Foreign corporations may be the big winners from Supreme Court’s campaign finance ruling

Over at Newsweek’s political blog, The Gaggle, this thought is spurring a deal of talk:

Foreign businesses might be the real winners in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the landmark case that 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.

The biggest questions with this ruling is the scope of the term “corporation,” says Edward Foley, law professor at the Ohio State University College of Law and director of the election-law program. Does the high court want this decision to apply to foreign corporations as well as domestic ones, he ponders? The truth is, the court didn’t make a decision one way or the other.

Meanwhile, USA Today has this:

More than 40 current and former corporate executives on Friday urged Congress to pass taxpayer funding for congressional campaigns — and stop asking busy business leaders for political cash.

The letters sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were signed by executives with Ben & Jerry’s, Playboy Enterprises, Hasbro and others.

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January 22nd, 2010
2:34 pm

What an awful development, to put that sort of political power in the hands of a few board members and their interests. I don’t care in what part of the political spectrum your beliefs originate, as an American you should take note of this and be very aware of the implications to our Republic.

Chuck Eaton

January 22nd, 2010
3:31 pm

Sounds like George Soros is going to have some competition.


January 22nd, 2010
3:41 pm

that was a pea brained comment

Cynthia Tucker McKinney

January 22nd, 2010
4:09 pm

Chuck is spot on. The reason libs are upset, besides the fact that they hate American businesses, is that George “The Currency Manipulator and Economy Wrecker and LIb Benefactor” Soros will have some steep comeptition. Anyway, if lib ideas are so wonderful the American people will be unmoved by corporations, foreign or domestic.


January 22nd, 2010
4:41 pm

Well I’m not a “lib” and I don’t “hate American businesses.” I do however take great pause at allowing our Republic to be run by a few board members and their interests, George Soros Rupert Murdoch or otherwise. Again it’s up to us moderates (approx 47% of voters by the way) to again reign in the loony left and lockstep right who’s ideology continually blinds them to the dangers their dogma poses to the rest of us.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

January 22nd, 2010
4:56 pm

I have now come to the opinion that independents are basically morons. Most of them, not all but most, are in the middle just to be there. And since the Republicans ‘frame the debate’ that means many independents automatically go to the right just because the Republicans are tacking hard right.

Since Democrats have no guts, they won’t tack hard left. They certainly won’t frame the debate. In fact, most Democrats are more owned by corporations than Republicans.

HOWEVER, Republicans are also insane. As a business owner, I would NEVER pick a Republican over a democrat. Yes, I’ll admit froma business stand point Blue Dogs are preferable to progressives, but Republicans only want to lower taxes at the expense of all else.

I don’t want to pay 5% taxes and live in Zimbabwe.

Taxes do useful things. Its called a balance but since Democrats can’t do ANYTHING and Republicans can only lower taxes or deregulate, that means that the most important business need of all; stability and predicitablity in government is NEVER achievable with Republicans because they don’t believe in government.

Only stupid business like BANKS put idiots who want to destroy the institution in charge. What kind of a business would want to do that?

As such, the aristocracy, those born to wealth, will donate to Republicans, but self made billionares, those with an actual business sense will NEVER donate to morons.


January 22nd, 2010
6:53 pm

AvM – I don’t share your view about moderates or independents, but I have to say your pretty spot on otherwise. +1


January 22nd, 2010
11:33 pm

The law of unintended consequences strikes again. The right-wing ideologues of the Supreme Court have blindly and stupidly opened the door to foreign control of our elections. Logic and common sense would dictate that the First Amendment was never intended to protect the free speech rights of foreign-owned or multi-national corporations operating in the U.S. or allow them to pour billions into influencing our elections.

Mike Smith

January 22nd, 2010
11:55 pm

“As such, the aristocracy, those born to wealth, will donate to Republicans” If you take a look at the current make-up of congress, more trust fund babies are liberals. Why would someone who actually earned money by working, vote for a Democrat, and have those earnings given to somebody who doesn’t like to work?


January 23rd, 2010
8:11 am

Mike that’s a nice myth you have there considering about 1% of the federal budget is used for welfare programs and not all people on welfare “don’t want to work” as you seem to think. The question you need to ask yourself is what does the other 99% pay for and what don’t you want to buy? Roads? Defense? Law enforcement? Tax breaks for churches, corporations, oil land leases? Maybe we should close or sell some national parks? Space exploration? Do tell.


January 23rd, 2010
10:13 pm

Sounds to me like the Tea Baggers have been picking on the wrong people. The conservatives are the enemies to this country


January 24th, 2010
11:14 am

Well, face it…the tea baggers are just a mob being told to hate a specific group. They do not want representation. Campaign finance would be one of the first areas of policy that any non-wealthy group of citizens should want to reform.

Afterall, how many middle classmen are in Congress?


January 25th, 2010
1:18 pm

Yep that should fix everything…I’ve often thought that the problem with America is that big corporations don’t have enough power.

Wait a minute…don’t I remember hearing something about “conservatives” opposing activist judges. I guess its OK if you agree with the activism….


January 25th, 2010
2:36 pm

The activism of the majority in Citizens United is a very discouraging sign. What was that about just calling balls and strikes, Mr. Chief Justice?

Georgia Whig Party member

January 25th, 2010
2:49 pm

We keep trying to frame this debate around right vs. left. Rep vs Dem. As long as you do that the parties own you. This is a debate between freedom vs unity. Neither are bad, but they are counter productive to each other. God forbid we teach actual democratic philosophies anywhere within society, but if we had, we as citizens of a republic would know the debate is between freedom vs unity not right vs. left. But don’t trust me, I am just an anonymous forum poster, go study your Plato, Smith, Madison, Jefferson, Henry, and Washington…they will tell you the same thing. the old foggies knew a thing or two about it to.

William in LIthonia

January 25th, 2010
4:36 pm

2 Steps to restore the American Economy: Learn from what has worked in America!

#1: Bring back the reasonable tariffs that protected American jobs since the founding of our country. Before the IRS, most of the Federal Government’s income was from tariffs. This would also help our budget deficit as cutting tariffs helped cause our deficit.

#2. Restore the Reagan Tax Cuts. Ronald Reagan actually stopped trickle down because before he cut the top tax rate from 74% to 29%, the wealthy would reinvest their profits in their business rather than pay taxes. They would build new buildings or pay their employees better to improve their business. The wealth trickled down when the wealthy were taxed. We the workers earn that money and have a right to the benefits of our labor.

The Republican Reagan Revolution re-distributed the wealth from the workers of America to the top 1% – what Republicans call ‘their base’, their Al-Queda, Multinational Corporations with no allegance to this country. The game, our economy, is tilted in their favor. We must re-inact the rules that protected the middle class.


January 25th, 2010
4:56 pm

Wait till the Republicans find out that FRENCH-owned corporations get to contribute to US political campaigns!!!