Supreme Court Upholds Corporations’ Right To Unlimited Campaign Spending

It’s been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee case and declared that limiting corporate spending on political campaigns is a violation of businesses’ right to free expression. Today, the Supremes affirmed that controversial decision by striking down a 100-year-old Montana law that capped spending on state-level elections.

Montana and other states had argued that the Citizens United case only applied to federal elections, but by the same 5-4 vote in the earlier decision, the court ruled that corporations and labor unions are allowed to spend freely — so long as all the cash does not go directly to a candidate — on all elections.

The 2010 decision ushered in the era of so-called Super PACs, which allow businesses and unions to throw large amounts of money behind politicians and political parties.

Some of the Supreme Court justices had asked for a full hearing to discuss the campaign spending changes that have occurred since the Citizens United decision, but that request was denied.

In the original Citizens United decision, Justice Kennedy had stated that corporate campaign spending “does not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

But earlier this year, Justice Ginsburg wrote that the actions of Super PACs in the wake of that ruling have made it “exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.'”

Some states, like Vermont, have called for a Constitutional Amendment overturning the ruling, which some believes effectively grants corporations all the rights afforded to individuals.

Court Rejects Corporate Campaign Spending Limits [WSJ.com]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    SCOTUS is not at fault here; they are trying to interpret the Constitution and other applicable laws as best they can.

    If SCOTUS comes back with decision we find unpopular, that is not the end of the debate. At that point, if we don’t like it, the next step is to change the law, even the Constitution, to make it the way we want it.

    • Maz says:

      Because getting our bought-off politicians to begin the process of amending the Constitution is going to be oh so easy, despite popular opinion on both sides of the aisle at Citizens United is wrong.

      • Coffee says:

        This. At some point, we have to realize that the Supreme Court is anything but impartial and infallible.

    • FatLynn says:

      That’s not what happened in Citizens United. A case was brought before the court about issues-based documentaries, and rather than make a narrow ruling on the case itself, the court decided to overturn decades of precedent in campaign finance law. In fact, CJ Roberts called for a second set of oral arguments, which is almost unheard of.

    • Coffee says:

      “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,” and therefore “[n]o sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.”

      • Coffee says:

        Goddammit…the shitty new comment system ate my first comment, part of which was this quote from the Citizens United decision…it basically amounted to – yeah…they’re being deliberately obtuse, bro.

    • PsiCop says:

      I think maybe you’re being slightly generous toward them. They’re interpreting the Constitution through the lens of two premises: First, that “Corporation=Individual Citizen,” and second, that “Money=Speech.” Neither of those premises is contained anywhere within the Constitution. They aren’t NOT contained within it, either … but the fact is they aren’t there. Hence, their interpretation is necessarily extra-Constitutional.

      It would be nice if all those “strict constructionists” out there would simply admit this, but they’re likely far too busy celebrating this decision and making plans to turn the US and each of the 50 states into corporate plutocracies.

      The only thing SCOTUS hasn’t done … yet … is declare that corporations have the right to vote (as corporations, separately from the individuals who constitute them). Give them time, I’m sure they’ll get around to that, soon enough.

      • Akuma Matata says:

        Individuals have the right to donate towards candidates and such. To say they give up that right if they pool with others is nonsense though.

      • partofme says:

        First, they actually claimed that “Corporation = Assembly of Citizens”. Second, as far as Citizens’ United went, “Money = Speech” had nothing to do with it. It was not concerning whether or not a corporation could give money to a candidate. It was concerning whether a group of people could publish a video on VOD.

      • The Fireman says:

        This is a good point, and these rulings like citizens united have too far reaching consquences for our democracy… We need a constitional admendment to determine and define the rights of coperations and make them pay U.S. Income taxes

    • regis-s says:

      Or you appoint judges that have a similar view of the constitution that you do. There’s a reason the left and the right fight so hard to get “their” judges approved.

    • econobiker says:

      I think that Teddy Roosevelt did away with the whole corporations as persons issue about 100 years ago by not allowing the corporations to make contributions.

      If this was an issue back when the telephone was high tech fast communication and money transfers were conducted by paper, then this will be an even worse issue today.

