I like to read the opinion of my fellow hubbers regarding the ruling struck down by the Supreme Court today.
It seems that the all Republican appointees struck down a ruling regarding regulation of corporations' influence on election and public policy.
Bottom line; Huge corporations like Goldman Sachs and AIG will be able to use their enormous wealth to run campaigns against a president or any person who might oppose their agenda.
Its seems to be that "too big to fail" corporations will be the new age lobbyist. What's say you?
How do you know what their party affiliation is?
They buy up the votes of members of both parties.
Bush's Supreme court strikes again. Based on the idiotic notion that corporations are equal to people before the law and therefore deserve free speech rights. Once again, the rich are offered unlimited opportunity to buy our government. Rupert Murdoch is doing a victory dance.
Um, Bush? The idiotic notion that corporations are equal to people was introduced during the police state of Reconstruction after the Civil War. That was just a little bit before Bush's term. But I agree with you for the most part.
It was bush's nominees for the most part who voted for it.
The usual suspects--Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito who are perhaps the most activist majority on the Court in many years.
Opposed: Stevens, Ginzburg, Breyer, Sotomayor.
Unless the Congress can find a way around it the country is f***ked.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor … =122805666
I'm not a big fan of Bush. In fact, when it comes to insisting politicians uphold the Constitution, I am non-partisan
Yea but only by a couple months.... (unless you meant Junior)
A fine Republican tribute to the poor. What a joke.
will be?.....have been, along with the Bilderberger group and host of others...dems and repubs fighting is a diversion...keep the citizenry divided and they can control forever and a day...stop the partisan ship and look at big money for who they are and it will stop because we will not line their pockets anymore, period...it's that easy
This is a ruling FOR free speech! Any time the courts affrim our god given rights it`s a good thing. Remember not only will corporations be able to voice their opinions, so too will unions, citizens groups and other special interests and you and I will be able to weigh the arguments, considering the sources, and voice our opinions to our representatives, who for the most part don`t listen anyway unless you`re a big contributor. The democrats are just upset because now they will have to spend money defending their socialist agenda, a hard sell in a place where people love freedom ala MA!
Spoken like a true right wing Republican! It's the worst decision since Dred Scott. Roberts lied like a rug at his confirmation hearings. He promised to respect precedent and not seek to have the Court make law. Thomas is a moron, and Scalia is an extreme, arrogant partisan judge.
It should read bought speech The only other people or organizations that can have a say is with coffers of money as their opposition has huge reserves of it. So to have a say in the matter you need a whole lot of money. That is some kind of free speech you're hawking at us!
Firedoglake hit the nail on the head in their post on the issue (aptly titled U.S. Supreme Court Makes Corporations Supreme, People Mere Monkeys):
"If you had any doubt about the corruption that has infected the very bloodstream of American politics, look at today's ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court said corporations can spend unlimited amounts to influence the outcome of elections. [...]
"At the root of the Court's attack on popular democracy - and it is an attack, and it will promote if not guarantee rule by unaccountable corporate oligarchy - is the Court's infamous 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision that said money equals speech. Left unaddressed in today's decision - and others - is the absurdity of this formula. When money equals speech, outfits with more money have more speech. And that destroys the very principle of free speech."
You have to be the dumpest person in the world, if you donot see the threat to our freedoms with this ruling! this is why rich is getting richer,more middle class is become poor,and the poor,where must of us will be in the near future, does not have a voice. WAKE UP AMERICA!Our country is be take over by big business and our voices are being silents!
I often wonder about being the "dumpest person in the world" how did it happen to me?
The Supreme Court was purchased by Bank of America today.
I don't know if it was Bank of America in particular, but Wall Street for sure.
Very sad day for America
I guess if a corporation runs ads and discloses who has paid for the ad it could work for or against a candidate depending on the public's perception of the company.
It's the back-door deals that worry me. Then the candidate is beholden.
if we are interpreting the ruling correctly, there are many ways we could look at this.
If you caught on to what just happened in MA, with the election of Brown in a majority blue state, you can see that the left in charge in washington have gone too far left for the majority of people, regardless of their political affiliation...so
this looks to me like one more "test" from the universe/God (?) for the people to choose!
with the power shown of what the citizenry can accomplish when liberty and not political affiliation are at stake...what did the people choose? Liberty of course.
opening the flood gates for unlimited money to flow into campaigns gives us all another test of willpower to do the right thing...will the majority of people choose the liberty minded candidate, or will they allow big money to
buy their conscience...?
check out www.givemeliberty.org or www.wethepeople.org
I think the more pressing question is, will people even know the "liberty-minded" candidate exists?
