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Archive for Friday, January 22, 2010

Supreme Court: Corporations can spend on campaign ads

January 22, 2010

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— Overturning a century-old restriction, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as much as they want to sway voters in federal elections.

In a landmark 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative bloc said corporations have the same right to free speech as individuals and, for that reason, the government may not stop corporations from spending to help their favored candidates.

The ruling — which will presumably apply to labor unions and other organizations — is likely to have an immediate effect on this year’s congressional elections.

Many political analysts and election-law experts predict millions of extra dollars will flood into this fall’s contests, much of it benefitting Republican candidates.

While Republicans praised the decision as a victory for wide-open political speech, Democrats slammed it as a win for big money.

President Barack Obama called the ruling “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” He promised to seek “a forceful response to this decision” from Congress. Some Democrats talked about seeking legislation requiring corporations to get approval from their shareholders before spending money on politics.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader, said the court had restored proper rights to corporations and unions. Previously, “the government was picking winners and losers,” McConnell said.

Until Thursday, corporations and unions were barred from spending their own treasury funds on broadcast ads, campaign workers or billboards that urge the election or defeat of a federal candidate.

This restriction dates back to 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt persuaded Congress to forbid corporations, railroads and national banks from putting money into federal races. After World War II, Congress extended this ban to labor unions. More recently, the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002 added an extra limit on corporate and union-funded broadcast ads in the month before an election. They were prohibited if they simply mentioned a candidate running for office.

Thursday’s decision swept away all these restrictions.

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes they will spend like crazy then increase the cost of their products to cover their acts of corruption which in turn increases our cost of living

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

If you’ve been watching the Senate Finance Committee’s markup sessions, maybe you’ve noticed a woman sitting behind Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Her name is Liz Fowler.

Fowler used to work for WellPoint, the largest health insurer in the country.

The health care industry alone has six lobbyists for every member of Congress and more than 500 of them are former Congressional staff members, according to the Public Accountability Initiative’s LittleSis database.

Just to be certain Congress sticks with the program, the industry has been showering megabucks all over Capitol Hill. From the beginning, they wanted to make sure that whatever bill comes out of the Finance Committee puts for-profit insurance companies first -- by forcing the uninsured to buy medical policies from them. Money not only talks, it writes the prescriptions.

In just the last few months, the health care industry has spent $380 million on lobbying, advertising and campaign contributions. And -- don’t bother holding onto your socks -- a million and a half of it went to Finance Committee Chairman Baucus, the man who said he saw “a lot to like” in the two public option amendments proposed by Senators Rockefeller and Schumer, but voted no anyway.

The industries have been spending $1.25 million health care dollars a day laundering it through the Chamber of Commerce.

2010 medical insurance costs increased by 20%-25%.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

I will make sure I keep tabs on which candidate they are spending the money on, then vote for the other guy. Corporations could care less about America. They have proven that over and over.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

Unless corrected by Congress (not likely) this will go down in history as the Great Fascist Leap Forward.

If you thought our elections were a joke up to now, you ain't seen nothing yet.

diplomacy205 4 years, 11 months ago

Freedom of Speech lives in the U.S.

For those criticizing this decision, explain why it was "fair" to allow unions to spend unlimited money on campaigns while limiting businesses.

There should be no limits on campaign spending. The Constitution should apply equally to all citizens and legal residents/visitors.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"What we all need to fear is just exactly what will Obama and his extremist bunch try to pull the next 36 months?"

Ooh, I know, they'll scrap the constitution, and turn over control of the country to a select group of extremely wealthy people who control most of the major corporations, and had select who the peons will get to vote for in sham elections.

My bad-- that's the been the Republican plan for decades, and now they'll get to fully follow through.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"For those criticizing this decision, explain why it was “fair” to allow unions to spend unlimited money on campaigns while limiting businesses."

Both unions and corporations were limited by the laws that were overturned.

"The Constitution should apply equally to all citizens and legal residents/visitors."

But this ruling will have the exact opposite effect. Sure, all citizens will have so-called free speech, but only the major corporations can afford to completely flood the air and cable ways, drowning out any opposing viewpoints.

And every legislator knows that if they vote the "wrong way" according to corporate interests, their opponents will receive unlimited funding in the next election.

This is really nothing more than fascism, and I don't use that term lightly.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

"What the framework of our Constitution can do is organize the way by which we argue about our future. All of its elaborate machinery – its separation of powers and checks and balances and federalist principles and Bill of Rights – are designed to force us into a conversation, a 'deliberative democracy' in which all citizens are required to engage in a process of testing their ideas against an external reality, persuading others of their point of view, and building shifting alliances of consent. Because power in our government is so diffuse, the process of making law in America compels us to entertain the possibility that we are not always right and to sometimes change our minds; it challenges us to examine our motives and our interests constantly, and suggests that both our individual and collective judgments are at once legitimate and highly fallible."