      Tillman Act of 1907: “An Act to prohibit corporations from making money contributions in connection with political elections. Be it enacted, that it shall be unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation organized by authority of any laws of Congress, to make a money contribution in connection with any election to any political office. It shall also be unlawful for any corporation whatever to make a money contribution in connection with any election at which Presidential and Vice-Presidential electors or a Representative in Congress is to be voted for or any election by any State legislature of a United States Senator. Every corporation which shall make any contribution in violation of the foregoing provisions shall be subject to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and every officer or director of any corporation who shall consent to any contribution by the corporation in violation of the foregoing provisions shall upon conviction be punished by a fine of not exceeding one thousand and not less than two hundred and fifty dollars, or by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.”

  2. oldwiz65 says:

    Just goes to show that corporations have figured out how to bribe the Supreme Court. I wonder what they used… cash? drugs? hookers? Money in offshore account? Blackmail?

    So now we know that corporations are totally free to buy elections. We now have a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. The next election has been totally bought; whichever party spends the most money will win. Doesn’t matter if they are Nazis, Republicans, Democrats, or Satanists.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      It’s like the lyrics in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      I agree with you. It doesn’t matter who gets elected, they’re all out for themselves and to hell with the little person. All they want from me is my tax money and my vote to put them back into office. Past that, because I’m not a member of any organized group, or a PAC, and I can’t give them any money to speak of, I can pound sand.

  3. dolemite says:

    Hurray! So now the candidate that is funded the best will always win. It’s why our government hasn’t been “for the people” for so long. When lobbyists that put you into office are writing your legislation for you, how can it be? The whole healthcare meltdown, Americans getting fat, and general decay of the country is basically from government supporting corporate interests over the interests of citizens. We’ll have a meltdown at some point in the future that makes our little recession and 8-9% unemployment look like a picnic, I’m sure. Everyone is in it for the quick buck, golden parachute, day trading, and no one is looking out for the health of the country in the long-term.

    • mikedt says:

      According to the Freakinomics guys, money doesn’t buy elections. The say the guy with the most money, tends to get the most money because he seems the most electable. And that electability is what gives him the office, not the money.

      Personally I don’t buy it. If you had a curious, educated populous money might not buy elections, but when it appears the average American believes whatever seems to be blasted to him the most (or relies on his gut instead of facts), more commercials changes reality.

  4. Darury says:

    So, if you’re against this, I assume you have an issue with large unions dumping tons of cash into various elections as well? I’d be quite interested in hearing how multi-million dollar union campaigning is any different from corporationsPACs presenting information that benefits their own interests.

    • pgr says:

      No, we know who the unions represent – the workers, not the 1% scum that bought and paid for the Supreme Court!

      • penuspenuspenus says:

        I thought the union represents their shareholders (those in the union) who collectively throw money at candidates who they feel best represents their ideals?

        A corporation, collectively representing their shareholders throws money at candidates who they feel best represents their ideals….

        Wait, how is this any different?

        • jawbone says:

          Unions elect their leaders democratically. Corporations technically “elect” directors, but it’s about 10% democratic and 90% cronyism.

          If this is a duplicate, sorry – I keep getting “Bad Gateway” errors since the upgrade.

      • Doubts42 says:

        If you believe that, I have a bridge you might be interested in. Union bosses represent Union workers about as much as the CEO of Walmart represents individual checkers at your corner store.

    • dolemite says:

      My take on it is this: if the people in the union pay out of their own pockets and contribute, and it ends up being 5 million in donations, that’s fine. A corporation does not have “free speech” and rights. It is not a person. The 10,000 people that work for that corporation do not all have the same values and principals. When a corporation gives 5 million, it is reflecting the choices of a very select few rich people at the top that may have drastically different goals than the guy cleaning the floors. The people donating in the union probably share the same goals.

      • AtlantaCPA says:

        There was a case that hinted at this last week: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/21/155538749/supreme-court-tips-scale-against-the-unions

        It will be interesting to see when a corporation gives a bunch of money to support someone that a large shareholder doesn’t agree with.

        • rugman11 says:

          That ruling is different. A lot of times, especially in goverments, non-union members are still charged dues so as to eliminated the free rider problem. What this ruling stated was that, if a union sets up a PAC, they can’t force non-union members to donate to the PAC. If a shareholder doesn’t agree with the corporation’s political stance, they’re always welcome to sell their shares, just as a union member could leave the union (while keeping their job in this instance).

