High Court blasts hole through McCain-Feingold campaign law

In a clear, straight-forward and constitutionally-based opinion , the US Supreme Court yesterday struck down a major portion of the 2002 “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act” (more commonly referred to by the names of its two primary sponsors in the Senate, “McCain-Feingold”).  The 5-4 majority opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, voided the law’s ban on corporations paying for “electioneering communications,” such as movies, newspaper ads, and the like, that support or oppose candidates. 

The plaintiff in this historic case was the Washington, DC-based, grass-roots advocacy organization, Citizens United, which in early 2008 was prepared to spend its corporate money to advertise and distribute a movie critical of then-primary presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (Hillary:  The Movie).  Because it feared the government would bring criminal charges against it if it actually spent money for this purpose (which the government is empowered to do under McCain-Feingold), Citizens United sought to have the federal district court declare the law to be an unconstitutional restraint on the exercise of its First Amendment rights.

Yesterday’s High Court opinion began where such a constitutional analysis ought to begin, by declaring the obvious – that political speech and money spent in furtherance of promoting and disseminating political speech is in fact protected by the First Amendment.  The Court then correctly noted that historically and legally, corporations do enjoy First Amendment rights to free speech; and that the federal campaign law criminalizing the corporate act of simply using its lawful monies to disseminate lawful political speech, is in fact an unlawful restraint of protected speech.

The Court also struck down the notion embedded in previous decisions empowering the government to restict corporate speech, that simply because a corporation funds political speech, it is necessarily “corrupt” or provides the “appearance of corruption” of the political process.

There are other, odious provisions contained in the McCain-Feingold law that need to be striken down, but which were not presented to the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.  Hopefully, the Court will so invalidate them in the near future.  But for now, we should all — regardless of where we stand on the political spectrum — rejoice in the fact that at least part of the muzzle placed on Americans by McCain-Feingold (which former President George W. Bush signed into law), has been removed.

163 comments Add your comment

Chris Broe

January 22nd, 2010
7:10 am

The Willie Horton attack ad “golden age” is upon us, my friends. Now we are no better than the people who produce army training films, sir.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 22nd, 2010
7:16 am

Our leftist friends offer a “parade of horribles” to justify bureaucrat censorship of formerly free Americans. However, the best exhibit contradicting the babbling is the recent Massachusetts senatorial election. Those with memories longer than 38 seconds will recall that the loser in that election engaged in the conventional invective of the left, and the winner declined to take the low road. Both used campaign funds to get their messages out, and the populace was able to distinguish fact from slander. No bureaucrats needed, and indeed none attempted to rein in the falsity. The market works better than the bureaucracy.

Whacks Eloquent

January 22nd, 2010
7:31 am

Bob, your thoughts on the demise of Air America?

I thought they went bankrupt a couple of years ago. Let’s see if they can pull off another zombie move. But I doubt it. People just don’t want to listen to them anymore…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bob Barr and Legal Lawyer, Sydney Law. Sydney Law said: High Court blasts hole through McCain-Feingold campaign law http://bit.ly/5vyI4Q [...]

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
7:58 am

If funny how libs. want “people” to mean a group (militia) in the 2nd Amendment but they don’t like the idea of “people” being a corporation.

Jacob

January 22nd, 2010
8:09 am

I don’t understand… The bill of rights protects individuals. Full Stop. I don’t see where corporations enter into this picture. I don’t see how any corporation is protected, in full, by “free speech”, esp regarding political campaigns.

This ruling seems filled with fail and certainly didn’t begin from a constitutional viewpoint.

That said, I could be misunderstanding something here, so, if I’m not “getting it” please someone explain this a bit more in-depth from a constitutional perspective.

Why would corporations qualify for free speech?

I don’t understand where Bob Barr is coming from here.

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
8:24 am

Jacob:

I have heard that as high as 40-50% of Americans do not pay any income taxes. In other words, we are close to a point when those who pay no income taxes can outvote those who do. To me that is close to “taxation without representation”!

What this ruling really does is give more clout/power (in a round about way) to those who do.

That’s fine with me !

LSmith

January 22nd, 2010
8:26 am

Bob Barr is a sorry excuse for a human being. Wonder how much $$$ his corporate overlords are paying him to sell out like a cheap hooker.
Corporations are not people, so they should not have constitutionally protected rights, or since they are simply a legally created entity, those rights should indeed be subject to limitations. They do not vote. They do not marry and have children. They don’t get sent to jail when they commit felony crimes like private citizen normally are. They are not living entities.
On the other hand, all individual members of the corporation, most especially if they citizens of this country, from the CEO to the janitor do have full constitutional rights. No one is stopping a corporate CEO from exercising his right, as a private citizen, to donate money or support a candidate as he chooses. But when that CEO uses corporate money to influence elections, he can afford to spend much more money than most private individuals can realistically hope to do, thus drowning out the rights of free speech of actual, breathing, living, voting beings. And are not the rights of individual members of that corporation, or union, being trampled on when this legal association takes a political stance in the public arena, in such a way that these members feel represents the opposite of their own views.
And why would a corporation give money to a candidate in an election? A private citizen may do so for many reasons. Reasons that which may include a sense of shared common values with the candidate or issue being considered in an election. To a small extent, I suppose an individual donating money to a candidate or cause could be accused of acting in a self serving manner, if you mean they believe that it will be best for the community that they live in, if what they support passes.
But for a corporation, there is only one reason to partake in elections, to influence the legislative process for their own ends, with absolutely no concern for the impact that such laws will have on the community at large. So what if some chemical discharges wind up killing more people, if according to new guidelines, that the company’s well financed campaigns got put into law, the companies actions are now perfectly legal.
Like Mr Barr, corporations don’t have moral consciences. They’re only motive is to make profits. Since such profits can be used to improve the quality of life of many people, I’m willing to live with the trade-offs that corporations provide, but only if they are regulated to ensure that their negative impact is kept in check. so that their harm doesn’t outweigh the good.
A less generous person may refer to the manner in which corporations inject massive amounts of cash into the political process as being tantamount to bribery. Mr. Barr knows full well that as a result of this ruling, there will be nothing less than an all out attempt by large corporations in upcoming elections, to massively influence the election process. Corporations will swarm the airwaves with massive amounts of misinformation, designed to distort the truth and confuse voters so as to tilt election results in their favor.
Mr. Barr is a man who claims to be protecting First Amendment Rights, but who is fact supporting the rights of non living entities at the expense of living ones. For a man with no scruples or moral compass, I guess the rights of a so called citizen hinges less on whether they are actually real human beings, but rather on the size of their bank accounts. I must admit, unlike a corporation, I can’t afford to buy Mr. Barr off, so therefore, obviously, my interests are of no concern to him, nor are those of my less than wealthy neighbors.
As a big booster of non-human rights, I’m guessing if Mr. Barr has ever seen a “Terminator” movie, that he finds himself siding with the machines over humanity.

Brian

January 22nd, 2010
8:32 am

@LSmith: “Corporations … do not vote. They do not marry and have children. They don’t get sent to jail when they commit felony crimes like private citizen normally are. They are not living entities.”

But, they DO pay taxes. Lots and lots of taxes.

Treez

January 22nd, 2010
8:34 am

@Ridgerunnet

it’s clear you miss the point entirely, b/c you can’t get past the liberal vs conservative thing. It’s not that liberals don’t want corporations to be considered people. For a host of other reasons, such as taxation, corporations are considered people. The issues are that with this rulling the court overturned 100 yrs of precident, when conservatives claim they are not judicial activists (that claim is a crock-o-siht now). Additionally, when a more narrow rulling can be given, SC tradition dictates that the court rule as narrowly as possible, the court had a more narrow ruling to issue but chose to be judicial activists. More importantly, this law puts corporations on par with actual people. The constitution makes no mention of corporations, let alone corporations having free speech rights on par with actual people. Even if you believe the constitution has provisions for corporate speech, the gov’t is allowed to put conditions on said speech (they do it to living humans all the time), but in this sense the supreme cout has in effect made corporate speech more protected than human speech, which is a complete farce. Additionally, our founding fathers (who conservatives claim to revere) spoke extensively about not letting corporations overwhelm the political process. Last year a record 2 billion dollars was spent on the presidential elections, Exxon had profits of 45 billion, almost half of US corporations are owned by foreign corps….if you can see how foolish it is to have unlimited corporate speech, you deserve the hell that will be visited upon you. You need to realize it’s not about tit for tat with conservative vs liberal. It’s about right and wrong, and this rulling gives no thought to the consequences of this rulling.

Treez

January 22nd, 2010
8:54 am

@ridgerunner

“I have heard that as high as 40-50% of Americans do not pay any income taxes. In other words, we are close to a point when those who pay no income taxes can outvote those who do. To me that is close to “taxation without representation”!

What this ruling really does is give more clout/power (in a round about way) to those who do.

That’s fine with me !”

WTF are you talking about…what you mean to say is representation without taxation…did your mother drop you on your head as a child or did you just eat lead paint chips?

When the constitution says we the people they are not talking about wal mart! Please explain how this ruling gives more power to tax payers other than corporations…crickets…this rulling only allows corporations to flood a market and exert undue influence on the poltitcal process.

Your line of thinking is exactly what’s wrong with this country, you drape yourself in the American flag and call yourself a patriot, yet have absolutely no clue what our founding fathers actually stood for and don’t even bother to actually read the constitution to see how this rulling makes absolutely no sense what so ever. I truely feel sorry for you b/c you operate your life thinking that you are educating yourself by watching faux news or some other pundit yet you really have no clue! Lord help us!

