Tag Archives: Corporations

Hero of the Week Award: February 15, Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota

15 Feb
Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week

This week a newly elected member of the 113th Congress took a stand against Citizens United — one of the worst decisions to come from a very biased U.S. Supreme Court — and put forward an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Rep. Rick Nolan (D – MN) is one of the Democrats who unseated a rabid Tea Party Republican in the November elections. He was in Congress before (1975 – 81), so he brings both experience and fresh eyes to the House.

Working with Rep. Mark Pocan (D – WI), Nolan crafted what he calls a “We the People” Amendment. It would clarify the Constitution by establishing two things.

  • Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies; and
  • Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

What? You mean corporations are not human beings?  Scalia and his merry band will be sad to learn this. The full text is available at the Move to Amend website.

It is significant to note that during his time away from Congress Rep. Nolan served as president of the U.S. Export Corporation and the Minnesota World Trade Center. He is not anti-corporation but understands their limited and appropriate role. How wonderful to see him bring that experience to bear for the benefit of all.

A Constitutional amendment is a tall order and will take time and effort. It may even be a non-starter in Boehner’s House of Tears. Congress has the power to amend, however, to check the decisions of the Supreme Court. Thanks to Reps. Nolan and Pocan, however, the momentum has started.

Supreme Court Sanctions Purchasing of Elections…

25 Jun

The Fecal Five Strike Again

The Fecal Five strike again.  In a very disappointing but not surprising ruling, the Supreme Court rejected corporate spending limits, thus affirming Citizens United.  This morning, in a 5 to 4 vote (big shock there) the U.S. Supreme Court declared that corporations may spend as much money as they wish to influence elections, thus striking down the Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending.

The five conservative activists judges maintain the “personhood” identity to corporations: “corporations have a constitutional right to be heard in election campaigns.”  Let me understand this.  We will give corporations huge tax breaks, or not tax them at all, but they have the right to spend endless amount of money to support a candidate?  Does this disturb anyone else?

Very sad for Montana, which was trying to limit corporate spending, so as to help prevent any type of corruption.  The New York Times reports:

But Montana aggressively defended its 1912 law against a challenge from corporations seeking to be free of spending limits, and the state Supreme Court sided with the state. The state court said a history of corruption showed the need for the limits, even as Justice Anthony Kennedy declared in his Citizens United opinion that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

While Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer pointed out the obvious flaws in Kennedy’s argument around corruption and corporate spending, their efforts were to no avail.  My chief concern right now is the potential for the corrupt purchase of the Presidential election. More from the Times:

Ginsburg issued a brief statement for herself and Breyer saying that campaign spending since the decision makes “it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.'”

Ginsburg appeared to be referring to the rise of unregulated super PACs that have injected millions of dollars into the presidential and other campaigns. She said the case “will give the court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”

Another larger looming question is what do we do with the Fecal Five who seem to have complete control over the Supreme Court?

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