      • xerotope says:

        What about the 10,000 shareholders of the corporation? How is that different than a union? Are you saying that all union members have the same values and principles?

        Political spending by unions is most likely determined by the union president/governing board, not the union at large. How is that different then the shareholder-elected board and CEO of a corporation?

        There are definitely problems with shell corporations making large political donations effectively anonymous. But if you believe any freely-associating group of individuals should have free-speech (and to the Supreme Court, political spending==speech), then Citizens United is a sound decision.

        • dolemite says:

          I put money into my 401k like most people. There are hundreds of companies in it. I don’t even know the names of many of them, as I’ve never bothered to look. The American worker has no pension plans anymore. Social security will be gone by the time we retire. The only viable retirement method is putting money into the stock market. That means supporting corporations that you don’t agree with, simply because you would like to not work until you drop dead of exhaustion. There are many companies I do not support, but must, as they are also the ones that perform well usually for the same reasons I do not support them.

          • xerotope says:

            If you really do care, then put your money where your mouth is. Move your savings to a Socially Responsible Investment fund. There are instruments out there for every cause. Nobody is forcing you to invest in companies you find repugnant.

          • Bob says:

            Actually, in the eyes of the corporations, the recognized owner of the funds in your 401K is the investing institution, not you. You, yourself, must buy the stock independently to get any shareholders rights.

      • rugman11 says:

        The proper analogy would question whether the corporation’s owners disagree with the political stances the company takes. If you don’t like the causes the CEO or the board is investing in, sell your stake in the company.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        Enter text…

      • dush says:

        If the contributions were voluntary and unions didn’t force membership dues then I’d be fine with unions funding candidates or causes.

    • Gman says:

      It is a minor distinction. Both IMHO are bad for politics. One group is beholden to anonymous shareholders. The other to a group of their paying members.

      You can always find some example of horrible and despicable behavior on each side. But using that example does not justify your side to do the same thing.

      We will be better off by limiting campaign donations to only that of an individual voter and those donations themselves being limited in an equitable fashion based on the level of government the person is running for.

      not perfect, but better than the unlimited donations available now.

    • FatLynn says:

      The courts have placed “opt-in” rules on unions that do not apply to corporations. They are systematically making it harder for unions to spend on elections while making it easier for corporations to do so.

      • rugman11 says:

        The difference being that union dues are often not “opt-in”. My wife pays union dues despite not being an official member of the union. What the courts have ruled is that you can’t force non-members to donate to political causes. If a union wants to advocate politically, it can only assess fees to members.

        With corporations, on the other hand, you can always choose not to conduct business with that company or to not own stock in it.

        • Maz says:

          And if your money is in a larger pool with a bunch of others in funds? Or your 401k is being managed through a firm by your employer?

          You speak as if withdrawing the small sliver of my under a million fund will have any affect other than to make me poorer when I reach retirement age.

        • Kuri says:

          And if you choose not to do business with a company, there are numerous others to take your place.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        You don’t like the corporation’s donations? Sell the stock!

        You don’t like the union’s donations? Quit the job!

        See the difference?

    • PsiCop says:

      You realize you’re using a “two wrongs make a right” appeal? For the record, I’m as much against unions politicking as I am against corporations politicking. Unions (as entities) are not “persons” in their own right, any more than corporations are. But to use the permissibility of union politicking to justify corporate politicking, just isn’t going to fly. “Two wrongs make a right” is fallacious, no matter how you look at it.

    • anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

      I have a serious problem with it. I am a proud union member, but I do not like the idea of my union donating to a candidate that I do not care for. I privately give to candidates that I like. In my case my Republican Congressman, AND my DFL US Senator. I probably would not have a problem with it if the International did like the local union does. Before donating money we have a vote and majority rules, I can live with that. I do not like the International spending my dues without at least giving me a say in the matter. I am not one of these union members out to badmouth capitalism. I want my company to do well and keep making money. I would never make this kind of wage working for a poor man. I like the fact that the owner of the company is one of the 10 richest men in the world. If he is making money, I am staying employed and making a comfortable living.

