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Whispering down a well no more

Corporations may now shout from the rooftops their political preferences. Ahoy hoy, all. I'm back with another provocative music-accompanied blog, but I'm a gonna stick the video behind the fold since the place is jumpin' and it's getting cluttery on the homepage.

Alright then, so earlier today the Supreme Court released a decision striking a first blow against the foundation of the McCain/Feingold Incumbent Protection Bill. Good on 'em. Roberts and Alito are the gift from President Bush that will keep on giving for years to come. I'm no constitutional scholar, but it seems to me that political speech is precisely what our Founding Fathers meant when they said Congress shall pass no law, blah blah blah. Only the mind of a long-time Washington incumbent could see it otherwise.

The corrupting influence of money on Washington. That's all they're trying to stop. It's not their fault voters keep sending corruptible politicians to Washington, but they sure as heck fire aren't going to stand idly by while "outside influences" try to "lobby" their "representative" or "speak" any criticism directed at Washington. The only good money in Washington is the money they've extracted from taxpayers at the point of a gun.

And they damn sure don't need private interests telling how they should spend it.

You want less money in Washington? How's about from now on we only send you a flat 10% off the top, no tax dollars off investments or savings, and no goddamned death tax? You cut the budget back by about 40%, use the extra to pay down the debt, and quit picking winners and losers in the market. Maybe if our government didn't take it upon itself to manage the tiniest details of our lives there would be no need for the corrupting influence of money on Washington. And just to make it fair, we're going to slap a millionaire surtax of 40% on all campaign contributions over $250,000 to any individual or organization. Then ban all federal employees and their unions from making campaign contributions.

Where's the fun and arbitrary exercise of power in that though? And this isn't an issue that cuts one way. Republicans did no better when they had the reins. Hence the voter rage. We can't trust any of these bastards to actually make the federal government smaller. The idea of a budget smaller than the previous year's is incomprehensible. There is no end to the utter minutia that must be overseen by Washington. People don't like it, and McCain/Feingold was all about not allowing voters to be reminded of that fact within 60 days of an election.

McCain. Just one of many reasons I had to hold my nose when I voted for the improvident lackwit. It's perfectly poetic that his own signature legislation helped Obama stomp a mudhole in his ass. Besides the obvious money advantage, some Republican-leaning organization could have chipped in some actual, serious, factual attack ads against Obama's veneer of moderation. God bless the old coot for his service to the US, but if his campaign was indicative of a potential presidency we may actually be better off with Obama.

The pulling off a Band-aid brand adhesive bandage theory, right? Of course Obama's campaign was all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows and we can see how that worked out. Appearances can be so deceiving.

So naturally we get sputtering outrage from Obama and his cronies in Congress. Pledges to hurriedly pass legislation that somehow circumvents the Court's admonition that political speech is the most protected kind of speech. When "corporations" don't have to pay "taxes" then arguing Congress can restrict their "right" to "attack" elected "representatives" becomes at least a little more compelling. Not quite as compelling as NAMBLA's arguments for pederasty, but at least more compelling than what we're being fed now.

Does anyone want to bet whether they're boneheaded enough to try and cram through a bill restricting campaign speech before the mid-terms? I'm already dipping my teabag in anticipation of the newly unfettered corporate campaign speech we'll see from this day forth. I don't think I'm alone in dipping my teabag these days. Scott Brown has given the people some breathing room in the Senate and the teabagging movement that installed him into Ted Kennedy's Seat is energized and eagerly awaiting the next dipping in 2010. Maybe, someday, the "Boston Tea Party" could become synonymous with some sort of grassroots uprising against overbearing governance.

All I know is now Haliburton is now free to go all in on the Cheney/Cheney ticket for 2012. Guaranteed Guiness Book World Record for simultaneous teabagging. I prefer Bigelow's Constant Comment, iced and lighly sweetened.


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Comments (24)

Ha ha! I generally don't cl... (Below threshold)

Ha ha! I generally don't click past the jump unless any article really interest me & I'm glad I did! Great song from the perennially underrated Dio administration, and perfect embodiment for how Washington views the rest of America!

You're all fools; the mob rules!

The Dems are already scream... (Below threshold)

The Dems are already screaming like stuck pigs. Let 'em try and pass legislation. Then they can explain it to their constituents. Probably as well as they explained "Health Care REFORM" that starts with bribery and accounting tricks to hide the true cost.

Did you catch the dissent f... (Below threshold)

Did you catch the dissent from Stevens? Contains this horrifying tidbit:

the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it

Get that? Corporations, made up of citizens banded together for common purpose, are not even members of our society to this liberal! As if "corporations" are just some kind of independent entity.

