The Balance Between Free Speech And Fair Elections In The Aftermath Of The Citizens United Decision

The Balance Between Free Speech and Fair Elections in the Aftermath of the Citizens United Decision

On January 21, 2010 the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. They ruled in favor of Citizens United allowing corporations and unions to now directly campaign for the victory or defeat of any candidates as long as they do not coordinate with a political campaign or party. They ruled that the provision of the 2002 McCain-Feingold bipartisan "Campaign Reform Act" that prohibits electioneering communications by independent organizations thirty days prior to a primary or caucus and sixty days prior to a general election to be unconstitutional. This ruling was issued on freedom of speech grounds.

The impact on the 2010 federal elections was immediate and substantial. Four billion dollars was spent on these elections far exceeding any similar non-Presidential year elections. This spending was 400% greater than in 2006. New outside independent group spending favored 60 of the 75 new Congressional race winners who defeated incumbents. Only 46% of these outside groups disclosed their contributors. The new outside corporate spending clearly favored the Republicans. Federal election campaign spending has now been turned upside down. The new questions resulting from this are as follows. What does this mean for our future elections? What if anything can be done to remedy this situation? I will begin by giving a brief history of campaign financing and its regulation including the McCain-Feingold bill. Then I will offer you a summary of the Citizen United decision followed by the results and possible solutions. Finally I will give you my synopsis of where the balance stands between free speech and fair elections and what it might mean for the United States.

The need for a large amount of funds to run election campaigns is a relatively new phenomenon. Candidates in bygone years were chosen by their political parties behind the scenes instead of in primaries. Campaigning in the general elections involved mostly speechmaking, handshaking, attending rallies, and other personal forms of politicking. These methods required very little in the way of money relative to our modern campaigns. Expensive radio and television advertising were not yet a factor. Newspaper advertisements, fliers, and pamphlets were the relatively inexpensive forms of media advertising used in the old days.

Television advertisements really took off in 1960. The Democratic candidate Sen. John F. Kennedy was incredibly wealthy and his father spared no expense to get him elected that year. Corporate campaign contributions actually date back to the 1896 Presidential election. Wealthy Ohio industrialist and Republican Party Chairman Mark Hanna assessed corporations a percentage of their capital for campaign contributions to William McKinley's Presidential campaign. McKinley was the business friendly Republican candidate who easily defeated the populist Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan. Bryan ran a campaign that advocated for a wealth redistribution plan for the United States. The Republican industrialists loathed this plan and were determined to defeat him. Several campaign finance laws were passed between 1907 and 1947 in response to events such as this. They limited these types of contributions but enforcement was always weak.

Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1971 requiring broad disclosure of campaign contributions. Several amendments to this act were passed in 1974 as a response to the Watergate scandal. They established stronger regulations and enforcement to the original 1971 act. There were many attempts in the 1980's and 1990's to further reform campaign finance but all were defeated.

Finally in 2002, Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold were able to pass the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BRCA). The major contribution of this act was to eliminate "soft money" contributions which went to the national parties instead of the campaigns themselves. The act also doubled the amount of "hard money" which individuals were able to contribute directly to a candidate from $1000 to $2000. This act also banned electioneering by independent organizations such as corporations and unions as described earlier in this article. This act created the campaign finance rules that all federal elections were guided by until very early in 2010.

The United States Supreme Court turned the world of federal campaign finance on its ear on January 21, 2010. This was the day they issued their Citizens United ruling. They ruled that the section of (BRCA) that limits independent corporate and union expenditures for electioneering sixty days before a general election and thirty days before a primary was unconstitutional. They disagreed with the argument that this electioneering distorts the electoral playing field. They also stated that freedom of speech overrides this consideration. They kept in place the rules for disclosure of the contributors to these groups though these rules are easily avoided. It was predicted that corporations would now instead give to trade associations or other groups that are exempted from these disclosure rules. Critics also argued that the current disclosure systems are not thorough or rapid enough to educate potential voters at the time of the publication of these electioneering events.

The November 2010 federal elections expenditure records show that these new corporate and union funds shattered non-Presidential year campaign spending records. They also skewed heavily towards Republican candidates. These candidates proved to be the overwhelming winners in their contests. Obviously the Citizens United decision has had a very large and significant impact on our federal elections. This will also undoubtedly affect local elections adversely. Will this trend benefiting Republican candidates continue or was this a result of other overarching political trends? Are there ways to remedy the effects of the Citizens United decision? Will new disclosure techniques and more rapid response advertisements be created to counteract these new political electioneering vehicles? These are some of the questions that I would like to delve into now in more detail.

