When gov’t and business align, both become more powerful at the citizens’ expense

The full implications of the Citizens United ruling that corporations and unions are people, and thus have a free-speech right to spend as much of their enormous resources as they wish to influence elections, are only gradually coming into focus.

But here’s a good place to start:

Roger Nicholson, senior vice president and general counsel at International Coal Group, recently sent a letter around to other major coal companies proposing that they create a new campaign-finance entity that would allow them to spend millions of dollars defeating candidates they don’t like. Even better, thanks to the successful filibuster against the so-called DISCLOSE Act, their expenditures wouldn’t have to be publicly disclosed until they file their tax returns next year, long after the election is over.

The Lexington Herald Leader has obtained a copy of Nicholson’s letter.

“With the recent Supreme Court ruling, we are in a position to be able to take corporate positions that were not previously available in allowing our voices to be heard,” Nicholson wrote. “…. A number of coal industry representatives recently have been considering developing a 527 entity with the purpose of attempting to defeat anti-coal incumbents in select races, as well as elect pro-coal candidates running for certain open seats. We’re requesting your consideration as to whether your company would be willing to meet to discuss a significant commitment to such an effort.”

According to the letter, Nicholson’s company and three other major coal firms “have already had some theoretical discussions about such an effort and would like to proceed in developing an action plan.” Among the firms listed is Massey Energy, run by CEO Don Blankenship, who has a long history of buying politicians and state Supreme Court justices.

As the Herald-Leader also notes, Nicholson’s firm “owned the Sago mine in West Virginia where 12 miners died in 2006. Massey owned the Upper Big Branch mine, also in West Virginia, where 29 miners died in April.”

The letter proposes to focus the finance effort on three races “of interest”. One of them is the contest between incumbent Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia against his Republican challenger, Elliott “Spike” Maynard. For those who followed that story, Maynard is the former West Virginia Supreme Court justice who vacationed on the French Riviera with Blankenship, then came home and cast the deciding vote that overturned a $50 million verdict against Blankenship’s company.

Unfortunately, the power that Citizens United confers on both unions and corporations lies not just in their expanded ability to change the outcome of elections. It also gives those entities considerable if more subtle power to intimidate or seduce those already in office.

It’s a shame that this evolved so quickly into a partisan issue, because Citizens United poses a danger to conservatives as well as liberals. For example, it hands a much bigger stick to unions, including government-employee unions, to reward their friends and punish their enemies. It gives Wall Street an even bigger voice in demanding access to government bailouts and other favors. If you are concerned about immigration, it enhances the clout of Big Agriculture and other industries that see illegal immigrants as a cheap source of labor and profit. And it will make politicians more eager to appease corporations that come to them behind closed doors demanding congressional earmarks.

Overall, Citizens United tightens the nexus between government and business, allowing each to seek more favors from the other. Such rent-seeking behavior will inevitably undercut the operation of the free market, a prospect that no doubt frightens the few remaining true conservatives on the modern American scene.

Personally, I never liked the approach taken by President Obama and the Democrats in trying to address this challenge. The DISCLOSE Act was an effort to manage the issue, rather than solve it, and any effort to “manage” a problem like this becomes a power play in its own right.

A better approach would be a simple, clean, nine-word constitutional amendment that strikes at the heart of the Citizen United ruling: “A corporation or union is not a natural person.” It seems to me to be an irrefutable statement of fact, or at least ought to be.

251 comments Add your comment

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
10:47 am

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
10:54 am

“a simple, clean, nine-word constitutional amendment ”

oh, yeah. that’s sooooooooo gonna happen – particularly when big bidness is the one pulling the congress critters’ strings.

Gale

July 29th, 2010
10:56 am

I think most of us saw this coming after that -supreme- decision.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
10:57 am

Gale – sad, but true – we all saw this coming

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
10:58 am

“Personally, I never liked the approach taken by President Obama and the Democrats”

I haven’t liked the Obama’s approach on a lot of issues.

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
10:59 am

“A corporation or union is not a natural person.”