There is now no limit on corporate spending during political campaigns, so it is theoretically possible for a corporation to buy every single television spot during campaign season months in advance, so the other guy/gal's ads never get played.
And with net neutrality likely to go the way of the dodo soon, the ability of little people to influence policy via the internet will probably be severely hampered as well.
I guess your hypothetical liberty-minded candidate could still hand out flyers on street corners or something... until the corporations decide to make that illegal.
If post-Soviet history is of any relevance to the current situation, ANY liberty minded candidate once elected either changes his/her mind or gets thrown away from the system. There are millions of ways to do this, starting from finding illegal drugs in their pocket and finishing with fatal accident...
The high court has gone awry. This decision by the usual suspects removes all pretensions by the right wing justices' who voted for this travesty that they do not have an agenda. Corporations are not "persons" and the Supreme Court should recognize that. This concept puts our democracy at serious risk.
So what you are saying is people with money shouldn't be allowed to voice their opinion?
I think it would be nice if money wasn't part of our election process. Wouldn't it be great if the people that wished to SERVE our country would do so for free? Maybe it should be illegal for anyone to spend anything on an election? Yes I would be all for that, reluctant civil servants that work for free because they CARE about our country and about protecting our freedom, but I won't hold my breath for that!
No this ruling opens things up and allows anyone that wishes to spend their money to promote their agenda to do so. That means the SEIU and ACORN as well as MERK, Goldman Sacks. or Tea Party Patriots! We will get the benefit of hearing their opinions and considering the source decide for ourselves what's best.... of course politicians will still act to serve their OWN interests just as before, as evidenced in the Health care debate where despite overwhelming opposition the democratic party tried to ram it down our throats! With this ruling, it will be a little harder for them to push an agenda of lies!
Harder for them to push their lies? This ruling mostly dealt with last minute donations in ads to taint the opposition at the eleventh hour when defending oneself from the attack is nearly impossible. I am sorry but this was a ruling in favor of continued dirty tactics for big business to slide the candidate of their purchase into office. It is a dirty deal and further shows how bought the supreme court now is by the right.
No they`re not, except they`re owned by people, run by people, serve people, employ people, and for legal purposes treated as individuals... they are no different than any other special interest group or party or grass roots organization and they should be able to speak their collective mind !
So let the people donate money to campaigns!
As far as I can tell, this only allows the decision makers at corporations to donate twice over, once with their own money (which is a-ok with me) and once with money from profits made around the world. How can grassroots organizations possibly compete with that, let alone the 99.99% of Americans who aren't billionaires?
The problem is they aren't a collective (which implies a democracy) mind they are a tyranical dictatorship with the title of CEO. It isn't all the employees of the company voiceing thier collective opinion it is the propoganda of the 'man in charge'...and it will only reflect the decision makers stance and what is best for him, and his bottom line.
People are treated as corporations. We are OUR NAME IN CAPITAL LETTERS our ss# is our corporate id. Look at your driver's license is that how a persons name is spelled. IBM,MICROSOFT,etc...
The human being which is our person would never accept a worthless fiat currency as payment for our services.
Only a corporation would.
Nobody's saying that "people with money shouldn't be allowed to voice their opinions." Number one, Goldmine Sachs and Exxon and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ACORN or SEIU aren't people. Number two, nobody is saying that these organizations shouldn't allowed to express their opinions. What is being said that reasonable limitations on campaign contributions and advertising at election time should apply as were provided in McCain-Feingold. Government financing of all election campaigns would be helpful as would guaranteeing equal access to the air waves to all candidates.
PoppaBlues seems to me to be inclined to extreme, over-simplified opinions.
What`s extreme is your idea that government should define what "reasonable limitations" are reguarding financing or promoting an opinion or that government should decide what is "fair". Why do you think those in power would do anything that might threaten their hold on power?
Yes. I hope that an answer that will be in the public interest can and will be found. It may take a few more retirements and appointments to the Supreme Court. Or perhaps some inventive legislative solutions.
