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Supreme Court overturns corporate campaign spending ban

It's hard to overestimate the impact that the Supreme Court's reversal of a two-decade-old ban on corporate independent expenditures in campaigns will have on the political landscape in 2010 and beyond.

The ruling, long anticipated and issued this morning, will allow corporations as well as labor unions to spend freely on television ads -- and other forms of direct advocacy -- for or against a candidate's election. The Court also overturned a prohibition on corporations and labor unions running so-called "issue" ads -- commercials that do not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate -- in the final weeks of a campaign.

"This is a sweeping decision, period," said Marc Elias, a Democratic election lawyer. "In one opinion the Court struck down all limits on independent expenditures directly from corporations."

Jason Torchinsky, a Republican election lawyer, predicted that the Court's ruling will "unleash millions of dollars in independent expenditures from corporations, non-profits and unions in federal and state races" although he cautioned that due to the complexity of campaign finance law and of the ruling itself there is still some questions about the
"practical impact" of the decision.

The political fallout from this decision has only just begun. You can -- and should -- track reaction to the ruling as it comes in, read more about the origins of the case and check out what it all means.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 21, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  House , Senate  
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Comments

If a presidential candidate can raise over $600,000,000 in one election year with campaign limits in place, imagine how much could be raised by any campaign with no limits in place!

The only winners in this decision may be the big advertising companies, which are already takeing over television anyway. (I frequently count 12 to 15 ads during program ad breaks.) The current advertisers will now have to compete with the political ads for time.

In the end, hardly anyone wins from this decision except the big, powerful corporations; certainly not the majority of the candidates, nor the American people, nor the media who loose viewership/readership, because of the huge influx of political ads.

This is a wrong decision for America.

Posted by: kb40 | January 25, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

But let's remember that though corporations can now spend money for campaigns, it's still YOU and I that get to make the decisions. Critical thinking about *every* ad, no matter who paid for it, is still a necessary thing for our nation to work.

Posted by: ecoliguy | January 22, 2010 5:53 PM

---------------

I get that, and you're 100% right. In an ideal world, there'd be no arguing with you, but the reality is that this isn't how things will play out. Advertising works. That's why millions of people buy pet rocks and Tickle-Me-Elmo and why we have cola wars and sham-wow. The reason all of this stuff exists is because if you put enough effort into making it sound great, then enough people will buy it.

So, should people look past the wave of professional marketing productions that are coming their way and see the world the way it really is? Absolutely, they should. But they're not going to, because advertising works, and the people corporations will be hiring to run their political ad campaigns are going to be exceptionally good. In fact, they'll be the very best money can buy.

Posted by: ponkey | January 22, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I hear what you're all saying...corporations aren't people, and therefore shouldn't have the rights of people.

But let's remember that though corporations can now spend money for campaigns, it's still YOU and I that get to make the decisions. Critical thinking about *every* ad, no matter who paid for it, is still a necessary thing for our nation to work.

Posted by: ecoliguy | January 22, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

37th: corporate personhood wasn't created with this decision, it was just extended. Grotesquely, and contrary to the spirit if free speech.

If corporations want to be persons then let them have it all. Including the death penalty fir capital crimes. And since there's no statute of limitations for murder, I'd say things'd be a lot better around here lickety split.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Elji and Chief Justice Roberts:


Today's decision is sort of like an android gaining sentience ---

ONLY THIS ISN'T STAR TREK.


A corporation is not a person - it's a piece of paper -


This decision is complete insanity.

Sort of like a Presidential candidate stealing a diaper from a baby........

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 22, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Elji | January 21, 2010 11:47 PM :

I love your 14th Amendment vision of corporations becoming equal, meaning equal.
But what will our right wing partisans think of such unequal treatment for corporations, which by definition, are unequal and superior?
Very cool comment, indeed!

Posted by: enough3 | January 22, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Reference: Supreme Court Decision

As I understand the ruling it is based on making corporations in a sense a citizen with the same First Amendment Rights? Seems to me if that is the case then it’s time to:

1. Repeal all the corporate tax laws, with this right as a “corporate citizen” then they should pay under the same tax payer bracket as me the average citizen. Single payer and the same deductions and limits.

2. NO corporate legal exemptions they are now only covered under the same basic principles of law I live with as a First Amendment free speech citizen.

3. In a nut shell they want to be a free speaking US corporate citizen then they lose the “corporate” tax, legal and other things they get that I don’t.

4. Then break them up, no exempt monopolies, no "to big to fail" make them so small they can't spend billions on buying a politician, leveling the playing field.

See if that makes them happy with the new decision to become a “tax paying, law abiding citizen”

This is really scary stuff and those in power right now are the first and the next to last defense after this election cycle.

Posted by: Elji | January 21, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

A landmark decision -- and you can take that to the bank.

Of course, now you'll have to ....

See:


http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/freedom-of-speech-2010/

Posted by: MikeLicht | January 21, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

It was bowling night. The alley is supposed to have wireless, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Judicial activism seems to have become code for court decisions that folks don't like. I do think that Justice Roberts was dishonest in his avowed respect of precedent. Stare decisis was the word(s) of the day. Um, yeah.

Down to about 10% on the battery, so must sign off. That and I want to catch Conan's penultimate night. I'm not much of a late night TV guy (usually catch a few cooking shows), but it has been compelling and Conan's been razor sharp.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 21, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS


Obama never got Ben Bernanke confirmed to his re-appointment to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve.


Another case of Obama mis-management.


In the current environment, looks like Obama will not be able to confirm Bernanke - and his term ONLY HAS 10 DAYS LEFT TO GO.


Obama really made a critical error by not concentrating on the economy last year.


Other things apparently have gone mis-managed as well.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Suzy


You are right about broad____joe

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

broad_____joe


bring your voodoo to Haiti

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@ "3_":

"The way you walked was thorny, through no fault of your own. But as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Your suffering is over. Now you will find peace for eternity."

Had to give it another try, 3__. Malis, where are you?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

enough3 (and FairlingtonBlade. if you are still around):

I read your posts about judicial activism. Here's where JUDICIAL ACTIVISM is wrong: Justice Stevens, in his dissent, knows what's "right" not based on what the law actually says, but what he thinks people want the law to be. For instance, he writes that "few people" outside the five Justices voting for this opinion think that democracy needs more corporate money in political arena. How could he possibly KNOW that? More importantly, why does HE get to decide this is true?! If we put it to a vote in this country, it would certainly be more than five people (count me, at least, as the sixth ; )

It also depends completely on what you consider as "precedent" (pre- or post-Austin line of cases?). Bottom line, is it "judicial activism" or simply returning to the status quo ante (just line overturning Roe v. Wade would be)?

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Lakers up 1 over the Cavs at the half. Gotta go.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I apologize to the American people for not pushing back enough against the fake controversies, false narratives, and cherry picked non-compliant polls used by this space to generate support for a marginal, teabag-endorsed GOP candidate who would have lost by 15 under normal circumstances. We did let you down, America.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 8:55 PM


You can't fool me, broadwayjoe. You copied that right out of an Obama speech, didn't you?