Jay…let’s step it up a notch… a Corporation can set up shop overseas and “register” as a NEW subsidiary of that very same Corporation over there (Like Halliburton)… SO… if a corporation is a person…why can’t I do the same thing? Can I be Saul Good “resident” of the US…and “Saul Good Light”…resident of the UAE as well? Shift my “profits” to the company that is taxed less (and perhaps has less stringent rules placed upon it)…and charge off my expenses to the other as well? Yet…when done laundering my profits… pretty much use them as I see fit…tax free in some cases.

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:00 am

Granny….yup…unlike Abortion which is the “rule of the land”…this faulty law is new and can still be amended to the point where it’s not effective.

Had enough yet?

July 29th, 2010
11:05 am

Your title says it all. While the Obama administration continues to strongarm businesses, we the citizens suffer.

Socialism stinks.

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
11:08 am

I think if the political will was present there could be a lot more done to corporate law, without a constitutional amendment. Most state law actually states that a corporation is a “person’.

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:09 am

Socialism stinks.

Did you READ the post Jay wrote? Did you? If you did…you comprehended NOTHING and only saw words…words put together in sentences… but you failed to tie them all together…

Obama is to blame for this? Socialism?

Sheeesh!

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:10 am

Saul – 11:09 – to answer your first question, my £££ is on “no”

DP

July 29th, 2010
11:10 am

Big government and big business are a cabal. See Simon Johnson’s 2009 article “The Quiet Coup” that was in the Atlantic Monthly. Those who still see everything in the old right versus left terms are out of touch. There’s not that much substantive difference between the policies of Obama and Bush.

Jay, how about a sitting President who almost never holds a press conference going on “The View”? I can only imagine what you’d be writing if it was Bush.

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:12 am

“I think if the political will was present there could be a lot more done to corporate law, without a constitutional amendment. Most state law actually states that a corporation is a “person’.”

Well then…i guess my wife’s business will get to VOTE as a “person” in the next election…and the LLC I have set up for my music work will also get to “vote”…

Funny how corporations can now work to contribute money as an individual…but as “individuals” have no right to VOTE.

There lies the BIG FLAW in the law.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
11:13 am

“Obama is to blame for this? Socialism?”

Y’all love to blame Bush for everything that’s wrong.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:14 am

“Y’all love to blame Bush for everything that’s wrong.”

EVERYthing???

hyperbolate much?

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:15 am

UsinUK… that’s protocol… all one needs to do is read the headline to know the whole story… well unless it’s about Mel Gibson ranting or Lindsey and how she’s doing in jail…then they read the 3rd grade level penned article composed in three paragraphs or less summing up the little picture posted above it. ;)

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
11:16 am

I don’t disagree Saul that there are big problems with the SCOTUS decision and the consequences. I agree corporate power needs to be reigned in and controlled and corporate law overhauled. However, we also need to be aware that corporations are a creation of state law and not federal law. The entire fiction that a corporation is a “person” needs to be reassessed. This is the consequence of SCOTUS tossing out years and years of court decisions.

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
11:17 am

“hyperbolate much?”

I’m sorry. 99.9%. Better punkin?

Doomsday 2012

July 29th, 2010
11:17 am

Democracy and capitalism are the best political and economic systems we have and they are both failing miserably. Oh woe is us!

andygrd

July 29th, 2010
11:18 am

I think major reform is required across all lines. Candidates should not be allowed to accept funds nor allow non-state voters for example to participate state or local elections. Only the people of the state or local should be able to contribute or pay for ads.

I realize I am dreaming, and it will never happen, but I am tired of special interest groups calling the shots and owning the politicians….. And there should be no endorsements from any group, only endorsements from individuals.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:19 am

“I’m sorry. 99.9%. Better punkin?”

awwww, diddums … we point out that the economy started failing on Bush’s watch and suddenly we’re blaming him for 99.9% of all of life’s ills …

… sounds like someone needs a hug …

Scout

July 29th, 2010
11:23 am

Granny:

“Sometimes you’re the windshiled and sometimes you’re the bug” ……………….. :o

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
11:24 am

“Sometimes you’re the windshiled and sometimes you’re the bug”

Damn yellow jackets at the north avenue trade school.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

July 29th, 2010
11:26 am

Well, the politicans got two choices. They can gripe and try and get a Amenment passed. Or they can just sidle up to people like Don Blankenship and ask what to kiss and when.