  5. Coffee says:

    Citizens United will go down as one of the worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court…they’ve created a government that will be owned by corporations and billionaires. The Executive and Legislative branches will be dominated by the candidates who receive the most funding and who are, in turn, most beholden to private interests. They’re the ones who appoint and confirm the Supreme Court justices, so over time, the court will become more and more polluted.

    And we can’t fix this because as things now stand, the Republicans are receiving far more money than the Dems are from these monolithic donors, so they’ll group together rank and file to strike down any amendment to the Constitution that would otherwise fix this problem. I pray that this isn’t the case, but we can’t even get the two sides to agree that the sun rises in the east at this point, so there you have it.

    Fuck us…the court fucked us big time.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      The Republicans have learned well from Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda minister “Scream lies loud enough and often enough and people will believe them”. voters have become totally stupid; they vote for whoever screams the loudest and says they support issue X (when in reality they don’t care) just to get votes. We are well on our way to becoming the most corrupt 1st world country.

      • Snapdragon says:

        Well on our way? I think we’re there.

      • Coffee says:

        Exactly so…the way Romney swept into Florida during the primaries, spent as much as five times what his opponents did, and took the state (http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/money-cant-buy-him-love/)…it’s very sad that people – no matter how much they express dismay at negative campaigning and attack ads – are shown to be influenced by the money spent in campaign ads time after time. Furthermore, fewer and fewer people are watching things like political debates these days, and consequently, they vote based on how candidates are represented in advertising and via news outlets like Fox News.

      • Kuri says:

        Giving how many unemployed we have, the sorry state of our infrastructure, the way our government works now, and the state of health-care, I think calling this nation first world is being rather generous.

    • josephpr says:

      Remember the good old days when we thought the New London, CT eminent domain case was the worst one? And then states decided they had to head this off by passing state law. Apparently having learned from that, they are striking down the Montana law against purchasing an election.

    • incident_man says:

      The only hope we have (and this isn’t a perfect solution) is.

      1. Make all public offices non-partisan; in other words, no political parties at all.
      2. If anyone wants to donate money to a candidate, they have to donate to the Federal Election Commission (or state/local equivalent), which doles the money equally out to all candidates. Donations made by citizens/corporations/PACs directly to specific candidates would be illegal, punishable by hefty fines and imprisonment.
      3. Institute term limits for all offices-federal, state, and local.

      Of course, this wouldn’t prevent people from canvassing (without soliciting monetary funds) for their candidate of choice, or putting up yard signs, unless they were paid to do so or paying someone to do so.

      I’m all in favour of the First Amendment, but where things stand now, with the Citizens United fiasco, he who has the most money speaks the loudest. That’s not the way the First Amendment should work.

      • Cerne says:

        You can’t believe #1 and #2 and be in favour of the 1st amendment. WHat your propose is moronic, unethical and thankfully illegal.

        • incident_man says:

          Well what I do know is the current system is broken, that it is in need of complete overhaul, and the rich have far too much influence in the process.

          Items 1 and 2 would go a long way towards remedying this.

          The county I live in implemented item #1 and people no longer vote party-line for county offices; rather they vote for the person who they think will do the job better, without the distraction of party getting in the way. Our First Amendment rights were not restricted and it’s not illegal in the slightest.

          Item #2 does not invalidate the First Amendment either. Money != speech, no matter what the Supreme Court says vis a vis the Citizens United decision. People would still have the right to persuade others to their point of view; removing the money from the equation simply puts the control of elections back in the hands of the people, rather than who has the most money to spend, namely big corporations.

          When a society predicated on equal rights reaches a point that the only people who have said rights are only the ones rich enough to exercise those rights, methods have to be taken to restore the balance of power to all people, not just a select few who have money to throw around.

          • Cerne says:

            Freedom of speech definitely protects the right to band together to spread a political idea and it certainly protects the right to spend money on advertising.

  6. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    bets on today’s healthcare reform SCOTUS decision?

    • Costner says:

      5-4 striking it down… 100% split on party lines.

      There is no justice when the laws of our nation are determined by split decision which is tied directly to the party which they are beholden to. I find it fairly disgusting to know that if you replaced one conservative justice with a liberal justice… most of these votes would go the other way.

      I’d feel ok with things if the votes were 7-2 or even 6-3, but when they continually come out as 5-4 time and time again it really makes you become cynical about the entire system.

