Citizens United and the End of Democracy

Seems like every time I do research for an article I run across people pursuing the same premise. Once again, Annie Leonard delivers. I’ll have a follow up later this week.

Of particular interest in this peice is the call for a Constitutional amendment that would reverse Citizens United. Leonard states:

A constitutional amendment won’t solve all the problems with corporate influence of our democracy, but it is a great place to start. If the Citizens United decision stands unchallenged, elections will be no more than auctions, with political offices available to the highest bidder, and unavailable to those who prioritize public – rather than corporate – interests.

Good Stuff.

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About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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11 Responses to Citizens United and the End of Democracy

  1. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Draft Proposed Personhood Amendment

    Section 1. The fundamental and inherent Rights of the People of the United States, and those Rights enumerated within this Constitution and the Constitutions of the respective States shall be construed to pertain only to natural Persons who are citizens of the United States and those natural Persons living within, or under the jurisdiction of, these states, the recognized Territories and diplomatic areas.

    Section 2. Created corporate and legal entities of whatever sort, their creation and existence being a matter of legislative action for the sole purpose of commercial activity and therefore are not natural People or Persons, shall at all times be subject to all such laws as enacted by Congress, or by the Legislatures of the respective States.

  2. rgbact says:

    Heard yesterday that Obama plans to raise $1Billion for his reelection. No doubt its all coming from impressionable youths on the Internet. No evil corporate money there I’m sure. Well maybe just a bit from Wall Street…..and the unions.

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    @rgbact

    I campaigned hard for Obama in 2008. I’ll be donating again. I’m not all that much of a spring chicken either. If the unions survive this Republican onslaught, I’m sure they’ll graciously donate as well.

  4. drfunguy says:

    @rgbact
    Are you saying that corporations (and unidentified entities, forgeign and not) should be able to donate unlimited amount$?
    For the record I think our lack of regulation of campaign finance is terrifying and will hurt America severely. Other nations (Canada for one) have figured out how to do this and their democracy is strengthened thereby.
    p.s. I’d love to hear more about your direct line to the re-election organization, or is that just hearsay?

  5. drfunguy says:

    @rgbact
    p.p.s. tu quoque is a logical fallacy, got anything on the topic besides snide crap?

  6. Number Seven says:

    Great video. That is like the Schoolhouse Rock of Citizens United.

  7. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    She calls for a Constitutional Amendment to get around Citizens. Here’s one.

    Copy and paste the Draft Amendment and send to your members of Congress.

  8. rgbact says:

    Dr-

    I could list the leading donators showing how corporations are pretty bipartisan in their contributions….while unions give 95% to Democrats.

    Anyway, yes, I actually think there’s too little money in politics. The issues are huge and people have a right to lobby those making laws that affect them. The best way to reduce money in politics is to give politicians less power-which Dems don’t want. This is little like the WI collective bargaining case– I guess we need to take away petitioning rights because politicans can’t be trusted?

  9. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    You “could” list the amount of corporate money that went to candidates in the last election? Then do, please. Don’t forget to include the money that they paid indirectly through the Chamber of Commerce (33M), Americans For Progress, etc.

    In the last election, of the 128 million officially accounted for, 60 percent of the spending on the Republican side was from those “nonpolitical” organizations. Compare that with 27 percent of the 66 million officially accounted for on the Democratic side by the “nonpolitical” organizations (unions in this case).

    Now, all that money didn’t appear out of thin air. And it certainly didn’t come from products and services (other than earmarks, sales of “targeted legislation” and the like)
    by the RNC. And the COC, Club For Growth, etc, don’t produce salable products (other than lobbying).

    So it would appear that you cannot prove what you say.

  10. drfunguy says:

    rgbact-
    “people have a right to lobby ”
    I have no problem with people lobbying.
    Unlimited contributions from corporate (or other non-person) donors is not equivalent to ‘people’ lobbying.

  11. mclever says:

    @drfunguy

    I agree. People lobbying is not the same as corporate contributions.

    I might be willing to abolish union contributions to political causes if we also outlawed all non-individual contributions from PACs, corporations, and any other non-person entities. For that matter, I would certainly be willing to entertain discussions of how to make public financing of campaigns work, especially as a means of reducing the disproportionate influence of the almighty dollar on policy decisions.

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