Davo

January 22nd, 2010
9:03 am

I’m kinda with Jacob on this. I don’t understand why anyone would think that allowing corporations (and unions) to have equal say in elections is good for individual liberty, hence good for America. I’m not anti-business or anti-capitalist…far from it. The way I see it, we should strive to have individual citizens have the loudest voice in our republic and not organizations whose collective voice drowns out all others. We already have that in our legislative process with all the lobbiests, why make give the big guys more say?

I wonder also if it’s much ado over nothing. Maybe compare this to decriminalizing pot; we know you do it, we can’t make you stop, so let’s just legalize it.

Robert Littel

January 22nd, 2010
9:08 am

The Supreme Court today, surrendered the last vestiges of what was left of the Potemkin like facade that our government has become, by handing it over to the corporations. We are now all just pawns in the corporate state that has been declared into existence by the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott. We are no longer citizens with citizen rights, we are merely consumers with consumer rights and the Constitution covers that, NOT AT ALL. Were are screwed and we know who did it, and why – GREED. AMERICA – KILLED BY THE CORPORATE OWNED COURT.

People's Voice

January 22nd, 2010
9:10 am

Corporations are machines that enable hedonistic consumer culture.

They are not people, they are business structures and hierarchy formats.

Those with “old money” can simply buy out industries and create monopolies both in material and intellect. It is sickening.

Thoughtful

January 22nd, 2010
9:30 am

Perhaps the most overlooked danger here is that the corporation is not limited geographically, allowing it to focus its efforts wherever it thinks will benefit them most. This will allow them to “buy” municipalities and even states where they can overturn environmental laws, zoning restrictions, labor laws, etc., to build their own little paradises. The same greed that caused the current economic crisis will pale in comparison to what may happen in the future.

david

January 22nd, 2010
9:44 am

Whomever wrote this article clearly is a biased, corporate pig!!! Corporate interests are not American peoples interests. As if presidential candidates didnt raise enough money, Obama raised around 300 million, now corporations can help “buy” elections. The supreme court needs to be disbanded ASAP

Robert Littel

January 22nd, 2010
9:44 am

Corporations can even be controlled by people from outside of our borders. We (as in the corporate owned court) have given super-person-hood and extraordinary ultra-citizenship to people who would, could and probably will, do us harm in support of their nation’s imperatives. This is the first step in a one world autocracy of the rich and our Right-wing trolls are going to stupidly eat it up.

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
9:48 am

Treez:

Sorry, but you lost ! What the Supreme Court says is Constitutional and Holy Ground ! Right ?

You know, Dread Scott and Roe vs. Wade.

Get on board ……. the train is leaving the station !!

Marcos

January 22nd, 2010
9:58 am

Welcome to the United States LLC.

[...] Slow news day. The Supreme Court said yesterday that the government lacks the authority to restrict campaign expenditures by companies, scrapping major portions of McCain-Feingold campaign law. This is sure to get Democrat knickers in [...]

Scott

January 22nd, 2010
10:04 am

The First Amendment protects “speech” not “speakers”. It makes no difference who the speaker is.

Hard Right Hook

January 22nd, 2010
10:10 am

Jacob

January 22nd, 2010
8:09 am
“I don’t understand… The bill of rights protects individuals. Full Stop. I don’t see where corporations enter into this picture. I don’t see how any corporation is protected, in full, by “free speech”, esp regarding political campaigns.”

Corporations are made up of people. When the Government legislates censorship by denying people the right to free speech, as a group or as individuals, we become no better than Adolph H, Mao and Unlce Joe Stalin, who made a living this way.

More free speech, not less.

dg

January 22nd, 2010
10:10 am

So, if it is all about taxation without representation, then either the permanent residents, H1, L1 J1 F1 vis aholders and illegals should stop paying taxes or they should get a right to vote.
What is your take on this

allmhuran

January 22nd, 2010
10:16 am

This case was brought to the high court by Citizens United a political group not a corporation.

Steve

January 22nd, 2010
10:24 am

Again, the right wing corporate elitists win, the individual average citizen loses.

Welcome to the Corporatists States of America.

HRPufnstuf

January 22nd, 2010
10:25 am

I can’t afford a full page ad in AJC or Wall Street Journal to protest some legislation I don’t like. But I can send money to an organization, or be a customer or employee of a corporation that CAN afford such an ad. So they should be able to speak for me, with a bigger pulpit, than I could do on my own. Good call, Supremes.

dg

January 22nd, 2010
10:28 am

@Hard Right Hook

No one stops people working at /for these corporations from making their opinios heard. Nothing stops them from joining/forming groups/collectives either.So I dont know how your point is valid.
As per the ruling Now Microsoft, Exxon, Google, Bank of America are now all considered the same as Mr Joe Smith, or Mrs Jane Smith. How is that fair and right

George Dance

January 22nd, 2010
10:31 am

The comparison to the Willy Horton ad is unfair. The Horton ad was put out by a political party, and McCain-Feingold did nothing about political parties’ advertising except give them a monopoly during an election.

Treez

January 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

@ ridgerunner

You prove my point exactly…as predicted you treat this as a partisan issue when this is an American liberty issue. Let’s see how smug you are when a Chinese corporation that owns a majority stake in a us company comes into your local election and out spends everyone to make sure only their interests are represented. You are a sad sheep, faux and this tool told you this was good for republicans and you jump right on with out so much as a question. If you are mainstream america we’re in trouble. This isn’t about wins and losses toolbag, it’s about what’s best for our country in the face of a global assult on our way of life. Americans barely control 50% of US corps, yet you want to give them unfettered control of our democracy…yeah that makes a lot of sense.

BeOfService

January 22nd, 2010
10:38 am

The concept of corporate “personhood” is absurd on its face. A corporation is NOT a person, nor is it an organization of persons. It is in almost all cases a legal entity created for the purposes of making money. Its members are there to make money, and its every action is governed by the responsibility to make money. A corporation is not the same thing as a club, a fraternity, a political party or a political action committee. And it is certainly not the same as a human being! For the Supreme Court to conclude that corporations have a right to free speech is very, very twisted logic, and is the most activist decision of the court in 40 years.

Hard Right Hook

January 22nd, 2010
10:49 am

dg:

Microsoft (and others) regularly take out political ads in newspapers, magazines, etc. to voice a position.

Why is it OK for Microsoft to take a full page ad in the AJC, but not a 30 second spot on channel 2?

Seems fair a right to me.

Kaipo

January 22nd, 2010
10:57 am

Good riddance to a bad Law. The First Amendment is very clear and protects freedom of speech. To exercise your freedom of speech dont you
need money to publish your speech, thought or ideas depending on the medium you want to use. Corporations are not exempt either. Mccain-Feingold never made sense. You cannot tell people or corporations how to use their money. By the way, the stupidity of this bad piece of legislation is that when people or corporations use money to promote or support an idea or a candidate the pay taxes that goes into the government coffers.

jconservative

January 22nd, 2010
11:01 am

For those of you saying corporations should not have freedom of speech see NAACP v Button 1963 & First National Bank of Boston v Bellotti 1978.
This is not a new concept for the court. It has been upheld by both liberal & conservative majorities.

Here is a quote from Kenedy’s majority opinion – “The Court returns to the principle established in Buckley and Bellotti that the Government may not suppress political speech based on the speaker’s corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.”….” There is no basis for the proposition that, in the political speech context, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.”

Do you folks really want to ask the government what you can say before you say it?

The problem is not the spending by “big money” to buy an election. The problem is the braindeads that actually let a political ad influence their vote.

David Smith

January 22nd, 2010
11:08 am

Is your position the official position of the Atlantic Journal-Constitution?
Thank you.

CHV

January 22nd, 2010
11:08 am

Has it also occurred to anyone (most of all Bob Barr, the right-wing SCOTUS, etc.) that many US corporations have foreign ownership? Therefore, why the hell should, for example, Citibank (owned by a Saudi conglomerate) be considered a virtual person with the right to dump millions into US Federal, state and local campaigns via slanted advertising for the candidate of their choice…er, I mean purchase.

This ruling by the high court is not only abysmal, but completely undermines the spirit of the First Amendment for ordinary citizens (who don’t have billion dollar war chests their disposal).

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
11:20 am

Ref: Kaipo @ 10:57

You are correct that the First Amendment protects “free speech”. But your analysis starts in the middle and not at the beginning.

If the Founding Fathers added the Bill of Rights, to whom were the bill of rights to apply? All we have to do is look back to the Preamble that sets out the purpose for the Constitution, “We the People”….and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity….”

The philosophy of Natural Law that informed the thinking of the Founding Fathers focused on the “rights of man”. This body of thought was very clear they were talking about live human beings.

Corporations and other businesses are legal fictions that are only given legal recognition by operation of law. We the people have agreed to recognize them and, in exchange for that recognition and the accompanying rights, impose controls on how they conduct themselves.

I’m not suggesting these legal fictions shouldn’t have certain rights, but those rights should be defined by the same law that gives them legal recognition.

Davo

January 22nd, 2010
11:27 am

Some great POV expressed here. I’m still trying to figure out why I feel uneasy about this decision. The notion of granting corporations the same right as individuals makes economic sense to me; politically I don’t think it works out the same…the possibility of rampant corruption appears very real IMO. I guess for me it’s one thing to allow a corporation to participate in the free-market and profit from it, but to use the exact same logic when it comes to affairs of state; that corporate participation in our govt improves the govt as it would the marketplace is a false assumption.

One thing that I do find interesting in this whole discussion is the rather blind hatred of corporations by some of the posters. I would ask them, what is your answer to the corporate model? It can’t be private ownership alone, as not many ‘uber-wealthy’ individuals are out there to finance a factory to produce goods. State ownership has never worked; and over-regulation puts roadblocks in the way of profit and progress. There’s a nobel prize out there for you if you can think of a better way to run a modern society.