Define "public interest" this is like "common good"... which seems to mean in your view what progressives think it should mean. Why do you think the supreme court isn`t acting in the common good if it is ruling on the constitutionality of a law. Is the court not doing the job it was intended? Or are you suggesting the constitution is oudated and should be interpreted differently taking into account fairness (as defined by progressive thinkers) ?
The Supreme Court is not a perfect institution. It is dependent on the views of its members at any given time. Five of the current members of the court don't care about the common good or their conception of is is badly warped. In this case the common good or public interest is in assuring a government that considers the interest of all Americans without regard to their wealth and influence. That is also the only reason for allowing corporations to exist. Unfortunately some of the people who are running the corporations don't understand this, and as a result, they are "breeding a scab on the end of their noses," as my grandfather used to say.
It's not the job of the supreme court to decide what is in the common good, but only to rule if laws don't comply with the constitution and/or harm individual freedom. They have ruled correctly so in my view.
Corporations too don't exist to assure all Americans interests are met equally. They exist to make money for those that have risked their treasure to do so. The exist to serve a set of people "a market". They are neither good nor bad, but include elements of both. It is individuals that decide by voting with their pocketbooks which of them survive, succeed or fail.
When individual freedom is maintained with the least possible interference, that is when the "common good" is best served. That is not to say that there won't be losers and those that are treated unfairly. Life isn't fair, it's a competition and mankind achieves the best results when we are all free to compete as we see fit. The last thing we need is some government bureaucrat telling us what is fair, right, moral, good or bad, or what is in our own individual interest!
Considering that corporations can now openly and legally buy their own pet politicians to write whatever laws the corporation sees fit, do you really believe that individuals will have any say at all in which corporations survive?
Absolutely! Jay Leno got cancelled not because GE didn`t have influence in the Obaba administration but because individuals weren`t watching. If the politicans weren`t taking corporate money maybe they would act in the people`s interest... why do you think the health care bill had a provision that prevented cheaper drugs from Canada being sold in the US? We need a return of power to the people. We have to get back to a government that complies with the constitution. We don`t need a strong federal government telling individuals how to behave, we need individuals to behave in their own best interests!
You are spouting social Darwinist theory that was discredited long ago. Corporations regularly screw not only the public but their own stockholders as well when their CEOs overpay themselves via outrageous bonus formulas which are fudged to produce big payouts by cooking the books. Un-regulated, they would be even worse polluters, exploiters of their workers and the public.
Discreditied by who Sal Alinsky? Overpaid? By what measure? As a percentage of their earnings? or revenues? Or compared to what a low level employee makes?
Corporations aren't evil... if not for them we'd all be farmers struggling to survive in a world without innovation...we'd still have oxen pulling wooden ploughs through soil deprived of nourishment! Is there greed? Yes of course, that's human nature. No system is perfect! You seem to think a system can be made perfect by adding layers and layers of government bureaucracy and regulations. You fail to see the greed and corruption of government..it doesn't bother you that congress gets raises automatically without having to vote for them or that they retire with medical benefits for life which tehy still get even if convicted of a crime! It doesn't bother you that this scum can collect a big pension along with their social security and then write books about there service in the government and keep all that profit. Or that they profit off of speaking tours and then become lobbyists and consultants amking even more money! No! You would rather have more of these blood sucking swine telling us how they are going to level the playing field for the common good! Please! Don't do me any favors!
To be honest, I think even setting aside the ruling of the Supreme Court, big business already determines who has the cash for votes, In England in 1997 the people voted in a Labour Govt sick of the conservative party, turned out the Labour Party had got big money from big companies, in one case the government delayed changes in relation to tobbaco legislation as one of the Governments big backers was sponsored by a tobbaco company, behind the scenes it goes on no matter what we think, at least let it be out in the open, let us see the real people in power rather than their political rent boys....
Everyone is looking at this as a decision to make Corporations equal to an average citizen.
In my opinion it is the opposite and allows the government to treat human beings more like corporations.
To put this into a little more perspective, the combined total spent on the 2008 presidential campaign by Barack Obama and John McCain was $1 billion dollars. This was considered to be a "unprecedented figure."
The total amount of bonuses paid out in 2009 by:
Goldman-Sachs = $16 billion
JPMorgan Chase = $27 billion
Morgan Stanley = $14 billion
Citigroup = $25 billion
And that's just one small part of the financial sector!
Also bear in mind that a substantial percentage of US corporations are foreign owned and have interests that may directly conflict with the best interests of the American people.