Pretty simple choice. All I know is I wouldn’t want to be this Nick Rahall right now.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:27 am

Scout – 11:23 – gah – you reminded me of my first job after graduating from college – I spent a lot of time traveling through South Georgia in the summer months – the front of my car would be CAKED with dead bugs …

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:30 am

Keep…thanks for your reply… I mean…from what I wrote…THERE lies the big problem. Yes…corporations are registered in states and follow those states laws (regardless of WHICH states they sell their products/services to…then they HAVE to follow the laws if it’s illegal in that state they wish to sell to)… but one can’t deem a corporation a “person” when dealing with election laws…if they refuse to allow that “person” to cast a vote.

mm

July 29th, 2010
11:31 am

Strange how the wingnuts think government was good under Bush and bad under Obama.

Only the low information voters will buy into these sleazy commercials.

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
11:31 am

I’m sorry. 99.9%

Dammit, I forgot to blame Bush for Newt’s anti-Muslim bigotry, and the AZ immigration law, yesterday.

However will I make the property tax payments on that pied a terre George Soros bought for me on the French Riviera? Oh me. Oh my.

mm

July 29th, 2010
11:32 am

Low information voter = anyone who watches Fox News.

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
11:33 am

Oh, and one could do worse than to sign that petition GG linked upthread.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:33 am

dB – I know – I should’ve blamed Bush for the crappy connection we had on our conference call earlier this week …

Jefferson

July 29th, 2010
11:33 am

Only voters should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns. All contributions should be disclosed so the public is aware of who is being pimped out.

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:34 am

“Scout – 11:23 – gah – you reminded me of my first job after graduating from college – I spent a lot of time traveling through South Georgia in the summer months – the front of my car would be CAKED with dead bugs …”

Happens here in the North GA mountains as well… I mean…when will SOMEONE develop a windshield wiper that will do more than smear the “bug juice” (for lack of a better term) all over the window? Add to that the “baking” of the dead bug and his/her remnants on one’s windshield…

I’m hoping someone like Todd Palin can develop a product for this…because if anyone has ever driven around Alaska in the summer… it’s probably worse then here in GA!

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:34 am

mm – or anyone who slings the word “socialism” around willy-nilly

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:35 am

Saul – Todd Palin? what would it be a Bug Zamboni?

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:35 am

“dB – I know – I should’ve blamed Bush for the crappy connection we had on our conference call earlier this week …”

Nah…for years now…every time I have a crappy connection on the phone…i blame it on Dick Cheney. ;-)

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
11:35 am

What is the last thought on a bug’s mind as it hits the windshield…”here comes an a$$whole”. Which is the same thing I think whenever Scout makes a post.

Thank you….I’ll be working the room all night. Tip your wait staff. And so I bowed!

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:36 am

USinUK,

That’s a GREAT idea… a tiny one…one that can scrap our windows while we’re at the concession stand buying more beer…and Bon Jovi is playing in the background! COOOOL!

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
11:37 am

This is where it’s worth asking–how many of you folks, when confronted with “Do you want $3 of your federal tax to go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund?” on your tax form, choose not to, and why?

Peadawg

July 29th, 2010
11:37 am

“Low information voter = anyone who watches Fox News.”

Low information voter = anyone who voted for Obama because of his race…which sadly was a lot of people on both sides.

Bosch

July 29th, 2010
11:37 am

“And it will make politicians more eager to appease corporations that come to them behind closed doors demanding congressional earmarks.”

Good God, how could they be MORE eager to appease corporations? Will they be required to give actual flesh, bone, and blood?

Observer

July 29th, 2010
11:37 am

As you stated, Jay, it seems like both sides of the isle could benefit from this. What could possibly be wrong with increasing transparency?

Can someone PLEASE explain the GOP’s viewpoint on this issue???

Have Beck and Hannity not covered it yet so the party’s speaking points are not yet readily available?

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:38 am

Keep: “What is the last thought on a bug’s mind as it hits the windshield…”here comes an a$$whole”.

