Thursday, October 07, 2010

Corporate Citizens United to Take Over America.

The Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, that allows corporations, unions and interest groups to spend as much as they want on political campaigns opened a Pandora's box of potential ways to exploit the already corrupted campaign process, as well as paving the road for "corporate persons" to to render we the people, obsolete.

Secret corporate "people" are  funneling their funds into nonprofit organizations - who don’t have to disclose their funders, and who can spend as much as half of their revenue on political activities - in order to buy elections that further their corrupt agendas.   Some of these nonprofits appear to be shell groups for political operatives looking to influence races. Mike McIntire of the New York Times investigated one of those groups, the Coalition to Protect Seniors, and came up empty when he tried to track down exactly who was behind the group.

The Supreme Court opened the door for foreign nationals to intervene in American elections. And guess what? The right-wing didn't waste any time, personally escorting them through...patriotic as always. Yep.  Lee Fang from Think Progress broke the story about foreign contributions to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association organized as a 501(c)(6) that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors, that are possibly being used to fund political ads. They have already raised over $75 million and paid to have ads run more than 8,000 times on behalf of Republican Senate candidates.

"What we found were several fundraising documents that the Chamber has been using in places like Bahrain (and) India. The documents say foreign businesses are welcome and ask that these businesses send money to the same campaign account the 501(c)(6) that the Chamber is using to run attack ads. And they're telling these foreign businesses that they can have a voice in American public policy debates." - Lee Fang
Then, if things aren't bad enough, the Citizens United precedent  threatens to undermine progress in America's hard fought battle for equality.  Specifically, the repeal of the "public accommodations" section of the "The Civil Rights Act" which specifically states: "to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations."

But who and why would anyone want to repeal any part of the Civil Rights Act?  The libertarians, of course, who populate the the "Tea Party" movement, for one. They believe private businesses should be permitted to discriminate without legal repercussions, therefore they believe the public accommodations section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act interferes with the corporate citizen's first amendment rights. Glen Beck, at his “Restoring Honor” rally held on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech," claimed that he and his Tea Party followers would “take back the civil rights movement.”

Links:

Move to Amend
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.
* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.
A recent report, Fading Disclosure: Increasing Number of Electioneering Groups
Keep Donors’ Identities Secret by Public Citizen found that in the 2004 elections, 98% of outside groups disclosed the names of donors who paid for their political ads.  Fast forward four years and only 32% disclosed the names of donors.

GOP Quietly Funded Foreign Donations.

Republicans Thwart New Campaign Finance Disclosure Rules As DISCLOSE Act Fails Procedural Vote in Senate

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