In short, unless we can get a constitutional amendment reversing this decision, the American people are screwed.
And as you can see, money talks and "we the people" should walk
What I find ironic is that the conservatives were afraid of Sotomayor "legislating from the bench"....
Why does my thought process differ from so many people? I look at it slightly to my advantage, if the corporation is backing a certain candidate that I don't like, that corporation is going to loose my business, and I think many people will look at it in this respect. The corporations have a lot to win & a lot to loose.
I think the politicians bank accounts will become much healthier now
PoppaBlues said: "We need a return of power to the people."
We sure do, but the Supreme Court's decision will have exactly the opposite effect. It will put the country in the hands of corporations and mega rich individuals. The Court's decision was wrong on the law and will have a horrible practical effect by further undermining public confidence in our federal and state and local governments.
That's a quite positive effect if you ask me. People need to finally get on terms with reality.
How about we 'can' all special interest groups? Then terminate anyones campaign or term in office found accepting donations from any special interest group.
Nothing in the Ruling changes the fact that they have to identify themselves so it's up to us to remain vigilant, last time I checked being rich wasn't a felony, and if that's how they choose to spend it then so be it, if my reps don't vote the way I want them to then I vote for somebody else,,, Gotta stay on top of it..We've had corrupt governments long before coporations were here. Since Andrew Jacksons day it's something we have to be vigilant about
Having a few 'corrupt' politicians in office is what we may have had in Jackson's day, what we have now is a Corrput 'Governmental System'...which is very different. To be a part of a Corrupt Government...everyone in the Government has to be corrupt, or the system wont let you in... I.E. If your not a Corporate Bought Political Candidate, you will not have the ability to ever get elected because you will not recieve the money necessary to run for office in the first place.
And for those vigilant citizens... you will never hear the name of a Candidate that supports the 'peoples' interests because the 'not guilty of anything' rich corporation owners will use their power, influence, and wealth to keep them from you.
I guess the thing that bothers me most about this post, is that it seems folks somehow want to pick and choose who has the rights of free speech in this country. When we find a way to prohibit from one group we will find a way to prohibit it for you. It is so easy to bash folks that are successful and of course the 'corporations' are certainly the root of all evil in our society. When you follow the line of reasoning here it is only a matter of time when 'they' then pick and choose and come for you..
Corporations are not people, ergo they should not have human rights like free speech.
Nobody is arguing that the CEOs and employees who make up a corporation shouldn't have the right to donate to political parties in accordance with their (and the corporation's) best interests. We're just saying that the corporation itself shouldn't be able to.
In addition to the fact that corporations are not people, allowing them to donate to campaigns allows the decision makers at the top to effectively donate twice, once with their own money and once with profits made around the world, which will render local individuals and grassroots groups completely irrelevant because unless they are Bill Gates they will have no way on earth to compete with a multinational corporation in terms of fundraising power. Because the decision to donate corporate profits to a political campaign is made by only a few individuals, it also opens up the possibility that they will use the money to buy politicians to enact laws that may run directly counter to the best interests of their customers and low level employees, such as making it easier to ship jobs overseas. Finally, it gives foreign owners of US corporations, who may even have a philosophical or financial interest in America's downfall, dangerous power over US policy.
Kerry, could you make up your mind please? I know girls are unpredictable and ever changing like that, but still?
I think I've been pretty consistent, actually.
If you're referring to the argument for public funding above, that would be my ideal, but that's a pipe dream. It's not going to happen, so at least in the meantime we can restrict campaign contributions to actual human beings.
Edit: Okay, just checked chronological and see your quotes. My explanation stands.
So, should individuals have a right to donate to campaign, or you think it is beneficial to remove this right and give it to government only?
My ideal situation would be to have all candidates publicly funded and given an equal sum to level the playing field, but that's not going to happen, so in the meantime, campaign financing should, imho, be restricted to individuals.
While what you say is true about the potential Ills then what must be done is to change the law to remove the rights for corporate entities, as the law recognizes any 'entity' that does business, single proprietor, limited partnerships, s-corps in the same way. But again that will open a can of worms that will lead to more and more restrictions and eventually to you.. Unintended Consequences will prevail.
"Corporate personhood" has been around since 1886, so we've already had 123 years of Unintended Consequences.
and I would suggest we have so far survived it as it is..