Posted by: SuzyCcup | January 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

marrobcastle:

Prior to the Austin decision, corporations HAD political free speech rights. This decision simply rights that wrong (did you know that Dred Scott has never been overturned by the Court too?). Tell me how you could disagree with this, from the majority opinion:

"The First Amendment protects more than just the individual on a soapbox and the lonely pamphleteer ... [b]ecause speech is an essential mechanism of democracy -- it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people -- political speech must prevail against any laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence."

I also loved reading the Stevens dissent / rant (rumor is he writes all of his own opinions longhand, so I can just imagine the spit-riddled legal pad pages). Not sure if anyone else got that far, but it was funny how pissed he got at corporations.

Zingers from Scalia's concurring opinion:

"The dissent attempts this demonstration, however, in splendid isolation from the text of the First Amendment. It never shows why “the freedom of speech” that was the right of Englishmen did not include the freedom to speak in association with other individuals, including association in the corporate form. To be sure, in 1791 (as now) corporations could pursue only the objectives set forth in their charters; but the dissent provides no evidence that their speech in the pursuit of those objectives could be censored."

"... it is surely fanciful to think that a consensus of hostility towards corporations was transformed into general favor at some magical moment between 1791 and 1796."

"The dissent says that ‘speech’ refers to oral communications of human beings, and since corporations are not human beings they cannot speak. Post, at 37, n. 55. This is sophistry. The authorized spokesman of a corporation is a human being, who speaks on behalf ofthe human beings who have formed that association—just as the spokesman of an unincorporated association speaks on behalf of itsmembers. The power to publish thoughts, no less than the power to speak thoughts, belongs only to human beings, but the dissent sees no problem with a corporation’s enjoying the freedom of the press."

You don't think that the Washington Post Company should be censored just because it is not a human being, do you?

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse


broad____joe


Please apologize to the American people


and Rasmussen.


Not Rasputin, Rasmussen.

.

Posted by: 3_thand0street | January 21, 2010 8:34 PM
_______

Okay, I will.

I apologize to the American people for not pushing back enough against the fake controversies, false narratives, and cherry picked non-compliant polls used by this space to generate support for a marginal, teabag-endorsed GOP candidate who would have lost by 15 under normal circumstances. We did let you down, America.

34, 35, 36, __, 38, 39... :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC

All hail to the United Corporations of America and its CEO, Rupert Murdoch. The Supreme Court's decision has given corporate America the right and power to impress its will on all Americans. Corporations have replaced the People; fascism has replaced Democracy. Our government will be little more than a front used by corporate America to make the rich richer, to wipe out the middle class,and to make the poor poorer

Posted by: marrobcastle | January 21, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

With you?

No. Nobody.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 21, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone want to discuss the Supreme Court case and rationale behind the First Amendment?

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

If the government can tax, regulate (and destroy) a company, why shouldn't that company be able to have a say in the officials who will be part of that government.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | January 21, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Wrong again, Jake, and as always.

The word you're groping for is "theonomy.". That's what you yearn for.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 21, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

broad____joe


Please apologize to the American people

and Rasmussen.

Not Rasputin, Rasmussen.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

win1:

Our host, Chris Cillizza, has asked that we ignore "noacoler". Thanks for your cooperation.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 5:41 PM
_______

Hey, it's "our GRACIOUS host." BTW, how are Beave, Wally, and Lumpy?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I meant "theocracy" ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Funny how many leap to defend the powerful and dismiss the powerless. Never understood the Stockholm thing but there's no disputing it's reality.

This is what you guys wanted, I guess. A free market Scheisseloche.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 21, 2010 5:11 PM
___________

These mentals direct all their anger towards "those people" who have no impact on their lives, yet cheerlead for CEOs skimming the cream off, making more in one day than the average wage earner makes in a year. And they have been brainwashed by Drudge/Fix/Rush World to believe this huge wealth/income discrepancy is based on hard work, Darwinism, meritoracy, and "market forces." Gotta admit it's an art to use fake issues like flagpins, fistbumps, Reverend Wright, and, most recently, Curt Schilling to convince Yahoos to vote directly against their personal interests in these elections. Bizarro World. Up are down. :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

enough3:

Luckily, for you and me, the United States in not a theology.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

What the article doesn't say is that the decision overturned decades of court precedent. The shocking sweep of this decision was NOT expected. See Stevens' dissent. And it was done by the five justices who always preach against judicial activism. This is the final stage in the takeover by the military industrial establishment Eisenhower warned about. This is a revolutionary development more important than knowing who Curt Schilling is or Tiger Woods' ho stesses.
Unless Feingold, et al. can come up with something to counter this, real democracy has ended.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama says he "did not spend enough time last year speaking to the American people about what their values are."


WHAT ???


Did Obama really say that? Like he is supposed to be telling us what our values are ???

Obama is completely confused.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

If you took the money out of politics.... you wouldn't have politics.
Ask George Soros.

Posted by: SuzyCcup | January 21, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

armpeg:
I haven't heard anything about Ackerman, so thanks for publicizing it. I hope to learn more.
FYI, the Zises are famous for their deeply dubious financial machinations with companies, deals and securities. You may want to look into a famous 1980s stock and public company called Integrated Resources where the Zises made a huge bundle and the shareholders ... well, you know the rest. IRE was the symbol and it doesn't trade anymore...

Now to your insults, belligerence and continual shoveling of poorly argued and partisan drivel. Of course Duke Cunningham lied and went to jail - he should have been sent up for more time for all his dereliction and corruption. The list goes on - Jack Abramoff, Scooter Libby, etc. etc. As for the Dems, sure there are creeps like Murtha, Rangel, and what's his name from Ohio that is in prison.

Corruption shows no partisanship, nor does hypocrisy. But your problem is that you think it is partisan, only Dems, and that anybody different from you is evil and crooked. Why the insults? Why the strident tone? Why the hypocrisy? Why the blatant untruths?

What if I were to publicly suspect that you are a child molester, knowing it not to be true or based on only suspicion? Would you be happy? No. So why do you guys make such stupid, cruel accusations while you have your own glaring flaws and crooks to be dealt with?

If you got everything you wanted would you be happy? Would others on your side still complain about how bad your management was? Come on, you are just transparently unhappy and shallow, with no acceptance that nothing is ever perfect, and that there is something wrong with all prescriptions for political organization.

I will say again that the GOPee is the party of sore winners and sore losers - always sore about something.
As an independent I shoot at both parties, which are more similar than you might think. I prefer government aimed at helping all human beings, not shilling for corporations with no concern for humans. What would Jesus do?

Posted by: enough3 | January 21, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I am frightened by this decision--and even more by the people who seem to support it. Corporations and unions are NOT citizens, and thus have no "free speech" rights to be protected. Individual people vote. Artificial entities do not vote. But letting them spend as much as they want without requiring accountability and responsibility means that elections henceforth will be decided NOT on the basis of which candidates have the best ideas, but on which candidates have the richest supporters.

Money in politics is just as bad, wrong, dangerous, and corrupting as steroids in baseball. I hope enough members of Congress see the wrongness inherent in this Supreme Court decision to try to pass something to render it moot.

