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Intro: "Several cities and states are passing resolutions against corporate personhood. The resolutions are the result of Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which gave corporations the same first amendment rights as individuals and thereby opening the floodgates for money in politics in the US. Cities and states with rules governing political contributions on the books and even some without are hoping that these resolutions will curb the impact of that decision or provide momentum to overturn it completely."

US cities and states are passing resolutions against Citizens United which gives corporations first amendment rights. (photo: Ad Busters)
US cities and states are passing resolutions against Citizens United which gives corporations first amendment rights. (photo: Ad Busters)

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-6 # Sweet Pea 2012-01-05 13:14
This is a bunch of gobble-de-goop. The wealthy will "always" find ways to fund elections even if it is promises for future payment. Government funded elections would be closer to honest elections, but there still wouldn't be any guarantee that future reimbursements wouldn't be forthcoming to elected officials that vote in the best interest of the wealthy. It's life - -always was always will be.
+1 # RLF 2012-01-06 07:04
That is why we need to break out the guillotine every now and then, eh?
+2 # Ken Hall 2012-01-08 00:43
So there's nothing the 99% can do except pack it in and retreat, tails between our legs? Your attitude is self-defeating. The US is supposed to be a gov't of, by, and for the people. That ideal presupposes that citizens are willing to engage and be active participants and contributors. Democracy is not a spectator sport! Get off your couch and get out there, join OWS!
+3 # RMDC 2012-01-05 13:59
There's one thing Citizens United can take credit for - the total ass whooping that Romney gave to Gingrich in Iowa. The adverts run by an "independent" PAC against Gringrich gave him a thrashing he will never forget. Gingrinch is said to be really angry and spoiling for revenge. He likes to pay the pontificating professor speaking to 18 year olds who lap up all he says. But he's not any good at that. Most of what he says is just plain idiotic. His real strength is the attack dog. But he did not have the funding to fight back against Romney's PAC. Gingrich is done. Stick a fork in him. His political life is over, thanks to Citizens United.
+1 # Huck Mucus 2012-01-05 14:32
A commentator on NPR yesterday shrugged his shoulders about Citizens United, basing his opinion on his perceived foregone conclusion about the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court's decision that money equals speech. What this ignores is the fact that the Supreme Court is wrong.

Money does not equal speech. Speech is free. Everyone knows that. You can speak all day and night and not pay a penny to do so.

No, my friends; what money equals is *being heard". There is a huge difference. Those who spend money on campaigns don't pay to speak. They pay to be heard, and it works.

With the idea that money equals speech, we are basically back to a de facto poll tax which was found unconstitutiona l, so the rich have done an end run around that. One dollar, one vote; pay to play; pay to be heard.

What makes me feel uncomfortable is all the liberal outfits sending me e-mails asking for money to fight this, or to champion their candidate. This is begging for a metaphor but I can't think of one right now.
+4 # hkatzman 2012-01-05 14:48
Citizen's Untied give corporations 1st Ammendment rights of personhood? So they can do unlimited spending? I thought there were limits of $1000 for what I could contribute to elections. How is it that corporations get to spend more than I could conceptually spend (of course I do not quite have that much funds to spend ;] )

Now someone help me with this. We are in a Great Recession. No one seems to have any cash. Banks are not giving loans and businesses are hurting and people (flesh-and-bloo d people, not Supreme Court created entities) are being fired/laid-off/ down-sized or whatever modern colloquialism for losing their job. Yet, at the same time these particular corporations are sitting on chests of cash just waiting to invest in candidates. Are these extreme campaign contributions a way to easily identify the 1% and those owned by them?
+3 # papabob 2012-01-05 15:23
When Morgan-Stanley goes to prison or gets put to death, I'll start believing in Citizen's United. Until then, it looks like the Supremes screwed up - big time!
0 # RLF 2012-01-06 07:06
How about that coal mining corp. that racketeered lies to avoid safety rules and got a bunch of guys killed. Co. isn't dead yet. Unequal treatment under the law?
0 # goodsensecynic 2012-01-05 19:24
How's this for an idea? (sorry, it's a bit long & will need 2 posts at least)

Since January, 2004, businesses and trade unions in Canada are permitted to donate a maximum of $1,000 to political campaigns. Individual citizens are also limited to donating a maximum of $5,000 (all donations are income tax deductable). Any person, union or corporation that gives over $200 to a political party or candidate will have their name and address published. Parties and candidates must disclose not only the sources of their funds, but also how they were spent. Political contributions, incidentally, include not only money, but also goods and services donated "in kind."

Understanding that these restrictions would hamper candidates and parties seeking to win voter support, alternatives were put in place. So, any political party that got more than 2% of the vote nationally, or 5% in any specific voting district, is given $1.75 for every vote they get. Thus, not only the governing Conservatives ("Republican"), 2nd-place New Democrats (members of the Socialist International and leader of the Official Opposition), 3rd-place Liberals ("Democratic"), and (4th-place Quebec separatist) Bloc Quebecois parties, but also the Green Party and any number of others such as the Marijuana, Libertarian and various communist parties and also eligible to be subsidized from general tax revenue.
+2 # goodsensecynic 2012-01-05 19:29
As a result, elections are now financed almost 90% by the public. Among the many benefits in terms of fairness, opportunities for 3rd, 4th, 5th (etc.,) alternatives to the two "corporate parties"), Canada's election finance laws also mean than far less money is put in play. If this system were to be introduced in the USA, it is likely that the total cost for all parties and all candidates in any federal election would be no more than half a billion dollars. That's quite a chunk of change, but nothing like what's being spent by corporations now (never mind in primaries).

Before my American friends faint in astonishment I must add that Prime Minister Stephen Harper (a ridiculously right-wing politician who's almost as "conservative" as President Obama) is working to public funding. Despite having 60% of the electorate voted against him and his party because of our silly electoral system, he won a majority of seats in the House of Commons, and is now governing as if the people of Canada approve of him. Why President Obama, who actually won a majority of votes and whose party had majorities in the US Senate and House in 2008 did not govern with as much authority during the first two years of his presidency remains a mystery to your northern neighbours.

Anyway, good luck in 2012. We're at least happy that Sarah bin-Palin will not get within a designer dress of the Oval Office. We are thankful for small mercies.

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