      • rugman11 says:

        There are two problems with your statement.

        First, most cases are not, in fact, 5-4 decisions. Of the 74 cases decided thus far in the 2011 term, only 12 have been 5-4 decisions and of those, only 9 have been split on party lines.

        The reason we hear so much about the 5-4 decisions is because those are often the most difficult cases where there is a lot at stake and serious Constitutional questions are present.

        • Costner says:

          Yes don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting every decision the SCOTUS makes is broken down along a 5-4 split or even among party lines, but many of the big “hot button” issues are… and that was my point.

          It just bothers me that even the highest court of our land strongly disagrees as to how the laws should be interpreted. Swap out one Justice and suddenly have a major reversal of several key laws… that just signals to me that it isn’t about what the Constitution says or what the law says… it is about what a specific political party says.

          I also can’t help but feel that in the future we will find ourselves revisiting many of the same issues when the other side takes power and thinks the time is right. I just don’t like to have our nation’s future decided by a political machine which just so happens to be the same political machine that has screwed everything up. I wish our Justices could see beyond their own biases and do the right thing instead of being so predictable.

          I’m not sure there is a solution – but sending non-political or centrist Justices to the SCOTUS would probably be a good start.

          • partofme says:

            Yesterday’s other hot button case – the Arizona immigration law – was a 5-3, not along party lines. When you read the opinions, you can’t help but realize that they’re actually struggling with fundamental principles (and sometimes coming to different conclusions… because these are hard questions)… not just reacting to worthlessness of party-speak.

    • FatLynn says:

      I predict….the decision is going to be on Thursday.

  7. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Nice. So Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway corporation can now basically just buy whatever election he wants, and the rest of us serfs just have to stand around and take it.

    This just further illustrates the point that we are not all created equal.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yes because Buffet’s company is going to force you to vote for their candidate so you’ll have no choice.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      And George Soros will just shake his fist and curse.

  8. Gman says:

    I’d love campaigns to have four major changes:

    1. 90 Day campaigning max.
    2. All campaign ads and ads referencing a specific party, person or issue [including referencing them such as saying “white house” instead of “president”] must abide by a truth in advertising clause with major fines for any wrong fact/lie [even if unintentional].
    3. All money going to a specific campaign must come from a person who is registered to vote in that person’s election. [I.E. No outside money]
    4. no outside superpacs or related groups of unlimited donations and anonymity.

    • Clippy says:

      All good, save for number 3. If you let that stand, it changes nothing, since only the super rich could then run for office. The better solution is to cap campaign spending at something stupid low (say $1mil) and then also force public broadcasters to give airtime to any registered candidates; obviously FTC could then force this onto major networks as well. That way everyone would be on a level playing field, and yet it would still weed out those who could not gather enough support for an effective campaign.

    • castlecraver says:

      All of the above are improper restrictions on free speech and are therefore unconstitutional.

      Woohoo! Hey look Ma, I’m playing Antonin Scalia!

      • dush says:

        You’re right, except for point 2. Free speech doesn’t cover lying to or defrauding people (voters).

  9. Shorebreak says:

    We have five robes in the SCOTUS that have been bought and paid for to turn this country into a corporate state. Elections? We don’t have those anymore. There are now only auctions where political power goes to the highest bidder.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      Yeah that’s why Obama won, and why he had a super majority for two years.

      • Shorebreak says:

        The SCOTUS didn’t install Obama like it did GW Bush. Get your facts straight will you.

        • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

          Well, first off, you stated “political power goes to the highest bidder”. I merely pointed out what happened in 2008 proves this is not true. Realizing you lost that argument, you changed the subject and invoked The Bush Subterfuge.

          Secondly, independent recounts by three newspapers verified that Bush would have won using ANY of the counting methods approved by DEMOCRATS prior to the election. The Florida SC tried to change the rules after the fact to allow individual counties use different counting methods to engineer a Gore victory. The SCOTUS decision preempted this unconstitutional abuse of authority. An inconvenient truth, but true nonetheless.

