Walmart can’t donate directly to their own “pro-business” political action committee, they can’t make employees donate to it, and they can’t pay employees for donating to it. Those things would all be against the law, and would draw the ire of the Federal Election Commission. But the company is legally allowed to create incentives for employees to donate to their PAC by creating matching charitable contributions. The problem? The only charity in play is one that gives to Walmart employees. According to a complaint lodged with the FEC today, that means Walmart is still basically paying off employees to make political contributions, and should be stopped.
In every common-sense, everyday way, a corporation is not a person. Corporations don’t date, don’t have families, don’t go catch a movie on Friday night. They also don’t go to jail when they do something criminal. But in the eyes of the law, corporations enjoy many of the same rights — including free speech and religious expression — and protections afforded to individuals.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision in a case involving limits on donations to political campaigns. In a 5-4 decision, the Supremes ruled that caps placed on an individual’s total campaign contributions were a violation of their First Amendment rights. [More]
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.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee that it was unconstitutional to limit political campaign spending by corporations, thus helping to usher in the current era of the “super PAC.” Today, Vermont’s state legislature became the latest to call for an amendment to the Constitution that would overturn the controversial court ruling and declare that “money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution.”