Funny!
Think of how many bugs we’ve killed around the world with the advent of the automobile…i mean… at least they had time to dodge oncoming horse and buggies.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:40 am

“anyone who voted for Obama OR MCCAIN because of their races…which sadly was a lot of people on both sides”

Bosch

July 29th, 2010
11:40 am

“Sometimes you’re the windshiled and sometimes you’re the bug”

I like that and will have to remember that. But when I remember it, windshield will be properly spelled.

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
11:45 am

I’m hoping someone like Todd Palin can develop a product for this…

Huh?

…well, he does know a thing or two about teeny-tiny critters going where they’re not wanted.

USinUK

July 29th, 2010
11:47 am

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
11:48 am

Anyone remember ACORN and how THEY were going to take our nation down? gee…. I’m SO glad I “survived” ACORN… I guess all of you reading this made it out alive as well! Thank (fill in the blank)….

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
11:49 am

Can someone PLEASE explain the GOP’s viewpoint on this issue???

It would seem that it is the exact same as on every other issue and essentially reads, “If non-Republicans are for something/anything? (Hat tip TR), we are against it.”

And it’s corollary, “If non-Republicans are against something/anything?, we are for it.”

But this is what you get when they rely exclusively on parroting the talking heads who do their thinking for the “base”, simple-minded slogans and sound-bites as immutable mantras and childishly naive “answers” to extremely complex problems

No matter the merits, no matter the overwhelming consensus that dominates intelligent thought, they can and will play stupid. All for the sake of The Beloved Party.

Oh and for the UGA crowd, there is a third axiom, “George Walker Bush is responsible for NOTHING!”

Chuckle…

barking frog

July 29th, 2010
11:49 am

As someone who likes bugs, Isay outlaw windshields. that would
slow traffic down.

Democrats are dumb

July 29th, 2010
11:51 am

It’s Bush’s fault.

Boots

July 29th, 2010
11:54 am

Maybe we ought to just suspend all government and let corporate largesse wash over us all and take care of us. Aaaaaaah, feels gooooood!

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
11:54 am

Anyone remember ACORN and how THEY were going to take our nation down? gee…. I’m SO glad I “survived” ACORN…

Lest you think Saul’s exaggerating…

“We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”
–Senator/Drama Queen John McCain, 10/15/2008

barking frog

July 29th, 2010
11:55 am

Corporations are entities that represent groups of people. Stifle
the corporation and you stifle the ability of the group to speak
with one voice in violation of freedom or speech.

getalife

July 29th, 2010
11:56 am

When gov’t and business align, we should have a choice to dissolve government.

We are na zis.

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
11:57 am

Well…let’s see. If we pull out the old hits, maybe the one about Rod and Obama conspiring to appoint a senator….except that the tapes had Obama saying to Rod “I want a senator that is best for the people of Illinois.” Yep, that sounds like a conspiracy to bring down the republic!

Doggone/GA

July 29th, 2010
11:59 am

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
12:01 pm

Geez, mystery meat at 11:51 stealing my shtick. How low will these cons go???

You will not find ONE of the right wing regulars here (at least those with the guts to keep their nom de blogue for more than 10 minutes, mystery meat) who will touch this topic of the selling off of our sacred sovereignty to the highest bidder.

And as getalife notes:

“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini

Way to go right-wing American fascists…

Honu

July 29th, 2010
12:03 pm

Wow! President Obama just rocked it on The View! :-)

Jimmy62

July 29th, 2010
12:04 pm

I agree that ties between business and government lead to bad things. It’s called crony capitalism, and is the enemy of libertarians and free market advocates.

That said, I disagree that this particular instance is the disaster Bookman claims it is. Speech from any person or entity should not be stifled. If you don’t like what they say, then come up with some valid arguments against it. Denying the right for an entity to have their say just tells me you fear you won’t have a good argument why that speech is wrong. Are you so scared that these corporations are right that you would rather stifle their ability to speak rather than have to defend your own positions?

ACORN creating voter fraud on a massive scale, such a large scale that we will never know if, for instance, Al Franken only won because of cheating by ACORN, is certainly a big deal. And if it did affect the outcome of elections, then yes, the fabric of democracy was in fact unraveled. Or are you going to tell me that democracy is just fine even though the people that won the elections didn’t really win except through massive cheating? I would say that when the candidates that got the most votes from real voters lost due to the influx of fake voters supported by ACORN, it’s hard to say democracy won out.

