Throw the Bums Out (of Detroit)

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private_jet.jpg Let’s say you’re three auto industry executives summoned to Washington to explain why you deserve billions of dollars in taxpayer money. You and your cronies have mismanaged your industry for years, but luckily for you and unluckily for the country too many parts of the economy rely on your continued existence. You watched AIG executives get strafed in the media for throwing lavish corporate retreats (with spa trips!) just after taking bailout funds. You know the public is hyper-sensitive to signs of waste, because middle class Americans are struggling to get by and it’s their money you’re seeking.

So what do you do? You take separate private jets from Detroit to Washington. You take three flights at an estimated cost of $20,000 each, despite the fact that coach flights are available for under $300 and first class flights are available for under $1,000.

You spend $60,000 when you could have spent $900. And then you go to Congress with your hand out.

Jesus H. Christ. Bailout funds for the industry should be contingent on new leadership taking over and old leadership being put in stocks.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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