          So YOU get YOUR facts straight.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12623-2001Nov11.html

        • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

          You stated that “political power goes to the highest bidder”. I merely pointed out that in 2008, Obama won and Democrats gained a super majority, thus proving your point to be false. Realizing that you had just lost the argument, you changed course and invoked the ridiculous “b-b-but BUSH!” smoke screen. But okay, I’ll play.

          Several independent recounts showed that Bush would have won Florida if the SCOTUS had not intervened – an inconvenient truth, but the truth nonetheless.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/12/us/examining-vote-overview-study-disputed-florida-ballots-finds-justices-did-not.html?pagewanted=all

  10. dolemite says:

    ERROR
    A temporary error has occurred. If the problem persists,please
    contact support@wpengine.com or check our status blog for updates.

    Anyone else?

    • Costner says:

      Yes – many times. I refresh (F5) and it will eventually go. Needless to say the updates don’t appear to be working as planned… it is ugly.

    • anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

      Time and time again dolemite. Whatever they paid for their website reboot, they paid too much.

  11. DrLumen says:

    Best government money can buy!

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      What political party does PBHO belong to?

      Which party controls the Senate?

      Which pary had a super majority for two years?

      Thank you, drive through.

  12. DrLumen says:

    I just thought of something, lets get this out from under the rug so everyone is on the same page.

    For every $100M that corporations contribute to the directly to the national debt (not campaigning politicians) they get 5 house votes.

    For every $1B to the national debt the companies get 2 senate votes and 25 house votes.

    Lets work up a price list we can all get comfortable with!

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      Public sector unions are already doing this except they are buying outrageous salaries, unsustainable pensions, and ridiculous medical benefits.

  13. partofme says:

    …if only Roberts could have convinced four other justices that the narrower ruling made any sense. Speaking of which, why didn’t the four dissenting justices jump on with the narrow ruling?

  14. dush says:

    I simply don’t understand how they interpreted the Bill of Rights, the rights of individual citizens of the United States, as being extended to a corporation. You certainly can’t deny the freedom of speech to the individuals involved in the corporation but a corporation is not a person.

    • Bill19014 says:

      It does make sense, especially in the case of Citizens United. Often, as in CU, people get together to form a corporation specifically for the purpose of expressing an opinion–in this case that opinion was something along the lines of “we don’t like Hilary Clinton”. Other examples of people coming together under the umbrella of a legal fiction in order to advocate for a particular political viewpoint would include everyone from the NEA to the NRA. To say that they may not do this is to say that only individuals rich enough to buy TV time or make movies themselves have the right to have their voices heard on the national stage.

      • kathygnome says:

        That’s the theory, but in reality most of these groups are made up of “people getting together” in the sense of “1 or 2 people.” These aren’t real groups with large numbers of donors. They’re simply fronts for one or two very wealthy people who are making an investment to tilt the government in a way favorable to their business interests.

      • dush says:

        So a bunch of people consent to pool their resources and want to do something with it. That seems different to me than a mere legal entity like a corporation that would just give money/profits to a cause without explicit consent of the owners/contributers.
        It’s just like how unions should not be able to force people to pay union dues and then end up giving that money to causes the members might not have otherwise wanted to support.

        • Bill19014 says:

          The point is, the NRA is a corporation; the ACLU is a corporation. It’s really hard to limit the rights of businesses in general, even if that were desirable, without restricting groups like the NRA, ACLU, etc. Often, ordinary businesses get involved in politics to protect themselves from legislators, who essentially blackmail them into contributing by threatening them with laws that will harm their businesses. This is what happened to Microsoft; they used to stay out of politics, but after the antitrust case, they throw money at both major parties to guarantee “access”.

          If you really want business out of politics, you need to shrink government down so that it can’t destroy businesses that don’t want to play the game.

          I agree that unions should not be able to force their members to pay dues that can be used for politics–I would actually say that unions shouldn’t be able to force anyone to join or pay dues, but that voluntary dues and donations from members could then be used for political purposes.

          • dush says:

            Well a hearty amen to restricting the powers of the federal govt. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though.

  15. Press1forDialTone says:

    The take-over coup of the American government by the private sector has officially
    gone to Phase 2 with this ruling. Suggest everyone get their passports in order and
    scope out nice places to live in Canada or elsewhere. Our Constitution and Bill of
    Rights is OVER. Only the drones will stay to work for the oligarchs for minimum wage.