What does that mean?

Not much, I'm afraid.

Considering the man taught constitutional law at a major university, the lack of clarity and precision in this written statement is astounding and somewhat alarming.

There's not much substance here, at all. It's not much more than gibberish. But let me attempt to decipher it.

The long and the short of it, as far as I can tell, is this: "The Constitution is not the binding law of the land. Instead, it is a framework for stimulating debate – a guidepost for testing our ideas."

In other words, Barack Obama reads the Constitution like he reads the Bible. Both, he believes, contain some good ideas. But no one should take either too literally." http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=69527

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

This ruling apparently will also allow unions to engage in unlimited campaign spending.

Obviously, they don't have anywhere near the cash that corporations do, or anywhere near the unified voice, but this really means that the power unions has been greatly elevated.

We should expect some effort by the Republicans to make sure that only corporations get to wield this new power over the running and results of our elections.

"Goldman Sachs….Soros Fund Management….?

Goldman Sachs will hire any whore politician who will do their bidding, and that's historically been Republicans, not Democrats.

Soros is the exception that proves the rule when it comes to big money folks actually having a conscience (in his campaign contributions if not in running his businesses.)

The simple fact is the vast majority of those who inhabit the upper echelons of the world of large corporations know absolutely nothing but their own narrow self-interests, and that's what they expect of the politicians they buy.

"Been there, done that. Goodbye, union stranglehold…."

Jeez, while the unions have their problems, that you actually believe they have been any substantial counter to raw corporate power and money is laughably sad. And besides, they are now as free to spend on candidates as the corporations.

Do you really think the average American will be better off if all our public officeholders have to please either the corporations or the unions?

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 11 months ago

It looks like Kevin G. has obtained a medical degree today. And yes he is one.

grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

What a stupid decision. As if the corporations don't already have too much power.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"As if the corporations don't already have too much power."

In their view, that's impossible.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 11 months ago

This was wrong. Corporations and Unions are not Voters. Citizens, Voters, i.e. People have rights that should not be afforded in the same way to institutions. All this does is put a lot more power in the hands of a few very wealthy people who control corporations.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

So, I guess what some of you are saying is that people are stupid and their votes will be swayed by what WalMart thinks? I can see how you are under that impression considering who we have in the White House right now, but not to worry, the people already have a pretty good idea of what they want to do in Nov.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

It's been fairly well established that the candidate who spends the most money on their campaign wins the vast majority of the time.

This is a terrible decision, and will simply continue the takeover of our government by large moneyed interests.

The only way to get our government back would be to ban all campaign spending and provide free and equal airtime to all candidates.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"So, I guess what some of you are saying is that people are stupid and their votes will be swayed by what WalMart thinks?"

Stupid? Probably not, but they certainly aren't scholars of the issues that we all face. They go to work, come home tired, and turn on the teevee. And with this new ruling, what will they see on teevee? Nothing but what the corporations want them to think, and (mostly horribly inaccurate) attack ads against any candidates the corporations don't like.

"but not to worry, the people already have a pretty good idea of what they want to do in Nov."

Most of them have no idea what they want to do in November, mostly because they really have very few choices, and minimal information available about those choices. And with this ruling those choices just got fewer, and the available information less.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

Unless you work for the government or as an unincorporated sole proprietor, chances are pretty good you work for a corporation. And unless you're stashing dollar bills in your mattress, you're probably invested in a whole bunch of corporations through your 401(k), 403(b) or SEPP.

I do not understand this irrational fear and loathing of America's job providers.

WilburM 4 years, 11 months ago

One impact of this decision may be for the Congress or the Court or the people to address one of the very worst Supreme Court decisions of all time -- giving corporations the status of individuals when it comes to free speech. Simply put, this is nuts. A corporation is not a person. As individuals we have freedom of speech -- but a corporation can be considered an individual only by the most bizarre twists of logic. It's definitely time to take this on.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"Unless you work for the government or as an unincorporated sole proprietor, chances are pretty good you work for a corporation. And unless you're stashing dollar bills in your mattress, you're probably invested in a whole bunch of corporations through your 401(k), 403(b) or SEPP."

And when that corporation you work for or invest in wants to support a candidate or a cause, are they going to consult you? Of course not.

That argument goes nowhere, STRS.

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

"...we're trying to reform health care..." - porch person

No we're not. Haven't you heard? Health care "reform" is dead.

BrianR 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh good, now corporations can get the best legislators that money can buy.

In many ways, nothing has changed?

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 11 months ago

"...giving corporations the status of individuals when it comes to free speech. Simply put, this is nuts." - Wilbur

This ruling doesn't come close to giving corporations the status of individuals. Without a doubt, this ruling still does not allow corporations not contribute directly to candidates. Too bad.

