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Obama calls Citizens United ruling 'a huge blow'

By Michael D. Shear
President Obama on Saturday urged Congress to pass legislation to deal with contributions from special interests and lobbyists in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned bans on corporate giving. 

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama decried the court decision known as "Citizens United," saying that it amounts to "a huge blow to our efforts to rein in this undue influence."

"In short, this decision gives corporations and other special interests the power to spend unlimited amounts of money -- literally millions of dollars -- to affect elections throughout our country," Obama says. "This, in turn, will multiply their influence over decision-making in our government."

The White House has signaled that responding to the court's decision in the case will be a top priority for the year. Obama made clear his displeasure with the ruling during his State of the Union speech, criticizing the decision in front of the justices assembled in the room.

The court abandoned decades of precedent on the subject, giving corporations the protections of average people and opening the door to massive new contributions.

Obama's top aides also believe that the case provides a good vehicle for his political message of Main Street vs. Wall Street during a difficult election year. Since the ruling, the president has cast the decision as a blow to the little guy -- a narrative Democrats hope will blunt losses in the midterm elections this November.

"In the starkest terms, members will know -- when pressured by lobbyists -- that if they dare to oppose that lobbyist's client, they could face an onslaught of negative advertisements in the run up to their next election," Obama said. "And corporations will be allowed to run these ads without ever having to tell voters exactly who is paying for them. At a time when the American people are already being overpowered in Washington by these forces, this will be a new and even more powerful weapon that the special interests will wield."

In his radio address, Obama did not hold back in his criticism of the ruling, saying that it empowers "shadowy campaign committees" and saying that Congress should take up legislation that would force such groups to "reveal who's funding their activities to the American people."

Obama and the administration are seeking bipartisan support for the changes, which he said on Saturday "shouldn't be a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is an issue that goes to whether or not we will have a government that works for ordinary Americans -- a government of, by, and for the people."

But it's unclear whether the Republicans will go along with the changes. Typically, efforts to change contribution laws are viewed through the prism of how the changes might affect each party's chances in the upcoming election.

Currently, there are indications that some of the big corporate giving might be shifting back toward the Republicans in the wake of some of the efforts Obama has made to rein in health-care spending and impose new regulations on the financial services industry.

If that's the case, Republicans might be less inclined to make the changes Obama wants.

By Michael D. Shear  |  May 1, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

The reactionaries saw how Obama won and sought a way to beat him without having to mix with minorities, et al. so they put their court on it.

Posted by: gwcox2 | May 3, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If the SCOTUS says that corporations are people with respect to free speech rights, then the electorate of actual people, should be entitled to know exactly whom is talking to them.

Letting people decide for themselves is democratic. False fronts and fradulent ad sponsorship, is chicanery. We require truth and disclosure in commerce, and will soon in banking. That standard must apply to the election of our leaders as well.

Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | May 2, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I object to the huge influence unions have in this country but that's been going on for many years. Their push for benefits with no limits has bankrupted many companies. Obama needn't worry - corporations will be making big contributions to the Democrats as well as Republicans because they are pragmatic, looking at the bottom line (of influence).

Posted by: Georgetowner1 |
============================================================
Nope can't have millions of teamsters, factory, warehousemen, stevedores, building tradesmen, other tradesmen in unions. Lets give Mexican truckers free rein, pay for their superhighway to put a million teamsters/longshoremen, warehousemen out of work. They're so expensive that at half the private cost of letter mail (50 cents) our P.O. would be profitable. Blame Washington for not raising the price.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 2, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse


Let's not let the Constitution get in the way of someone's beliefs.

Posted by: sgilligan1
=============================================================
Do you mean SCOTUS overturning FL State election law without an overriding Federal one in their Gore 2000 decision?

