Saturday, December 31, 2011

Money As "Free" Speech

The Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allowing unlimited corporate funding of political action groups was decried by many as a threat to the very essence of the "one man, one vote" ethos of American democracy. In this, the first national election since that ruling, the that fear has become reality.

Politician's like Mitt Romney don't have to do the dirty work of demonizing and crushing their opponents, giant PACs with unlimited funds will do it for them. When the general election  campaign cycle begins, tens of millions of dollars from corporations around the world will go into ads that will try to ensure that the most corporate friendly, individual averse candidate wins. Imagine the quid quo pro these groups will cash in on once they get their boy in office.

Our conservative supreme court members never tire of reminding us of their deep understanding of the "original intent" of the founding fathers. Do you think this is what Jefferson and others had in mind? Thanks to our conservative majority Supreme Court for destroying our political process and insuring that America will be a place that is more friendly to corporations than humans.

Each Super PAC has an agenda, with millions of dollars to spend on those agendas. How many Super PACs do you think will be promoting things like consumer rights, universal health care, and banking regulations? 

"The 2012 Iowa caucus is, increasingly, not about the individuals running. Campaign finance observers have warned repeatedly that independent groups, enabled by the Supreme Court's January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to raise and spend unlimited sums, would alter the balance of campaigns, once run primarily by candidate committees and party organizations. So far, those warnings are looking prescient.
As evidenced in Iowa, campaigns now operate as political parties of one. Candidates with enough financing can lay their own groundwork for voter mobilization efforts and remain positive, while a supportive super PAC runs negative ads beating off opponents. Voter mobilization and opponent attacks were roles traditionally reserved for the party organizations in the general election, but thanks to Citizens United and the birth of super PACs, each individual candidate can now operate in this fashion."

"Super PACs spending millions of dollars on the brutal ads shaping the GOP presidential primary have taken advantage in the past few weeks of a pair of loopholes that will let them keep their donors secret until after votes are cast in the first four big contests.

Some of these new groups backing Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman wrote short letters this month to the Federal Election Commission requesting a bureaucratic change that would let them delay revealing their funders, while super PACs supporting Rick Santorum and Rick Perry are benefiting from a long-standing, but little-noticed, ruling that exempts their ads for the Iowa caucuses from disclosure requirements.

The loopholes are the latest development in a campaign that has seen an explosion of unlimited spending that’s difficult to trace. And exploitation of these loopholes likely guarantees that voters won’t find out who’s paying for a majority of primary campaign ads until late on the night of Jan. 31. That’s after polls have closed in states expected to go a long way toward determining the GOP presidential nominee — the Iowa caucuses and primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida."

Read more:     Super PACS Dominate Iowa Caucus
Read more:     Super PACS Go Stealth
Read more:     Super PAC Spending Sprees