in a 682-word screed published on the Huffington Post on Feb. 23 railed against "entrenched special interests" that can now give money to political campaigns.
"Over the last year, however, frustration has given way to anger as voters have witnessed the inability of our lawmakers to make progress on issues like health care reform, financial regulation, and energy policy," Streisand wrote. "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. These entrenched special interests have slowed, compromised and blocked important legislation leaving many Americans demoralized and outraged. I'm one of those people."
Only problem - according to the Center for Responsive Politics Web site, OpenSecrets.org, an organization Streisand cited in her piece, the entertainer has given $607,070 since January 1989 to political causes, more than 11 times the median household income for the United States. Nearly all of that went to Democrats or Democratic groups.
Those donations include money to nearly every Democratic candidate for president since Bill Clinton - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Howard Dean and John Edwards. While she did donate to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., none of Streisand's money was earmarked for Republicans.
Aside from the blatant hypocrisy Streisand is engaging in, she lamented the Citizens United v. FEC decision in which the "John Roberts-led, conservative leaning Supreme Court," which she contended made things worse. She urged her readers to support legislation offered by Democrats to scale back the ability of corporations to practice free speech, known as the Fair Elections Now Act.
"We can't stand by and let our country be taken over by corporate interests that care more about their bottom line than the public interest," Streisand wrote. "It's time to change the way Washington works. 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," - a concept that speaks to the very core of our democracy. And the only way to start this process is by passing the Fair Elections Now Act...Now!!! Write or call your Congressman today!"
It's also important to note that despite Streisand's passionate plea for action by legislators on campaign finance, she hasn't just made direct contributions, but she has lent her talents to campaign fundraising as well. She put on a "special performance" for President Barack Obama's 2008 president campaign at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where tickets ran $2,500 per person.