Many political leaders have been looking into ways to develop new legislation to get around the Citizens United ruling. My personal view is that any legislation short of a constitutional amendment will be struck down by the United States Supreme Court. The five conservative Justices are now firm in their belief that any independent electioneering expenditures are totally a form of free speech. This view is sacrosanct to them. Unfortunately a constitutional amendment would have no chance of advancing in Congress for the foreseeable future.

Therefore intermediate remedies must be considered. I feel that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) must seek to create much stronger internet disclosure mechanisms which will at least give the public a point of reference regarding these electioneering movies and advertisements. Congress should also pass legislation requiring total disclosure of all donors as well as members of any groups that participate in this form of electioneering. The FEC should then develop state of the art monitoring practices for this new world of election campaign funding. The reason for this is to ensure that these groups and the development of their projects remain totally independent of any political campaigns or parties involved in elections. This is also needed because we do not want political campaigns of any stripe to have virtually unlimited and unregulated funds at their control.

The largest and probably most effective counterbalance to this new flood of corporate money will be similar funds from unions and other groups with opposing policy views. This money will have to come in large amounts to offset these considerable conservative business funds. Karl Rove's "American Crossroads" group is expected to raise and employ over one hundred million dollars for the 2012 elections. Unions, Hollywood, progressive philanthropists, and other groups will have a tough road ahead to keep up.

The Citizens United decision was delivered by way of the five members of the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court. In my estimation this was a very curious ruling. These five conservative Justices constantly preach the virtues of judicial restraint and strict constructionism. Instead they issued this ruling directly against two of their strongest constitutional tenets. They stretched the interpretation of freedom of speech from individuals to also include corporations, unions, and other independent organizations.

Secondly, these Justices tend to defer to legislative actions in their rulings. The argument behind this tendency is their belief that the Constitution endowed the "People's Branch" with extensive power to create legislation as they see fit. They seem to have ignored their judicial restraint tendencies in these areas with this Citizens United decision. The court decided to throw out Congressional legislation limiting electioneering that had been upheld by the same court a couple of times in prior years. Obviously their belief that Congress has primary power to set legislation was not as predominant as they formerly felt and ruled upon.

My view is that their deeply ingrained, conservative, pro-business predispositions held primary sway in this critical deliberation. They profess their allegiance to protecting freedom of speech but their ruling effectively drowns out much of our political speech. Marketing executives know the power of multi million dollar advertising campaigns. They result in greatly increased product sales no matter what the quality and the utility of the product is. A candidate can win any number of debates and have a very impressive record while still losing handily to a heavily financed opponent. Voters attempt to make educated choices regarding elections but they lead busy lives. Television advertising that saturates the airwaves has an enormous effect on voters who do not have the time or wherewithal to research the candidates' records and positions on issues.

My contention is that this inundation of independent money is unfair speech because it drowns out other voices. It most definitely leads to unfair elections. The 2010 election was a referendum on the economy and how President Obama was handling it. Unemployment remained very high so the nation voted Republican. Unfortunately the new independent money, most of which was corporate, definitely exasperated this trend. It helped to get the entire Republican Tea Party base out and it swayed independents. Additionally Democrats were demoralized and stayed home in greater numbers.

The 2012 election will be a definitive test to see how strong this new campaign financing paradigm truly is. Both sides will be incredibly energized. We will see how fundraising shakes out. I do not like where campaign financing is going no matter what the 2012 election and fundraising results turn out to be. Money from all organizations is distorting the process. Organizations who contribute heavily to campaigns have always had an inordinate amount of influence on our government. This will be exponentially worse now. This trend truly scares me.

We as concerned American voters and citizens must stay involved and informed about our political process. Educated voters are the only true antidote to this flood of money in the current campaign financing environment. Someday we may have a Congress and a Supreme Court who will pass and uphold an effective campaign financing bill. That day does not seem to be on the horizon. So please stay involved and educated. The alternative will be a government bought and paid for by Corporate America. This is not a fantasy. It is closer to reality than most people believe.