Posted by: jameschirico | May 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Congress could easily change the tax code for corporations that exceed former limits to be treated under the individual tax code. The jump from the average 12% for big corps to near 20% would not have too many want to buy influence.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 2, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Separation of Money and State

We all know the pilgrims fled to America to escape religious persecution in Europe. The alliance of church and state tyrannized Europe for hundreds of years. It encouraged immigrations to America and the formation of our democracy, separating church and state.

Today a coalition of money and state tyrannizes America. It does it in the form of wars, recessions, depressions, too big to fail, bailouts, political favoritism, and corruption. If unchecked, the alliance of money and state will destroy America by subverting the government, destroying the middle class, and turning America into a third world economy.

The time has come for separation of money and state. This must be addressed as constitutional amendment:

The rights of the people, extended in this constitution shall not be construed or implied to extend to legal military, economic, social, or political entities. Contributions to government campaign financing “of the people, by the people, and for the People” shall be made exclusively by the people, and limited by congress.

There are many fixes, along the way, that will alleviate the suffering caused by coalition of money and state. Term limits help. Public election financing helps. Better campaign finance laws with greater transparency helps. These are fixes and patches to a constitutional issue.

Wars, recessions, scandals, and political drama are diversions. Political capital must be invested in a constitutional amendment to address the money and state alliance destroying our democracy.

Citizen is coach to team democracy. Coach is responsible for success. It’s your call, coach.
http://coach-1640280.newsvine.com/

Posted by: coach-1640280 | May 2, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The precedent for President Obama's attack upon "Citizens United" is Abraham Lincoln's attack upon "Dred Scott," another flagrant overreach by a prejudiced majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. Both Lincoln and Obama immediately saw these deeply flawed and deeply troubling majority opinions as attacks upon the most fundamental values of our country as most eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

The principal error of the "Citizens United" majority is its disregard for corporate political action committees (funded by real citizens)as the proper form for corporate campaign expenditures.

Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney
Columbus, OH

Posted by: Arnebeck | May 2, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's not let the Constitution get in the way of someone's beliefs.

Posted by: sgilligan1 | May 1, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

URGENT TO POTUS & TEAM OBAMA (staff, pls. fwd. via Gibbs, Axelrod, Emanuel, Plouffe, Jarrett, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.:)

How about unconstitutional atrocities? Shed your naivete already. Where's the outrage against covert, high-tech U.S. government torture and impairment of Americans -- going on in EVERY neighborhood in America via a super-weapon system hiding in plain sight? You have left your predecessor's crew in charge, and you wonder why the people are upset? Will you please wake up; they appear to have you entrained!

Read this by a veteran journalist:

'TORTURE TOWERS' ENSLAVE AMERICANS IN MICROWAVE GHETTO

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 1, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

That Obama compromised with the devil, that he took Goldman's money, or whatever, is not the issue. He played by the current rules to get elected. But, are the current rules right? Obama points out they are not. And matters are only getting worse. We have to do what we can to reign in the money. We have to start now to work on the disease of influence peddling while our democracy still has a chance. That's what this is about. Let's start taking the medicine needed, start passing the laws, to reign in the money, the lobbyists and the disease!

Posted by: magnifco1000 | May 1, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. Those nasty corporations should not be allowed to give money. It should just be the unions and the 527's because they give more to the Obama than the others.

The Obama = hypocrite.