Posted by: kmc1557 | January 21, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

win1:

Our host, Chris Cillizza, has asked that we ignore "noacoler". Thanks for your cooperation.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Win1, you're moving the goalposts. Nobody is saying they can't speAk and I didn't argue that. I used the phase outshout or drown out consistently. I don't think the ruling defined a right to outshout, but that's the end result.

Funny how many leap to defend the powerful and dismiss the powerless. Never understood the Stockholm thing but there's no disputing it's reality.

This is what you guys wanted, I guess. A free market Scheisseloche.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 21, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Noacoler, are rights are not subject to equalization. That a poor person has less money then a rich, does not mean the rich man should lose his rights to speak.

Read the court's decision. They use precedent to blow away your arguement.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Finally, now we can buy our candidates! This is the way democracy is meant to be, right?

Posted by: oddmanjive | January 21, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Armpeg - guess how many actions the ethics committee has taken since three years ago Nancy vowed to drain the swamp of corruption.

hint: it's the same number as barry's accomplishments - ZERO

Now is this because there is simply no corruption in DC?

Hardly.

it is because the liberals are in charge and the rules don't apply. Graft, bribery and back room double dealing is now the new-old way.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I see we will still be treated to the intellectual musings of the hyper-virulent pest chrissy foxxy.

Oh well, two stooges in a single month is still a pretty good hunt.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

The democratic talk machine on this blog, which now appears to have been co-ordinated, has been silenced.


They have no idea who to ridicule anymore.

That's all they were doing - now they realize how unrealistic their policies were - not only health care, but their climate wackiness rested on fake data the whole time.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

enough3 05:28 PM
re. Duke Cunningham.

The Duke Cunningham selling defense contract case, was several years back, and he was tried and punished. Obama, the Democrap Socialist, and the Democrap Socialist--controlled Main Stream Media made headline news and cried tons of outraged crocodile tears over it, and made it into a big campaign issue, only because he was a Republican.
Today though, there's another Representative, who'se got the same kind of trouble, and guess what? Nobody's making a peep about it because he's a Democrap Socialist.
Gary Ackerman (D-NY) made a $100,000 profit with a no-money down investment(?) when he obtained private stock in the company Xenonics Inc., relying on $14,000 that he borrowed from the companies top shareholder Selig Zises in a defense contracting company and used his house office as a trading mart, hosting a meeting between the firm, which was trying to sell its technology, and Israeli government officials. Ackerman arranged a meeting in his Washington DC office between Xenonics founder Alan Magerman and two Israeli officials, where Magerman tried to sell the Israeli officials the Xenonics "NightHunter" flashlight used by the US military, that Ackerman had invested in. Ackerman also has invested $100,000 in personal money and $750,000 from his campaign treasury in Zises-run investment firm Family Management Corp. and it's affiliates, and has received $53,000 in campaign contributions from him. Ackerman also did not file anything in his 2004 financial disclosure form as required by law, until he was confronted with it and asked about it.
Surprise, surprise, the Democrap Socialist--controlled MSM--with the exeption of the NY Daily News--has no interest in anything about this because Gary Ackerman is a Democrap Socialist!

Posted by: armpeg | January 21, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the best way to describe this Supreme Court decision is to quote a General who was assessing before our invasion of Afghanistan where to bomb


What sense is it to make the rubble bounce?

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Remember how many times Roberts genuflected to stare decisis in his hearings? Another lying Republican. Pardon my redundancy.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 21, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Nothing but a naked conservative play by the 5 Republican justices on the court to give their side more money and therefore more power in elections.

They believe in precedent only when it suits them. What a pack of hypocrites.

Posted by: Nissl | January 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the big question is whether corporate spending on political 30-second attack ads are now tax-deductible.


I mean, if you are going to destroy the political system, you might as well go all the way, right?


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama's main strategy now is to try to steal the anger from the TEA Party movement


Obama, "NO, I'm the real teabagger."

WHO THINKS THIS IS ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS ???

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the word “free” shuts down debate and arouses self-righteous posturing.   Haven’t seen a single post here that recognizes free speech as anything but the same right that the trolls exercise here, to outshout anyone with a weaker megaphone.
 
What free speech is:
 
(1)     the right to speak critically of the government or its officials without being charged with sedition
 
What free speech is not:
 
(1)     the right to spread falsehoods
(2)     the right to lie in a TV commercial
(3)     the right to outshout people with less money than you
 
The point of free speech is the encouragement of civic discourse in an open society.  It is an adamantly egalitarian principle.  This SCOTUS ruling is precisely contrary to that, defining a right to corporations that they may use the obscenity of their profits to drown out other viewpoints
 
Unions?  Please.  How many orders of magnitude difference from corporations?
 
No surprise that the teabagger types are defending their slow enslavement.  Like they have any idea what’s good for them. Or for the country.
 
Cillizza, you approach this serious issue like it’s a plot line in a comic book.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 21, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

enough3, the law banned all corporations, not just the rich ones, not just big ones, not just profit ones, but all. The law did not ban rich individuals, so the money did not leave politics.

Personaly, I don't like money in politics at all. But since it is there and not going away, corporations should have as much a voice in the political discussion as other entities or individuals.

Disclaimers and disclosures are still required, as they should be. Perhaps those should even be enlarged. Regulations can still exist, but not the banning of speech.

Natural individuals, citizens, still only have the right to vote, as it should be.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

the biggest loser here is my Netflix account because I'll now have to wade through dozens (possibly hundreds) of new garbage political documentaries.... did the SCOTUS also determine that corporations can put the movie festival olive branches on their covers?? because that would really crush my ability to pick diamonds in the rough!! arghhhh

Posted by: millionea7 | January 21, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris:


The Supreme Court today made an extremely serious decision which no one should agree with.


This is really bad.


From the first days of our Republic, the Federalist Papers talked about the tension between the people's interests and the monied interests.


The relative balance has shifted between the two throughout our history. Forget about the impact from unions, the corporate influence is going to be long and deep - and harmful to our political and economic system.


In the past 18 years, since the passing of the trade deals, the balance has shifted dramatically to the monied interests - this decision will make the situation worse.


This is the Dred Scott decision of our times.


I want to remind EVERYBODY - the Wall Street interests were able to effectively stop all regulation of the banks starting with Clinton's repeal of Glass-Steagall -


Both parties were involved with taking money and looking the other way as PROPER REGULATION WAS THROWN ASIDE.


This sequence of events ALMOST DESTROYED THE ECONOMY AND THE COUNTRY AS WE KNOW IT.


This decision was without a doubt the WRONG WAY TO GO.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

sjpatejak, regulate it, yes, but not ban its right to free speech. Even natural persons must accept regulation under the law, that is what laws are. Even natural rights may be regulated if the interest of the nation or state is overriding in doing so. Thus, we have free speech, but it can be limited, not banned. Notice that the court in this decision did uphold the disclosure and disclaimer portions.


Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@win1: "Considering the reason we have natural rights in the first place, and why they are protected in the Constitution,, then even the corporations rights should reasonably be protected."

According to the Declaration of Independence real people are endowed with their rights by the creator, be he/she/it/they Jehovah, Zeus, or the blind forces of evolution. A corporation is the creation of the state and the state has as much right to regulate it as Jehovah had to inflict Job with boils. If a corporation has the same rights as a real person then it has the same obligations. For example, it can be drafted.

