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Under the title “Legalized Bribery,” Think Progress reports today on the activities of the YG Network, “a secret-money outside political group run by former aides to House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).”  Essentially, this nominally independent group rewards GOP pols who play ball with the house leadership. According to the Think Progress reporter, compliant legislators may be rewarded by “independent” expenditures on their behalf.

And guess which member of the House of Representatives was chosen to illustrate the efforts of the YG Network?  Take a look at the ad below and find out:

Indeed – that anemic sounding, good little girl voice belongs to none other than Vicky Hartzler. Of course, it is unlikely that Hartzler would ever defy the GOP leadership, even without such an incentive to continue to be as tractable as she has been – but the whole system whereby she rated this help is more than troubling. Think Progress quotes Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center to the effect that:

When you allow unlimited special interest money in politics, this type of behavior should be expected. Criticism is fair, but never the less, its predictable. This is the world that this Supreme Court majority has given us with the Citizens United decision. It’s troubling, but entirely predictable.

Even more troubling is the likelihood of conversations behind closed doors – threats of huge corporate-funded independent spending campaigns made [for those who don’t act in the corporation’s interest on a given piece of legislation]. And much of it, we will never hear about.

Nice bunch of folks Vicky pals around with. Is this the type of government Tea Partiers (i.e., “We the people”) who suppported Hartzler thought she’d represent – essentially a return to the bad old days of Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt handing out favors and strong-arming anyone in the ranks with enough gumption to stand up to them?  

By the way – if you’re interested in the substance of the ad, which refers to a 2.3% excise tax to be imposed on the sale of medical devices, which will be used to fund Obamacare, take a look at this analysis of the tax’s impacts prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Of course, when we’re all saturated with “taxmegeddon” ads, who cares about facts.