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
11:31 am

Treez:

Again …………. you miss my point. I’m not totally sure where I fall on this one. Maybe there should be another case omitting foreign owned corporations but that probably won’t fly since we give foreign terrorists here the same rights as Americans.

My real point is that if the SCOTUS says it ………. that’s it …………. absent an Amendment to the Constitution or a revolution (i.e., Dread Scott and Roe vs. Wade). You can’t have it both ways. Once the SCOTUS broke from the “orginialist” postion (i.e., 10th Amendment and the Commerce Clause) the cat was out of the bag.

For example, I just heard a female conservative talk show host that I really respect say, “the Constitution is not a suicide pact”. I’m afraid, I have to disagree. Our Constitution/government is set up to eventually allow is own self-destruction. Why? Because we don’t have the sense (especially our liberal wing) to know when certain “freedoms” are our own death warrant.

CHV

January 22nd, 2010
11:35 am

The corporate model itself is not the issue, it’s their vast wealth which allows them superior influence with elected officials – far more than any ordinary voter could possibly muster without bribing them with huge contributions.

Why do you think Bush was so favorable toward corporate interests during his administration? It was all about political payback and special favors for the millions his pals in Big Oil and mining invested in Bush during 2000 and 2004.

IMO, corporations should not be allowed to contribute a dime to any campaign. Nothing good can come of it.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 22nd, 2010
11:37 am

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
trial of strength and bid
defiance to the laws of our country.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1812

neoCarlinist

January 22nd, 2010
11:46 am

as with the recent election in Massachusetts, sometimes the system works. the problems I have with this issue are not Constitutional, and as Mr. Barr points out, when considering such issues, it is REQUIRED that the SCOTUS come down on the side of “freedom” (Bill of Rights – mythical as it may be). at the end of the day, political campaigns and those who produce campaign ads are “free” to produce whatever they choose to produce. it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the electorate (in a perfect world, critical thinkers who analyze data, separate fact from fiction) to form his/her own opinion. I am a second amendment advocate, but not an NRA supporter or memeber. I am a lower case “l” libertarian, but not a dues-paying memeber of the Libertarian Party. This ruling is actually a landmark in the battle for true freedom, but as stated, sadly enough, I am not sure those who prefer (seek) the false security of the herd, value (true) freedom. Yes Virginia, sometimes judges get it right.

kitty

January 22nd, 2010
11:53 am

Should we amend the Constitution to no longer say “We, the People” but “We, the Wal-Mart”? That is basically what happened with this ruling. Individuals can not outspend corporations and those with the most money win in our political world. Money is power and we just gave away the power of the individual. I don’t think that is what the founding fathers had in mind.

Paulo977

January 22nd, 2010
11:54 am

Jacob $ LSmith…..
Of course you are right,” Corporations are not people…………..” and BB has stood the constitution on its head in order to ‘concoct’ some dubious rationalization for what the Supreme Court has seen it fit to do ! Get ready for the steal in November. This time it will at least ‘appear ‘ to be legal!!

Treez

January 22nd, 2010
11:56 am

@jconservative

“Government may not suppress political speech based on the speaker’s corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.”….

(1) the govt does not suppress political speech of corporations. The govt puts limits on political contributions as it does with individual real humans. The court has in essence given corporate speakers more free speech rights than actual human beings, which is an outright laughable premise.

There is no basis for the proposition that, in the political speech context, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.

Restrictions are placed on speech all the time! Individuals have to be approved for permits, individuals cannot incite others to violence, individuals can’t make threats. Free speech doesn’t mean unfettered speech. Corporations currently can make contributions through individuals in their corporate entity. Corporations are also allowed to lobby government officals. Corporations are also allowed to advertise their views in any media format they wish. Yes corporations have restrictions on their speech, but that is no different than actual people.

2) this decision goes against 100 yrs of judicial precident, so much for that activist judge racket…the governmet does have a valid interest in limiting corporate speech, it’s the same thing our founding fathers were concerned about, the overinfluence of one segment of society over the populace as a whole. As I previously said exxon mobile had profits of 45 billion. The presidential election cost 2 billion, and that was a record. Why would you want corporations to have this much inlfuence over our political system???

I never understand conservatives…it’s like destroying the federal government is your mission. But hey we deserve what we get.

[...] From the Atlanta Journal Constitution today: In a clear, straight-forward and constitutionally-based opinion , the US Supreme Court [...]

Dave R.

January 22nd, 2010
12:02 pm

This just upsets the left because liberals can’t think for themselves, and now big corporations are going to tell them what to do.

The best fun I had yesterday was watching Keith Olbermann meltdown on his lame show last night. That sour, pathetic elitist was almost on the verge of crying.

Road Scholar

January 22nd, 2010
12:03 pm

” For a host of other reasons, such as taxation, corporations are considered people.”
So why do businesses get all the tax breaks?

Also someone please expose the “myth” that 40-50% of people do not pay taxes. Why? Do they make so little that they lie below the poverty level- defined by both parties? What % of the real taxes do corporations pay? What % of real taxes do rich Americans duck since they have the means to get additional tax breaks beyond their mortgage? Let’s get real!

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Oh yea! That means this group has more right the the smallest individual.

Overbread, overfed and ignorance. If you don’t like what it means change the meaning of the word. If you change the word you have to Ratify the Constitution and the people would have the say and that is only what the Fore Fathers wished. But who are they anyway. Surely not ar right wing Conservative that does the most LIBERAL action against the Constitution, ever. Oh, but how much money and power a few can achieve, RIGHT?

EC

January 22nd, 2010
12:11 pm

Interesting that no one has even mentioned the network bias that goes on unabated and legal to influence our votes.
Interesting that no one has even mentioned ACORN and the “Corporate Government” money they amass to influence the election for their far left candidates.
Interesting that no one has mentioned the influence of the SEIU to amass millions of dollars to push their fascist agenda.
It seems the libs only protest when it seems they will be disadvantaged the most by the ruling.

Dave R.

January 22nd, 2010
12:12 pm

Road Scholar, the figure that almost 50% of Americans don’t pay INCOME taxes is true. A much higher percentage are charged payroll taxes, but they only fund Social Security and Medicare. The other 50% pay the bulk of the operating costs for this nation.

Technically, businesses don’t pay taxes. They are charged taxes, but pass those tax costs onto their customers in the form of consumer goods. Everyone who buys anything ultimately pays corporate business taxes.

Rich Americans duck a lot of taxes, but the top 25% of wage earners still end up paying well over 80% of the income taxes in this country.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Road Schalar,

You forget the rich have little to no Income. They have inherited wealth that is only TAXED as Capital Gains, 15%, when withdrawn and 0% is re-invested. If they receive Dividends ($800 billin) it is also taxed at 15%. Not bad for most of the wealth in a given year or all years. But that distributes the wealth no where and keeps it in the hands of a few

Treez

January 22nd, 2010
12:27 pm

Ridgerunner:

you make little sense…

“Maybe there should be another case omitting foreign owned corporations but that probably won’t fly since we give foreign terrorists here the same rights as Americans.”

1) it’s funny how you think you just said something significant. On average it takes 8 years for a case to reach the SC so someone tell the ACLU to file their brief now.

2) Republicans gave foreign corporations the ability to infiltrate US corporations. So what exactly are you talking about?

“My real point is that if the SCOTUS says it ………. that’s it …………. absent an Amendment to the Constitution or a revolution (i.e., Dread Scott and Roe vs. Wade). You can’t have it both ways.”

No one is disputing the legality of the decision, the issue is the fact that, in an effort to score some sort of political victory, conservative justices have failed to take into account the actual consequences of this decision.

Additionally, it’s the duty of rational citizens to point out faulty decisions of the judiciary. This decision goes against 100 yrs of established judicial precident. And what makes this decision even more thinkable is that the court did not even address this established law. Moreover they didn’t even address our founding fathers, who were completely against this type of influence, so much for those strict construstionist principles these justices claim to believe in. What your partisan blindness prevents you fro seeing is that this decision goes against everything these conservatives justices claim to be for.

I just heard a female conservative talk show host that I really respect say, “the Constitution is not a suicide pact”. I’m afraid, I have to disagree. Our Constitution/government is set up to eventually allow is own self-destruction. Why? Because we don’t have the sense (especially our liberal wing) to know when certain “freedoms” are our own death warrant.”

Ok this paragraph doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. But for SnG, what freedoms are our own death warrant? Civil liberities, free speech, what exactly are you talking about. If you rant you must do it coherently….I think you should take a good solid look at what you believe in because you sound truely confused.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm

Dave R.

I agree with everything, BUT “Business don’t pay taxes. They are charge taxes, but pass those ta costs onto their customer in the form of consumer goods. UNTRUE

You are listening to the NEWS too much. Accounting 101 would teach ASSETS – LIABILITIES = OWNER EQUIT AND INCOME – EXPENSES = NET PROFT.

If a business raise the cost of goods to cover TAX Expense it Raise INCOME and TAX both a CATCH22. That does not work. If you raise TAXES businesses can spend more and SAVE TAX (ONLY WAY. Therefore they must create jobs or spend campital to ACTUALLY CUT TAXES. It grows the economy.

My guess is they want the average American Worker to compete with the lowest waged nomadic tribe memeber in the lowest nation. No other explanation for the Media, Corporation and Admin acting so stupid

It is a FANCY phrase or word game to keep the people stupid when the truth is distorted for more profit (Owners Equity)

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Come, come people ………………….

The Federal government is a “corporation” for crying out load. They even ride in “corporate” jets. We’re just stockholders.

This is much ado about nothing.