Posted by: bandmom22 | May 1, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Obamas point of view is interesting but flawed. He doesn't like the outcome of the Citizens United case because it gives undue influence to people and groups with money and power as opposed to the rest of us without it. However, when the rest of us are angry because we have to support and maintain the power elite, ie., the corporate oligopolies, the so called regulated monopolies, big companies with exclusive patents and privilages that an army of lawyers like Obama set in motion, and then Obama takes aim "at the angry rhetoric of those who denigrate government as inherently bad"(AP)as he did in Ann Arbor. He also says we're a democracy and the government is us. ? Correction. We're a republic, ruled by a 2 party monopoly that is committed to big centralized government for the benefit of those with money and influence against the the interests of rest of us. If we were a democracy, we'ld be able to get ballot referendums on existing laws changed easily but our lawyer friends don't want to make it easy for anyone, in MD it takes nearly 54,000 signatures (plus another 20-30%) to attempt to change a bad law not to mention all the restrictions and the Board of Elections may throw the inititive out anyhow if it doesn't fit the established thinking of the 2 party monopoly. In the courts, democracy is non existent. Lawyer-judges make serious money wrecking havoc on the lives of the general public but require them to serve on a jury for $15 a day and tow the 2 party line. In the appelate courts and definitely the Supreme Court there is no room for interpretation, for example, Sonia Sotomeyer and her confirmation process, these lawyer-judges must follow the dictates of the two-party monopoly to the letter. The truth is the general public needs to direct their anger at the polticians who sell us out every day without blinking because these politicians are traitors and criminals in every sense of the word. The public needs to act up and raise the heat level significantly, the politicians and their lawyer friends need to be assaulted by a barrage of rational arguments, point by point that they can't escape and it has to be repeated in every form of media and at anyone who wants to weaken our liberties. If the politicians don't like the heat, they can get the hell out of the kitchen and get a real job!

Posted by: csoos | May 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Goldman Sach gave OBAMA $994,000 in the last election! Seven dems got money and 2 Republicans from Goldman. Obama got all king of corporate money in 2008. He just does not want anyone else to have any!! Anyway, this supreme court ruling was about films. I pray the Supreme Court will look out for the American people until we have a President and congress that will uphold their oath of office and protect the Constitution and the American people. It is a fact that the current administration is not up to its oath.

Posted by: annnort | May 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

charlietuna666:
"OBAMA CAUGHT CHEATING ON MICHELLE

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/obama_cheating_scandal_vera_baker_video_/celebrity/68589"

Ah yes, that bastion of journalistic integrity, the National Enquirer.

===========================================

Yes, the National Enquirer caught John Edwards with Rielle Hunter when all other news agencies ignored the story. I trust the National Enquirer more than any of the liberal liar newspapers. Obama will try to hide this but this might just ruin his already downlow mack daddy presidency.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | May 1, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

When Obama was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, did he not once teach the Supreme Court's decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad-1886? Corporations were established as having the rights of persons by a unanimous vote way back then! Oh- BTW- it was a Democratic Court!

Posted by: HDVet | May 1, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"a huge blow to our efforts to rein in this undue influence."

___________________

This comment is simply unbelievable from someone whose campaign allowed unanymous contributions, no id check credit cards and no controls against foreign contributions by blocking the ID card checking functionality setting on their Internet site.

I would guess they know the tricks and now want to stop others from using the ones they did!

Posted by: sally62 | May 1, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

And yet fools are still permitted to post venom anonymously in our newspapers?

Posted by: clairevb | May 1, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

charlietuna666:
"OBAMA CAUGHT CHEATING ON MICHELLE

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/obama_cheating_scandal_vera_baker_video_/celebrity/68589"

Ah yes, that bastion of journalistic integrity, the National Enquirer.

Posted by: presto668 | May 1, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Who does he think he's fooling? Corporations are ALREADY running the country, and Obama eagerly enables them.

That's why we get such toothless watered down health care and financial "reform."

He should have talked about the GULF COAST.

Posted by: solsticebelle | May 1, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse


The republicans certainly make some interesting arguments in their comments: "It's the unions' fault", "Obama's a socialist", "Obama cheats on Michelle", and so on.

Of course, it would take this level of insight to support such a ludicrous decision.