Free Speech and all..
Chances are not any longer. It's time to pay the bill
The Bill is already being paid, what is left out of this so far is that the Unions here do the same thing the Corporations do, but from the left. No mention on restricting them, also the changes here are actually pretty insignificant if you wait till after all the knees stop jerking and think about what actually changed. Now the entities can give directly to a candidate. Under the old law you had to give it to one of the Parties National Committtess (no limits there) or take out 'issue ads' (cover for candidates) The detractors seem to think that the money has beeen building up ion anticipation, just not so it's already being spent and I doubt that all of a sudden more is going to appear. The corps still have to make a profit.
The system is what it is and it has been that way for a long time and yet, people still want to come here, and live so while it is a pretty goat screwed system it's still better than the other ones I've seen around the world and that includes the parliamentary systems that are party based winner take all majority rules. Just me I guess...
Actually, I have advocated against allowing special interest groups such as unions to donate, but I do agree that the one good thing to come out of this might be knowing a candidate is bought and paid for by, say, Monsanto instead of by some PAC with a name like the Center for American Food Security.
Somebody on ontd_political suggested that instead of (D-IL) after Sen. Soandso in news reports, we should start putting up little tickers "Sen. Soandso (Monsanto: 1.2m Disney: 1.1m ADM:1.0m Sony:980k Vivendi:940k....)"
What you say is true but most Americans do very little investigating their candidates as the party picks them and they scuttle along minding their masters.
If anyone had investigated Obama during his election you would have found a gaggle of corporate donations that would stagger the imagination. Special interest was securely entrenched long before the first primary voting machine lever was pulled.
To be fair McCain had just as many and mostly the same as Obama. Corporate America doesn't care who gets elected, only who owes them a favor.
There are some pretty good resources around the web for finding this kind of info. Too bad more people don't take advantage.
That's where the ticker idea comes in handy.
Is that George Soros and if so please explain.
Soros was one of the main contributors to Obama's move up in government and into the presidency...right? but not so with McCain
I was not really talking about the bill, I was talking about corporations existence in general. And I despise the unions no less than you LOL.
As for the people coming to US for it's being a free country - I am one of these people, and I got disillusioned pretty soon after coming here. It's all in the past, you are cashing out on the reputation your grand-grand-grand parents created, without replenishing the source. USA used to be a free country, yet it is becoming a police state frighteningly fast...
You misread me on that I despise neither. I have been a Proud Member of the National Association of Letter Carriers and I've run my own business as well.
If the promise was truly lost we would not be encountering the Illegal Immigration problems we have, even as we export jobs to the countries they are coming from. Must be something special. It is the promise of opportunity not result. Don't know bout the police state thing since every time you need a cop you can't find one...
The problem with allowing free exploitation of the government by lobbyists is that they play on an unfair playing field with the public.
If there were no money involved and the lobbyists were allowed to approach and talk to the congressmen and campaign on the politicians behalf it might have a more constitutional ring to it. Buying air time and producing ads the politician would not otherwise afford is an unfair advantage when you consider it against the individual and their ability to compete with corporate money.
In an effort to protect all of our rights under the constitution is it fair to allow one group to exploit our system when clearly they have resources that are not readily available to the average citizen? The nature of the laws that allow petitioning of the representatives was for access and not unfair influence. With money in the relationship between the representative and the petitioner the petitioner becomes more of an ally than the one who asks to be heard without any money in the mix.
A hard line take on the law while legal is not a justice based ruling. The job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the law as applied to the constitution and not to merely apply the legalese to be fair.
Kerry, then why not just remove the corporate shield and hold all stockholders personally responsible as general partners. And while we're at it, why not forget about public funding for anything? Let individuals fund whatever needs funding.
Hi Aya. Kerry mentioned public funding above, but looks like her definition differs from yours. Based on what else she had to say, I think she probably meant funding through taxes...
And yeah, I am totally with you on eliminating corporations (and other forms of limited responsibility)
Misha, great! Glad we agree. Now all you have to do is become a citizen!
I thought this case was more about government restricting free speech. The way I understood it, the government can arbitrarily designate speech as partisan and prohibit it from being broadcasted. A corporation is made up of people just as a union is. I don't really see the difference.