MrLiberty

January 22nd, 2010
12:32 pm

As someone who works everyday investigating product and parts failures, I understand the importance of identifying root causes of problems. Without identifying the root cause, one can never successfully fix the problem (except maybe by random chance).

Not bothering to identify the root cause of problems seems to be the way everything gets done in Washington however. McCain-Feingold, like the major election reforms in response to the Nixon administration corruption, never hope to address the root cause. Money for campaigns is never the problem. The american electorate needs to be informed about candidates, and unless the content of advertising is fraudulent (the response to which should be civil and criminal penalties), the amount of advertising or its cost should be irrelevant to everyone. Plans like these should be seen by everyone as just another government scam to make it seem like something is getting done, while the real plan is to restrict entry of opponents into the political process – they didn’t call this the “Incumbent Protection Act” for nothing.

The problem is now and has always been the ability of government to steal our money through taxation, inflation (via the Federal Reserve and its printing presses) and the like and give it to their friends (whether as corporations or as special interest parasite groups). Further, the governments ability and propensity for regulations (read controls and economic attacks) are yet another form of payoff to special groups. The problem is not in the money going into the front side of the campaign, but rather the money coming out of the back side of the elected officials.

Libertarians have correctly and consistently argued that a massively diminished government whose hands are tied by the explicit restrictions of the constitution (with some obviously needed clarifications) would lack the ability to spread riches and priviledges upon the parasites that feed at the federal trough. With the money supply cut off by this means, the incentive for tit-for-tat campaign contributions would dry up, and contributions would be made, as they should be, in support of candidates who maintain the protections of rights and liberty.

Ron Paul does not receive support from PACs. He is not in the pocket of defense contractors, parasitic farmers (as opposed to the ones that make it on their own), labor unions, and the like. His list of donors reads like a who’s who of liberty and freedom-minded individuals who care about having a candidate that will support their rights to be left on their own with their freedom intact. Good luck finding anyone else in the house or senate that can say that.

Too many americans resign themselves to the largesse that government delivers to too many special interests. The single act of eliminating the federal income tax would dry up the flow of money so significantly that the biggest parasites would starve. Serious restoration of the free market and sound money would deliver another solid blow. But too many are more interested in maintaining their own special interest than realizing the problem is inherent in government and must be corrected there, not by restricting the financial mechanisms that are critical to maintaining the information flow that puts people into office.

EC

January 22nd, 2010
12:33 pm

See how ACORN used its influence to buy ad time to condemn John McCain at election time in 2008

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/29/new-acorn-ad-tell-mccain-the-gop-not-this-time/

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Ridgerunner,

OK so BUSH could have spent our Treasury dollar on McCain’s campain in your words

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
12:40 pm

Ref EC @ 12:11

Thanks. I needed a good laugh today.

1. Network bias
I completely agree that this is a major problem. It is because we have allowed the creation of media giants. The DOJ and the FCC have done a miserable job in minding the henhouse. Allowing media concentration not only harms competition but it is a particular type of competition – the role the media plays in controlling the messages that are communicated in print and broadcast media.

2. ACORN
I’ll let someone else comment on your point of view because I really don’t have an opinion.

3. SEIU
This is a union. And yes several people, including myself, have commented on the problems with unions. Personally I expect union membership and influence to wane over the long-term unless we see a significant resurgence in the union movement. That could happen as more and more companies are limiting employees to part-time hours, cutting benefits, etc.

But your assertion that SEIU is fascist is laughable. Do you know what fascism is? SEIU, as with any union, are seeking to promote the interests of their members. Your assertion they are part of some vast fascist conspiracy is absurd and baseless.

I am not concerned about this because I feel that liberal ideology alone is threatened. The reality is with this ruling more and more political influence will be exerted by monied interests. Unions and grass root action committees cannot possibly compete with the corporate coffers of ExxonMobil, Kraft Foods or Northrup-Grumman.

Indeed these entities that have a single focus, to make money, will be able to effectively drown out the voices of the American people. Some have commented that corporations don’t vote, only people do. That is true. But when the corporation can effectively fund 30 second ads that run ever 15 minutes on all the major tv and radio networks, no other voice or opinion can be heard.

The internet’s competing news media, social networking and blogs can help but a concentrated, repetitive campaign in traditional media backed by an almost limitless amount of money will win every time.

EC

January 22nd, 2010
12:41 pm

See on example of how the SEIU bought air time to slam McCain on healthcare with their donated monies.
SEhttp://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2008/04/seiu_slams_mcca.php

Also there are endless examples of the mindnumbing liberal propaganda perpetuated by NBC CBS ABC MSNBC etc. to influence elections.

Dave R.

January 22nd, 2010
12:42 pm

Bill, you may be great at accounting, but you fail Business 101.

Do corporations generate money out of thin air? No, they don’t. They get money by providing a service to a consumer of their product. That consumer pays the corporation for that service or product. Within the price of the product is built in the cost of taxes. Completely and totally. Plus the cost to comply with our tax code. Plus the cost of the raw materials. Everything.

Thus, ultimately, only the consumer ever pays taxes. The corporation merely passes the cost of that tax onto the consumer, and pays the government the taxes they have collected from the consumer through the purchase of their product.

Business 101, Bill.

Aquagirl

January 22nd, 2010
12:45 pm

The SCOTUS asked for a case to be re-argued on even broader grounds, so they could make a broader decision. Bob (and many so-called conservatives) think judicial activism is fine as long as you approve of the outcome.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Mr Liberty,

Hard to dissargue with most of your comments. I too like Paul, but I also like Kochinuch.

But it is extreeme to say Government, which is only a vehicle, it is the laws and the current Administration. Use very well by Corporations, and wealthy to buy what they want for themselves. In fact this article is about lowering my RIGHTS as an individual. The very VIBER of you Liberty. Living on the backs of one person is depriving him of his right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. The poor and incompetent do little to limit my ability in these pursuits. But unfair laws and unscrupulous Corporations and Wealthy can greatly effect my rights and freedoms. Exactly what the constitution wished to protect, not take away or take for granite.

So when my rights have to compete with the wealth of corporations it is not Unequal, it is lost. That loss is your Liberty TOO. The Constitution is all about individual rights and the protection of them all for the good of the all, not a GROUP, FOUNDATION, TRUSTS or Corporation and the like

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
12:48 pm

Bill:

Come on !!! He did !

They all do when they go out and campaign (staff, jets, Secret Service, military support) for someone in their party. It’s the real world !

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
12:49 pm

P.S. to Bill:

What do you think Obama just did when it went to Massachusetts ?

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
12:55 pm

Kitty, nice comments

Too bad the greedy are drunk with the addiction of it all. Otherwise they would understand we have a lack of Aggregate Demand. Because of all that they have done and this interpretation does more.

Eventually the dumb will realize if the people do not have money the cannot buy the goods. So it is like a big POKER GAME they can only reshuffle their money back and forth and not sell 1 damn think

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:00 pm

Ridgerunner,

Is it not different for an Admin to support it party and 9 dumb people saying our Fore Father were thinking of Corporaction when Jefferson in the Declaration said, “all men are created equal”

You surely do not think the were bad in Grammer LAW or incompentent. That they really meant to say “all men and corporations”?

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

The first amendment is clear: “congress shall MAKE NO LAW…prohibiting the freedom of speech”. Congress DID make such a law and the SCOTUS struck it down. Nowhere in the First amendment does it say only people have free speech. It say CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW!

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Yah, but should I beleive that Jefferson meant “all men and corporations are created equal”.

Was he incommpetent or had no knowledge of LAW or Grammer. I do not think so. The greed is out weighing the value of truth here.

My dogs could figure this one out, right?

Dan

January 22nd, 2010
1:07 pm

A couple of points
-Corporations are taxed (of course they simply pass it to their customers…) so they should have say in the political process
it’s really a no brainer, as a matter of fact if anyone is wrong in the situation so many are afraid of, its the politician, if they can be bought then they are in the wrong, not the corp.(and btw Dems are far biggger recipients of business dollars than Reps)
-Those who wrongly declare that conservatives are ok with judicial activism still don’t understand that activism is changing the constitution via a ruling by arguing for a broader meaning. Conservatives more often interpret it more literally so you would be more correct to label it protectionist if you choose to disparage, calling it conservative activism only shows more clearly your lack of understanding.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Sunshine,

Do you really think the founders of the Constitution did not know the difference between an Individual and a Corporation. Do you really think by men, they did not mean INDIVIDUAL. They all were lawyers do you not think they would use CORPORATION is they meant to.

“All laws not granted the Federal Government belong to the STATE and INDIVIDUAL” NOT CORPORATION

deathportal

January 22nd, 2010
1:23 pm

Ummm…all you people who say “Corporations are not people” DO realize that corporations are RUN by PEOPLE, right? Just checking. The shareholders in the corporations are also people. Stop trying to make a double standard.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
1:24 pm

Bill,

Of course they did. The whole idea is that we are born with natural rights. So why did they simply say “congress shall make no law” instead of “‘the right of the people to free speech shall not be infringed”?

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:25 pm

Dan R,

Econ 101 if you want to create jobs and your business 101 is not working because you are TAXING the corporation too little and they are passing all the 90% profit in the form of dividents to the secondary Stock Traders.

There is only one thing to do right now. RAISE TAXES. That forces the corporation to invest in capital or hire more people. Otherwise they pay more TAXES right now and pass less in dividend or ownersequity.

YOU WERE TALKING about TAX 101, not that corporation sell commodoties overe time and consumer purchase them. We are talking Tax policy and rate and this is how it works if you wnat to create change to effect your economy right. Corporation will normaly spend more on capital and jobs rather than hand the Govrnment tax dallars. That is the theory.