Posted by: dougd1 | May 1, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama said. "And corporations will be allowed to run these ads without ever having to tell voters exactly who is paying for them"
-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Another document barry apparently didn't have time to read (too busy campaigning).
As I read it the corporations ads MUSY give the identity of the donor.
All this rancor from a guy that spent $750M to get elected after he reneged on his promise to McCain he would use only oublic funds!!!
Really, people pay attention!!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | May 1, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

horace1 wrote: "Here's the big blow Dear Leader really had on his mind:

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/obama_cheating_scandal_vera_baker_video_/celebrity/68589

.
.
.
Wonderful bit of research, dude. I believe everything the National Enquirer posts. I know..I know....Men in Black used them to track the activities of aliens. So maybe it is actually a reliable source for repubicans.

Posted by: swatkins1 | May 1, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

If the corporations now have the same privileges as a person, then they should bear the same responsibilities.

When a corporation does something illegal, the people running that corporation should be put in prison. No more token fines.

If they want equal representation as a person, they must pay the price of citizenship.

Posted by: barferio | May 1, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Equating corporate money with union money is like comparing a Red Yder BB gun to an Aegis destroyer. Big Oil alone has more political money to throw around then all the unions in the US combined.

Posted by: John1263 | May 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A serious blow to democracy. Democrats and republicons alike should be screaming mad about this blatant judicial activism! -- What's that ? NOTHING from the conservative party who think that corporations should be able to buy them their offices???? Surprise surprise nfrom the party of hypocrisy.

Posted by: John1263 | May 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's a good example of corporate influence gone bad that might give a few conservatives pause:

The oil slick in the gulf continues to grow because the well does not have a remotely controlled mechanism for capping it... Why? The U.S., unlike other oil producing countries like Norway and even Brazil doesn't require one. Why? For one thing, BP, the oil company involved (the same one involving a major refinery explosion in Texas, and pipeline leaks in Alaska), has lobbied persistently against legislation for increased safety standards.

Corporate lobbying power is already tremendous, and the focus is often on their own special financial interests, not the public welfare. So consider how much worse it could get if they were pouring money into not only lobbying elected officials but getting the ones they like elected in the first place?

Don't be naive, corporations may not be inherently evil, but they are going to be pushing elections based on the same short term profit making strategies that led to the financial crisis we're still climbing out of.

Think about that oil spill and the money spent on avoiding safety regulations that might have mitigated it, and ask yourself if big corporations need any larger voice in government than they already have.

Posted by: MontaraCA | May 1, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's the big blow Dear Leader really had on his mind:

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/obama_cheating_scandal_vera_baker_video_/celebrity/68589

(at least this time it's a girl)

Posted by: horace1 | May 1, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is doing well, hope he'll steer America to great heights.

Posted by: shahjahanbhatti1 | May 1, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are salivating over the money they're about to rake in from Wall Street as a reward for blocking financial reform.

Posted by: Bud0 | May 1, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The point I'm making is that special interest money that controls government is wrong. One side's money is no better or less tainted than any other side's money. Corporations or unions, it's all BAD!

The real solution is to amend federal law that gives the same rights to organizations as are granted to human beings. Change that, and we Americans can get this under control.

Posted by: tmkelley | May 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama is turning into a whiner. Corporations are often intensely regulated by governments, and yet liberals want to deprive them of the right to influence those who regulate them. It's clearly not a fair process. Regulation is often political in nature, that is it reflects the ideological biases of those in power, so if an entity is being regulated, it should have the opportunity to respond politically also. Fair's fair.

The opposing argument, Obama's argument, is saying that candidates are too inept to point out to their voters that they are being unfairly attacked by a large business organization and the voters are too stupid to recognize unfair and economically motivated attacks when they see them. While it is true the voters are not always well informed, it's the candidates job to inform them.

Furthermore, the candidate always has the ability to get funding from organizations who might be in competition with or opposition to the corporation that is attacking them.

And then there is the small matter of the First Amendment, which was clearly and brazenly violated in McCain-Feingold: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances."

