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Citizens United Was Only Two Years Ago

Citizens United Was Only Two Years Ago

Today may mark the two year anniversary of the Citizens United decision, but like Roe v. Wade, that other landmark decision marked this weekend, the case has transformed a fringe issue of the conservative movement into a central and dominating force in the political landscape.

It’s not just that the decision unwound campaign finance laws back to pre-Watergate days, it that it created an entirely new political economy that exists only in the shadows and is answerable to no-one. SuperPAC’s face no truth-in-advertising requirements and any fines levied by the practically hopeless Federal Elections Commission is seen simply as the cost of doing business for many of these organizations. Candidates can hide behind these purportedly “independent” groups and let them do the dirty work of Swift Boat smears while they simultaneously criticize the “tone in Washington.”

The decision has spawned such a mockery of our electoral system that it has taken a satirist, and a brilliant one at that, to demonstrate that really folks, the amount of money in politics is no laughing matter.

If there’s hope it is that the resulting flood of cash, in typical Republican over-reach form, has outraged just about every citizen of every stripe that there’s a good chance it’s most damaging effects can be mitigated. A multi-pronged resistance movement has emerged, one launched at the shareholder lever to push for disclosure of corporate political spending as a matter of best business practices, one launched by activists seeking to define “persons” under the constitution as natural persons and not corporations through a constitutional amendment, and yet another to Occupy Wall Street and demand for accountability for the financial crimes of the Bush years.

So to that end, Citizens United may be seen as the true catalyst of the progressive and populist resurgence of the Obama years. Now, if we can just not squander that energy, if we can stand strong in the push back against the corporate takeover of our democracy, then one day we may even thank, in a backhanded way, the Roberts Court for lighting that spark.


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Photo from tracy o via flickr.

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6:32AM PST on Jan 31, 2012


6:31AM PST on Jan 31, 2012


4:19PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

… though not exactly titled to the topic of this thread, the following video: Money Masters does in fact give a good clue to why the "Citizens United" or the "NDAA" are necessary, and to whom it is to serve … and a good hint for relief.
Be warned of the length (3:30 hrs) of this video – but it's worth viewing.

4:06PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

@Carrie H.
– am I citizen of the US ? Back in the 8ies I received a liftime-Visum and a SSnumber … for doing negligible business (CMA-acct @ MLPF&S) in CA.

Else I consider myself a citizen of Germany if some distinct answer is requested. Otherwise I do prefer »feeling at home, wherever friends live« ….
Humanity counts so much more than Nationality …

8:59PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

certainly corporations are made up of people, people who run 'em and work 'em to keep 'em in the black, way in the black. Lt Cmdr Data is more person than is a corporation and less so than is a fertilized egg that may or may not achieve birth.
The Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments are nice, yet they are not absolutes. If they were, then we would be anarchy as we do as we please without regard to anyone else, like republicans.

5:19PM PST on Jan 22, 2012


3:15PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

We are the 99% (not the corporations)!

3:02PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

IF people from mexico germany and canada can not give to our politicians, then why can companies like BP from canada give, Ok they are people but what is their citizenship?Why can they give more money than me a US CITIZEN. If a business licens is all that is required to be a citizen then i thank we will have a real immigration proablem

7:33AM PST on Jan 22, 2012

Thanks very much

7:43PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

WOW Time flys when it bought and paid for!

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