Since we first wrote on the effects on political giving by corporations resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s shocking decision in the Citizens United case, there have been some most interesting developments. The High Court has, by inventing free speech rights for corporations, unleashed a torrent of corporate political spending. This flies in the face of what most lawyers – including this writer – think when reading the first three words of the U.S. Constitution. Surely “We the People” wasn’t intended by the authors of the Constitution to mean “We the people and corporations,” or was it? Nevertheless, the Court has created a monster that threatens to wrest control of our democracy from “the people” and turn it over to huge corporations.
In just two years since Citizen United came out, Big Oil, Wall Street banks, drug companies, other special interests, along with “anonymous donors,” have poured over $4 billion into Congressional campaigns alone. That should shock even a Tea Party zealot – that is, if that zealot isn’t named Koch or happens to be some other fat cat billionaire. Now this same bunch is spending hand-over-fist to capture the White House. Regular folks had better wake up and get involved in the races this Fall. Unless people not only vote, but actively work for candidates and donate what they can afford, we will see an agenda in Washington next year designed to completely turns things over to men like the Koch brothers.
If you believe the Koch brothers and their allies have the interests of working men and women, the elderly, children and anybody who is considered a minority, you will learn the hard way that you are sadly mistaken. But once the elections are over, there will be absolutely nothing that can be done to make things right. The goal must be to take on the powerful special interests and to hold the politicians in both parties accountable to the public interest. The fight this Fall – culminating with the vote on November 6th – will be very hard and likely the most difficult in my lifetime. If you are satisfied with a complete corporate takeover of our National Government you will be right at home in the Romney camp. But if we really want to save our democracy, I am convinced that the President must be supported in his reelection bid.
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