Posted by: theduke89 | May 1, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Remember when Scott Brown was elected he told everyone that just because he was GOP, didn't mean that he would vote party line. The same with the Prez, just because he took money from cooperations didn't mean that he felt beholden to them. And he has shown he is not. Which is why they are racing to donate to the GOP, cause in their eyes, Obama let them down, supporting instead the voters who sent him $20. The GOP just can't seem to help themselves, they end up on the wrong end of the stick of public opinion everytime they choose cooperations over citizens.

Posted by: katem1 | May 1, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting to read the many comments here regarding the supposed strength of organized labor and their ability to influence policy. Are the critics aware that less than 20% of the labor force is unionized ? What about the other 80% ? While it is true that organized labor spends alot of money to influence elections, so do corporations, and they have multiple ways of doing it. In addition to the individual company donating money, they can donate through various organizations such as the US Chamber of Commerce or National Federation of Independent Business. The ability of corporate money to influence elections, especially at the local level, far out weighs the ability of labor or the concerned individual to do so.

Posted by: grasonvilleed | May 1, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Ironic that Obama wants to limit campaign finance. He has been using taxpayer dollars to buy support for his policies on an unprecedented scale. He has been using our tax dollars to go all over the country to campaign for Democrats. What is the fundamental difference here? I don't want lobbyists to control the Fed, but I also don't want the Fed to spend my hard earned money to support people and policies that I would rather die than spend a penny in support of. That's IRONY!

Posted by: TwoDog1 | May 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The president is right. The least these big corporations should have to do when they take money which has come from us (huge insurance premiums, high drug or oil prices, or whatever) is to put their names on what they do.

No more hiding behind the Chamber of Commerce or innocuously named organizations. Let the companies tell us that this Goldman Sachs or whoever advertising against derivative regulation or whatever. Let the sun shine on this kind of advertising.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | May 1, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

tmkelley at 10:41 am has it right. The problem in California is not corporations, its public sector employee unions who are bankrupting the state. They are free to spend millions to influence voters to spend billions to their advantage. Their pensions are extravagant and their work habits are generally woefully inferior to those of private sector employees.
I went into get a permit to build a simple pool and spa in a county in Southern California and have spent six hours so far, and still not been able to pull the permit. Ive been there two days in a row and I have to drive an hour each way to get there. I am a contractor who had similar problems getting my house built six years ago, not for the building plans but for the grading permit, which held me up for six months. I thought it would be different this time, given the simple nature of the project. Rather than deal with one person, I've had to speak to six and pay $100 for an environmental health review before I even know what the total cost for the permit will be. The demands for extra documentation are almost entirely superfluous to my project, but they keep mounting. Much of what they are demanding in the way of documentation was provided in my 18 pages of original stamped house plans that I had drawn and were reviewed by an engineer, a soils engineer and a energy consultant. And although I had the plans with me, they are forcing me to go through much of it again.

It was obviously a situation designed to make work for six employees when one working for one hour would have easily sufficed.

Beware people. The public sector unions are taking over the country and will squeeze you to death any way that they can.

Posted by: theduke89 | May 1, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

>>>>>Obama and the administration are seeking bipartisan support for the changes, which he said on Saturday "shouldn't be a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is an issue that goes to whether or not we will have a government that works for ordinary Americans -- a government of, by, and for the people."

Thank you Pres. Obama and Democrats!
However, don't look for any RepubliCONs to support the legislation.
Since Bush & Republicans passed 2 tax cuts for Billionaires with LESS than 60 votes - Democrats should do the same with this legislation!

Posted by: angie12106 | May 1, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, if you want to see the effects of too much special interest money controlling a government, look no further than the state of California. Our government is completely in the hands of the public employees unions. Our legislature is their poodle, and the poodle obeys every command the unions make. We are now on the hook for $500,000,000,000 in unfunded public employee pensions authorized by the legislature and local governments. That's half a TRILLION dollars, folks, and there are only about 35 million citizens here. Do the math!