You are trying to effect the economy, Not that those $ came from a customer some where some time ago or in the future. As long as you build building or hire more people in the economy

Your are

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
1:28 pm

Bill,

How is it that the AJC can have an editorial board that speaks freely as a corporation but non media corporations don’t have that priviledge?

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 22nd, 2010
1:29 pm

To Dave R., January 22nd, 2010, 12:02 pm: I do not watch Keith Olbermann or MSNBC. But when I get over the shock of this Supreme Court decision, I may start crying, too.

The economic model of capitalism is outright taking over the governmental model of democracy — and the overall citizenry of this great country of ours seems unaware of its happening.

As a proud American who loves this country dearly, I cannot think of anything better to cry about.

Dave R.

January 22nd, 2010
1:30 pm

Yeah, Bill, in the WORST economy in almost a century, and you want to raise taxes?

Nope, not unless you want to kill jobs even more.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
1:30 pm

Bill,

Brilliant. In the middle of a fragile recovery you want to raise taxes on the jobs producers.

“Corporation will normaly spend more on capital and jobs rather than hand the Govrnment tax dallars. That is the theory. ”

This is a joke, right?

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
1:32 pm

Ref: Sunshine and Thunder @ 1:04

The Preamble to the Constitution states “We the People (not we the people and legal fictions like corporations)….”

Corporations only exist at our discretion. We could strip them of their very right to exist if we had the political will. They are legal constructs that have an appropriate role in society.

The Theory of Natural Law that informed our founding fathers spoke of the rights of man, i.e. human beings.

And if you don’t believe that see HillBilly Deluxe @ 11:37

QUOTE
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1812

UNQUOTE

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
1:33 pm

Bill:

Two points. Try to follow these carefully.

1) By your logic, the 1st Amendment meant only quills and ink, the 2nd Amendment meant only flintlocks and the 4th Amendment has nothing to do with motorhomes.

2) “OK so BUSH could have spent our Treasury dollar on McCain’s campain in your words”

Why did you avoid my answer to your comment just above? They all do it ………. your “Treasury dollar” for their party campaigning ! Sometimes they even try to hide it by having a big political rally in a city but cover the enormous expenses for that trip by having a small “presidential event” (i.e., visiting the troops at a military base) earlier that afternoon in the same city. It’s the real world Bill ………….. our government ‘is” in effect a corporation.

The only problem I have is that those who pay more taxes (especially compared to those who pay none) should own more stock ……………. have their vote count more !

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:37 pm

Deathportal,

Bill of Right, were the awnser to incorporating the Individual Right of the Declaration of Independence into the Constitution. The right of the individual not the many against the 1. That is communism.

Individual Right is the oposite of a GROUP, Think Tank, Trust, Foundation. Where many individual pool money and votes to attack each persons individual right. Both the Left and the Right beleive in this. We disagree on how but not what. Allowing more than one against one is not what our government was founded. We went to war against the British for indivdual freedom, to protect free choice and equality.

Many does not equal 1 in my MATH 101

Fix-It

January 22nd, 2010
1:37 pm

Why does this piss off the liberals? They get their money for corporations?

DD

January 22nd, 2010
1:38 pm

The AJC, NYTimes, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, all the media companies are……………corporations!!! And yet they were allowed to say anything they wanted about elections and politicians. As usual, seems a bit biased.

I’ll bet they all HOWL at this rulling, lol, cause there goes the monopoly (again)

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:45 pm

Ridgerunner,

So how can I not agree that my money get spent the way you say. But a President cannot write a check to McCain and say Campain contribuiton to be Obama. That was the point and discussion. I had to say that?

You say, “The only problem I have is that those who pay more taxes (especially compared to those who pay none) should own more stock ……………. have their vote count more !”

That is call Aristocracy not Demacracy. You are changing the subject here. I have one job I was offered a 2nd job if I worked both jobs they would have taken all of the first and $2000 of the second. And I am lower middle class worker.

So yes that is rediculus, but if I inherited the wealth and withdrew the same amount in the same year it would have only cost me 15 capital gains. Nothing on the appreciation of my inheritance.

We are talking Fareness and Taxation here not the constitution and the supreme courts decision saying our Found Father we dumb, no the Supreme Court 5 are dumber and motivated by self interest and it will cost you in the end more than unfair taxation which can be fixed with a tax code change and not the RATIFICATION of the Constitution.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:46 pm

Ridgerunner, I meant disgree with you on the previous

Tracker

January 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

ridgrunner you commented “this rulling only allows corporations to flood a market and exert undue influence on the poltitcal process”
Do you mean just like the mainstream media does??? What are all of you so afraid of anyway? Are you so stupid you can’t look at the canidates and decide for yourselves.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Fix it,

Yes we get our money (10%) of corporate profit) from corporations, but secondary Stock Traders get 90% for no risk, no sweat, no genius.

Part of the reason America is a failure!

Why we are pissed

Kaipo

January 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Swede Atlanta:
“The philosophy of Natural Law that informed the thinking of the Founding Fathers focused on the “rights of man”. This body of thought was very clear they were talking about live human beings”.

But in corporate law there is what you call piercing the veil- to get to the humans who run the companies. So by extension this natural Law ought to apply to companies as well.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Swede:

So where does the right of the people to freely assemble stop? If the people can freely assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances, where does it prohibit those same people from making a profit?

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
1:57 pm

Bill,

“secondary Stock Traders get 90% for no risk, no sweat, no genius.”

That isn’t true. I am one of those traders.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
1:58 pm

Dave R,

Yes I would raise tax on the Corporation to create JOBs, I would tax the top 400 inherited Wealthy to pay for 60% of all corporate income for no sweat, genius, risk or the Primary Stock purchase.

I am not concerned for a few incompetent, misfortunate, or fools who want to live of a few food stamps. I am concerned the the rich have 97% of the wealth and 3% is left for all the technology creation that the nation and globe needs to attract the genius to make it all work.

We need genius not cleverness we need Exports not Money Market trading. That is if you really car for stabilized equillibrium of our economy. Otherwise hand on to your dollar which is worth a whole lot less that 10 years ago

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
1:59 pm

Ref: Tracker @ 1:50

Why do people have to be rude and disrespectful on these blogs? This is part of the problem – people cannot simply express their views objectively without attacking someone else personally. I gave up name calling many years ago.

Print and broadcast media are a problem. That problem has become even more pronounced as decade after decade of regulators have allowed for more and more consolidation of the “press” (loosely construed).

The problem with your statement that voters should be able to decide for themselves is that when you have monied interests that are either for or against a candidate and they can now flood money into individual campaigns, this means that whoever has the most money will be heard.

So if you have a candidate, for example, that takes a position that challenges certain business interests, those interests can use as much money as they want to buy up airtime to run negative ads, etc. It is very hard for individuals to combat that. I can’t afford to give $100,000 to a candidate.

So while yes it is up to the individual to assess the candidates or issues and vote accordingly, if one side can overpower the other with limitless amounts of cash to trash the other, the only thing voters will hear is the negative.

Welcome to America, of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.

Dave R.

January 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

If America is a failure, it is because of liberals trying to foist their way of thinking on freedom-loving individuals.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
2:06 pm

Sunshine,

Primary Stock Trader (IPO) Initial Stock Purchases goes into the corporation)

Secondary Stock Trader (no cash goes back into the corporation NEVER. only trading among trader for appreciation of the stock value, but nothing is returned to the corporation.

So you risk is does the stock appreciate, but what does that do for the economy. It is a lotory for stock trader and personal gain only.

Many over 1 and 1 over many. Marx would love this education

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
2:12 pm

Ref Kaipo @ 1:55

I would not mix enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights with policies of Corporate Law. The Founding Fathers didn’t create the theory of “piercing the corporate veil”. It evolved as part of corporate law.

The idea in business law to allow one to pierce the corporate veil relates to the abuse of corporate law by an individual(s).

But to suggest that because corporate law allows abuses of the corporate form to be remedied by piercing the veil and getting at the individual for that abuse somehow means the corporation is a person under natural law is hard to follow.

The theory of Natural Law as it was understood by the Founders related to people, human beings.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
2:21 pm

Dave R.

Seeing the world Left or Right is Linear VIEW at best. Reality is too complex to look at this all left or right. I am more conservative than many with my money. I am libeeral when it comes to allow people to do what they want as long as it does not harm anyone else.

Now if i am missing the discussion and this is about those who can take what they want, then I am in hte wrong discussion.

We were born into life equally, not left or right. That is the issue here. To have an equal and fair playing field because that is how we all WIN/WIN. Otherwise we will continue to FAIL in economy, foreigh policy, social value, physical health, etc.

Free Choice is what it is about. You may want more money, I may want more friends, but we each can pursue either or both anyway we want as long as we do not stand on others to get it. Or group together to get an advantage over others or one.

Collusion, Anti-Trust, Price Fixing, etc. were all created in this light. Fare Trade and equality.

But the left/right b.s. now want us to allow our Pharmasutical Drugs to be sold back to us from Europe. After we paid to ship them there, now we get to pay toship them back here and buy them cheaper when they were made here in the first place. This is simple price fixing. No need to be dumb or dumber.

It is this lack of knowlege and logic that is the problem. Our history and laws are being used for self interest not protecting liberty, but I guess the higher price of gas, the great loss of resources will make it all RIGHT? WRONG

Fix-It

January 22nd, 2010
2:22 pm

FairTax.org , stop the bull and do it! Liberals should love the fairtax, because it IS fair to ALL people.

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
2:30 pm

Sweede Alanta

Well stated. I love the logic of John Locke

This Makes me think of what would happen if I had 6 corporations. Does that mean I get to vote 7 times?