Posted by: sjpatejak | January 21, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

drivl:
what about Duke "the menu" Cunningham selling defense contracts to bidders off of a menu? Please take your drivel elsewhere. The is plenty of bad behavior all around, not just Dems or GOPees. Maybe that is too sophisticated for you?

Posted by: enough3 | January 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Portrait of a Liberal judge:

It’s not the lifestyle of a typical federal judge: Five or six vodka cocktails during lunch; gambling with borrowed money; bankruptcy under a phony name, and cash, trips or home repairs from lawyers and a bail bondsman with business before his court.

Witnesses in the congressional impeachment case against U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. paint a jarring portrait of the former Louisiana state judge who was appointed to the federal bench in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.

I am pretty sure one of the other eight is a Dem congresman from FL. Liberals doing what they know best.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Ampeg, etc. , and all defenders of subversion and who formerly were strong advocates for strict construction, tradition/stare decisis, and opposed to activist judges:

You guys now argue what you have opposed for decades! What a hoot!
I know about corporations and own two myself. Also have an Ivy league MBA, 30 years in global finance, have helped more than fifty venture level firms to grow (can you say AOL?), and know the history of corporate law since I taught finance for years.

Personally knowing finance up close and being disgusted by the corporate greed and shallow thinking in the firms and board rooms, I remain an independent business progressive. There is huge wealth to be created for the good of all, not just the Enron, Tyco, AIG, etc. crooked corporations run by crooks, who you guys want to defend. Your ability to think in the big picture is occluded by your ridiculous hate of people who are different from you.

Really great businessmen build great businesses (Buffet, Gates, SJ Johnson, etc.) and there is plenty enough to spread around (Henry Ford) so there is a middle class to buy their products. A rising tide lifts all boats...

Posted by: enough3 | January 21, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The fallacy here of the fearful is equating "government" as the end-all, be-all Big Bogeyman Big Brother.

Folks, trans-nationals are far bigger than any one country and have no loyalty but to their overpaid execs. As long as free speech=money, there is no equality of speech; just drowning out the rest in billions of "free speech units." So long, "We the People." We're already living it, in both parties.

Posted by: larryn75 | January 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

There will be no impact. We will re-pass the law and we will impeach these corporate criminals who pass for S.Ct. justices.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | January 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse


Specter tells Bachmann
to "act like a lady"


you know, like he does.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

To all those liberal and progressives (actually the clique of Socialists, Communists, and radical ex--hippies from the sixties, depending on degree of fanaticism) on Fix whining about Corporations and Businesses controlling our Representatives by their campaign contributions.
Businesses and Corporations would be pretty stupid to give all their contributions to one political side over the other, and they're not stupid. The liberals and progressives here are though, that's why they're liberals and progressives.

Posted by: armpeg | January 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The case orginally was brought up because a corporation wanted to put on a pay for view, a movie about Clinton in the 60 days prior to the election.

The FEC said they could not, and called it electioneering. Then in the discussion with the court, the FEC took the stance that essentially any product with a political stance could be restricted if the case of corporation. The FEC mentioned books, youtube, any speech by corporations could be restricted under the law.

Books could be pulled from shelves, youtube censored, all in the name of the Austin decision of twenty years ago.

Austin needed to fall, and today it did.


Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It is time to replace Pelosi.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

JakeD FYI the TARP bailout was instigated by Paulson and Bush, (originally with no strings attached) and became law. Obama voted for the bill but TARP is in no means "Obama's bailout"

At least the Dems insisted that there would be some teeth in the legislation.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 21, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

According to liberals freedom is a closely guarded right and can only be doled out according to their own whims.

now shut up and get back to chanting about The One!


Mmmmmm mmmm mmmmmmmmm

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The US Supreme Court reversal today that rejects Limits on Corporate spending in electorial campaigns, making the McCain-Feingold unconstitutional, once again shows that liberals and Democrap Socialists are anti--US Constitution, anti--Bill of Rights, and basically want a government--uber--alles George Orwell "1984"--one. Conservatives, on the other hand, want to keep our government the way our founding fathers intended it to be.
This US Supreme Court decision that overturns a 20 year ban on corporate giving campaign money to candidates that they support, is a free speech issue. They have the same rights, guaranteed by our Constitution, as any citizen to lobby and get redress from their Representatives as any citizen does.
Consiter though who on the Supreme Court voted for and against it, and you'll see the same pattern as was in the New London Kelo decision, that took away a citizens private property, and is against the 5th and 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

In the 5--4 Kelo decision every US Supreme Court Justice consitered liberal, Stephens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Bryer voted to take away the private property of American citizens. They were joined by Kennedy, who is, as now, consitered a swing-voter.
Every Justice consitered conservative though, Renquest, Thomas, Scalia, and O'Connor voted to protect the Constitutional rights of American citizens to their property.
Today's 5--4 Supreme Court decision is identical to the Kelo decision, exept that swing-voter Kennedy voted with conservatives. Once again it's the same pattern. Every Justice consitered liberal, Stephens, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Bryer voted to hog-tie corporate campaign contributions and restrict their free speech rights, while every Justice consitered conservative, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas voted to uphold our US Constitution.

Posted by: armpeg | January 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the news just keeps getting better everyday.
IMO this is the worst thing to happen to America in a long time.

Now the people are really and truly screwed.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 21, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

enough3, corporations existed before 1860, some were chartered before there was a United States in the colonies. They were also considered persons, at least artificial persons, and could enter contracts. Are natural rights protected for artifical persons is the only question.

Considering the reason we have natural rights in the first place, and why they are protected in the Constition, then even the corporations rights should reasonbaly be protected.

Most corporations are small, not big. Just like most people are not very rich entities.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The idea that corporations are "persons" is outdated. The fact that people make up the corporation is NOT an abrogation of the employees' free speech...just the opposite...the corporation often supports candidates, referendum, and parties that their individual employees do not support. It isn't harmful to free speech to limit corporations' financial support, it is harmful to employees to have to submit to the political will of another "person"--the corporation.

Posted by: bsydney | January 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

win1, do you happen to have any knowledge on how corporations became individuals? I learned about this back in high school a loooong time ago. It's been replaced by a whole lot of biology knowledge, unfortunately.
Posted by: DDAWD
---------------

DDAWD, their was never any question on whether they were to be individuals, they were considered artifical persons essentially from the start. The real question, then became, what rights do artificial persons have, do they have the natural rights, such as freedom of speech, press, etc. As much as I dislike the idea of I must admit that since individuals make up the corporation, to stop corporate free speech is just as harmful as stopping the indivduals free speech.

There is a long history of corporations having the right to a political voice, and it was really the Austin case, which is over turned by this case, that decided otherwise.

Austin, more then this, case skirted prior law.


Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

OK, so corporations and unions can now spend unlimited amounts to campaign for issues and candidates that they prefer, although the unions will have much less money than corporations. Here's the rub: if you are a Mexican cocaine cartel, Ukrainian internet scamster, or Thai porno king you have just won the jackpot! Foreigners now can invest in, buy, or set up new corporations and then spend like mad to advocate policies and candidates they favor? Was this what the five Supreme Court Justices contemplated? Unlimited foreign influence in US politics and campaigns?