Posted by: tmkelley | May 1, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Obama only wants well-organized PACs to be able to exercise their free speech rights on his behalf, like moveon.org and similar organizations. At least now unions will also have to fully disclose who is paying for attack ads against Republicans.

Posted by: SavingGrace | May 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Repugnicans spend a good part of their time demonizing "activist" liberal judges when as usual this is the very crime of right wing judges across the country, starting w/ the SCOTUS. Hypocrites of the first order!

Also, all you bashers of the president can go crawl back under the rock that G. Bush went back under.

Posted by: atroncale1 | May 1, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

This decision is a major blow to the unbridled and unlimited power and influence of Unions in political policy debates...After all, unions spend their members dues as they see fit, and do not dip into a portion of corporate earnings to gain access to politicians to make their case of speak to public opinion. Union power must not be weakened under the current administration... SEIU thugs and AFL-CIO $$$ are the power behind the throne, and we cannot permit the anointed one to face criticism or opposing voices.
We don't want union officials to conclude that they must (once again) pick up bats and throw punches to get their points across and make the rest of us understand the fine distinction between power and cower, and help us realize that both can coexist when the bosses give the orders.

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | May 1, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps it is not surprising that a professional politician like the President wants to try to maintain a monopoly on his business. But the concept that there is some overwhelming virtue in restricting organized political activities to professional political parties is highly suspect. So is the concept that there will be major consequences to allowing some expansion to the activities allowed to other organizations like commercial corporations or labor unions. In the end, all of these groups are just collections of people who share some interests in common. As long as we manage to preserve the concepts of free speech and free enterprise, there will continue to be ways for these groups to promote their political interests.

Posted by: dnjake | May 1, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey everybody, have you forgotten how obama won the presidency. He spent 750 Million dollars to McCain's 150 million. Where did that money come from?...corporations, unions. Are these the little people?

Posted by: rvallone24 | May 1, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

THE HUGE BLOW IS TO OBAMA'S CONTROL OF ALL MEDIA EXCEPT ONE FOX NEWS.
CLETA MITCHELL

Partner at Foley & Lardner who works in campaign finance law; filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Citizens United, on behalf of two advocacy organizations opposing the ban on corporate expenditures

The Supreme Court has correctly eliminated a constitutionally flawed system that allowed media corporations (e.g., The Washington Post Co.) to freely disseminate their opinions about candidates using corporate treasury funds, while denying that constitutional privilege to Susie's Flower Shop Inc.

New Populist in Chief Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are howling, pledging hearings and legislation to reverse the court's decision. But don't look for Coca-Cola television ads endorsing or opposing candidates. That isn't the way business works, thinks or acts.

The real victims of the corporate expenditure ban have been nonprofit advocacy organizations across the political spectrum. After the 2004 election, the Sierra Club paid a $28,000 fine to the Federal Election Commission for distributing pamphlets in Florida contrasting the environmental records of the two presidential and U.S. Senate candidates. Because the Sierra Club is a corporation, the FEC charged it with making an illegal corporate expenditure.

What businesses, large and small, should do is spend time and money educating their employees, vendors and customers about candidates and officeholders whose philosophies and voting records would destroy or permanently damage America's free enterprise system.

Why are Democrats afraid of that voice?

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | May 1, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I object to the huge influence unions have in this country but that's been going on for many years. Their push for benefits with no limits has bankrupted many companies. Obama needn't worry - corporations will be making big contributions to the Democrats as well as Republicans because they are pragmatic, looking at the bottom line (of influence).

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | May 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I object to the huge influence unions have in this country but that's been going on for many years. Their push for benefits with no limits has bankrupted many companies. Obama needn't worry - corporations will be making big contributions to the Democrats as well as Republicans because they are pragmatic, looking at the bottom line (of influence).

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | May 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I object to the huge influence unions have in this country but that's been going on for many years. Their push for benefits with no limits has bankrupted many companies. Obama needn't worry - corporations will be making big contributions to the Democrats as well as Republicans because they are pragmatic, looking at the bottom line (of influence).