I say they use his statement to stop paying corporate taxes...after all, if they're not even part of society, why should they be paying taxes?

Cool. I'm glad many corpara... (Below threshold)

Cool. I'm glad many corparations are foreign owned. Now CHINA and Iran and whoever wants to invest in a corparation can influence our political process.
It's just too bad we didn't have this in the cold war. What a great tool this could have been for the Soviets.

And Big Phamra can get in the fray you say! that's great, as Hillary Clinton was one of the biggest acceptors of Big Pharma money.

I beleive Chriss Dodd, was one of the highest paid from the banking industry. It's a good thing too. Democrats are going to need all that corparate money to stay in power.

This is a great day for America! Incumbents just have to make sure they put out corporate frinedly legislation, like taxing small business competitors and medium size business competitors and they will stay in power forever. By taxing small and medium sized business corporations don't have to worry about losing market share Their smal competitors can get eaten alive by legislation. These are Ideals Republicans truly beleive in. Politicians who do things to protect established corparation will have millions of corporate dollars on their behalf.

And Banking bailouts? Hell ya! you think Politicians like the democrats are going to let that golden goose die? Not anymore.
corpartism here we are!

I just hope republicans are smart enough to get in on the action.

This has been a great WE... (Below threshold)

This has been a great WEEK for America!

We should have a graphic created to designate 19 January 2010 as a symbol for the second movement for freedom in America.

...been like turning on the light switch and watching the roachs scatter.

How can you throw away an a... (Below threshold)

How can you throw away an advantage like "teabagger", Baron Von Ottomatic? Your political opponents are digging their own grave and you're going to give them a hand out of the hole?


"And Big Phamra can get ... (Below threshold)

"And Big Phamra can get in the fray you say! that's great, as Hillary Clinton was one of the biggest acceptors of Big Pharma money."

"I beleive Chriss Dodd, was one of the highest paid from the banking industry. It's a good thing too. Democrats are going to need all that corparate money to stay in power."

You'd better tell Chuckie Schumer. He seems to think this bodes ill for Democrats. Or he's just jumping the gun to lay blame early on for what he and his leftist friends have done to fall out of favor so quickly. Think about it. This legislation was named after the two who put it together; "McCain/Feingold". Not exactly staunch conservatives, eh?

It was my understanding, th... (Below threshold)

It was my understanding, that last century, or possibly late in the 1800's that corporate entities were declared, by the supreme court, as having the same rights as individuals.

The primary purpose of the first amendment is to protect free speech which is embodied in political, and religious speech.

I think this is probably th... (Below threshold)

I think this is probably the first time I've ever disagreed with a significant position at Wizbang, and probably the first time I've gone against the grain from most of the commenters.

I'm sorry, but I disagree, and I'm genuinely confused by the rhetoric I'm hearing from both the left and the right.

I don't think that corporations, PACs and labor unions should be able to buy influence in Washington by throwing money at political candidates. I think that political contributions should be "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Big organization money should be treated as a corrupting influence and be prohibited. If it was up to me, PACs would be outlawed.

If corporate employees, political organization members, and union members want to contribute individually to campaigns, I have no problem. That's the way it should be. But I think it's wrong for corporate money to be able to shout down individual contributions. I think it's the individual contributors who matter. It shouldn't be about who has the biggest bankroll. It's big money - fat cats like George Soros, big pharma, big banks and law firms - that has corrupted our campaign finance. Do we really need to slosh around billions in corporate money to drive our political campaigns? Shouldn't candidates base their election on their appeal to the individual voter?

If Stevens thinks that corporations have the same right to political speech as individuals, then perhaps they should be allowed to vote.

I swear I haven't gone lefty. Maybe I'm on the wrong side of this one, but I just disagree, and I feel pretty strongly about it.

Gee, does that mean that Ge... (Below threshold)

Gee, does that mean that General Electric can now gives its support to Obama?

Yes, and it means they gets... (Below threshold)

Yes, and it means they gets a bigger plate at the table than we do. And if a candidate has a choice between our measly $50.00 contributions and a $1 million contribution from GE, who do you think gets his attention? And when a big bill comes up that favors GE, who will be the first to remind them where their reelection comes from?

You can see why I'm confused by all this.

Bobdog, while I understand ... (Below threshold)

Bobdog, while I understand your point, it's not "real world". IF we had a legislative branch that could write such a law and leave it alone, then yes. IF our Justice department wasn't such a political animal in ensuring enforcement, then yes. IF we had a legislative branch that was less concerned with getting re-elected than with an inviolate constitutional right, then yes.