Additionally, to deny corporations the right to speech through campaign spending is equal to denying them a speech right when it comes to advertising spending. We're all deluged with biased commercials expressing points of view with which we may disagree. And no bozo, I don't expect the corporations in which I'm invested to consult me on their advertising plans, and I won't expect them to consult me on their campaign spending. If I don't approve of either, I'm smart enough to move my money elsewhere.

Sigmund 4 years, 11 months ago

Wasn't this the 'radical' McCain (R) and the 'moderate' Feingold (D) that the evil President Bush signed into law? For a century, courts have recognized that corporations have constitutional rights. That's where the law is.

"Corporations Are People, Too" by Bradley Smith, NPR, January 22, 2010. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112711410

But there is hope, the evil corporation Air America filed for bankruptcy.

"It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business." http://airamerica.com/

gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

This country has been ruled by "One dollar, one vote" for a very long time. The Supreme Court just reaffirmed this.

LoveThsLife 4 years, 11 months ago

Well...government corruption just got a HUGE boost.

LoveThsLife 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your comment Sigmund. I remember studying about that in college a few years back.

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Worst Suprme Court Decision ever...not including the one giving corporations all of the constitutional rights of individuals. And all you rightie's were scared about the downfall of USA because of "socialist, Marxist policies" ala becks six degrees of separation!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"We're all deluged with biased commercials expressing points of view with which we may disagree."

There's a big difference between a corporation telling people what toothpaste to use and a coal-mining company running a $multimillion smear campaign against a candidate who happens to vote based on science what's best for all of their constituents, rather than ideology and propping up the quarterly profits of that coal company.

Larry Bauerle 4 years, 11 months ago

I guess this means that next presidential election, the candidates will spend over 1 billion dollars. Oh yeah, they did that LAST election. But I remember that democrat candidates raised their hundreds of millions $5 at a time. Right. Money was already flowing uncontrollably into both parties from parts unknown. Neither side refused outside money, as they knew it was unlimited. This will have little change, as the animal has already been unleashed.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, corporate control of our election process was already bad, nickhawk, but this will make it much worse, and that's not a good thing.

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

This is a victory for all lovers of free speech. This is not about conservatism vs. liberalism.

"Justice Kennedy emphasized that laws designed to control money in politics often bleed into censorship, and that this violates core First Amendment principles. 'Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy—it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people—political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence,' he wrote. The ban on corporate expenditures had a 'substantial, nationwide chilling effect' on political speech, he added."

"(A) corporation that owns a newspaper—News Corp. or the New York Times—retains its First Amendment right to speak freely. 'At the same time, some other corporation, with an identical business interest but no media outlet in its ownership structure, would be forbidden to speak or inform the public about the same issue,' wrote Justice Kennedy. 'This differential treatment cannot be squared with the First Amendment.'"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703699204575016843479815072.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

This ruling is a victory for a middle class candidate who needs help fighting the machine and the two-party system, and defeat for incumbents and all the advantages it provides in getting re-elected.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says… What exactly is the fear here? What do corporations hope to “buy” with their support? The same people who disapprove of this decision are the ones who wish to see greater government power and intervention. In other words, they enable this.

Well, if a corporations decides it wants your property to expand, they will have more power to do so. I'm sure as a good citizen you'll just give it up for a "fair market price".

Sigmund 4 years, 11 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "Yes, corporate control of our election process was already bad, nickhawk, but this will make it much worse, and that's not a good thing."

Corporations, like governments and Unions, are compose of people both good and bad. The fact is that most corporation in America are small family owned local businesses. This decision simply affirms first Amendment free speech. It would be odd that a community agitator turned Harvard Law Review Editor turned Law Professor turned President of the United States would want to suppress free speech and silence opposing points of view as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Doesn't President Obama approve of the proper role of the Supreme Court in deciding Constitutional questions or is he simply opposed to free speech?

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

Why are Obama and other liberals trying to deny others rights?

“(Obama) promised to seek ‘a forceful response to this decision’ from Congress”

Can we now use the familiar phrase the libs used under Bush – Obama is trampling the Constitution.

LoveThsLife 4 years, 11 months ago

Liberty "What do corporations hope to “buy” with their support?"

You are joking right?

When I have read your posts on past articles I have sometimes agreed with what you have said. But not this time.

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Liberty One "The more power the federal government has the more corrupt it will be."

I agree, what makes corporations immune from corruption of power?

From earlier comment about voting with your dollar, I have been "voting" against Walmart because of the negative affect they have on small town America's local business communities, it has done absolutely no good at all! Also, how do we guard against a company coming in, making a quick profit, destroying our environment and then leaving us with the cleanup cost? I know there are laws against this, but if the government to too small to enforce the laws, what then?

gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

I have no problem with a corporate CEO contributing to a campaign, subject to the $2000 personal limit per candidate that all of us live with. I have a huge problem with a corporate CEO opening a corporate checkbook and flooding a campaign with corporate dollars. That's no longer speech, it's election tampering.