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Comments 54 comments

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

HS, you said:

"We as concerned American voters and citizens must stay involved and informed about our political process. Educated voters are the only true antidote to this flood of money in the current campaign financing environment"

That's the rub, the crux of the matter, your example of one candidate making a better showing or casing the issues more effectively in debate being ruled out by an inferior candidate with more financial backing is most troubling. The supposidly thinking educated voter being mesmerized by Madison Avenue tactics. This is just another nail in the coffin for true democracy and representative government in America, great observation, thanks again Cred2


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments Cred2. It is a shame that money has such an influence on these campaigns. There are exceptions though. Both major California races went to the Democrat who was badly outspent. On the other side of the aisle, Chris Christie beat Jon Corzine for NJ Governor and was outspent. Unfortunately they are the exceptions. We need to keep the noise up informing our fellow citizens of what is going on here. Drown out the noise and read up on these candidates.


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA

The politicians have done this to themselves. They spend more time getting re-elected than doing the job. All that money gives them a feeling of importance and we all love spending money weather it's ours to spend is an other matter. Yes now the Supreme Court is pro corporation and has been. Remove all carrier politicians!


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

You are right Horse Feathers. They have done this to themselves and they seem to answer only to money. Corporate titans like the Koch Brothers control much of the legislation that the Republicans now inflict on this country. I wish there were a way to finance all the campaigns with public money but it will not pass Supreme Court muster as presently constituted. It would take corporate influence out of government if we could get it done. Thank you for your comments Horse Feathers.


TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago

I support a smaller government that stays out of business as soon as we have smaller businesses that stay out of government.

How crazy is it to spend millions of dollars for a job that pays only 174K. That's like me spending a quarter million for a $30K a year job.


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people not corporations

http://movetoamend.org/


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Well said TTanglewood. Business is now spending incredible amounts of money to buy the officials they want running this country. They want them to lower their taxes and eliminate regulations that protect the ordinary consumer. Thank you for your comments.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I agree with you 100% Horse Feathers. Corporations are not individuals. The Citizens United decision was wrong headed nonsense.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Judicial constraint? Activist judges? Not sitting on the Supreme Court! The Supreme court, with the likes of Clarence Thomas and Justice Roberts, are the most politically (money) motivated justices that we have seen in a long time. They did not review this decision intelligently; they decided based upon their own corporate allegiance.

If corporations are individuals, then they must lose all corporate tax benefits, too...

As for voting in 2012, I am afraid that people will have become less energized and more apathetic, thinking maybe correctly, that the votes of individuals really don't mean anything...


Johnathan L Groom profile image

Johnathan L Groom 5 years ago from Bristol, CT

teapartyteapartyteaparty- what is this???

a good representative of a third-party shouldn't be founded in popularity or background (even)- most Americans are not looking for a lawyer-like campaigner or famous actor (lol)- we are always searching for a Public Figure to listen to. I've written what I think is the summarized version of a 3 Party System, and these sorts of legislation reviews are not only help viable in accordance w/ a lack of truth, but are also in self-loathing and very bothersome to the political socialite.

The future, the future, the future- well, let's NOT have a teaparty- I liked Nader better, and even Al Gore, but he lost too ... ? Anyways, it's a load of garbage. If we dwell on the past, it is damned near the closest thing to choosing to repeat it.

-johnathan-

(Three-Party System advocate, and supporter of regulated mandates and politcal agendas, with the majority public involved like, well, like a democracy!)


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I hope you are wrong Jillian. If people become less energized and more apathetic, this country will fall fully into the hands of the Koch Brothers and the rest of their right wing brethren. You have already detailed how this is happening with ALEC. The Citizens United decision was ridiculous and yes these Justices are part of the right wing pro-business lobby. Thank you as always for your comments Jillian.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Johnathan, I am not exactly clear on what point you are making. I would not mind seeing a credible third party develop especially one with some staying power. Most third parties have been cults of personality. Ross Perot and Teddy Roosevelt come to mind. The two party system was becoming corrupted at one point and there policies were merging together. Now they are polar opposites and there is a clear choice. The Republicans are now so far right wing that Attila the Hun would not pass muster with them. My guess is I have not addressed the points you were making but this is my view on our current flawed party system. Thank you for commenting.


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA

I talk to so many people and they vote across the board. Don't even know who or what they are voting for. Irresponsible!

The point..Take our government back from wall street, corporations, and carrier politicians!


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Voting across the board for one party or another is totally irresponsible. You are absolutely right. People must study up on their candidates and know what they are about and who is supporting and funding them. Then you can make an educated choice and vote for what you believe and not who is bought. Thank you again for your comments Horse Feathers.