Union

July 29th, 2010
12:07 pm

i dont have much to say about this.. except.. i do agree with jay.. (gasp) but what i do want to say (or ask).. is why the heck do ppl want to live in california so bad? especially los angeles.. traffic here makes atl look like a day at the park.. miss you bunch of liberal fanatics..

Normal

July 29th, 2010
12:07 pm

We nevah should ‘ave left the Queen…

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
12:09 pm

stands for decibels@ 11:54 am:

nah…they don’t want to talk about it…just like they don’t want to talk about just what it WAS that he was going to do to “fix” the economy… ACORN was a “threat” to our society… (when actually the “threat” had already “made good” on their promises by devastating and “destroying the fabric of democracy)…pre Jan 20th 2009.

jewcowboy

July 29th, 2010
12:09 pm

Union,

“is why the heck do ppl want to live in california so bad?”

To be closer to those they idolize? And the Pinkberry….

Saul Good

July 29th, 2010
12:10 pm

Jimmy… please do tell us all…the “votes” that actually took place because of ACORN and the “registration of voters” fiasco….

Sorry…Micky Mouse never voted.

lovelyliz

July 29th, 2010
12:10 pm

the government over business,
the individual over government,
the environment over everything
and the lndians, oh, give them whatever they want

Paulo977

July 29th, 2010
12:11 pm

Hono
@12:03 YES IN A BIG WAY!!!

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
12:14 pm

Jimmy62…. do you have any links to real facts on the ACORN claim or just looking at some distortion with edited tapes. Any convictions? Actual prosecutions? Or are you confusing voter registration issues and state law requirements that all signatures be turned over without editing with actual voter fraud.

No one is afraid of what corporations will say. The fear is the unbalanced power of the dollar that they wield in elections and the fact that many corporations have profits exceeding the national gross of many countries. Those US citizens who are members of a corporation already have a vote and a voice of their own.

@@

July 29th, 2010
12:14 pm

WaPo: Unions Outspending Corporations on Campaign Ads
The special interests you don’t need protection from.

So far this year, $24.7 million in independent spending has been reported to the Federal Election Commission, campaign filings show. Unions have spent $9.7 million (or 39 percent of the total), compared with $6.4 million (26 percent) spent by individuals and $3.4 million spent by corporations.

Makes ‘ya wonder where Unions come up with $9.7 million, don’t it? I can tell you that among my friends who are members of a union, they don’t vote Democrat.

Kamchak

July 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

is why the heck do ppl want to live in california so bad?

For me, it’s San Jose.

In August, low humidity and the high temps are in the mid-70’s and the low temps are in the 40-50 degree range.

Union

July 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

@ jc.. they can have it :)

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

Jimmy, the free speech argument is poppycock and a gigantic red herring.

It is merely the latest giant step in the systematic sublimation of the will of THE PEOPLE that is at stake here.

I am quite sure that for some on the right they do not know what the word sovereignty even means:

sovereignty -noun: supreme and independent power or authority in government

IT BELONGS TO WE THE PEOPLE. Not Goldman Sachs, AIG, Merck, BP or the AFL-CIO.

I could write pages and pages and pages with mountains of evidence, data, numbers, laws and facts to show this sell off of our god given authority is irrefutably so, but the corporate water carriers would either discount or deny it all.

Washington DC is corporate owned territory. Pure and simple. Do you deny this?

TEN THOUSAND LOBBYISTS lobbyists on K Street and elsewhere in the nation’s capitol. Hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal to influence policy. Influence it, hell! They write much of it!

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” ~(Mis?)attributed to Abraham Lincoln

@@

July 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

Oops! Link to my 12:14.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/wapo-unions-outspending-corporations-campaign-ads

I was also happy to see where Harry Reid’s campaign ads were being paid for by BIG PHARMA…small print…bottom of the television ad.

jewcowboy

July 29th, 2010
12:18 pm

Union,

“they can have it ”

Yeah..I’m not so much the fan myself…

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

Jimmy, the free speech argument is a gigantic red herring.