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
2:37 pm

Fix it

I am for fair tax. I do not like group though

hatin' on the stupid

January 22nd, 2010
2:41 pm

Dave R:”If America is a failure, it is because of liberals trying to foist their way of thinking on freedom-loving individuals.”

Freedom from thinking perhaps. OMG

Bill

January 22nd, 2010
2:41 pm

Jacob it only make sense for the dumb and dumber or the greeder can never have enough to be happy because they do not realize happiness is a state of mind not a pile of cash

atlwolf

January 22nd, 2010
2:52 pm

If this ruling is left in place, America will eventually become a corporate oligarchy. Anyone who does not see this is deluding themselves.

Barr, you are an idiot.

Jeff Smith

January 22nd, 2010
3:11 pm

atlwolf

I’m curious, how do you make your living?

william

January 22nd, 2010
3:22 pm

Massachusetts proved to me where the real power is. Corporations can not vote. I know it will be very difficult to become a socialist societ with corporations so I have not problem with this ruling. Life free or die!

Jeffersonian republican

January 22nd, 2010
3:22 pm

It has been a great week for Liberty! Two good things that W. did – Alito & Roberts. Glad to see Kennedy believes in the Constitution.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
3:46 pm

OK Bill,

Let’s say you have a lot of money and you want to buy some stock in a newly formed company. A few years later, after it has appreciated, you want to sell that stock. How would you do it? Maybe through a vast, highly liquid secondary market? Hmmm? How do you think comanies are able to intially sell stock? Because investors know that if they buy it, they can also sell it.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
3:55 pm

Would any of you address the question of why it is OK for some corporations to have free speech but not all? For example, Cox Communications owns media outlets and has editorial boards on those outlets that take political positions. I know you’re going to say that the boards are independent but the law doesn’t know that.

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 22nd, 2010
4:08 pm

Now, more than ever, we are all marginalized by the duopoly of the two-party system and the concentration of the influence of money, and neither the Democrats nor Republicans have incentives to change anything about it.

Independent and third-party candidates are rarely in a position to compete since they are usually seen as “spoilers.” Why vote for them and take the risk that the Democrat or Republican you most object to will win over the one you least object to?

But there is an idea catching on at the State and local levels to prevent the spoiler effect: Instant Runoff Voting. It allows voters to cast their ballots by indicating their preference order for the candidates.

If the person you really want does not get enough votes to win, then your vote goes to your second choice, and so on. The process repeats automatically until one of the candidates wins a majority.

It just plain makes good old-fashioned common sense. Imagine the power of your vote! Imagine how much public money would be saved on runoff elections!

Who would possibly not want to have more voices and more choices? The Democratic and Republican parties, that’s who!

Glenn

January 22nd, 2010
4:20 pm

Wouldn’t buying influence in a democracy impact liberty & freedom in a negative way ? I’m very surprised that you would write this Mr Barr .

OneFreeMan

January 22nd, 2010
4:35 pm

Foreign governments, foreign citizens and any other foreigner that have ownership in an American company can influence USA elections without limit. I am not surprised at those the feed and clothes their families by being a tool for corporations.

Corporations cannot vote or run for office, but they can donate as much as they choose to a condidates election.

Bob, you never cease to amaze me. In one column, you appear to be for the American people and the constitution then you support corporations being able to INFLUENCE elections when corporations can be own and controlled by foreigners.

Oh well…

Ridgerunner

January 22nd, 2010
4:48 pm

Swede Atlanta :

Thank you for your 1:59. I can be very satirical and even cutting sometimes (verbally the same as a politcal cartoonist) but I avoid being personal. Tracker’s post was not worth my response.

Bill:

Agree to disagree.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
4:59 pm

“Corporations cannot vote or run for office, but they can donate as much as they choose to a condidates election.”

They sure can pay taxes, too.

Jeff Pruett

January 22nd, 2010
5:03 pm

The issue that troubles me is the courts ruling that a corporation was a “person”. It’s not. This gives CEO’s the right to spend the stockholders money on political issues without their knowledge.
If Bill Gates or Warren Buffet want to spend their billions on a cause it’s their right.
It’s not the right of Coca Cola’s CEO to spend the money of a company I have an ownership stake in on politcal positions I might not agree with.
And how about a American owned subsidiary of a Chinese company pouring money in amercian polical campaigns.
Bad idea all around.

High School Dropout

January 22nd, 2010
5:06 pm

So do assembly line robots now have free speech rights?

OneFreeMan

January 22nd, 2010
5:08 pm

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
4:59 pm
“Corporations cannot vote or run for office, but they can donate as much as they choose to a condidates election.”

They sure can pay taxes, too.”

So can foreign visitors. Paying taxes in the USA doesn’t make you a citizen.

Roy

January 22nd, 2010
5:18 pm

I have heard no logical reason from anybody as to why the 1st Amendment can`t apply to corporations…The make up of corporations is people ie: individuals…..Actually, many people here who disagree with the Supreme Court decision are missing a vital point…The McCain-Feingold Act really says that voters are too stupid to vote for the candidate they think is the best to represent them, based on the voters own, independent thinking….It says that a “corporation” can run an advertisement that will somehow hypnotize the typical dull-witted, blank-faced voter into voting for whomever the “corporation” says to….So I guess that means that people who are complaining about the Court`s decision are those that can not think for themselves, and “need” a law to protect them…If that`s the way you, then I do feel sorry for you, but do not attempt to lower other people to your level of inadequacy……

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
5:39 pm

One Free Man.

Oh, I see. Taxation without representation is good for some.

So what is your answer to the question of why some corps can practice free speech while others cannot, i.e. media corporations, 503(c) corps vs say, General Motors?

How is it that the people have a right to assemble but that assemblage has no right to sell shares and make a profit; or, if they do, they lose their right to free speech?

Rational Person

January 22nd, 2010
5:50 pm

So Bob wants us to rejoice because some high-roller in Russia or China can pour millions into influencing an American election? So that Paris Hilton’s voice will be millions of times louder than a college professor’s?

This way to the plutocracy.

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
6:10 pm

Ref: Roy @ 5:18

Roy, two points

1. The Bill of Rights applies to individual human beings. The Preamble reads “We the People” and the Natural Law concepts that informed the Founding Fathers spoke of the rights of man and in that context it was clearly understood to be living human beings.

A corporation is not a person. It is a legal fiction. It is not made up of people. People may invest in a corporation but the thing itself is not a person or made up of people. It is a legal construct that gives legal recognition to a particular form of business organization.
Corporations don’t exit in the natural world.

2. The point is that when you give monied interests the ability to overwhelm the political discourse it is unfair and undemocratic. If a corporation can use their vast financial wealth to contribute to individual campaigns, run positive or negative ads every 15 minutes, etc. they can simply drown out the other side of the discourse. I can’t afford to contribute $100,000 to a campaign but Georgia Power can.

So John Q. Public may literally only hear one side of an issue or the negatives of a candidate. Surely you can’t believe that whoever has the most money to buy the most ads, etc. should win.

The issue isn’t that the public can’t make an informed decision. It is that the political discourse can be essentially halted if one side has enough money.

For that reason I would like to see a Constitutional Amendment that imposed term limits and limited the amount of time and money that can be spent on a campaign.

It would introduce a level of fairness into our electoral process.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
6:26 pm

Swede Atlanta,

No, corporations aren’t people but they consist of people. It may be as few as one or as many as thousands. The first amendment specifically enumerates the right of the people to peaceably assemble. I just don’t see the clause that states such an assemblage has no right to speak out. Corporations are an assemblage of people.

In McCain Feingold the limits placed on campaign advocacy just prior to elections didn’t apply to the media. If you are so worried about monied interests flooding peoples empty brains why aren’t you arguing about that? The NRA had to buy a radio station to make its voice heard.

Swede Atlanta

January 22nd, 2010
6:29 pm

Ref: S&T

No, corporations do not consist of people. They don’t exist except by operation of corporate law. Corporations employ people, corporations have people as investors but the “thing” isn’t people. It is a business form that gives people that organize and invest in the corporation certain legal rights and obligations. But you can’t show me a corporation. A corporation is a piece of paper.

Hank

January 22nd, 2010
6:42 pm

Corporations are NOT people. That said, they are RUN by people. These same people already have votes and the ability to donate as individual citizens. Allowing extra “votes” under the cloak of corporate contributions is disingenuous at best. I do not agree with the SCOTUS nor Mr. Barr on this one. To me, relegating this to a constitutional issue is just ludicrous. It’s nothing more than legally sanctioned election rigging. Period. The corporations have won a major victory with this one. This way the possibility of a 3rd party coming to power in Washington is less than zero it seems.

jason

January 22nd, 2010
6:57 pm

Newsweek reports that foreign businesses might be the real winners in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on campaign finance that now “allows corporations and unions to spend limitless amounts of money on presidential and congressional political campaigns. A majority of large businesses are now owned by foreign entities, and this means international corporations could pour tons of money into the United States political scene, potentially swaying the political climate.”

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
7:21 pm

So what gives unions the right to buy political ads? What give the ACLU? The NRA? Why are you folks so afraid of an entity that demands hard work and hires lots of people and makes money for your 401(k)?

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
7:23 pm

Individuals have the right to donate but, without forming (assembling) a group with lots of donors they usually don’t have enough money to buy media advertising. So aren’t these groups legal entities who don’t enjoy the rights that people do? None of you has answered that question.

Common Sense

January 22nd, 2010
7:28 pm

You do not need to only interpret the word “corporation” as an IBM, Microsoft, etc. A corporation can also be you and your neighbors, forming a corporation as a legal entity for some purpose. Then raising funds to support that purpose, and using those funds to advertise.