Johnathan L Groom profile image

Johnathan L Groom 5 years ago from Bristol, CT

'Staying Power," I think, is in the hands of aristocratic bureaucracy. Where is Al Gore...? Or, if we are truly a democracy, shouldn't our electoral system be reviewed? Thank you,

-johnathan-


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Johnathan,

I do believe our electoral system needs to be reviewed but I doubt that will happen. It would go nowhere if it did happen. I do not know where Al Gore is but I am sure he is working hard on global warming solutions.


Johnathan L Groom profile image

Johnathan L Groom 5 years ago from Bristol, CT

thank you-

-johnathan-


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

You're quite welcome Johnathan. Thank you for visiting my site.


Johnathan L Groom profile image

Johnathan L Groom 5 years ago from Bristol, CT

You got it!


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Last night Speaker Boehner could not even get the votes for his bill in the House. This government has completely broken down over zealotry. This is why we must be careful on who we elect. This crowd was swept in on heavy new corporate campaign spending. Next time the money may not be there because they are taking the economy over the cliff.


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Excellent Hub Horse Feathers. I commented further on it in the comments section of that Hub.


Anarchos profile image

Anarchos 5 years ago from Texas

The Citizens United case also means groups of actual citizens who form organizations have less red tape to get through in order to lobby those running for office. Entrenched organizations, whether they be corporations or unions or PACs, spend billions lobbying 365 days a year. Now, at least a partial barrier has been removed from organized citizens from doing so.

The best way to reform our electoral process would be to strip party affiliation from the ballot and remove all indication of party affiliation from the polling place. That way citizens will be forced to educate themselves or suffer from their own ignorance.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments Anarchos. You are right that independent citizens may get together under this ruling and both lobby the government and campaign for a candidate. Unfortunately corporations can organize these groups quicker with much more money. I would love to see ordinary independent citizens get together in this way to lobby for change. Getting rid of parties is a good idea but it is utopian. The Supreme Court would not allow this to happen and our politicians have too large a stake in the party system to allow it to happen.


Anarchos profile image

Anarchos 5 years ago from Texas

I don't mean outlaw political parties, as the Founding Fathers once suggested. I mean removing party identification from the polling place. None of this straight ticket none sense. Vote for the candidate who shares your beliefs (as closely as possible) not your party affiliation (and if you fail to educate yourself and "accidentally" vote for a candidate whose ideas you oppose you get what you deserve).

Also, I agree that corporations can organize more quickly, however, I believe the starting point is the law (ie. the Constitution) and second with how difficult the law makes it for citizens to act. If corporations and other powerful organization can exploit the law, then so be it. Beginning down the path of censorship is dangerous and easily overtaken by nefarious individuals.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

That makes sense Anarchos. People would have to study up on their candidates to decide who to vote for instead of just pulling levers in one column. I still fear the corporations power and money. The Tea Party which is supposed to be grassroots was actually created and funded by Koch Brothers money.


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA

I was curious to see which states had elected the most Tea Party Reps.

http://bit.ly/q90pM9


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for this link Horse Feathers. I am not surprised at the breakdown. Texas fancies itself as its own country anyway. I believe Florida will flip back to sanity because of their deeply unpopular Governor and the Medicare question. The Paul Ryan budget, which the Tea Partiers all voted for, is deeply unpopular among seniors there.


American Romance profile image

American Romance 5 years ago from America

HSchneider, I noticed you seemed to find fault with many conservative branches through out this hub? You didn't mention anything about how unions give millions of dollars they took forcefully from members (many like my Dad were Republican) yet he money was given to Democrats with out his say every election! ........that seems criminal doesnt it? Of course we all know liberals will skate the law to get their way! Look at the dems who ran out of Wisconsin without allowing democracy to prevail!


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

American Romance, You seem to have conveniently missed that I explained the Citizens United decision as allowing corporations AND unions as the independent organizations that were now allowed to spend without restriction independent of campaigns or parties. I stated this at least twice. Unions are democratically elected to represent ALL of the workers in a sector or company. Therefore they are all required to pay dues. The wage, benefits, and working conditions they negotiate benefit all of them whether they voted for the union or not. They can then choose to leave that company or government agency and move to a non-union organization if they wish. Unions are not criminal. Governor Walker never ran on a anti-union platform and then attempted to sneak it through. The recall elections next Tuesday will vote many of his cronies out of the State Senate next Tuesday stripping him of most of his power. This corporate plutocracy that this corporate and GOP created Tea Party is attempting to foist on our country will be halted in the 2012 elections.