It is merely the latest giant step in the systematic sublimation of the will of THE PEOPLE that is at stake here.

I am quite sure that for some on the right they do not know what the word sovereignty even means:

sovereignty -noun: supreme and independent power or authority in government

IT BELONGS TO WE THE PEOPLE. Not Goldman Sachs, AIG, Merck, BP or the AFL-CIO.

I could write pages and pages and pages with mountains of evidence, data, numbers, laws and facts to show this sell off of our god given authority is irrefutably so, but the corporate water carriers would either discount or deny it all.

Washington DC is corporate owned territory. Pure and simple. Do you even deny this?

TEN THOUSAND LOBBYISTS on K Street and elsewhere in the nation’s capitol. Virtually all of them advocating on behalf against you and me and for special interest groups cloaked as corporations. Hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal to influence policy. Influence it, hell! They write much of it!

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” ~(Mis?)attributed to Abraham Lincoln

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

Jimmy, the free speech argument is a gigantic red herring.

It is merely the latest giant step in the systematic sublimation of the will of THE PEOPLE that is at stake here.

I am quite sure that for some on the right they do not know what the word sovereignty even means:

sovereignty -noun: supreme and independent power or authority in government

IT BELONGS TO WE THE PEOPLE. Not Goldman Sachs, AIG, Merck, BP or the AFL-CIO.

I could write pages and pages and pages with mountains of evidence, data, numbers, laws and facts to show this sell off of our god given authority is irrefutably so, but the corporate water carriers would either discount or deny it all.

Washington DC is corporate owned territory. Pure and simple. Do you even deny this?

TEN THOUSAND LOBBYISTS on K Street and elsewhere in the nation’s capitol. Virtually all of them advocating on behalf against you and me and for special interest groups cloaked as corporations. Hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal to influence policy. Influence it, hell! They write much of it!

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” ~(Mis?)attributed to Abraham Lincoln

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
12:19 pm

Zooks. A diatribe in triplicate!

jewcowboy

July 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

Kamchak,

“For me, it’s San Jose. ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiB02XWTwI4

Just a hint…this is not the song you want to be blasting from your foreign-made convertible while driving in the backwoods of TN.

Jefferson

July 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

you can say that again, and again

getalife

July 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

They took a hard right turn over the cliff.

This will end with default and we will be like Russia.

States can leave.

Keep up the good fight!

July 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

Doggone/GA

July 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

“A diatribe in triplicate!”

aka: a keyboard stutter!

Abrazos

July 29th, 2010
12:23 pm

“Corporations are entities that represent groups of people. Stifle
the corporation and you stifle the ability of the group to speak
with one voice in violation of freedom or speech.”

I am really puzzled by that post. I work for a Fortune 10 corporation, as in one of the 10 largest global companies. I exercise my right to vote so I don’t need an additional “voice”, plus I don’t always agree with my company’s positions and they don’t necessarily speak for me. In addition, my division alone has over 45,000 employees including those living and working in China, Pakistan, India, Mexico, etc. Is the “one voice” rationale to mean that they should get a “voice” in this country’s democracy as well?

I have not encountered one argument supporting the “Citizens United” ruling that makes sense.

Doggone/GA

July 29th, 2010
12:25 pm

“I have not encountered one argument supporting the “Citizens United” ruling that makes sense.”

Including the SC decision

Kamchak

July 29th, 2010
12:26 pm

…this is not the song you want to be blasting from your foreign-made convertible while driving in the backwoods of TN.

As I recall, it was a Jag.

Maybe one day you will relate the rest of the story.

Doggone/GA

July 29th, 2010
12:29 pm

Here’s an example of how the “news cycle” works (feel free to apply to the subject of your choice):

Yesterday – Jack Hanna used pepper spray to run off a young grizzly bear
Then – grizzlies attacked 3 people, killing 1
Today – Jack Hanna “saves 4 from grizzlies”

AmVet

July 29th, 2010
12:31 pm

“Republican Arrested for Voter Registration Fraud”

Quick! Someone alert Karen Handel!!!

She’ll make sure that bad man shows his photo ID next time!

LOL!!

