January 26, 2010 9:43:00 AM
There once was the Supreme Court of our land
Who pondered free speech with unfair hand.
When they reached a decision
It was worthy of derision:
Chance to speak equals money you command.
Saul Vydas, Columbus
Centrist commented at 1/26/2010 4:52:00 PM:
I tip my hat to Mr. Vydas for illumunating a subject that has gone without notice in the Golden Triangle for nearly a week. The recent Supreme Court decision shows we have an majority in the court who care more for the personhood of corporations than of the individual voter. This decision puts the nail in the coffin of Democracy. We knew our Congress was being bribed but hoped our own legislators had the moral courage to resist influence peddling. This decision now means they can be blackmailed as well, something they have no control over.
Earl commented at 1/27/2010 10:10:00 PM:
Centrist - you are not gonna hear much either unless windbaugh, wannity and shreckbeck turns against the ruling and tells thier followers to start complaining. Of coarse they love the ruling because they are corporartion themselves. What really scares me about the ruling is the possible effect it will have on local elections. Think what will happen now if a local judge rules against a corporation or a local politician stands against a corporation in a zoning law battle. They will be overwhelmed in the next election. Just imagine if the vote is 3-2 against a new walmart store or if a local politician votes against subsidizing the building of a new road for the local steel mill. A $50,000 corporate campaign against that politician will be the kiss of death in a small market like this. Hopefully congress can do something to minimize the decision. Otherwise, the voice of the people will be drowned out by corporate ads.
walter commented at 1/28/2010 1:00:00 PM:
No doubt about it, the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court represents the beginning of the end of our democracy based upon one person, one vote. The voting strength of not only minorities is vastly diminshed, the ruling also diminishes the voting strength of white persons, too. Unless it is overturned by legislation, it, in essence, will make -iggers and slaves out of the nation's majority white population.
walter commented at 1/28/2010 1:26:00 PM:
In their haste to placate national and international Bigshots, Chief Justice Roberts and his far-right cronies have overturned the most basic principle of our democracy: you must reside within the district in which you vote.
Multi-national corporations reside both nowhere and everywhere at the very same time! They can now vote in Mississippi, Michigan, Montana, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Munich and Montreal, if the latter two have Justices on their court as corrup as a majority of the ones on our Court, today. Money is the primary variable that determines the outcome of most elections, whether nationally or locally. There is no way persons educated in presumably the finest, most prestigeous law school and appointed to our S. Court, can be ignorant of that fact. If they know it, then they also know that their decision has marginalized not only the political views of individual citizens, it has deprived them of the basic right to determione the course of the nation in which they live.
What more do people need to see before they come to realize what corrupt politians have done to them over the past decade. There is no way to justify sending 100's of thousands of courageous young Americans to Iraq and Afghanistan and spending 100's of billions of dollars there and elsewhere, just to capture or kill bin Laden and a few thousands maniacs. With such large sums of money floating around and into the hand of corrupts foreign leaders, there is much room for grafts and kickback to our "honorable' elected and appointed-officials. The consequence of sending money abroad and receiving it back, beneath the table, as that it makes it very ripe for decisions to come from our Courts like the one currently being debated.
For too long, we have been encouraged to engage in race politics. In the meantime, individuals interested only in money have raped and robbed us all, regardless of which race we happen to be a memeber of. There success in doing so shouldn't be attributed to any latent smarts on their part, but rather, to our inability to recognize basic truths: we're all God's creation. And, those of us in the Bible-Belt should know as well as anyone, He is not a respecter of anyone person or race, over another. In His eyesight, we're one race: human. Why can't we beleive what we read with our own eyes in the Bible and conduct ourselves accordingly? Answer; Concerted and highly-financed efforts to keep us divided and conquered.
J commented at 2/4/2010 8:54:00 AM:
You forget to mention that Unions have always been exempt from this law that has finally been shot down. Big Union gets free speech, but corporations (which are comprised of people too) are left out? The playing field has only just been leveled.
Centrist commented at 2/4/2010 12:25:00 PM:
J You are mistaken. Union contributions to Federal candidates have been outlawed since 1947 under the Taft-Hartly act.
Jeff commented at 2/4/2010 3:03:00 PM:
I am not wrong. This court decision is not about contributions. It's about free speech in the form of various ads. Non-profit groups registering under Section 501(c) and 527 associations were exempt from the Campaign Reform Act. Many unions have a registered 501(c) and use it to freely electioneer, while corporations and other groups without a nonprofit subsidiary were left out of the election process.
Together, 501(c) and 527 groups spent almost $1.8 billion in the 2006 election cycle on behalf of candidates they supported. The Campaign Reform Act was flawed because of this loophole and needed to be shot down.
You'll notice that the court decision support is generally split down party lines. The supreme court is supposed to be seen as apolitical and wouldn't be unprecedentedly attacked if there wasn't something to lose for the complaining party.
You can't restrict free speech no matter where it's from. CBS is a corporation. Should the government control them? This is a free country and you are free to make lots of money and then use it how you see fit.
Centrist commented at 2/4/2010 4:48:00 PM:
Jeff: To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. (ref: IRS.gov) Note the last sentence.
1. Our View: Tuition increases further evidence of misplaced priorities DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Ask Rufus: Three Houses LOCAL COLUMNS
3. Froma Harrop: Carmakers, don't pick a fight with California NATIONAL COLUMNS
5. Editorial cartoon for 4-21-17 NATIONAL COLUMNS