And since the Constitution was written about 80 years before the 1860s statute (creating legal person status for corporations) was passed during the Civil War under Lincoln, how is it that corporations now are considered equal to physical persons that the Constitution was written for?

Activist judges? Respecting century old SCOTUS precedents (stare decisis)? Reading the text with strict construction? What a foul and cruel joke by a bunch of radical ideologues.

Posted by: enough3 | January 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The FEC in discussion of this case said they had the right to stop the posting on the internet, books, basically all speech of corporations, on political issues.

The FEC overreached in the first place, enough that the Supreme Court which had orginally issues the Austin case the FEC based its statements on decided they had gone to far. Some of the Austin concurring Justices had even stated they felt the case should be overturned or revisted.

Corporations are not all big, most are small. Rich, very rich, individuals are often more involved with political speech then Corporations, because even small corporations lost the right to speak under the Austin decision.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

drivl

I do not understand your point -


The kooks your talk about can not afford the ads you refer to.


It is the corporations which can buy the ads - and attack anyone they do not like - it will be like a protection racket - you do what the corporation wants or they will run ads against you and get you out.


This is a horrible ruling.


It is almost the end of democracy - these rules have been in place since the 1800s and they work.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

drivl

I do not understand your point -


The kooks your talk about can not afford the ads you refer to.


It is the corporations which can buy the ads - and attack anyone they do not like - it will be like a protection racket - you do what the corporation wants or they will run ads against you and get you out.


This is a horrible ruling.


It is almost the end of democracy - these rules have been in place since the 1800s and they work.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers


Someday, you will look back at all my postings and realize they were all correct. But you will have to do alot of meditation - and find some personal harmony - before you come to that higher light.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The real result of this ruling is that every kook with an ax to grind will emerge from the woodwork. the airwaves will be flooded with attack ads with no basis in reality. the national parties will lose complete control of the message and the situation.

the WaPo and the NYSlimes will lose its monopoly voice over opinion and voters will have to think for themselves. this clearly leaves liberals scrambling for organization and a way to brainwash their voters for future victories.

Watch for desperate measures to restore the thought monopoly for their dimwit consituency. especially from Upchuck Scheemer.

anarchy is interesting and confusing.

the liberal voters who are accustomed to getting their thoughts spoon fed to them by Peloony and her cronies are going to be the most confused. they won't be able to figure out who to hate.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

mnteng and JakeD


If Mitch McConnell said that there is 80% on the health care bill - let's take that 80% and pass it.

It is pretty simple.

The massive government programs would not be in there - and there would be no new taxes. I would say that the employer mandate would stay in - the individual mandate would be out.

People can not afford the individual mandate - there is a reason they don't have insurance in the first place - they don't have the money - the legislation is not going to fix that.


If Congress wants to create a catrostrophic plan for people without insurance - that would make sense - but it would be extremely limited.

That is about the story.

AND Obama has to get off the spending binge - the deficit should be capped at $500 Billion a year - AND THAT IS IT.

I really don't like to be like this, however I have seen so many people be so unrealistic over the past 18 months - the world has spun out of control.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The biggest impact won't be corporations creating ads attacking Democrats. The biggest change will come from the reduced influence of parties offering exemptions for campaign dollars. Now corporations and unions will be allowed to politick publicly, not exclusively behind closed doors. The Clinton-Obama-Big Business cabal has been broken up. That's the real change.

Posted by: cprferry | January 21, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

drivl


drivl is 100% correct about all of this - this country is on an Obama spending roller coaster - the only problem is that the car we are in is about to spin off the tracks and crash.

This desire to blame Bush - again - is silly - Obama has to take responsibility - he can not be that much of a child.

This is the problem with electing someone with so little experience - of any kind - looking at Obama's resume it is STUNNING at how thin it is.


The idea that he was editor of the Harvard law review but did not write one article is telling - that theme appears throughout his career.

I am concerned that we have someone who knows how to get into the next affirmative action program, but little else.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

First, at some point this administration has to take responsibility for itself. It's also not even close to accurate. Consider that from Jan. 20, 2001, to Jan. 20, 2009, the debt held by the public grew $3 trillion under Mr. Bush—to $6.3 trillion from $3.3 trillion at a time when the national economy grew as well.

By comparison, from the day Mr. Obama took office last year to the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.

Mr. Obama's spending plan approved by Congress last February calls for doubling the national debt in five years and nearly tripling it in 10.

Mr. Bush's deficits ran an average of 3.2% of GDP, slightly above the post World War II average of 2.7%. Mr. Obama's plan calls for deficits that will average 4.2% over the next decade.

Team Obama has been on history's biggest spending spree, which has included a $787 billion stimulus, a $30 billion expansion of a child health-care program, and a $410 billion federal spending bill that increased nondefense discretionary spending 10% for the last half of fiscal year 2009. Mr. Obama also hiked nondefense discretionary spending another 12% for fiscal year 2010.

Mr. Axelrod claims the pork-laden stimulus package has been a success. But Mr. Obama told Americans that if it were passed, unemployment wouldn't rise above 8%. It is now 10%. The president also said it would create 3.7 million jobs, 90% of which would be in the private sector. By Mr. Obama's standards, the stimulus failed miserably.


Mr. Bush did sign the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) into law and loaned $240 billion to banks. But those loans are being returned at a profit to the Treasury. Rather than using those funds to pay down the deficit, Mr. Obama wants to use them for new spending. What's more, he has lavished some $320 billion from TARP on car companies, union allies, and pet causes that will never be fully returned.


In going after Mr. Bush's fiscal record, Mr. Axelrod unwittingly revealed why Democrats are losing. Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats have made a mess of the nation's finances and are desperate to pin the blame on someone else. It's not likely to work.

Even in deep blue Massachusetts, voters aren't standing idly by while the administration puts the nation on a dangerous trajectory. When Democrats lose a state they carried by 26 points a little more than a year ago, very little is safe for Mr. Obama's party this fall.


Karl

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

smeesq:

Reason #231 (and counting) why I opposed Obama's bailout.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

So this decision will allow all the banks and financial institutions to use our bailout money to create and distribute ads and books and videos explaining to the AMerican public how regulating their industry will lead to higher interest rates, loss of credit cards, socialism, communism, and foreclosure of their home mortgages.

And they can correlate their message with whatever dirt bag politician will run as their candidate.

Ya gotta love this country.

Posted by: smeesq | January 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

just another incompetent liberal in high places:

Obama administration officials were flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified that an alleged Qaeda operative who tried to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day should have been questioned by a special interrogation unit that doesn't exist, rather than the FBI.

One senior official described the comments by Blair—the U.S. government's top intelligence official—as misinformed on multiple levels and all the more damaging because they immediately fueled Republican criticism that the administration mishandled the Christmas Day incident in its treatment of the accused Qaeda operative as a criminal suspect rather than an enemy combatant.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

drivl: "allow me to translate into a vernacular you are more familiar with:

Boing, splat, goo, goo Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse"

CC: How much more of this garbage are we going to have to wade through before you ban drivl?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, that makes no sense.