American Romance profile image

American Romance 5 years ago from America

Your last comment is correct! NO qualms from my side on that one! My beef is lieing teachers and doctors so they could protest in violent screaming mob form! Democrats leaving the state to avoid democracy! You disdain the Tea Party but they are non violent, protest on weekend so as not to miss work or service to others! And most importantly the values they stand for are for all Americans! They have excellent values! Why do you begrudge getting this country back in shape before we turn into Europe? Why!Why!Why!

608 new regulations passed down in JULY ALONE! Wanna blame the tea party for more jobs moving overseas? A large pharmacutical company closed it doors this week and reportedly spent 150 grand in advertising to interview 1000 Chinese for jobs in their new China factory! Unions have destroyed through collective terrosism! Most union workers get pensions 3 times what their salaries were! This doesn't happen in the private sector so why should only 7% of the nation get their pensions paid for by 93% of working Americans?

Unions had a wonderful place in history! They stopped children from working 12 hour days, gave time off for sick leave and got wages to a decent level! Now they are criminals and entitlement lovers! We have enough laws on the books to protect children and pregnant moms! .............so why do we need them?

Walker ran on a platform to reform the state! I think you may be surprised at how many pubs get reelected!


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

American Romance, Governor Walker and the rest of the GOP never campaigned on stripping government unions of their collective bargaining rights. They agreed to all the pension and benefit cutting measures Walker proposed and still he jammed the collective bargaining rights repeal down their throat. That was TOTALLY dishonest. That is why they protested and the Democrats walked out. The GOP knew if they campaigned on that, they would have lost in the first place. Jobs are being moved overseas because company owners and executives are greedy. Labor is cheaper overseas. Plain and simple. Regulations are in place to protect the public. Businessmen will cut corners to make a buck every time. They will make a risk-loss assessment and do it anyhow. Look what happened when all regulations were loosened on Wall Street. Crash!!!!! The Bush Administration put industry cronies in all regulatory agencies and look what happened. Now America is being protected again no matter how much you and Corporate America howl.


American Romance profile image

American Romance 5 years ago from America

Yes labor is cheaper overseas, most families live in one bedroom homes! Think back to how many times now Obama has said we need to be more like China? ........huh? No company wants to leave America to work under the thumb of communism. The ones leaving are doing so because they cannot profit any longer under this regime! They have bosses and those bosses are stock holders! Those still making huge profits are sitting on their money because of the uncertain!

Yes look what happened to wall street! Barney Frank rallied for years to get the fair housing act passed that Bush did indeed sign into law! That is all he did HS! Democrats wrote and pushed to get this law in place! Rumors have it that they secretly told banking not to worry if you fail we will bail you out! Doesnt matter because they failed and took the world with it! You cannot GIVE credit to those who cannot or have shown in the past will not pay it back! Wall street did not crash, banking did!..........they just took wall street and every working American with them! Those 50 million democrats on welfare were not affected! They simply moved out of the homes they could not afford in the first place and right into a hud house that YOU are still paying for!


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA

pol·i·ti·cian/?päl??tiSH?n/Nou?n

1. A person who is professionally involved in politics.

2. A person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for that Horse Feathers.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

American Romance, Please stop echoing the Far Right usual list of lies. The President has not said that we have to be more like China a lot. He has said it a couple of times in the context that we have to save more and be more productive. Companies do move plants overseas to different developing countries because labor costs are cheaper. It is a fact. Not all but many do. Also please stop with the ridiculous and hysterical Far Right rumors. Nobody told them to make junk housing loans because we would not let them fail. Your 50 million Democrats on welfare cheap shot proves you are a hysterical demagogue. The financial crash had many causes. Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backing horrible loans was a major cause. Bankers who did not understand and did not place proper risk on their instruments was also a major cause. The ratings agencies putting AAA on everything without knowing what was in the securities was the height of incompetence. Government regulation being loosened under Clinton and eliminated under Bush greased the skids. Unregulated mortgage lending at both the state and federal levels were also to blame. Learn the facts before you start spewing your canned Far Right rhetoric at me. It might also help to read the Hub I wrote explaining the causes of the financial meltdown.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

I've witnesses videos of Tea Party people stomping a person who was in a wheel chair. Do I have a Different definition of 'non violent?' I don't think so. How many of those politicians do you suppose Are Not bought and paid for by big corporations? Few I dare say. Great hub.


Horse Feathers profile image

Horse Feathers 5 years ago from Indiana USA

Tell me, why is it they, the politicians, always have smiles on their faces when ever you see them? With all our trouble. Maybe because their bank accounts are overflowing!