Sigmund 4 years, 11 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "I have a huge problem with a corporate CEO opening a corporate checkbook and flooding a campaign with corporate dollars. That's no longer speech, it's election tampering."

So do I however the majority opinion did not disturb bans on direct contributions to candidates and it treats both Unions and Corporations identically.

“If the First Amendment has any force,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, which included the four members of the court’s conservative wing, “it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”

“Disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way,” Justice Kennedy wrote. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Well said, gccs.

The 1st amendment was designed for individuals as an individual right, not for corporations.

If the CEO, CFO or any other employee of a corporation wishes to speak publicly on any topic, I fully support their right to do so.

A corporation is not a person, and thus should not be entitled to individual rights.

And, advertising is obviously different from political campaigning. It seems clear to me that a company should be able to advertise their products, although I do believe much advertising is somewhat pernicious (irrational, manipulative and successful).

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Corporations want more ways to keep incumbents in office. They have them bought and paid for yet some rather stupid voters think this is a great idea. Ignorance and special interest government are partners.

The so called right to life group and their lawyers had a big win. The country experienced a huge loss. How much more special interest campaign money can be pumped into an already corrupt system?

When did we taxpaying voters dumb down? Did it take place in our sleep or what?

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

The problem of evil corporations influencing elections with their hoards of money can be solved very simply. Make them tax exempt like churches.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

STOP sending the same faces back to Washington! It is doing none of us any good.

The parties, news media and corporate america do NOT need to decide who OUR candidates should be for local,state or federal level representation. Why do we allow them to decide considering there are billions more of us?

The media has become a large part of the special interest takeover of our process as if they know what is best for all of us. Voters support this takeover by voting for those candidates who spend the most money and the question is why?

The media loves those big dollars the incumbents get and they keep increasing their rates.....what a racket!

Campaigns go too long,spend way too much money and do not necessarily provide the best available. It is up to us to stop the nonsense at the voting booths.

Replace 95% of all elected officials every 4 years for the house and every 6 years for the Senate.

Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing.

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

The big money ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE MORE BEHOLDEN than ever to corporate special interests due to the very long nature of campaigns. How do they have time to do the job they were elected to do? They say NO to the voters while officials live in glass houses.

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Who would be against Public Funding? The special interest money providers and their bought and paid for politicians!

Demand all presidential candidates participate in debates NOT only those selected by the media and two parties.

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

Jafs…

Luckily you aren’t on the SCOTUS.

“A corporation is not a person, and thus should not be entitled to individual rights.” - jafs

Wrong. A corporation is a legal person. “In part based on the principle that legal persons are simply organizations of human individuals, and in part based on the history of statutory interpretation of the word ‘person,’ the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that certain constitutional rights protect legal persons (like corporations and other organizations).” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_pe...

Are you suggesting that if you and your friend wanted to own a business, you wouldn’t be protected by the U.S. Constitution? So, it would be okay for the government to take property from corporations without just compensation? Also, if they aren’t a person, they can’t be sued. “In the common law tradition, only a person could sue or be sued.” (see link)

“Although the concept of a legal person is more central to Western law in both common law and civil law countries, it is also found in virtually every legal system.” (see link)

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

Odd that so many liberals are suddenly opposed to money influencing politics, but were silent when Obama rejected public financing, after claiming he wouldn't, then raised and spent way more than McCain. And clearly he hasn't been influenced by special interests...

But hey, I guess it is okay for money to influence politics as long as the guy/gal getting the money has a (D), right? No hypocrisy here...

Newell_Post 4 years, 11 months ago

I think I'm going to vomit.....

There are corporations that have $35 billion cash in the bank (and equivalents) and no significant debt. Under this decision, they could spend it all to buy every political ad space in every medium for a significant period of time. That would deny freedom of advertising to others.

Money is not speech.

I don't know if this is the worst SCOTUS decision of all time, but I do believe it is the only one recently that actually has the potential to ultimately cause the collapse of the United States of America. This decision is far more hazardous to our freedom, democracy, and survival as a republic than any foreign enemy. The bizarre and incomprehensible behavior in DC is mostly due to political positions being auctioned off to the person who gets the most money from special interests. I can't find anybody in DC who is actually working for our collective interests. Everybody (of every party) is working for the special interests who bought them their seats. This decision makes that worse, not better.

A majority of SCOTUS may think this increases freedom of speech, but I think its net effect is to deny freedom of speech to individuals.

Gotta go. I'm going to vomit again....

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

Cappy… “A corporation can not vote.”

The sky is blue. What is your point?

(sigh, I guess I will counter your implied argument. When will people learn to argue?)