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 29th, 2010
12:37 pm

Why are mouthy dummycrats always trying to make other people shut up?

Wes

July 29th, 2010
12:38 pm

Jay,

You’re absolutely correct that moneyed interests shouldn’t have this much say in our government.

I think you might be optimistic to believe that powerful entities will be hamstrung that simply.

I’d personally prefer gutting the commerce clause so that the states can decide their own level of governance or increasing representation to the point where buying a few legislators is ineffective (say 1 rep for 30,000 constituents).

barking frog

July 29th, 2010
12:39 pm

Abrazos; 12:23; The corporation represents its owners. You are an employee
that may or may not represent the corporation.

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

Speech from any person or entity should not be stifled. If you don’t like what they say, then come up with some valid arguments against it.

Some unnamed consortium of business interests who hate Candidate X decide to run ten million dollars worth of ads calling Candidate X a goat-bleeping child molester. Oh, and what’s more–they sponsor a “documentary” that asserts that this is true. All this stuff starts running on TeeVee, and billboards, and all over the Interwebs, the week before the election.

(And there’s no way to trace back who actually paid for this smear job for months, thanks to the tireless efforts of GOP senators, who couldn’t even accept this weak-tea problem management solution.)

How do I, as Candidate X or someone who supports Candidate X, come up with “valid arguments” against something like that? Particularly when 60% of the voting public now believes in the goat-bleeping and child molesting allegations?

Abrazos

July 29th, 2010
12:41 pm

barking frog, I am an employee and also a shareholder. So I am an “owner” as well.

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
12:43 pm

I am amazed that there are still folks who think ACORN was the badguy and not the victim.

Can you get any less informed?

Granny Godzilla

July 29th, 2010
12:45 pm

We the entities of the United States of America……

Falls flat don’t it?

MB12

July 29th, 2010
12:46 pm

Did I just see someone whine about voter fraud? As if the fraud in ACORN and the now known fraudulent votes in the Al Franken election? I got it – only Republicans can be tied to voter fraud, illegal alien votes, dead people votes, felons in jail votes, etc.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Obumble administration is nominating a new chief budget officer. The man hails from Citigroup – yeah that Citigroup that was bailed out last year and the same Citigroup that gave this man nearly a $1M in a bonus. So, where’s the media on this one? There isn’t one thing the Obumble administration can do to raise the ire of the main stream media.

And speaking of raising ire, i thought Charlie Rangel was going to be proud to testify about his innocence in the shenanigans he’s accused of? What happened? Today he and his lawyers are cutting a deal. Oh goodie!

“Ours will be the most ethical congress in history” – Nancy Pelosi 2006

“We will have the most transparent administration in history” – Barack Obama 2008

Dems have lost the independent support and will continue to slide in popularity with everyone except their hardcore fringe which would support them right over the cliff. Fortunately the majority is going to do something about it starting this November. Time to get some checks and balances back in Washington and get rid of this wretched incompetence and America-destroying policy.

barking frog

July 29th, 2010
12:47 pm

Abrazos:Then you and the other owners have the right to speak as one
entity and the government may not stifle that speech.

stands for decibels

July 29th, 2010
12:48 pm

As [in] the fraud in ACORN and the now known fraudulent votes in the Al Franken election?

Drugs are bad, kids, mmmkay?

JohnnyReb

July 29th, 2010
12:48 pm

Slightly off subject#1

Here’s something that should be of greater concern than Citizens United -

From Daily Intel – With the signing of legislation passed today, Massachusetts will become the latest state to join the National Popular Vote movement, an interstate compact among states who agree to give their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote. The compact will only take effect once enough states sign on so that their collective electoral votes surpass 270, the minimum number required for a presidential candidate to win. With Massachusetts joining Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington, that number is now up to 73.

jewcowboy

July 29th, 2010
12:49 pm

“Speech from any person or entity should not be stifled. If you don’t like what they say, then come up with some valid arguments against it.”

How about this form of speech?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/15/AR2010061505556.html

jt

July 29th, 2010
12:49 pm

” Such rent-seeking behavior will inevitably undercut the operation of the free market,”

Free market?………Ha Ha.

A little late to save that.