But all McCain/Feingold did was give rise to exempt "special" groups and Congress' carving out a myriad of other exemptions for all manner of grievances while driving the real influence underground and behind closed doors.

Of course MoveOn.org and a bunch of others are in a tizzy over it. That part of it at least makes me happy.

Following campaign laws are... (Below threshold)
Victory is Mao's:

Following campaign laws are for suckers. George Soros never worries about the law. Big money will always find a way to get the influence no matter what the law says.

You filthy neocons are double dipped all day suckers and that is why you will always be losers.


Uh, people, this decision h... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Uh, people, this decision has nothing to do with campaign donations. It's about a corporation's (whether for or non-profit, the case was filed by a non-profit corporation that produced an anti-Hillary film the FEC prevented from being shown...) ability to speak about political matters directly to the voters.

More political free speech = better.

Oh, and swell, go google "clinton china campaign donations".

Baron Von,If a cor... (Below threshold)

Baron Von,

If a corporation creates an ad that either pushes one candidate or knocks another, it is a contribution to the candidate. The candidate gets ad exposure and the corporation pays for it. It's an in kind donation.

Shorter Wingnuts:H... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Shorter Wingnuts:

Hooray! Obscenely powerful international corporations, with NO loyalty or allegiance to America but only to their next quarterly report, can now OPENLY drown out opposition voices! Yay!

bh "Hooray! Obscenely ... (Below threshold)

bh "Hooray! Obscenely powerful international corporations, with NO loyalty or allegiance to America but only to their next quarterly report, can now OPENLY drown out opposition voices! Yay!

Shorter b henry.

"I got nothin'"... but childish invective.

That aside... every political ad has an agenda, always has and always will. So where's the problem?

Now under this ruling a corporation has the same free speech rights as a PAC.

BEFORE these "evil" corporations just sent their "evil" cash to a PAC, now they can spend it directly for whatever agenda they may or may not support.

This will benifit conserati... (Below threshold)

This will benifit conseratives in the short term but ultimately it will be bad.

Think large meating packing corparations or farming corporations aren't going to be all about illegal immigrant rights? That is a soure of seriously cheap labor.

How about health care? I'm sure the health care industry is going to lobby hard for universal care now. Just as long as you buy it from them of course.

Shoot, I wonder if their are other corporations that might start offering "essential" services? That government regulation could force us to buy.

Not to mention the foreign policy implications along with the fact that unions Which admititly have lost alot of power the last 30 years, will also be able to spend freely on ads. Sometimes with no corporate interest to counter balance them.

So what you say? I'll just stop buying from a company that supports things like illegal immigration. Well not if you are forced to buy their product, not to mention corparations unions etc.. are way to smart to have something linked directly to them.

They will just start and fund a group like Americans for immigrant justice, or Americnas for freedom in the banking industry (lobbying for more bailouts of course.)

Yeah, I really thik this could be bad. I mean, politicans of either party in truth are about survival. They will listen to the money. Not the people.

insane... and none of what ... (Below threshold)

insane... and none of what you listed happens now?

The health care industry spent 100's of millions as did the unions. SEIU if memory serves was one of the largest if not THE largest contributor to obama.

Just how wacky is your comment?

Well in one breath you complain the unions will have free hands to spend money on whatever they choose, yet you claim corporations won't "counter balance them."

Horseshit... this ruling gives them the right to do just that.

I guess I just don't know e... (Below threshold)

I guess I just don't know enough about the specifics of this case. I hold to my original premise that corporate money, PACs and labor unions will outspend individual contributions, and get unfair influence from the elected office holders in return.

Case in point, the favored treatment of labor unions in the Porkulus bill and the proposed Healthcare Up Your Ass bill. Or the undue influence of GE and offshore green manufacturers in the Cap and Trade Bill. GE poured millions into developing both the windfarm technology and the political influence it needed to get the bill passed in the House.

Our president and our legislators, although transparently corrupt, are not stupid. They know who butters their bread. Giving organizations like these the right to lavish money on political campaigns simply makes it easier for them to buy influence.

Maybe I'm still wrong. I see a lot of conservatives disagree with me.

The health care i... (Below threshold)
The health care industry spent 100's of millions as did the unions. SEIU if memory serves was one of the largest if not THE largest contributor to obama.

Just how wacky is your comment?

Well in one breath you complain the unions will have free hands to spend money on whatever they choose, yet you claim corporations won't "counter balance them."

Horseshit... this ruling gives them the right to do just that.

Uhh, No. Unions couldn't spend unlimited amounts of money on campaign ads before. It was against the law. Until now that is.

