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Will the Supreme Court Allow Corporations to Buy Elections?

September 24, 2009

Mark on The Leslie Marshall Show discusses the pending case of Citizens United v. FEC before the United States Supreme Court. Congress has banned corporate contributions to Congressional campaigns since 1906, but if the Supreme Court holds that corporations have the same rights as individual American citizens to “free speech,” this will allow the floodgates to open.
Think about it. Barack Obama raised more money than any political candidate in American history:  more than $750 million from more than 1 million Americans. John McCain raised almost as much.  All political parties combined raised about $1.5 billion for American Presidential candidates.
But Exxon’s profit last year was $42 billion.  That means if Exxon would devote a paltry 5% of its profits (not its revenues, just its profits) to a Presidential candidate–a total of 2.1 billion– this one corporation could influence American elections 40% more than the grand total of every single American contributing to every single Presidential candidate and still keep 95% of its profits.
This may be what the five-member right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court vote for soon.
Allowing the single CEO of a single corporation, a “legal fiction,” to play with other people’s (his shareholders’) money and use that power to trump all 300 million Americans combined would be devastating to American democracy.
Thought Bush v. Gore was bad?  Now, in one obscure case, the Supreme Court will determine not just one President, but all future federal elections for all time.  Yikes!  And the CEO of Exxon will simply get the only vote that matters.
Might as well as pack up those voting booths….we won’t be needing them anymore.

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  • Roibt October 1, 2009 4:19 am

    I understand Chief Justice Roberts signaled to hear this Campaign Finance case which was recieved loud and clear. Answered back in record speed with the filing of the case. Of course this wouldn’t be Judicial activism.
    Can you tell me how this case was brought up so fast? Do they not have a scheduled case load?
    Can you define the standing to hear this case?
    Do you think if I wanted to bring a case of Jury Duty dodging by corporations. Do you think I could get heard?
    Because I have never heard or seen a corporation get summoned to Jury Duty, have you?
    You don’t want to take a stab at how the court would restrict foriegn money from these multi national corporations?
    Personally I do not see Justice Stevens or any of the liberal leaning Justices convincing any of the conservative leaning Justices out of their quest to go back on their vow of their nominations over stare decisis.
    Should such a SCOTUS decision be made that impacts our nation so greatly on a 5-4 dicision?
    What of the past laws when copororate money into campaigns was illegal?
    What of that law that was established only to be torn down?
    Why would the SCOTUS choose to hear and rule this NOW? Because they are the last conservative bastion majority in Gov’t?
    Man O man do I have so many Questions?
    I have to tell you Americans do not hear much of this at all in the TV media wht so ever.
    Sometime I have to talk with you about a trend since the Reagan years to concentrate money into a few Godly hands in this country.
    This must be worse than I considered if you are not able to talk me down?

  • Mark Levine September 30, 2009 4:59 pm

    I wish I could talk you down, Robert. The only thing we can all hope and pray for is that the 5-4 court issues a very narrow ruling. Otherwise I see nothing to stop President Exxon.

  • Roibt September 30, 2009 2:38 am

    Mark, This has been an issue that concerns me very much. The SCOTUS’s final on this could be anothr 5-4 decision that would gravely impact all Americans negatively.
    *How do you think the SCOTUS would come to terms with multi-national corporations that uses money it reaps in from outside the United States?
    -How does Toyota (a Japanese company) that has a manufacturing plant in the United States fit in?
    -Will the SCOTUS consider how we will seperate foriegn money filtered through corporations into American elections or does it make any difference to the SCOTUS?
    -As we have been witnessing from the right wing, this country is having problems with the first Afrocan/American President. Are Americans truly ready for President Ken Lay or President Exxon/Mobil, President AIG?
    This alarms me almost to the point of becoming a SCOTUS hating protester. Sort of like an angry smelly sock party that rivals the Tea Baggers.
    Mark !
    Talk me down or talk me into putting dowmn my weapons andcoming out peacefully.
    Did we sell control of our SCOTUS to Saudi and China to cover our debts with them?