The decision by the United States Supreme Court in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case to grant “personhood” to corporations, and invalidate the laws Congress had passed that made an effort to limit campaign spending by corporations and special interest groups, threatens to be the death knell to Democracy and citizen control of their government in America.
The corporate oligarchy has flooded the political process with unaccounted money, often with sources undisclosed, to a degree that is making it impossible for the voice of the actual citizens of the United States to be heard. This flood of money is drowning out not only honest political discourse in campaigns for office, it is producing a volume of noise and disinformation that makes it impossible for citizens to actually hear the voices of those running for office, or those in the media and the political analysis community trying to honestly evaluate those running for office.
One of the latest examples of this, and the heights of disinformation and hypocrisy these monied interests will go to, was the ad this week produced by GOP minion Karl Rove attacking Elizabeth Warren, candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, for being too close to Wall Street. This was pretty hilarious stuff, since to date all attacks on Warren had been rooted in the premise that she was evil because she OPPOSED Wall Street, and supported the goals of the Occupy Wall Street and the 99%! The corporate oligarchy and the barons of finance and the stock market on Wall Street are terrified of Elizabeth Warren, and have gone into overdrive spending mode to try and attack her, a full year before the election! Wall Street lobbyists go into overdrive to defeat Elizabeth Warren,
How bad has the impact of the Citizen’s United ruling been?
Now, nearly a year after the Citizens United ruling and Obama’s State of the Union Address, and more than a month after the midterm elections, the Associated Press reported that according to analysis by the office of *New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio “Independent groups that do not disclose the identity of their donors spent $132.5 million to influence elections nationwide this year, accounting for about a third of all spending by outside groups in the 2010 election cycle”
Groups as diverse as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees “took advantage of the new rules, spending tens of millions on campaign ads in races across the country,” AP reported. “Other groups formed specifically to make use of the new rules spent lavishly as well, including the Republican-leaning American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, which were formed with help from former President George W. Bush’s top adviser, Karl Rove.
* CITIZENS UNITED LED TO A SIGNIFICANT UPTICK IN SPENDING ON ELECTIONS.
Citizens United spending represented 15 percent of total political spending
Citizens United spending was responsible for over $85 Million in all U.S. Senate races
* CITIZENS UNITED SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED ANONYMOUS SPENDING
New anonymous spending allowed by Citizens United represented 30 percent of all spending by outside groups
Anonymous donations funded over $40 Million in the 10 most costly U.S. Senate races
* CITIZENS UNITED HAS CREATED A MORE NEGATIVE ELECTORAL ENVIRONMENT.
Anonymous spending groups created by Citizens United spent 20 percent more on negative advertisements than groups required to disclose.
I tend to agree with those who have tried dark humor to address the Citizen’s United ruling. If corporations are persons, when we can we start arresting and convicting them for their manifold and multitudinous crimes against the American people of the last 12 years? Perhaps a few corporate executions are in order!
You can sign Sen. Bernie Sanders petition supporting this amendment here: A Petition to Support the Saving American Democracy Amendment
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons
by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending
in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the States
to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election
contributions and expenditures.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. SANDERS (for himself and Mr. BEGICH) introduced the following joint
resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United
States to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from
the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution
of the United States, prohibit corporate spending in all
elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the
States to regulate corporations and to regulate and set
limits on all election contributions and expenditures.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-
thirds of each House concurring therein), That the fol-
lowing article is proposed as an amendment to the Con-
stitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all
intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when
ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several
States within seven years after the date of its submission
‘‘SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution
of the United States are the rights of natural persons and
do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability
companies, or other private entities established for busi-
ness purposes or to promote business interests under the
laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.
‘‘SECTION 2. Such corporate and other private enti-
ties established under law are subject to regulation by the
people through the legislative process so long as such regu-
lations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the
States and do not limit the freedom of the press.
‘‘SECTION 3. Such corporate and other private enti-
ties shall be prohibited from making contributions or ex-
penditures in any election of any candidate for public of-
fice or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the
‘‘SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the
power to regulate and set limits on all election contribu-
tions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spend-
ing, and to authorize the establishment of political com-
mittees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources
of those contributions and expenditures.’’.