Loud and dumb

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

allow me to translate into a vernacular you are more familiar with:

Boing, splat, goo, goo Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD - I probably should have just commented that phrase is in the wire story. I took that the impact on union contributions as a side effect of the decision and so distinct.

I'm not sure how strong the impact of this decision will be. Living in the DC area, we're bombarded all the time with issue ads on WTOP (traffic & weather on the 8's). Usually by organizations along the lines of Americans Against Beating Puppies. At least the American Petroleum Institute is honest about who they are (though some ads just say API). I think this genie is out of the box. I'm for sunlight as a disinfectant--end campaign limits and disclose everything.

I'm warming to 37th, even when we disagree. No more snarky caps lock comments.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 21, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan


You have to be more specific - there are a bunch of postings


LOL


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

37thandOStreet is RIGHT AGAIN

Todays Washington Post reports in the article about Pelosi's news conference:


"To satisfy what she and other House leaders saw at the White House's preference, Pelosi has been struggling for days to sell the Senate legislation to reluctant Democrats in order to get a health-care bill to the president's desk quickly. But party moderates have raised doubts about forging ahead without bipartisan support -- a challenge as the midterm election approaches -- while liberals rejected the Senate bill as not going far enough"

____________________________________


BIPARTISAN SUPPORT - JUST ABOUT WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL MONTH.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Tom Campbell, running for Republican nomination for Senate in California, said at the Commonwealth Club last night, he would reform campaign spending so "you can contribute to me, all you want, but only if you can vote for me" -no corporations, no PACs, no unions, no out of district congressional reelection committees. Makes a lot of sense to me. Maybe Feingold and McCain should offer a tripartisan bill McCain/Feingold/Campbell election spending reform bill if Campbell gets elected.

Posted by: mesondk | January 21, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God...

Hell hath frozen over!

37thand0 has actually posted something I agree with.

Will wonders never cease?

Posted by: Bondosan | January 21, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Is George Soros a corporation?

Posted by: leapin | January 21, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

37thandOStreet is RIGHT AGAIN

Todays Washington Post reports in the article about Pelosi's news conference:


"To satisfy what she and other House leaders saw at the White House's preference, Pelosi has been struggling for days to sell the Senate legislation to reluctant Democrats in order to get a health-care bill to the president's desk quickly. But party moderates have raised doubts about forging ahead without bipartisan support -- a challenge as the midterm election approaches -- while liberals rejected the Senate bill as not going far enough"

____________________________________


BIPARTISAN SUPPORT - JUST ABOUT WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL MONTH.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

CC: don't you have a children's board for Ace McNumbnuts? His drivel is really clogging a good discussion.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 21, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Really, if the laws had the effect of restricting the free speech of the individuals in the corporation, how is the law Constitional."

I have to say, that makes no sense. What are "individuals in the corporation"? Those individuals already have free speech rights independent of the corporation.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

the market looks like it may recover now that Brown has stopped the lib agenda in its tracks.

do something barry:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

Financial shares pulled the stock market lower Thursday as President Barack Obama proposed rules that would limit the types of trading banks can do with their money.

OK, never mind. the liberal market is back.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Smart liberals are begining to see the light:

Where's the Obama I Voted For?
Jonathan Cohn: Politics Involves Tough Judgment Calls but There's Growing Frustration with this President
(The New Republic) If you’ve been a Democrat for more than two or three years, disappointment with your leaders is something that comes rather naturally. From the 1970s until well into the previous decade, the party produced presidents and presidential candidates like Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. These men weren’t lovable losers. They were just losers. Even the lone winner among them--Bill Clinton--famously and infamously found ways to disappoint

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I am so happy that we are on our way back to the good old days of Cheney and Bush...Yeepeeee!!! I can't wait to we get the house and senate back and then the Presidency! Can you imagine what we will be able to accomplish? Less taxes for the rich, another war (Yes!), increased health premiums (my favorite), how about another financial collapse (can hardly wait!) and my favorite..a Brown and Palin ticket! (I am soiled). Who can stop us now? Democrats? I don't think so they have their heads so far up their &**, they won't even know what hit em. Viva la Vida...let's celebrate by bashing gays, immigrants and yes Haitians (As per Limbuagh).

Posted by: lunetrick | January 21, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

win1, do you happen to have any knowledge on how corporations became individuals? I learned about this back in high school a loooong time ago. It's been replaced by a whole lot of biology knowledge, unfortunately.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

37thand0street:

At least no one will think we are the same person any more (on par with the Dred Scott decision, really?)

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

""The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states."

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse"

So an activist court is trampling states' rights, but the rightwingnuts don't mind. That's pretty funny.

Posted by: koolkat_1960


the competition is ongoing. I guess we can live with four stooges.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

koolkat_1960:

States' rights do not including violating the First Amendment.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"That phrase is in the AP article, not CC's entry or the linked Washington Post story. Given that this decision directly addresses corporate contributions, it isn't necessary to restate it. The fact that it affects labor union expenditures is notable, not necessarily negative.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade"

I don't think I blamed either WAPO or Chris C for that. And yeah, I think it's important to note that it affects unions, but how hard would it be to add "and corporations" right after the word "unions"?

I don't know if there was intent or anything, I won't presume there was, but it was pretty misleading nonetheless.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

So an activist court is trampling states' rights, but the rightwingnuts don't mind. That's pretty funny.
Posted by: koolkat_1960
-------------

Not exactly, since historically corporations have had rights as persons, both artifical persons and natural persons.

Really, if the laws had the effect of restricting the free speech of the individuals in the corporation, how is the law Constitional.

If people in corporations do not have rights, then the corporate form is useless. If the right to speech on political matters can be banned, there isn't much point in a right to free speech. Which is essentially what the opinion says.

I do not like the outcome of the decision, but I do understand why they decided the way they did.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Chris:


The Supreme Court today made an extremely serious decision which no one should agree with.


This is really bad.

From the first days of our Republic, the Federalist Papers talked about the tension between the people's interests and the monied interests.


The relative balance has shifted between the two throughout our history. Forget about the impact from unions, the corporate influence is going to be long and deep - and harmful to our political and economic system.


In the past 18 years, since the passing of the trade deals, the balance has shifted dramatically to the monied interests - this decision will make the situation worse.

This is the Dred Scott decision of our times.

I want to remind EVERYBODY - the Wall Street interests were able to effectively stop all regulation of the banks starting with Clinton's repeal of Glass-Steagall -


Both parties were involved with taking money and looking the other way as PROPER REGULATION WAS THROWN ASIDE.

This sequence of events ALMOST DESTROYED THE ECONOMY AND THE COUNTRY AS WE KNOW IT.

This decision was without a doubt the WRONG WAY TO GO.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I love the American Liberal - anything to silence opposition and freedom. Look I opposed the stimulous packages because I think it is time corporate America sink or swim on its own and stop relying on taxpayer funded bailouts. I have no use for the American corporate world.

But this does not entitle me to say free speech does not include their speech. This does not mean I believe corporations will now not corrupt the process - they certainly will - but it is for the free people of the US to guard against this and not Liberals. It is the American Liberal who is desperate to use taxpayer money to keep capitalism alive.

many of these corporations will be able to fund these ads because of the money Obama and his Democrats gave them.

