Thursday, March 8, 2012

Update: The USSC, The Money, The Rest of Us



Update Notes: Since this was posted, many people have come to realize that the Citizens United ruling (2010), discussed below, has been the worst ruling the USSC has ever made regarding money in politics. For example, the Democrats have this movement afoot - but the GOPers do not - um... wonder why?

History will prove, I strongly believe that if the ruling is not reversed or if it is to amended drastically, then we are witnessing the last days of our what say we love: our country and our way of life, which would change and be gone forever. The question is: What are you prepared to do to help in that regard?


Original Post (February 15, 2011): Justice Thomas and perhaps Justice Scalia are being challenged on their participation in the Citizens United v. the FEC ruling as stated below. Some say they should have recused themselves due to their link with the billionaire Koch (coke) brothers, who have ultra-strong ultra-conservative views the money behind it to prove it - which is the heart of the 5-4 ruling.

Here is recent coverage of this developing story. Run the videos, please (short clip here) and (here).

The basic story comes from the NY Times (here). This is a big story, or at least it should be. That story is based on an inquiry by Common Cause (seen here). Most Americans feel like the guy the left against those on the right, propped up by those in the middle. So what are the odds against us? I'd have to say 5 to 4. Headline of this story: The first anniversary of Citizens United v. the FEC (5-4) decision: Already Hundreds of Millions in Corporate Money Pouring into Elections.

Update Note: That was then now we have seen the effect by "the Candidate's personal billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Harold Simmons, and a few others).

Highlights: "After the January 2010 decision, many in the media reported that corporations may be skittish about fully exploiting Citizens United political windfall, but that proved premature. Millions of dollars began flooding into existing electioneering like Americans for Prosperity, backed by benefactors like the Koch brothers and North Carolina retail magnate Art Pope. New groups like Karl Rove's American Crossroads and American Crossroads GPS were quickly erected to funnel tens of millions of dollars into key congressional races. Effective or not? Let's take a look.

Four key points from this Public Citizens report [click here].

1. Outside groups are making record expenditures (more than four times as much spent in the 2010 midterm election cycle as in the last midterm election cycle in 2006).

2. Congressional staffs and lawmakers are intimidated by corporate lobbyists like never before.

3. Laws designed to protect the political system from the corrupting influence of money have been rendered dead in 24 states.

4. Power has shifted in dozens of congressional seats in races won with the help of undisclosed outside money. Still there are many those who falsely say, "It's just good access to our government."

Okay, I'm all for access to government, but easy access for whom? Look at it this way: Suppose you contribute the maximum allowed for individuals ($2,400). Then you see where a giant Corporation or some billionaire "donates" $100,000, or more. Then you try to place a call to your Representative or Senator at the same time the giant Corporation or billionaire calls on line two. Who do you think will get their phone call accepted?

Finally, this little tidbit: As Public Citizen notes, the cloak of secrecy surrounding corporate campaign spending goes against the Supreme Court thinking behind Citizens United, which was that massive corporate spending was acceptable as long as the public knew about it, or as Justice Anthony Kennedy in his opinion for the majority writes in part (and was based in part on the assumption that any dangers posed by the new flood of corporate spending in elections would be mitigated by disclosure) this: "This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages."

I have three words about that transparency falsehood: "What a Crock." So, does it matter? Should it matter? Will it matter? 5-4 says nope. But, the USSC is flat out wrong and time will prove me correct, and hopefully you, too.

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