Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Citizen's United Case- The Nightmare Scenario May Be Coming True

“The difference between selling a vote and selling access is a matter of degree, not kind,” Justice Stevens wrote. “And selling access is not qualitatively different from giving special preference to those who spent money on one’s behalf.” ......from Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Steven's dissent in the Citizen's United v Federal Election Commission, printed in The New York Times, January 21, 2010.

This blog first mentioned the Citizens United case on February 5, 2010. It was a case that slipped through the cracks of media scrutiny in those weeks preceding the Super Bowl. To bottomline it, the conservative wing of the United States Supreme Court ruled for the majority, 5-4, that the government may not ban spending by corporations on political campaigns. Essentially the court said that corporations had the same constitutional rights as private citizens, and to try to regulate corporate spending and activities in political campaigns was a violation of their First Amendment Rights.

Dissenters, like Justice Stevens, saw the ruling as a danger to subvert democracy.

Few listened in January- most media ignored the story or put it on a back burner. But Keith Olbermann didn't. I posted this entry about Olbermann's Special Comment on the Citizen's United ruling in February

Below, please watch his Special Comment.....a prophecy that appears to have come true, with tens of thousands of dollars, some of which come from foreign multi-national corporations by way of the US Chamber of Commerce, finding their way to finance dozens of ads attacking Democrats nationwide.

Now let's fast forward to the present. Think Progress broke the news of the possibility of the US Chamber of Commerce funneling foreign money to produce ads designed to defeat Democratic House and Senate candidates in this November's mid-term elections.

Denial is all around, but there seems to be more evidence of possible wrong doing. US election laws say that if campaign contributions are used to produce political ads, the donors must be named.....and they must adhere to laws governing campaign contributions.

Below, Olbermann leads with the story on his October 13 show, with Think Progress' Faiz Shakir.


Sue said...

yes Hugh you can call me a naive, sees the glass half full kinda girl... I want to believe the Chamber will throw away millions upon millions to attack democrats and it could backfire on them. There was some polling which showed voters are not falling for this tactic of secrecy in campaign spending. Who watches those attack ads anyway, we're all on the computer, not watching TV.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue- I saw an ad tonight while watching USF-West Virginia football. It was an attack ad sponsored by "The Chamber" ripping Rush Holt, my congressman in the NJ 12th.

Holt was REALLY a rocket scientist, a PHD, and a three time winner on Jeopardy....and this ad painted Holt to be an out of touch elitist. He was mocked partially for being smart!

Holt and his opponent, Scott Sipprelle, had a debate at Rider University today. Sipprelle is a millionaire hedge fund manager- he tried to portray Holt as "the candidate of Wall Street" because he voted for the Wall Street bailout (as did most GOP members of Congress in 2008).

We really are living in friggin' Bizzaroland, aren't we?

Jamiel said...

Great blog..
But what ever happend,
support our government..
Peace is better then controvercies

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