If American Liberals believe this is so bad - stop with the judicial activism by declaring how I spend my money on campaigns in not protected by free speech and amend the constitution. Free speech is the most important freedom we have. American Liberals hate free speech because it entitles the opposition to expose them as the frauds they are. The Texas Constitution actually got it right on this issue, although the Texas Supreme Court refuses to follow it, "everyone should be allowed to speak, but then be accountable for that speech. - not a bad idea in my mind - accountability

The American Liberals, who are in fact the biggest advocates for keeping corrupt and defunct corporations alive to protect capitalism, need to stop limiting constitutional rights when it does not serve their agenda and use their voice to amend the constitution if they believe this ruling is so bad.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | January 21, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"The article gave a couple of urls that people should read, if the discussion is to get past just berating each other, do read the urls.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 12:02 PM"

NO thank you! I will get my knowledge from the 10 second sound byte and the guy down by the river!

Posted by: Krazijoe | January 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

""The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states."

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse"

So an activist court is trampling states' rights, but the rightwingnuts don't mind. That's pretty funny.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 21, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I've read the decision (AND the Stevens dissent); needless to say I find it funny that libs want to restrict free speech. It's extremely short-sighted to urge that Congress can fine -- or even jail citizens -- which includes "associations of citizens" like corporations, for simply engaging in political speech. If (when) the Republicans try the same re: liberal free speech, you wouldn't like that.

Posted by: JakeD | January 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

ripper368:

In re foreign corporations (from Kennedy's opinion):

"Because §441b is not limited to corporations or associations created in foreign countries or funded predominately by foreign shareholders, it would be overbroad even if the Court were to recognize a compelling governmental interest in limiting foreign influence over the Nation’s political process."

Posted by: mnteng | January 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Its Official: Corporate Fascists are in complete control.

Now without fear of prosecution, Giant Corporations will now be able to buy and sell Sentators and Congressman.

Individual Rights and protections will be completely eliminated and we will be bowing to the Twisted Cross of the Corporate Fascists for all time and eternity.

The policies of those who prostitute themselves to the Corporations are firmly in control.

Very Sad!

Posted by: rtreff | January 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse


BREAKING NEWS


Rep James Clyburn agrees with 37thandOst!!!


In an interview today:


"EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE FOCUSING ON THE 60 IN THE SENATE, but they seem to forget we have to get to 218 in the House."


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Ace McNumbnuts has finally come up with an appropriate screen name, but he might want to consult the dictionary. Still, drivl is a good choice for his drivel.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD, you must be proud to have usurped the position as third stooge from Loud and Dumb. Are you going to go by schemp or curly?

Was your secret to stupidity the swamp gas?

do tell.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states."

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

===

That phrase is in the AP article, not CC's entry or the linked Washington Post story. Given that this decision directly addresses corporate contributions, it isn't necessary to restate it. The fact that it affects labor union expenditures is notable, not necessarily negative.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 21, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

wow the kooks haave gone all angry and ugly on us.

what's that you say? that is their natural state?

It seems from these posts that the notion of free assembly and the right to redress your grievances are simply not available unless you are in a liberal union and vote democrat.

buying time on television might compete with the "elite" medias monopoly of distorted opinion. After all, if we don't flood the airwaves with stories of Maccacca, the liberal might have to talk about issues. And as we all now know, when liberals have to deal with issues, they always lose.

Just who is that you imbeciles think own the corporations? hint: It's not Obama yet. At least not most of them, the successful ones I mean.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious as to how the court recognizes the nationality of any corporation. What % of the workers must be employed in the U.S.?

Can CITGO, Nestle and Subaru all give however much they want? Multi-national corporations financing U.S. elections sounds to me like candidates with a more multi-national slant. This of course means globalist free tradism will take the forefront.

Imagine the policies GE will want to put forward as a contributor and main manufacturer of military machinery. Corporatism as a governing policy is on it's way, and regardless of the party, they will have to bow to the money of multi nationalism.

This is a real call to arms for those who still believe in soveriegnty and the rights of the individual. Someone needs to bring a case to see if these corporations should still hold their status as individual persons. A terrible day for The U.S.A.

Posted by: ripper368 | January 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

There are few here actually familiar with the case I think. Although I do not agree with big money organizations in politics, I do agree with the Supreme court on this. Regulation is one thing, banning is another. The Supreme court did uphold the reporting and disclaimer portions.

The Justices were put in a tough spot on this one, they chose to uphold the Freedom of Speech.

The article gave a couple of urls that people should read, if the discussion is to get past just berating each other, do read the urls.

Posted by: win1 | January 21, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

All we can do is pray that the conservative judges on the SCOTUS die.
The sooner the better.

Posted by: strictly_liberal | January 21, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS


NANCY PELOSI AGREES WITH 37th and O Street

Nancy Pelosi held a news conference today to say that she agreed with 37thandOStreet:


"I don't think it's possible to pass the Senate bill in the House," Pelosi told reporters after a morning meeting with her caucus. "I don't see the votes for it at this time."


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 21, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone see a pattern here? First, under Clinton (with Republican support), we repeal Glass-Steagal. Now, under Obama (with justices appointed by Republicans) we go back in time further still. What's next? Should we revisit the wisdom of child labor laws? Reimpose slavery? Take the vote back from women?

I am very disturbed by this. We are already on the brink of being an oligarchy. What is SCOTUS thinking?

By the way, McCain Feingold is a side issue at best. Freeing unions and corporations (neither of whom, last I checked, voted for candidates per se) is the crux of the matter.

Posted by: Clio1 | January 21, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It's about time!
For many years now the unions--i e the US Communist Workers Party--circumvented this law and gave their union members dues money to the Democrap Socialists, even though roughly half their dues--paying membership were Republicans, while businesses and corporations couldn't.
In the last presidential election for instance, the UAW gave $1.9 million to Comrade Barack Obama and the Democrap Socialist's, and only $11,500 to McCain and the Republicans (the reason Comrade Obama is paying them off now with billions of taxpayers money and lots of taxpayer--funded freebees).
In both the 2,000 and 2004 presidential elections, the unions gave about $36 million in each to the Democrap Socialists.

Posted by: armpeg | January 21, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

For the past four decades, American politics has consisted of Republicans controlling Washington for eight to 14 years -- either from the White House or Capitol Hill -- thus allowing Americans to forget what it was they didn't like about Democrats, whom they then carelessly vote back in. The Democrats immediately remind Americans what they didn't like about Democrats, and their power is revoked at the voters' first possible opportunity.

Obama has cut the remembering-what-we-don't-like-about-Democrats stage of this process down from two to four years to about 10 months.

Four years of Jimmy Carter gave us two titanic Reagan landslides, peace and prosperity for eight blessed years -- and even a third term for his feckless vice president, George H.W. Bush.

Two years of Bill Clinton gave us a historic Republican sweep of Congress, which killed the entire Clinton agenda (with the exception of partial-birth abortion and felony obstruction of justice) -- and also gave us two terms for George W. Bush.

And now, merely one year of Obama and a Democratic Congress has given us the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 31 years.