Now they can. And your failure to understand the point is rather embarrassing. I wasn't saying that corporations couldn't defend themselves against unions with the ruling. I was saying many times they won't get involved.

For instance, if the UAW lobbies for say, I dunno, health care. Why would the meat packing industry work against them on that issue? There is no need because it doesn't impact their bottom line." So basically (on that issue) the unions own the airwaves like never before.

Corporations will only fight on issues that suit them. for instance, if unions decided to lobby for a legislatively a engineered salary raise, then sure corporations will fight it, because that impacts their bottom line. and they will win on that one.

As for whether or not the health care industry spent a 100 million (they didn't) the flood gates have opened for them to spend many times that now. Which is okay if you want a mandate to buy their products as I'm sure you must.

What corporation is going to fight them on this? Whose self interest is it to stop the health care industry from forcing universal coverage on everyone? Think the banking industry cares? The auto industry? Big Pharma? Big Oil? Why would any of them waste their money on that issue?

Basically corporations will look after their own interest. Meat packing a multi-billion dollar industry can work to protect illegal immigrants, for the cheap labor.

Big Oil will work for off shore drilling which is good, but what if they work for protected status against the emerging alternative energy industry? Do we really want China to have a leg up on innovation because the market was regulated to protect an established player, that has more money to spend on "vote for candidate X" ads?

Also Unions, again, they COULD NOT spend unlimited amount on Ads. Now they can. Think that is good?

Think it is good for Republican lawmakers to be beholden to corporate interest? What if Big Pharma decides that Government should subside their research (in the name of the public good of course.) What then? You think Republicans are going to turn down million dollar television ads, for you? Please. All politicans Democrat and Republican have one major goal stay in power. Corporations and Unions, will now have more power than ever in the process.

Not to mention the fact that I don't like the idea of other nations being able to spend ads influencing who AMericans vote for. That is a national security risk.

insane.... "Well in one... (Below threshold)

insane.... "Well in one breath you complain the unions will have free hands to spend money on whatever they choose, yet you claim corporations won't "counter balance them.""

Reading comprehension is not your forte.

To quote you from your original comment "Which admititly [sic] have lost alot of power the last 30 years, will also be able to spend freely on ads. Sometimes with no corporate interest to counter balance them."

To which I responded with: "..... yet you claim corporations won't 'counter balance' them."

As a result of the supremes getting something right, for a change, everyone both unions and corporations can spend freely.

As it should be. As to your immigration example, sorry that will be taken care of as some as obama and the loonbats in congress grant amnesty to them.

Premature schadenfreude on ... (Below threshold)

Premature schadenfreude on the part of conservatives here.

I don't care if the left hates it. That does NOT make it a win for conservatives or America. This is a sloppy ruling, and it gives vague and sweeping new powers to all corporations operating in America, domestic and foreign.

Oh, and unions too. Good times!

Do you all trust China? How about Hugo Chavez or the Saudi Royals? You think they have our best interests at heart? They HATE HATE HATE America. Lenovo, which bought IBM's PC assets in 2004, is partially owned by the Chinese government's Chinese Academy of Sciences. CITGO Petroleum Company, owned by the Venezuelan government-owned Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. can now spend freely to influence our democracy. The Saudi government owns Houston's Saudi Refining Company and half of Motiva Enterprises.

All of those foreign companies are controlled by dicatators hostile to our long term interests and they all have the legal right to spend billions because they are "persons" in the eyes of the law.

And the Dems are already bought and paid for, doing Wall Street's bidding while the GOP is being transformed by the anti-corporate Tea Party movement. Why fund a Republican when Democrats are already in charge and doing the job?

Any single Fortune 500 company could crush the NRA, AARP, ACLU and Tea Party movement's ad buys - combined. There is simply no force on the right or left that can compete with this kind of money.

We will be as powerless as a bug in a jar.

# 23 is right.Big ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

# 23 is right.

Big international corporations have NO incentive to do what is right for America in the long term, only what is best for their next earnings statement.

The people who work for these corporations are free, and should be, to contribute to the party or candidate of their choice. But, despite what a clerk of a Supreme Court justice wrote in a decision a jillion years ago, corporations should not be "persons" with the same rights as an individual.

A big coal company, for example, may support lax pollution laws. The individual employees of that company may realize that lax pollution laws, while padding their bosses' bottom lines, may not be the best thing for the health of their kids and grandkids. They may choose the long view, while the corporation, EVERY TIME, will do what is best for their short-term profit.

Many conservatives here seem to be arguing that, since there is plenty of big-money influence in politics now, putting that big-money influence on steroids is a good thing, or at least no big deal. I disagree.






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