As for the communication thesis the Government can not label it as partisan and limit it any longer that was part of the ruling, Struck down the 6 week pre election restriction in McCain Fiengold.
so, someone, please give me a recap here...what are the provisions of the bill that Supreme court changed..and how?
then let's look down the road a bit from that...what does that imply will happen from now on?
I projected that it would give us a clearer view of who gives what to the politicians, which will make it easier for us to see who is liberty minded and who is not. Assuming of course that it will be easy to find this information out.
Brian Dickerson in the Detroit Free Press this morning:
What Planet do These Justices Live On?
" Only someone who has never been ambushed by a third-party attack ad could write with a straight face, as Justice Anthony Kennedy did, that unleashing corporations to spend unregulated billions on TV ads savaging their political enemies will serve mainly to edify voters with more useful information about candidates.
"Sen. John McCain, whose legislative efforts to stem the flow of corporate political cash were largely eviscerated by the high court's 5-4 decision Wednesday in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was surely guilty of gross understatement when he suggested that justices in the majority had betrayed their "extreme naivete" about the power and peril of special-interest money. A less diplomatic man might have wondered in what parallel universe Justice Kennedy and his conservative colleagues have been eating their Cheerios.
"In disingenuously portraying their decision as a blow for free expression, the Citizens United majority imagined a meritocratic marketplace of ideas in which the identity (and motive) of speakers is always transparent, a contest in which arguments succeed or fail on the strength of their logic, or at least their emotional appeal.
"And really, what's the harm if an upstanding corporate citizen such as Goldman Sachs (or Enron, or, say, the Amalgamated Food Adulteration Corp.) sponsors a few 30-second spots explaining why it supports or opposes your incumbent state senator's re-election? Aren't voters better off knowing what large corporations are up to, and why they believe the election or defeat of certain candidates will promote their objectives?
"But the judicial hallucination described above bears scant resemblance to the real world of political marketing. In that world -- the one in which ordinary cable subscribers are force-fed a steady diet of lies, distortions and five-second sound bites shorn of all context -- corporate sponsors are typically at pains to conceal both their identities and their motives in supporting a particular candidate.
So instead of learning that the Amalgamated Food Adulteration Corp. is pleased with the job state Sen. X has been doing, we learn that a group known only as Americans for the Eradication of Child Pornography has been shocked to discover that a man whose name sounds awfully like that of state Sen. X's opponent was recently charged with soliciting a prostitute.
Never mind that the person charged was actually the candidate's similarly named cousin, or that said cousin was subsequently acquitted. Never mind that the top 10 contributors to Americans for the Eradication of Child Pornography turn out to be officers of the Amalgamated Food Adulteration Corp., all of whom live in the same gated community thousands of miles from state Sen. X's district. And never mind that those executives' preference for Congressman X owes largely to his support for legislation exempting their company from new regulations restricting the use of asbestos in pork sausage."
I mentioned Unintended Consequences a while a go
I find it Ironic that the case involved a Leftist PAC fighting the FEC's ruling on a film they made against Hillary Clinton in the Primaries.
Looks like they have met the enemy and they is them...
I think it was a rightist PAC. I could be mistaken. Will try to look it up. All we need to do is follow the money. The contributors to Citizens United have never been revealed so far as I've been able to find.
But unlike Section 527 groups, such as the group that ran the Swift Boat ads targeting Sen. John Kerry in 2004, 501(c)4 groups generally keep their contributors confidential.
Citizens United said 25 supporters gave at least $1,000, including two $2,000 contributions from for-profit companies. But the group scuttled its cable plans rather than name contributors.
Instead, the group asked a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington to stop the FEC from enforcing its regulations. The panel rejected the group’s arguments, and Citizens United appealed to the Supreme Court.
Naming contributors is a concern for these sorts of groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce studied the 30 biggest-spending groups on such “electioneering” ads for the 2008 campaign and didn’t find “any significant number” of corporate contributors.
“Experience has shown that many corporations will refrain from core speech if it comes at the price of public disclosure,” wrote Jan Witold Baran, a lawyer representing the chamber, which filed a brief supporting Citizens United in the case. “If unacceptable disclosure demands force a speaker into silence, the right of willing listeners to hear is entirely destroyed.”
To me it just underlines the political realities of the US. Money equals power.
The next step is to rationalize the whole democracy project and simply allow the hundred biggest corporations to select the President, Senate and House and Representatives without the inconvenience and expense of general elections etc.