I never said a corporation has all the rights of a “natural person” but they are considered a “legal person” and have many of the same rights, including the right to free speech, and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Did you even check out the link?

Satirical 4 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't anyone else find it humorous that liberals are up in arms when demanding rights of marriage (for same-sex couples, but not polygamist), but have no problem denying the right to free speech if they think it will favor the political opposition.

Actually, it isn't humorous it is sadly hypocritical.

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

I think it is simple, if you cannot vote than you should not be able to contribute to a campaign at all. Every one of us, as individuals, has the right and freedom to contribute to the candidate of our choosing. Let that stand on its own. Get rid of all contributions from non voting entities. The result would be that all corporations, causes, foreign interests, organizations, etc., all non voting interests, would lose the monetary strangle hold they have on our political system. They would than have to stand on the merits of their arguments instead of just buying votes.

gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

Great idea, georgiahawk. The only question would be about convicted felons who aren't allowed to vote, but perhaps that would be just part of the ongoing punishment for being a criminal.

Newell_Post 4 years, 11 months ago

I've got it! I've got the answer! Corporations should be allowed to marry. That way they could marry a citizen, gain citizenship themselves, and vote themselves into office! They could outspend any mortal politician, we would soon have a Congress of actual corporations, instead of just shills for corporations! And corporations are immortal. Ted Kennedy, Inc. would hold that seat for centuries! Oh joy! O frabjous day!

Sigmund 4 years, 11 months ago

Newell_Post (Anonymous) says… "Money is not speech."

Using money to broadcast a political message to those who can hear and be influenced is just as much "free speech" as flag burning. You may disagree with the message, but it is speech none the less.

Newell_Post 4 years, 11 months ago

Put your money where your mouth is, Sigmund.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Satirical (Anonymous) says… Doesn't anyone else find it humorous that liberals are up in arms when demanding rights of marriage (for same-sex couples, but not polygamist), but have no problem denying the right to free speech if they think it will favor the political opposition.

We have no problem with free speech for people. Corporations will not take a vote from their stockholders or their employees on which candidates they will create attack ads against. I am considering boycotting any company that funds attack ads and pull any of my investments from these companies. Those of you who are investors, do you want corporations in which you own stock to spend a lot of money on this? Kind of cuts into our profits as investors, doesn't it? If they can't compete in the real world without buying a bunch of politicians, let them go out of business. That's what real capitalism is about. Not this phony capitalism we have in the US.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

"And unless you're stashing dollar bills in your mattress, you're probably invested in a whole bunch of corporations through your 401(k), 403(b) or SEPP."

Good point. Everyone should do two things tonight.

  1. Check your plan and, to the extent possible, move your money to funds that support your values.

  2. Demand that your plan give you the choice to invest in funds that reflect your values.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

"Satirical, A corporation can not vote."

Yet.

Anyway, many understand the power to influence which politiicans run and which ones win is akin to voting.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

Why not limit the dollar amount that any one person, legal or fictional, can contribute to a single election? Everyone can spend up to $100 and gets to choose whether to do so or not. Everyone is treated equally and we would get more substance in our campaigns and far less %$#@@#$^&()))((&&*%&^$$ political ads.

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

"If the federal government didn't have the power to do these things then there'd be nothing to “buy.”"

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

llama726 4 years, 11 months ago

Richard_Head_MD (Anonymous) says…

Bye-bye President Obama. Enjoy your last three years. Democrtic congress? As if they were not already in serious trouble, this is the final nail in the coffin. What we all need to fear is just exactly what will Obama and his extremist bunch try to pull the next 36 months?


I say...

Richard Head MD? As in... you're a doctor? You cannot spell Democratic. You don't understand that the Supreme Court is actually a fully separate entity from the Congress and office of the President. Finally, you seem to misunderstand that the conservative bloc of the Supreme Court is allowing this because, generally speaking, corporations favor conservative politicians. You might notice from reading the article (which seems to have been a challenge for you) that Republicans were all about this ruling, while Democrats were not really jumping for joy at the prospects. I hope you're not as bad at medicine as you are at understanding the fundamentals of American government.

llama726 4 years, 11 months ago

"Doesn't anyone else find it humorous that liberals are up in arms when demanding rights of marriage (for same-sex couples, but not polygamist), but have no problem denying the right to free speech if they think it will favor the political opposition.

Actually, it isn't humorous it is sadly hypocritical."


The only thing sad here is your complete lack of ability to argue on the level of a high school student. Talk about a red herring. 'Uh oh! Them there gays is gonna git married!'

Yeah, that's relevant to this discussion. Because gay marriage and campaign advertising by corporations are the most related two topics ever.