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I saw that also Bobbi a year or so back. To be fair, I believe that was an anomaly and not representative of these people as a whole. Their rhetoric and posters are often outrageous and depict President Obama as Hitler, The Joker, Bin-Laden, and other despicable depictions. You are right, this Tea party movement was funded and created by the Koch Brothers and others in Corporate America. Thank you for commenting.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

You may be right Horse Feathers. Most of these politicians are quite wealthy.


PoliticsNOW profile image

PoliticsNOW 5 years ago from New York

I agree 2012 will be a major election in the direction this country moves in. I hope Obama is a bit more fearless this go around. I am a bit worried about the Wall St. influence, they really don't like Obama. They want the repubs to rule so they can do whatever they want to again.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments PoliticsNOW. You may be right about some on Wall Street but he is still getting a lot of campaign contributions from them. I agree that President Obama has to get bolder and take the fight to the Republicans and especially the Tea Party. A jobs bill would be a good way to go as well as a renewed energy and immigration bills.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Great and nicely written article.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments Sun-Girl.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

I would point out that it is BOTH parties, equally, who have done this and both parties have equally gained from it as far as funding goes.

The Republicans tend to get more big business contributions but the Democrats get the lion’s share from Unions, which have more political clout by shear numbers of votes they control.

The only losers are the majority of Americans who are paying for all of this as well as the out of control government spending.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I agree with you that both parties benefit from this funding. Borsia. The Republicabns from corporations, and the Democrats from unions. The funding coming from Corporate America is much greater. Their pockets are much deeper and the Koch brothers are directing it to create legislation to further their own businesses. They are also creating laws to limit Democratic voter turnout. Government spending must be cut but revenues must also be raised. Thank you for your comments, Borsia. They are greatly appreciated.


Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 3 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

The Citizens United Ruling was outrageous. Money is not speech. Bombarding poorly informed and poorly educated people (in many cases) with lies and twisted advertising accomplishes nothing good. Allowing the contributors to these advertisements to do so anonymously is a huge mistake. The total cost of all advertising should be limited, as should individual donations, and all contributors should be disclosed by name and the amount of money or other benefits contributed.

Voted your hub up & awesome because it sheds light on an important issue. Sharing with my followers.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

This ruling signals the death of both the freedom of America and the American way but proves once and for all that the court that is our last line of defense has been put on the auction block.

There is now absolutely no chance that the most corrupt and outrageous won't be "leading" America into ruin.

There will be no more government ruling for the good of the country only for the bottom line of multinational corporations and the 1%.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments, Aunt Jimi. Our elections are out of control and I too wish we could have controls on the money and processes involved. It is truly needed. Unfortunately this myopic right leaning Supreme Court would strike down any new laws in this direction. Hopefully this changes in the future.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I agree with you, Borsia, that this was an abominable ruling that greatly harms our democratic processes. It also endangers it for the future. I do not think it is its death knell because of the 2012 election. All the corporate money that poured into the elections in 2012 were wasted. The majority of the people prevailed. But we must be vigilant and vocal because this can easily be turned around in 2014, 2016, and beyond. Thank you for your comments.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

I suppose that depends on how you view thw 2 main parties.

I think we lost just as much with Obama as we would have with Romney. Neither is really a candidate "for the people" both belong to special interests and are the puppets of corporations.

What the corporate money di do was insure that the issues stayed away from those that really matter and America continues to waste more money than is utilized for the good of the country.

Cuts that are made are mostly those that hurt the country and are most visual to voters, government continues to grow rather than shrink.

Until we make the jump to take big money out of elections little will change.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Both sides are certainly influenced by big corporate money. The Republicans get the majority of theirs from this source while the President received a much larger chunk from small donors. I agree we need to take this big money out of elections. I also agree that the attempts to cut the deficit over the backs of the lower and middle class is wrong headed, cruel, and harmful. These are the people that need social programs and spend the money. Their spending helps to revive the economy. The wealthy just hoard it. Thank you again for your comments, Borsia.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Obama got the majority of his money from lawyers associations, unions and superpacs not really my idea of small donors.

The only candidate who got all of their moey rom small donors and individuals was Paul.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

The President's spread of donors is much more diverse than the Republicans. Still we need campaign finance reform. All donors should be small with limits. On that we agree. Ironically, Ron Paul would remove all restrictions on this and all areas making elections worse. We need a new Court makeup that does not treat corporation as people. Thank you, Borsia.

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