Didn't you know? Thats already been done by the Bankers, who are responsible not just for the US but World Wide for everything from WWI, WWII, The Rise of Communism, Nazism, Islamic terrorism, and Zionism and all the other isims since the Bank of England was established..
It is what it is and will be what we make it..
Aha! As I suspected the Hillary movie was produced by veteran GOP operative David Bossie who produced the Swiftboat campaign against John Kerry. I haven't been able to identify the 25 or so people who put up the money.
http://blendzpolitik.blogspot.com/2010/ … a7949b6f9f
"In January 2008, Bossie and Citizens United released Hillary: The Movie amid controversy and litigation which has gone to the United States Supreme Court. (see section below "Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission")" Wikipedia
What difference does it make who produced the movie? What matters is if what was presented is true or at least if the questions raised should be further investigated and answered. What the democrats seem to want is free speech as long as it doesn`t disparage their socialist agenda!
Well, I was correcting hmjri's assertion that the movie was produced by leftists. I did a little checking and found that it was produced by a professional GOP slimer of the Clintons going back to Whitewater. I haven't seen the movie, but I'm quite sure that it was not even as objective and factual as a Michael Moore movie. David Bossie is a paid political assassin. Also, don't you think it would be of interest to know the names of the 25 individuals who financed Bossie? I suspect that the movie was produced on the assumption that Hillary would be the Democrat nominee rather than Obama.
Poppa Blues why do you play the party politic and trump card of the right so much. The Republicans or conservatives want even more control than the "socialist whores" you keep ranting about. With the information and advice you offer the only choice people see as an answer is this cloaked conservative agenda which is a whore of a different color.
The political right will accept anyone that they can deceive. Bush grabbed a hold of the religious right movement and once he was elected payed them little more than lip service. He put extreme rightest justices in whenever he had a chance and left us with this crap on the Supreme Court to decide elections and further campaign financing fiascos.
I agree that the extreme left is on the same page and has caused such chaos with healthcare and financial woes but swinging back to the control freaks of the conservative right is just as bad.
The Independent Party is gaining strength and has been deciding the last few elections because the other two have been so fraught with lies and misdirection so as to give us few choices.
Your vilifying one so much leads one to believe you support the opposite so much more strongly and marginalizes your views.
The WizardofWhimsy's view of the Supreme Court majority in the recent election law ruling
This is an outrage! One more way to hinder the political process. I don't think our forefathers had ExxonMobil purchasing Senate seats in mind when they wrote the COnstitution. Every candidate should have an equal oppurtunity. The laws are complicated enough without having to combat corporate wealth. Might as well put a for sale sign on the Capital building and the White House.
The problem is that they have been getting away with it using their political employees. The recent ruling only proves that the government can do anything they wish now and right under our noses.
It's time to stop following party edicate and throw all the slime out including the kangaroo..uh...Supreme Court political slaves.
I'm a little confused by the reactions, this ruling gives private citizens a voice that they didn't have before. If corporations exercise the right to be heard and you don't then bad on you! Start a PAC and get your points across, but big brother stifling free speech is not what this country is about!
It really hurts to say this, but here goes........
I (gulp) agree with Tex. EVERYONE should have their voices heard. If we can survive the onslaught of garbage coming from FoxNews, we can certainly deal with the expressed views of Jack-in-the-Box and Toys are Us.
The ruling left in place the major protections banning corporations from donating directly to candidates. In this era of free communications among large, diverse groups (such as this forum) it's getting incresingly difficult, if not impossible to control the market of opinion no matter how deep your pockets are - whether those pockets are corporate or private.
The sky is not falling. We all have equal opportunity to have our voices heard.
A corporation is not really a private citizen. It's an entity owned by private citizens. An entity that can throw so much money to one candidate that they could possibly erase anyones knowledge of their competitor.
Let's say Candidate A is running for Congress in a small district that most people could care less about. Candidate A wants to keep their rural area beautiful with clean air, blah, blah, blah.
Candidate B supports drilling oil and deforestation in that same district. Exxon Mobil (in theory) could donate LOTS of money to Candidate B's campaign. In which, they can spin his views so that even people that would disagree with him are so confused they suddenly like him.
Candidate A has no real financial backers so he is almost forgotten about.
Is this free speech or is it purchasing a vote in Congress?
The scenario you describe is still illegal under the recent ruling.