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | May 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The issue was not weather corporations are people for the purpose of free speech. That has always been the case. The issue was giving corporations equal rights to freedom of speech. The MSM is in the tank for Obama and he fears that more corporations without media will attack his socialist, stupid and even treasonous policies (he now wants to tell Iran and Russia how many nukes we have.)

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | May 1, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Obama must have flunked Constitutional law. His records are sealed so we will never know. The decision he pans actually supports free speech for ALL CORPORATIONS instead of limiting it to corporations that own media.
His attacks on the Justices during the State of the Union was classless, tasteless and an attack on the Separation of Powers. Obama was wrong on the D.C. Gun case, the partial birth abortion case and this case as well. Justice Stevens wrote the decision:
Justice Stevens and the three guaranteed liberals together with the swing vote upheld the taking of un-blighted homes from a widow and other long time homeowners, to give to Pfizer corporation to build a mall. (P.S. the mall property sat fallow for years thereafter)
WSJ: "The Supreme Court's 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London stands as one of the worst in recent years, handing local governments carte blanche to seize private property in the name of economic development. Now, four years after that decision gave Susette Kelo's land to private developers for a project including a hotel and offices intended to enhance Pfizer Inc.'s nearby corporate facility, the pharmaceutical giant has announced it will close its research and development headquarters in New London, Connecticut.

The aftermath of Kelo is the latest example of the futility of using eminent domain as corporate welfare. While Ms. Kelo and her neighbors lost their homes, the city and the state spent some $78 million to bulldoze private property for high-end condos and other "desirable" elements. Instead, the wrecked and condemned neighborhood still stands vacant, without any of the touted tax benefits or job creation.

That's especially galling because the five Supreme Court Justices cited the development plan as a major factor in rationalizing their Kelo decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy called the plan "comprehensive," while Justice John Paul Stevens insisted that "The city has carefully formulated a development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including, but not limited to, new jobs and increased tax revenue." So much for that.

Kelo's silver lining has been that it transformed eminent domain from an arcane government power into a major concern of voters who suddenly wonder if their own homes are at risk. According to the Institute for Justice, which represented Susette Kelo, 43 states have since passed laws that place limits and safeguards on eminent domain, giving property owners greater security in their homes. State courts have also held local development projects to a higher standard than what prevailed against the condemned neighborhood in New London.

If there is a lesson from Connecticut's misfortune, it is that economic development that relies on the strong arm of government will never be the kind to create sustainable growth."

The four conservatives voted in favor of the little folks, the homeowners. So much for the myth that Conservatives favor big companies.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | May 1, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This decision by the Supreme Court was a horrible blow to us and our country. To argue that corporations are the same as people donating to campaigns is ridiculous and leaves one wondering about the competence of those supposing to be above corporate influences.
This decision needs to be overturned.

Posted by: kathlenec | May 1, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

More whiniong from the incompetent POS in the White House.
All he wants is for his lapdog media folks to have their say, not the people.
What a disgrace.

Posted by: LarryG62 | May 1, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Yep, it should be obvious to all of us that GE or GM should never be allowed an opportunity to make their opinions known to our legislators. The only corporations who should be allowed that privilege are the NYTimes, NBC, CBS, ABC, and the Washington Post, etc.
They are safely Liberal.

Posted by: kesac | May 1, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Thank God we have a president who can complete a sentence, has a moral compass and is clear that the great danger to our democracy is not foreign, but domestic: the greedy thugs of Wall Street who influence and buy politicians and the GOP that works hand in glove with those thugs. Were they common persons on the street, they would have been incarcerated months ago. Give 'em hell, Mr. President!

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | May 1, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

How about just solving the problem by term limits.
Cut out the horribly broken never ending reelection campaign and you will be one step closer to having a real democracy in this country.

Posted by: scon101 | May 1, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: charlietuna666 | May 1, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

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