Back to the topic - I think we should love this day. This is a great day for America. No longer should we have the auspices of individual liberty (ie - marriage rights), when the real liberty is to exploit the economic advantage already afforded to extremely wealthy corporations. That's right, folks. The Constitution (tm) of the United States, Inc., is intended to ensure that Congress doesn't infringe on the right of corporations to practice religion, bear arms, and have freedom of expression. Because in the 18th - 19th Century, things were exactly the same as now.

This is a good way for our economy to recover. It's a good thing that we now get to observe even more waste by corporations as they try to buy our votes - rather than investing in innovating their products or create new jobs for the struggling economy. And people say the government wastes money...

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

Dems never had a problem with George Soro's and Michael Moore pumping millions into elections. But now that corporations have free speech...they have a problem. Odd isn't it.

llama726 4 years, 11 months ago

"Dems never had a problem with George Soro's and Michael Moore pumping millions into elections. But now that corporations have free speech…they have a problem. Odd isn't it."

Nice quick hitter, leedavid. Better get back to watching Fox News so you can learn some more one-liners. If it doesn't trouble you too much, though, perhaps you could take up reading a book or a newspaper, so you could understand that not every word ending in the letter "s" must also contain an apostrophe. As it turns out, George Soros has a name. And it isn't Soro's.

Michael Moore is an individual person who made a movie that people could opt to see or not. George Soros is an individual person who donates his money to political action committees. As it turns out, wealthy conservatives donate their money to political action committees as well.

As it turns out, neither Michael Moore nor George Soros would qualify as a corporation. If you don't understand the topic at hand, you probably shouldn't participate. Thanks for playing, though.

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

No one ever said they were corperations.....they donated to individuals running for office as well as corporations. I apologize for misusing the apostrophe. You grammar expert you. Still got your Grammar Award from the fourth grade still on your refridgerator?

So George Soros only donated to political action committees....how weird. Because if you would have read you would have seen this and many others...

"George Soros Business Exec Soros Fund Management Updated Q4/2007 $2,000 New York NY Donation to Jeanne Shaheen For Senate "

Source: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=soros&fname=george&search=Search+by+Name

Jeanne Shaheen is a political action committee? I thought she was a woman. Who knew?

Michael Moore...." Michael Moore Information Requested Updated Q2/2007 John Edwards $4,600 3584 VALLEY DR Perry GA "

Source: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=moore&fname=michael&search=Search

And if you would read...you would find these are just samples of the many similar donations from each.

In the future....just make your point and stop attacking people about stuff you don't know anything about.

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

llama I did some more reading...this is fun. Your going to be proud....

"Having funded the destruction of the First Amendment for groups like NRA, Soros injected perhaps as much as $100 million into influencing the outcome of the 2004 elections. That’s chump change for Soros, who is counted as among the world’s richest men."

http://www.enemieswithin.com/george_soros.html

sfjayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

This is a very sad and disturbing decision. The end of whatever was left of government for the people.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

Guess the founding father's intent does not always guide the right wing contingent on the Supreme Court.

“The end of democracy, and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” - Thomas Jefferson

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

Scott are you saying our founding fathers did not want corporations to have equal freedoms and protections too? What?

If that were the case surely they would have written that into the constitution.

FreshAirFanatic 4 years, 11 months ago

For once we have a problem that both sides should agree on. Instead of both R and Ds being pissed and doing something about it, you guys point fingers out who is the worst. This ruling favors each side...unions and some corporations back the Ds and other corporations back the Rs.

This isn't good for the country period.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"I think it is simple, if you cannot vote than you should not be able to contribute to a campaign at all."

Liberals always think it's simple to steal away constitutional rights of others. That isn't really surprising.

It's intersting to hear you say most high school students, felons and the autistic should be deprived of the right protected by the first amendment added to our constitution. Who else would you like to muzzle?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

http://www.prorev.com/corpsandus.htm

" How states once controlled corporations

The purposes for which every such corporation shall be established shall be distinctly and definitely specified in the articles of association, and it shall not be lawful for said corporation to appropriate its funds to any other purpose. -- State of Wisconsin, 1864

The charter or acts of association of every corporation hereafter created may be amendable or repealed at the will of the general assembly. -- State of Rhode Island, 1857

[Legislators shall] alter, revoke or annul any charter of a corporate hereafter conferred . . . whenever in their opinion it may be injurious to citizens of the community. -- State of Pennsylvania, constitutional amendment, 1857."

Flap Doodle 4 years, 11 months ago

What effect will this have on MSNBC? Pretty much all their coverage of the 2008 Presidential campaign coverage was a campaign ad for Dear Leader.

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

It is just strange to me that there is an argument about any abstract entity such as a corporation being equal to a human being! I cannot reconcile this at all in my brain. I know this is human-centric but still I am at a loss for the logic that would equate the two. Once again, if you cannot physically vote than you should not be able to contribute in any way, period! Why would we want anybody else deciding the future of our country?