True, but Exxon could spend its stockholders' money on "issue ads" to support candidate B, or have someone produce attack videos or robo calls. Disclaimer, I haven't yet read the decision and dissents. Must do so.
And you could gather 100 like minded people and counter those ads.
Blocks of Exxon shareholders could also move their investments elsewhere if they are willing to truly put their money where their mouth is.
The argument is the same whether you are liberal or conservative, you just substitute villains. Liberals see corporations as evil entities that must be stopped; conservatives paint government the same way. Both groups ignore the fact that each entity is made up of actual human beings.
Yes, the Sarah Palin / Glenn Beck followers are usually right.....
And unicorns are a good source of protein.
Could you counter 100 with the same amount of money is kind of my point?
That'd be great. But as I am reading the Ruling I'm not seeing how that is the case. Can you please explain, I get a little lost in this legal jargon?
The ruling left intact the rules against corporations donating directly to candidates. It does allow corporations to finance speech, such as the Hillary movie which prompted the case.
Your scenario described a massive donation to a candidate's campaign, which is still illegal.
Here's Wikipedia's entry on Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_U … Commission
First, the court's ruling has nothing to do with "free speech" because corporations are not in reality "persons."
Secondly, ordinary citizens can not impact the actions of the big corporations by taking their money elsewhere because those corporations have so many billions of dollars they would not feel the pinch.
Thirdly, the earlier decision that money equals speech is fundamentally flawed.
They used to say, "You can't fight City Hall." Now I guess it would be more appropriate to say, "You can't fight the corporation."
Here's a link to the Supreme Court decision and the dissents--
In my opinion, Stevens' dissent shredded the majority opinion, especially Rogberts' lame, gobblegooked attempted justification for his failure to follow established precedent as he promised to do in his confirmation hearings.
Here's the last paragraph of Stevens' eloquent dissent:
In a democratic society, the longstanding consensus on the need to limit corporate campaign spending shouldoutweigh the wooden application of judge-made rules. The majority’s rejection of this principle “elevate[s] corporations
to a level of deference which has not been seen at least since the days when substantive due process was regularly used to invalidate regulatory legislation thought to unfairly impinge upon established economic interests.” Bellotti, 435 U. S., at 817, n. 13 (White, J., dissenting). At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common
sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining selfgovernment
since the founding, and who have foughtagainst the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majorityof this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.
I would affirm the judgment of the District Court
Ralph Deeds says
"In my opinion, Stevens' dissent shredded the majority opinion"
I never doubted for a second that you would come to any other conclusion.
This ruling just strikes down limits that were legal previous to 2002, I don't remember ever being swayed to back a political candidate because a corporation did.
Newspapers carry more weight than corporations in their decisions to endorse a particular political candidate, much ado about nothing.
The issue isn't endorsements, it's attack ads -- thousands of them.
Newspapers publish endorsements on their editorial pages one day on one page. Corporations can run ads all day every day favoring their candidate and/or attacking his/her opponent. Much ado about nothing? I don't think so.
But this has transcended the newspaper age...
I can already see the Sara Palin movie brought to you by "America Reawakening" i.e. G.E., Halliburton, KBR, Walmart, and Shell Oil...
"Indy" style crosslinked with "Zytgeist" type political-socio-economic (even Christian) paranoia...dumbing people down and fracturing them from one another...classic divide and conquer...
Perhaps if companies putting forward these funds would instead finance debates and townhalls and sponsor those......
Too much critical thinking might come out of that...
"Equal protection under the law"...Ever hear this phrase? I'm pretty sure it's contained in our Constitution...What is equal or fair about letting one "for profit" Corporation broadcast their slanted views of Candidates or political opinions unabated throughout both the entire primary elections AND the General Election, while denying a group of citizens, who have formed a "non-profit" organization that happens to be "Incorporated" from doing the same exact same thing? How do you justify the discrepancy and how do you correct it? Do you prohibit every Corporate news organization from publishing or broadcasting any political thought, opinion or statement that might be construed as having an effect on voters during the prescribed open window of time permitted by the FEC? If you do, you're going to be busier than a one-legged man at an ass kicking contest, so you'd better bring your lunch...
In very simple terms, the applicable portions of the FEC legislation were poorly written and not only took away the right to freedom of speech from some people, but also took the right to listen for everyone else..In short, just because you don't want to hear the message, doesn't mean that your neighbor doesn't...
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