In the SC case that was the situation. GE didn’t make that movie, an interest group (OK special interest group but seriously every club etc is a “special” interest group, it’s not evil) that was very interested in getting the real story on Hilary out to the world was prevented from doing so.

That does seem to be limiting free speech

Alice

January 22nd, 2010
8:49 pm

Hey, where did all these people come from? You go Bob. You are finally beginning to rouse some rabble. I’m so proud of you.

Jeff Smith

January 22nd, 2010
8:51 pm

What do you people think a corporation is? It is an assembly of people with a common purpose and a shared financial stake.

It isn’t a collection of robots, or aliens, for god’s sake. It can even be predominately composed of liberals. This ruling cuts both ways – some companies lean left, some lean right. What is the problem?

If you people are so worried about corporations influencing elections too much – don’t listen to them. Turn the radio, TV, internet off. Act like an adult!

If a “regular” corporation doesn’t have the right to political speech, why, please explain to me, should a newspaper or a political party?

Sunshine and Thunder

January 22nd, 2010
9:08 pm

“If a “regular” corporation doesn’t have the right to political speech, why, please explain to me, should a newspaper or a political party?”

We have a winner. Jeff, I have been ignored on that very question for 5 hours now.

Glenn Beck

January 22nd, 2010
9:58 pm

OBAMA MUST GO. TRUST ME WE NEED CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Captain America

January 22nd, 2010
11:23 pm

If corporations have the same rights as people, then my dog should also be considered a person with full rights. At least he’s a living being, unlike a corporation.

Where in the Constitution does it say that corporations have any rights at all? It doesn’t Bob! This was judicial activism at it’s finest, making up the law to be what the judge wants. Just like they abandon “states rights” whenever they don’t like what a state is doing, conservatives will applaud this wholesale re-writing of the Constitution simply because they think that corporations should control the country. And they claim to decry the “nanny state”. puleeeze.

Thanks to Benito Scallia and the other four fascist/corporatist supreme court judges, the will of our founding fathers is once again being trashed and more of our freedoms with it.

Roy

January 23rd, 2010
1:21 am

Oh come on Swede Atlanta!….Corporations are made up of people ie: INDIVIDUALS….They have every right to speak out against politicians who smear them eg: greedy corporations…..The left-wing always slams corporations as, for example, being responsible for the recent financial meltdown….But if one looks closely, they will find that was the GOVERNMENT that was to blame for this crash….It was the government that forced lending institutions to give mortgages to people with no/bad credit and couldn`t meet the payments….And, I will say it again…Apparently some people here are too stupid to vote for a candidate objectively, and are easily manipulated by an advertisement…Fine, that`s you…..But don`t for a moment think that everyone else is as dull as you are…..And remember, the 1st Amendment starts out, and clearly states, “Congress shall make NO LAW…..”…Now what part of that don`t you understand?…..

Sunshine and Thunder

January 23rd, 2010
1:48 am

I love this. In the second amendment liberals tell us that the “people” are simply the state or the national guard, but in the first amendment the “people” are only natural, living, breathing creatures.

Sorry guys. Can’t have it both ways. I know your mommies used to let you but we won’t.

JOHN ODD OWL

January 23rd, 2010
4:06 am

RigeRunner is a master of the false anology, like most of his kind on the far right. We Dems need to exert enormous amounts of pressure on Clarence “uncle tom” Thomas and force him to resign. Then the President can nominate a real Justice to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts is a right wing radical, power hungry activist Judge. We the People must reign in his power.

Glenn Beck

January 23rd, 2010
7:48 am

PEOPLE, WATCH THE SHOW AND LEARN ABOUT THE UNDERMINDING OF THIS ADMINISTRATION. MONDAY- FRIDAY 5-6 PM.

Swede Atlanta

January 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

Roya @ 1:20 a.m.

OK Roy, let’s meet for coffee and I want you to bring a corporation for me to meet. I don’t mean employees or shareholders, I mean bring me the corporation. I’ll even buy. A corporation is a form of business organziation recognized in our corporate law with certain rights and responsibilities. The corporation itself doesn’t exist outside of corporate law. The corporation doesn’t live, it doesn’t eat or drink, it doesn’t sleep. It is inanimate. People may be employees of a corporation. People may be investors in a corporation. But the corporation, the “thing itself” is a legal fiction. It doesn’t exist in nature.

Robert Littel

January 23rd, 2010
8:33 am

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of The Corporate States of America,
and not to the republic for which it once stood.
One nation, under corporate control, class divisible, with Liberty and Justice for anyone who can pay for it.”

Swede Atlanta

January 23rd, 2010
8:47 am

Ref S&T @ 1:48

Thank you for some sunshine.

The Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

As a preliminary matter the first clause, “a well regulated militia”, defines the purpose for the right, i.e. Because a well regulated militia, etc……”

Recall that at the time of the writing of the Constitution there was no standing U.S. military. The states, however, had a long tradition of militias. But the states didn’t give citizens firearms. They may have provided gunpowder, food, etc. but you showed up with your gun, bedroll and any personal effects you might need.

Congress, fearing any action by the federal government from seizing an individual’s weapons as the British had done, inserted this provision. They wanted to be sure that individuals had the right to own weapons in the context of their use in the militia.

Today, you don’t bring your own gun when you go to the National Guard. The state provides you with one.

But returning to what appears to be confusion about “people”.

The point with respect to corporations is they aren’t people, they are legal fictions. People may be involved in a corporation or work for one but a corporation is a piece of paper. The Preamble to the Constitution states “we the people”, so these rights are given to “people”, live human beings.

In the 2nd Amendment, the right is absolutely individual but the Founding Fathers were very clear to say that the right is given because a well regulated militia is necessary. The right is personal but it is conditioned. I think the Supreme Court missed the conditional part because that condition no longer exists today.

Real Athens

January 23rd, 2010
9:37 am

“Corporations … But, they DO pay taxes. Lots and lots of taxes.”

I never thought I’d quote this boob, but here goes: “Corporations do not pay taxes, they pass them on to consumers in increased prices of goods and services.” Sean Hannity.

Individuals do not have this ability.

Corporations can also be bailed out of fiscal irresponsibility to the tune of millions with tax dollars.

The argument of corporate rights goes all the way back to Adams (for) and Jefferson (against). When the door is opened and corporations are given all the rights afforded in the INDIVIDUAL Bill of Rights, our Constitution and Bill of Rights becomes null and void.

It will be time to “storm the Bastille” with daggers in our teeth.

Pause to reflect: Is it just coincidence that all the justices who voted for this travesty were appointed by Republican administrations?

Alan MacDonald

January 23rd, 2010
10:42 am

Ralph Nader, the ‘democracy advocate’, and Stevens, the enlightened liberal justice, are exactly correct in tying this issue to America’s founding genius, and enlightenment in choosing democracy over Empire.

It’s really a simple choice, we now need to reinforce and expand to all aspect of our lives and society —- as an anti-Empire ’social democracy’.

The choice in all spheres of life & society such as the key ‘5 or 6’; political, business, religion, social, educational, etc. is merely a choice of democracy/freedom or Empire.

The founding of the United States of America in ‘the new world’ followed this generalized enlightenment principle by choosing for our “life & society” to select “democracy & freedom” (instead of Empire) in the spheres of political and religious life — and this choice of democracy & freedom in each sphere also included the protection of our democracy & freedom in the political sphere from our democracy & freedom choice in the sphere of religion (and vise versa).

This founding American choice was a simple and elegant idea of enlightenment for all individuals in a society (large or small) to protect our free choice of democracy & freedom (vs Empire) in all our spheres of life.

So, the only real choice that we now have to re-address, for a second endorsement of America’s founding idea of democracy & freedom, is the simple binary choice of whether we want to live in a society (which is now the whole world) based on democracy & freedom (in all spheres of our lives, and protected from any adverse impacts by other spheres of life) OR whether we want to live in a life and society of Empire ruling every sphere of life and society — because Empire (like cancer) in any one sphere (particularly the economic) will ineluctably metastasize into and destroy all society and ultimately all our lives — and remember, you aren’t going to be the last Emperor standing!

As Clint Eastwood said, “Well, in all this excitement I don’t remember if it was ‘5 or 6’. So, punk, do you want to take that chance?”

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

Rational Person

January 23rd, 2010
11:04 am

Both Jefferson and Eisenhower warned us about the corporations’ becoming too powerful.

Mussolini defined fascism as the merger of the corporate and the political.

Is anybody listening?

AF

January 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Mr. Barr,

But is this good for democracy? I don’t think so.

Our legislaors are already in the pocket of “special interests” who fund their campaigns. It is not individual voters who get legislators elected, it is those who give big bucks to politicians to get their message out. Those who don’t have the money can’t get their message out. So, victory goes to the one with the money.

Giving more power to those who already have power is self-destructive to democracy.

Phill

January 23rd, 2010
2:18 pm

As Will Rogers said “Welcome to the best government money can buy”. Now that money will undoubtedly come from Multinational Corporations (those same one’s who took all the jobs offshore) who may or may not have the best interests of Americans at heart. Guess this country wants Saudia Arabia, Yemen, and yes even Iraq & Afghanistan deciding our political future. The sound of money bags dropped on DC will effectively silence the voice of Americans. Republicans and Democrats need to see this for what it is.

Sunshine and Thunder

January 23rd, 2010
3:51 pm

Ignored again. For the last time,, how can any organization such as MoveOn.org or the NRA engage in free speech if they are not natural persons? Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

You’re all so worried about IBM buying adds during a campaign but have no problem whatsoever with Cox Communications publishing editorials in favor of a specific candidate. No problem whatsoever with the ACLU or the NRA buying advertising. What gives, guys. I’m asking a straightforward question.