If a foreign country forms a corporation in the USA, should they be able to contribute without limits just because they are a corporation?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

sigmund- "Corporations, like governments and Unions, are compose of people both good and bad. The fact is that most corporation in America are small family owned local businesses. This decision simply affirms first Amendment free speech."

And as individuals, every person affiliated with a union or a corporation has the same rights to contribute to a campaign as anyone else does.

But let's be honest, here. Not every individual affiliated with a corporation or a union is in a position to exert control over what will be done with the wealth of that union or corporation-- and this is much truer of corporations, whose structure is considerably less democratic than most unions are.

So the intent isn't to give full constitutional rights of a real person to an abstract organization of artificial origin. It's to allow those who control these corporations to use the money at its disposal as a way to magnify their voices, and drown out others'.

This ruling isn't about equal rights, it's about special rights that mean our elections have become even more a matter of one dollar, one vote, and not one person, one vote.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

"What effect will this have on MSNBC? Pretty much all their coverage of the 2008 Presidential campaign coverage was a campaign ad for Dear Leader."

Of what use will the multinational corporations that take over our government have for any of the propagandists? In a world in which they control which politicians run for election and the substance of all campaigns, there is little reason to sway people to back one political party over the other. rush limbaugh should be just as opposed to this disasterous decision as Keith Olbermann.

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Liberty275, we already deny the felons, those underage and I assume autistics from the right to vote, I am simply saying that if you cannot vote then you cannot participate in the voting process either.

If you cannot see the danger in this decision, whether you are a d, an r, an independent, or whatever, your eyes are either not open or you stand to gain from this in a way that clouds your judgement.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Last September, I wrote The Hightower Lowdown about how the Roberts' Court could throw out over 100 years of campaign finance law.

Remember their names: Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas.

Yesterday, from within the dark isolation of the Supreme Court, these five men pulled off a black-robed coup against the American people's democratic authority. In an unprecedented perversion of judicial power, this court cabal has decreed that corporations have a free-speech "right" to dip into their corporate coffers and spend unlimited sums of money to elect or defeat candidates of their choosing.

Corporate interests already had too much money power over our political system. No other group in America comes anywhere near the spending clout that this relatively small clutch of wealthy special interests wields over our elections and government. So it's ludicrous for anyone – much less Supreme Court judges – to argue that the corporate voice is a victim of political "censorship." This is not merely judicial activism, it is judicial radicalism.

Thomas Jefferson warned about the dangerous rise of corporate power, declaring that must "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations." Today, I'm sure that founding patriots like Jefferson are not simply spinning in their graves at the Supreme Court's surrender to this aristocracy – they're trying to claw their way out of their graves to throttle all five of the traitors.

We MUST fight back. Many good groups are working on this issue, and we all have to get involved to fight against this corporate take over of our political system. Public Citizen has a petition we can sign. Common Cause is asking us to contact your congressperson and make sure they have signed on to the Fair Elections Now Act. I mentioned other good groups that are working on this issue. Get in touch with them. Let's fight the good fight... and win! Onward!

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

A corporation is a legal fiction invented to limit personal liability.

To then give that fiction the status of a "legal person" is to add insult to injury.

People are people. Business partnerships are business partnerships. Corporations are corporations.

The Constitution was designed to create/protect the rights of individual people, not corporations.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

And, if giving money is speech (the argument to allow campaign contributions), then prostitution is simply the exchange of sex for talk, for example and shouldn't be illegal.

For the record, I have been concerned about the influence of money on politics for some time, regardless of the party involved.

Olympics 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey Teabaggers, the GOP just sold out US sovereignty! by aaraujo

One prominent examples is CITGO Petroleum Company — once the American-born Cities Services Company, but purchased in 1990 by the Venezuelan government-owned Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. The Citizens United ruling could conceivably allow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has sharply criticized both of the past two U.S. presidents, to spend government funds to defeat an American political candidate, just by having CITGO buy TV ads bashing his target.

And it’s not just Chavez. The Saudi government owns Houston’s Saudi Refining Company and half of Motiva Enterprises. Lenovo, which bought IBM’s PC assets in 2004, is partially owned by the Chinese government’s Chinese Academy of Sciences. And Singapore’s APL Limited operates several U.S. port operations. A weakening of the limit on corporate giving could mean China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and any other country that owns companies that operate in the U.S. could also have significant sway in American electioneering.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

"If a foreign country forms a corporation in the USA, should they be able to contribute without limits just because they are a corporation?"

Very good point that I hadn't considered, georgiahawk. So foreign corporations doing business in the US will now be able to influence voters.

This whole thing wouldn't bother me so much, but I know too many people who believe what they get in the attack spam emails. There are still people who believe the health care bill includes death panels, even though it never did. If its on TV or the internet, it must be true to many people.