In other recent news, last November, New Jersey voters, who haven't voted for a Republican for president since 1988, threw out their incumbent Democratic governor, Jon Corzine. In Virginia, which Obama carried by 6 points a year earlier, a religious-right Republican won the governor's office by 17 points.

anne c.

Call it the Obama effect.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"No. You sir are a stinking, slimy hypocrite who defines freedom in such narrow terms that the only people eligible are those with bloated bank accounts ripped off American taxpayers."

That's why we don't talk to him. He's never had a job or had to run a business or own a home or anything like that. No understanding of how the world works. The guy's life is finding new ways to get around Chris C's bans so that we are all aware of what an enormous internet penis he has.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I guess all the libs in here bashing the Supreme Courts decision to allow corporations and unions using their money to advocate for a particular candidate also oppose ultra left wing George Soros using his billions to advocate for liberal canidates during elections. As always it's the evil corporations who must be bashed. Personally I don't think that there should be any limits on campaign donations as long as those donations are made public. McCain/Feingold should be tossed out on its rear end.

Posted by: RobT1 | January 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

My favorite sentence from the article. Second paragraph.

"The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states."

Yeah, those gosh darn unions now are going to muck things up for everyone, right?

And no, there's no similar sentence about how large corps will be able to give more freely. Just the unions.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Nooooo, no, no drivl--it isn't liberals who are telling everybody how to live. It wasn't a liberal who shouted out from his perch at Fox News that Tiger Woods had better turn to Christians for forgiveness. It certainly isn't liberals who are telling us to our face if we are broke and don't have sufficient money we do not have freedom of speech. It isn't liberals who are running fake populist campaigns against special interests while supporting Supreme Court legislation giving them unlimited access and paid for political speech not available to those of us who do not have the same access to funds.

No. You sir are a stinking, slimy hypocrite who defines freedom in such narrow terms that the only people eligible are those with bloated bank accounts ripped off American taxpayers. And trust me, Liberals have not had that kind of power for over 40 years now.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 21, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Boy drivl, have you got the exquisitely appropriate blog handle. The very notion that money is speech is one of the most stinkingly offensive notions I have ever heard. You have been a suckling at the teat of that unimaginably fat sow, Rush Limbaugh.

Just remember folks what this arshole is telling you: In America, the amount of freedom you have is measured by the amount of money you have. I wonder how Jefferson and Madison would react to that!

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

It seems angry liberals still think they know what's best for everyone else.


Everyone else has rejected liberal idiocy. Get the picture yet?

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

What greater damage could a few communists, terrorists or other enemies do to our Constitutional based republic than the SCOTUS has just done?

The spigot has been opened by SCOTUS to the massive flow of corporate cash (labor union cash will be swamped) to further undermine the voices of the physical persons whom we call citizens. Legal persons (corporation) did not even exist at the time the Founding Fathers debated and framed the Constitution and our form of government where one man, one vote was the basic premise.

So how can "conservatives" who are strict constructionists now decide that corporations have equal rights under our Constitution when corporations didn't exist or get legal standing/existence until Lincoln was President and the Civil War was raging some 70 years later? Like most so called conservatives these days, the Gang of Four (Roberts, Scalia, Alito...) are radicals, not conservatives. Talk about activist judges! This decision will overwhelm and silence the voice of individuals. Oh, a word of advice, go buy broadcasting stocks.

Posted by: enough3 | January 21, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The best electorate is an ignorant electorate, well at least according to 99.9999% of politicians.

Posted by: Krazijoe | January 21, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Well Massachusetts, it is the day after the day after. How do you feel now? How does it feel watching the republicans gloat and turn this into a victory for them? How's that working for you? How does it feel when you wake up and see that a Supreme Court dominated by conservative republicans--like Scott Brown--just tore down all of the barriers to big corporate money and union money from being poured out on our Senators, Congressmen and Presidential candidates like maple syrup on pancakes. Does that inspire you?

Look. I don't know all that much about your motivations for voting for a republican but I do know this--anytine you get ticked off and are voting just to make a freaking statement do the country a favor and just stay home! Because all you end up doing is joining the forces of darkness. And that is just what you have done. If you want to see the fruits of your silly, childish little tantrum, just look at the Supreme Court decision this morning and remember: You asked for it!

Remember that old tried and true adage: Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: jaxas70 | January 21, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Too bad the Libs overreached with McCain-Feingold in the first place. This is just one more nail in the coffin of "the ends justify the means" judicial activism of the last 55 years.

Posted by: ronjaboy | January 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Blame it on bush. his pick of two stellar judges to overcome the miasma of liberal activism has triumphed and now freedoom and justice can return to our democracy.

Obama has set back liberalism by decades. Free speech is on the march.

Posted by: drivl | January 21, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Effingbeautiful.... just when I thought it was going to get better. SCROTUS snaps me back into reality. What is it about too much money in our elective process that they do not understand. Or I guess they do understand and like the idea of a small minority corrupting the constitutional process. Isn't this what legislating from the bench is all about?

Posted by: nosuchluck | January 21, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I am a truly classically trained socialist - pretty leftwing - this decision is a great decision first and foremost because it recognizes free speech. I realize American Liberals fail to understand corporations include their shareholders and employees (people). They have rights too. the fact I may find many corporations destructive of the American way is not a bssis to silence them.

It is for the people to know who is paying for the ad and to use their minds to form an intelligent opinion and vote accordingly. It is not for American Liberals or reputrican talk radio to tell people how to think or vote.

Second, I think some corporation is going to cross the line in an ad and make people mad - again be careful what you ask for - you may get something which makes matters worse for your side.

Free speech is just that - some corporation is going to cross the line and make the people mad, particularly the independents, and it will cost the Republicans.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | January 21, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The system's already lousy with money and, in terms of being a responsive democracy, it stinks. How is this going to help? Oh, did I see it's also carte blanche for union spending? Compared to corporations? Puh-lease. But even if unions had remotely as much money as corporations, it would still be aggravating a problem that is fundamentally undermining our form of government.

Posted by: CopyKinetics | January 21, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I agree with this decision. Government has no right to control the wealth of it's citizens, including how they choose to spend that wealth in supporting a certain candidate whose views they support. The censorship that law imposed, in my view, should have been unconstitutional in it's nature. Censorship & government control always allows the government to be larger & more controlling of it's citizens, and the constitution protects the lives of private citizens. This is a great ruling for the protection of the rights of private citizens.

Posted by: reason5 | January 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

ACK!

Chris, please stop with the "it's hard to overestimate" phrase. You use it so often that it has become meaningless.

That said, Citizens United will change the landscape of campaign expenditures, basically overturning Austin and McConnell. It will be interesting to see how many more on-demand political "documentaries" (that are mainly campaign ads) we will have. Is this going to be an effective means of political communication to the masses and not just to the most partisan of us?

At least, SCOTUS upheld the disclosure and disclaimer requirements.

Posted by: mnteng | January 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Well, looks like if there's anything that will bury the Dems, this is it. The unprecedented fundraising by Obama in 2008 is chump change to the large corporations.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The biggest political story since the 2008 election.

Can you say activist judges? I knew you could.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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