Glenn Beck

January 23rd, 2010
7:36 pm

IS ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION????

LibertyAtStake

January 23rd, 2010
8:12 pm

@Chris Broe: Sorry, bro, First Amendment = NO LIMITS / NO RESTRICTIONS / FULL DISCLOSURE. You should ask Mr. Soros if he has any plans to lay YOU off.
http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/

bob

January 24th, 2010
8:36 am

Dems say corporations pay taxes, not true though, why not let them have a voice ?

Glenn Beck

January 24th, 2010
8:55 am

WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!
DOES ANYONE OUT THERE HEAR WHAT I’M SAYING???????????????

Hard Right Hook

January 24th, 2010
9:01 am

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 22nd, 2010
1:29 pm
To Dave R., January 22nd, 2010, 12:02 pm:

“The economic model of capitalism is outright taking over the governmental model of democracy — and the overall citizenry of this great country of ours seems unaware of its happening.”

1. We do not live in a Democracy. We live in a Representative Republic.

2. In capitalism, the corporation must provide a service or product which the market will purchase, which is it’s source of revenue. The illustrious federal government confiscates it’s revenue from a select group of taxpayers, with the taxpayer having no recourse.

3. The overall citizenry of the great country is realizing that 50% of wage earners contribute NOTHING to the federal treasury. This allows a percentage of our society to suckle at the government teat (parasites, whiners, where’s mine, it’s not fair, etc).

4. Capitalism cannot take over Government so long as Government has the ability to confiscate more and more money from those that earn it. So long as Government confiscates more and more money, people, the wage earners, have less and less to spend on what corporations produce.

Government will eventually displace capitalism so long as “Good men stand by and do nothing.”

hat turnt sideways

January 24th, 2010
9:07 am

all i want is to sell my rocks.

Hank Williams Jr.

January 24th, 2010
9:29 am

Thanks to Glenn Beck for having me and Sarah Palin on the show last week.
Enjoyed singing ” Dixie On My Mind” to the American people.
Next time I plan to sing “If Heaven Ain’t Alot Like Dixie” and “A Country Boy Can Survive”.

Rational Person

January 24th, 2010
11:15 am

That “A Country Boy Can Survive” song is outstandingly stupid. The country boy survives because he uses pickup trucks and shotguns, things that come from the city.

gus

January 24th, 2010
4:04 pm

And as a citizen of this country I Halliburton cast my vote for….. um…. um …. i mean i cast my vote for a Cool commercial!…

Charlie Daniels

January 24th, 2010
9:07 pm

TO: UNRATIONAL PERSON
THE DIFFERENCE IN “A COUNTRY BOY” AND A”CITY BOY” IS WHAT THE SONG SAYS……..
YOU WON’T MAKE A COUNTRY BOY RUN.
TAKE WHAT IS HIS AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.
THAT SHOTGUN HE MAY HAVE BOUGHT(AND NOT STOLE) FROM THE CITY IS PROTECTION HE WILL USE TO DEFEND HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY.
HE CAN ALSO LIVE OFF THE LAND, GROW HIS OWN FOOD,HUNT AND FISH.
PEOPLE LIKE THAT MADE THIS COUNTRY WHAT IT ONCE WAS.
HONEST, HARD WORKING AMERICANS WHO STOOD UP FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVED IN.
MORE PEOPLE NEED TO DO THE SAME , ESPECIALLY IN THESE TIMES.
COME TRY AND TAKE MY GUNS. HAVE TO PRY THEM OUT OF MY COLD DEAD HANDS,SIR.
GO GET A LIFE.AND BUY YOURSELF A PICK-UP TRUCK.
YOU MIGHT FIND IT RTDES BETTER THAN THAT “HOOPTY” YOU TOOL AROUND IN.

Rational Person

January 24th, 2010
11:42 pm

Hey, Bob, the African American-oriented news source The Root just named you as one of the 30 blackest white folks they know. Hope you feel honored.

Rational Person

January 24th, 2010
11:45 pm

Well, person who usurps Charlie Daniels’ name, I have owned two pickups, I grew up in the country, and I currently tool around on a motorcycle when the weather is nice. Other times, I drive my hybrid because I care something about the world I live in.

I have a life, and I’m not obsessed with protecting myself from those evil other people who actually don’t exist.

Diane Nolan

January 25th, 2010
10:12 am

Finding that you support the corporate usurpation of individual rights, I’m sorry that I voted for you. You are obviously not the Libertarian I supposed you were.

Hank Williams Jr.

January 25th, 2010
7:48 pm

TO UN-RATIONAL FOOL…..
TAKE YOUR CROTCH-ROCKET TO THE GREAT CITY,SEE HOW IT FEELS TO HAVE A PISTOL STUCK UPSIDE YOUR HEAD(LIKE I HAD HAPPEN) IN BROAD DAYLIGHT ON JONESBORO RD. SOUTH OF DOWNTOWN. I ALSO GUESS YOUR MOTORCYCLE RUNS ON WATER.
TOOL YOUR SELF TO THE RURAL AREAS AND SEE IF YOU GET MUGGED.
DIFFERENT BREED OF PEOPLE, KIN SIR.
YES, SAD TO SAY….. THOSE EVIL PEOPLE DO EXIST .
GET YOUR IGNORANT HEAD OUT OF THE SAND.

What Me Worry

January 25th, 2010
10:28 pm

McCain-Feingold was written to protect incumbents.

You don’t honestly think corporations main method of affecting legislation is through adds do you? There are these people who get paid by businesses to go to D.C. and talk to politicians. I think they are called something like lobby-something. And if they wanted to appeal to the American people through advertising they had more of reason to give their money directly to a candidate to boost their ad campaign.

It also prevented individuals from coming together and pooling their resources to try and effect political change. People hear corporation and the knee jerk reaction is its bad. Mostly the corporations it affected were grassroots nonprofits organized for a poloticial purpose.

I tired of long drawn out campaigns, I sick of all the advertising during elections and it will probably get worse. But I think it is wrong of politicians to cynically use this sentiment to prevent political speech before elections. It only helps the ones already in office stay in office.

Robert Littel

January 26th, 2010
7:31 pm

If, as the corporate owned Supreme Court has ruled, that unlimited corporate spending on candidates is a free-speech question, then they are willing, too willing, to make it possible for a corporate head to march into any congressman’s (woman’s) office and state, “I have $5 million in my pocket that I can spend on your campaign, or I can spend it on your opponent.”, now how does anyone think this will not totally corrupt what little integrity is left in our system and turn us into a one party corporate system, run by and for the interests of a tiny ruling wealth driven elite bunch of self-serving thieves? Thomas Jefferson would be spinning in his grave over this if such a thing was possible.

[...] High Court blasts hole through McCain-Feingold campaign law In a clear, straight-forward and constitutionally-based opinion , the US Supreme Court yesterday struck down a major portion of the 2002 “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act” (more commonly referred to by the names of its two primary sponsors in the Senate, “McCain-Feingold”). The 5-4 majority opinion, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, voided the law’s ban on corporations paying for “electioneering communications,” such as movies, newspaper ads, and the like, that support or oppose candidates. [...]

diane hamilton

January 27th, 2010
1:10 pm

W Smith makes such a strong and valid case against the McCain-Feingold campaign law that I felt my termperature rising as I aerd it. Is anyone (or ones) in the White House given the orders to read these blogs and show them to the President? I truly hope they do. dbh

What Me Worry

January 28th, 2010
4:18 pm

BTW leadership PAC’s are were politicians get their money from corporations. The following is from thegovmoniter.com.

“Of the $112 million that leadership PACs spent during the two-year campaign cycle that led up to the 2008 elections, less than half was passed on to candidates or party committees, according to a ProPublica analysis of Federal Election Commission data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The rest paid for entertainment, administrative costs, fundraising and other categories that are so vague that it’s impossible to know for sure how the money was spent.

of the more than $750,000 that Chambliss’ PAC spent during the 2008 cycle — about $200,000 — went to help GOP candidates. The rest went for golf, including payments to resorts and transportation — a private jet on one occasion and limos on another.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada used his leadership PAC to entertain at Las Vegas casinos, including $32,985 at the Bellagio and $24,284 at Caesars. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York paid $32,760 to the New York Yankees and $14,490 to the New York Giants.

former Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, who was defeated last fall for re-election, spent $91,004 at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Former Rep. Thomas Reynolds [13] of New York spent $66,378 at Pebble Beach.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., used $64,500 from his PAC to commission a portrait of himself.

In March, the FEC’s six commissioners, three Democrats and three Republicans, sent Congress a list of legislative recommendations, including one to prohibit personal use of leadership PAC funds. Their letter went to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden, in his capacity as president of the Senate. It also was sent to members of the House and Senate committees that oversee the FEC.

So far, the FEC has gotten no response. ProPublica left messages at the offices of the speaker, majority leader and chairmen of the two committees seeking comment, but got no replies.

“I am not hearing anything being done on the legislative front on leadership PACs,” said Craig Holman, the legislative representative of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.”

Heidi

February 7th, 2010
1:13 pm

I agree mostly with this law on principle, but I see a conflict. I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that corporations with stockholders are mandated by law to only act in the interest of those stockholders (aka profit making). So a corporation would be forbidden under this law to do anything that may be unpopular with the public (aka their customer). So even though It’s morally and ethically right, it may be illegal for a corporation to fund an add supporting, for example: gay marriage, ending the war on drugs, ending the war in Afghanistan. Pretend we’re back in slavery days, and a corporation would be acting illegally if they supported ending slavery. I don’t think any of this is an excuse to bring back the insane laws in mccain feingold. If corporations are individuals with free speech, then they should be able to act in a way that may not benefit it’s bottom line.