I always Snope the spam emails that people send me, then send it back with the correct information. Has it influenced these emailers to do the same? No, they just quit sending the emails to me. Nice for me, but they are still believing the lies.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

So, conservatives? Are you ready for corporations owned by foreigners to start influencing our elections? Bet you never even thought of that. Of course, to you big business is king. Small business is bad. Small business means many opportunities. Big business allows you to feel superior. If everyone is doing well, who would you belittle and look down on?

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Comrade, you are blind or without foresight!

llama726 4 years, 11 months ago

leedavid...

Sorry for pointing out your inability to type words on a computer using proper English and grammar. There are dozens of spell checking applications you could use. You could even get Firefox, which will check your spelling for you as you go.

Of course, you may not think it is relevant to point out your misuse of the English language. However, your lack of ability to grasp the English language is telling. It indicates you are unable to participate in an intellectual discussion. (By the way, it is spelled refrigerator, and corporations does not have a letter "e" in it).

Your spelling and grammar inaccuracies aside, let's get back to the topic. What is the title of the article? Corporations can spend on campaign ads. George Soros is not a corporation. Michael Moore is not a corporation. No one is saying they are corporations - you're right. So why bring them up in a debate about corporations, if they are individuals who have constitutional rights? The Supreme Court was not ruling whether or not individuals have the right to contribute to campaigns. That has already been decided. Campaign finance reform would hurt Republicans more than it would hurt Democrats. Stick to the topic, please.

ldvander 4 years, 11 months ago

I think that when acts like this become public it just means our Government, which is ran by a few who possess wealth and power beyond restraint, has become arrogant enough to wave what has already been happening under many other guises right in our face. A good point is that there really will be a transparency like never before and we will accept everything that happens to our society. The charade will end, the actors will take a bow and our rulers will step forward as we watch in horror and disbelief at what we have let happen.

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

llama Thanks for the grammar and english lesson. I love the left brain folks so interested in the detail they miss the train that hit them. Campaign finance reform? Please stick to the topic. The Supreme Court ruled on the rights of corporations. I thought you said you could read.

beatrice 4 years, 11 months ago

Activist judges overturning precedence and legislating from the bench, nothing less.

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says…

Activist judges overturning precedence and legislating from the bench, nothing less. +++++++++++++++++

Similar to the Roe v Wade.

Jonathan Becker 4 years, 11 months ago

If a corporation, an artificial being, has the right of free speech, when will it show up at the ballot box and request to vote?

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

When they do request a vote it will not be just one, they will want to have as many votes as there are share holders!

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"I am simply saying that if you cannot vote then you cannot participate in the voting process either."

You don't have a (federal) constitutional right to vote, you do have a constitutional right to speech.

But that's neither here nor there. The right of free speech is protected regardless of what other activities you can or cannot pursue. You may hate the message, the messenger, or both. But that really isn't unexpected.

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

So is the left saying they would not like to see Unions and liberal corporations such as G.E. involved in financing campaigns?

scaramouchepart2 4 years, 11 months ago

This is very rich vs the rest of us. Global companies can have global headquarters in the US and their home office is in say - Japan. this opens up other countries having more rights to buy our elected officials then the rest of us (US) can afford. In Lawrence we already see how bought elected officials works. The new terminology for approving more development is "variety" which means we need a variety of vacancies, while we pay for the infrastructure.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

And for the poster who said it was good I'm not on the Supreme Court, 4 out of 5 justices agree with me on this one.

Further, even if one agrees that corporations should have the status of "legal persons" (which I don't), and that giving money equals speech (which I don't), our right to free speech is not absolute.

One cannot legally:

  1. Yell "fire" in a crowded theater.
  2. Incite other people to violence.
  3. Advocate the violent overthrow of the US government.
  4. Defame other individuals.

It can be argued that restricting the "speech" that would apply to campaign advertising and contributions is acceptable because of the negative consequences that follow from not restricting it (see above examples).

And, finally, a corporation's campaign advertising is probably not a "collective" expression of all of the people who work there + shareholders' opinion. That would be a little more true of a labor union.

scott3460 4 years, 11 months ago

"And, finally, a corporation's campaign advertising is probably not a “collective” expression of all of the people who work there + shareholders' opinion. That would be a little more true of a labor union."

Rules of incorporation should be changed to require specific & prior approval of corporation shareholders for any political spending.

georgiahawk 4 years, 11 months ago

leedavid, I am not speaking for all liberals, but yes this one wants to limit unions and liberal corporations as well as the conservative ones from contributing without limits. This is dangerous and threatens our future. You ever seen "Idiocracy"? We are headed there!

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

jafs,

Should be "4 out of 9" - sorry - typo.

joglesdclown 4 years, 11 months ago

i'm pretty sure Richard Head, MD stands for Dr. Dickhead.

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