Some ominous news from Washington this morning:
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.
The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.
The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.
That’s funny–I seem to remember the preamble of the Constitution beginning with “We the People of the United States,” not “We the Corporations of the United States”
I don’t understand the concept of corporate personhood–why should corporations allowed to advertise on behalf of candidates? For that matter, why are they allowed to set up PACs? They’re not allowed to vote, so why should they be able to spend tens of millions of dollars (often on misinformation) to tell the rest of us how to vote?
If the people who work for a corporation feel strongly enough about an issue or candidate, they can certainly spend their own money and campaign on their own time. But money is a massively corrupting influence in politics; letting corporations dump huge amounts of money into our political system is only going to make things worse.
This is why we need publicly funded elections–to prevent “We the People” from becoming “We the Corporations and Special Interests”
(And I like how they throw labor unions in there, as if labor unions will ever come close to being able to rival the profits of all of corporate America).
UPDATE: I had an idea of how to turn this ruling into a win-win situation:
Whenever a corporation spends money on the behalf of a politician, that politician should have to sew a patch bearing that corporation’s logo onto all of their suits, NASCAR-style.
On the one hand, that would provide corporate donors with free advertising–since their logo appears wherever a candidate goes–ensuring that those donors get their money’s worth.
And it also provides voters with insight into which corporations have bought which politicians–this way, we’ll know why the Governor with the ConAgra patch loves ethanol, why the Congressman with the ExxonMobil patch wants to ‘drill baby drill’ and why the Senator with the Blackwater/Xe patch doesn’t think we should leave Iraq anytime soon.