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The Supreme Court Got This One Right

January 28, 2010 by  

Some of the elected class are expressing dismay at the recent United States Supreme Court ruling that overturned much of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law that was passed in 2002. That law limited soft money in campaign financing, issue ads and controversial campaign practices.

Democrat National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine went so far as to call the ruling a decision that “must not be allowed to stand.” He also warned the Obama administration is preparing a forceful response. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) declared himself disappointed in the ruling.

Remember this: If the elected class opposes it then the ruling must be good for the American people. And this one is.

McCain-Feingold was an attack on free speech, plain and simple. It was, as some pundits have said, simply an election insurance bill that almost guaranteed the incumbent could waltz into the election against an opponent who had his hands tied. And special interest groups or corporations opposing the incumbent or big government-friendly legislation were forced to remain silent.

After all, if you ban ads opposing certain positions or politicians you have stifled the type of speech the First Amendment to the Constitution protects. And an assault on one portion of one Constitutionally guaranteed right is an attack on all of them.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote: “One of the amendments to the Constitution.. expressly declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,’ thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others.”

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American who has been writing a newsletter since 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • realbigal

    The one reform needed to make this ruling more complete and effective is a change in the laws regarding voting at annual meetings of shareholders of corporations. Only individuals and partnerships that can verify unanimity of agreement among partners should be able to vote their shares at corporate meetings. This would go a long way toward solving many problems and abuses by big business and Estalishment Insiders.

    Consider almost any of the major coeporations listed on the NYSE or the NASDAQ. Their top executives who get huge salaries and benefits are very often part of the political establishment and direct billions of dollars into maintaining that Establishment. This money ultimately comes from individual shareholders, many of whom are absolutely opposed to having it spent that way. But just try to vote out the rascals at the annual meetings and see what you are up against. Vast amounts of the stock of thses corporations (frequently more than 50%) are owned by mutual funds, pension funds, unions, and various other organizations. How do you think these shares are voted?? Almost always, they are voted for incumbent management. So there is very little chance to have a real election and elect people to the Boards who would steer a different political course. If you have money invested in a mutual fund which has money invested in a corporation, your represented shares are voted by someone else, not by you. Your views are likely not represented. It is just like a teachers union that supports a political candidate, even though many of the members of that union want to support someone else. And with compulsory or near compulsory memebership requirements, the effect is to steal money from some people to use against their own beliefs.

    What we need is a simple universal requiement that only individuals can vote corporate shares. Query your Congressman about this and see where he stands. I bet you can guess.

  • Carolina Mom

    Real Big Al… I think you are missing the point. Despite the Left’s insistence that this is about campaign funds from corporate donors, it has little to do with that. This is, plain and simple, about the right of voters to unite, pool their contributions and form organizations to get their point of view to the general public during an election cycle. This law was devised to prevent another “Swift Boat” style grassroots uprising from occuring and unseating an incumbent or foiling the “heir apparent” to an elected office. It was designed to prevent long-standing organizations like the NRA or Right-to-Life or Citizens United from educating their members and the public about the voting records and real connections of candidates concerning their cause in the period close to an election. The law speaks to the term “corporations” only because it is more efficient for a group to organize under some business-like format in order to raise money and purchase advertizing to get out their message.

    Do you really believe that this Law ever prevented “Big Money” donors from finding ways to get contributions to their chosen candidates? Look at the Unions, ACORN, the Bundlers for every Tom, Dick and Harriet and the millions of dollars they funneled to Obama’s campaign. This law was NEVER about real “corporations” donating money; it was ALWAYS about taking away the rights of disenters to speak the “inconvenient truth”.

  • realbigal

    I fully agree that the main thrust of the McCain-Feingold “Incumbent Protection Act” was to stifle or at least impede political dissent on our side, and that it was unconstitutional legislation to begin with. For many years I have been assisting organizations such as you mentioned in fighting to maintain our First Amendment rights. We have had some good successes, and this Supreme Court ruling is something that we have been eagerly awaiting. But the battle is not over yet, and the repairs are not complete. What I was pointing out is one more piece of the fix that is needed.

    I applaud you for an excellent basic explanation of the main part of the issue. It will be a big help for readers who aren’t already up-to-speed.

  • WW

    Carolina mom needs to stop thinking about what she thinks she knows and what are the facts. That goes for big al as well. Both write with contradictions of thought, and don’t consider the implications of opening the flood gates of corporate power and influence their billions will have on American politics. But within the next decade, it will become all to apparent, but with little recourse…… By the way, Ms Richman, corporations are persons under the law granted by their charter, and this is where the Court got the idea that it could over turn 100 years of legal precedent…. talk about “activist judges”!!!!

  • Ilene Richman

    A corporation is not a person. Corporations should not have the right to bribe our government officials with large corporate donations. Individual people do not have the funds to give money to lobbyists, post expensive ads and bribe officials. You should read the Constitution and it is the right of people, who can pool together, to advertise and lobby their representatives. It is not the right of a corporation, which is not a person. Open your dictionary and look up the word “person” and “corporation”. These terms are entirely different. Our founding fathers intended that people, not corporations should lobby representatives and run ads, even if they pool their resources together. You are out for big business and not for the individual rights of the people in the US.

  • Ed Lewis

    Corporations are artificial entities that do not have the human rights secured by the Constitution. There is no way such should be involved in any manner with the election of officials, as the plain and simple fact is that corporations buy votes for themselves and have an unfair advantage over the people that was never supposed to be.

    The fact is all contributions by corporations should be stopped, and any politician that votes in favor of corporations over the people should be tried for treason.

    The bottom line is that constitutionally secured rights apply only to we human beings, not figments of our imaginations.

  • RICHARD

    CORPORATIONS PAY TAXES…..DOES THAT GIVE THEM ANY RIGHTS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS??

  • http://Don'thaveone Sally

    Some do however S corporations don’t.

  • Kellie

    I have yet to have any experience with a corporation that has good intent for the people as their raison d’etre! So far, my experience is that corporations, and Wall Street, by the way, are all about maximizing SHORT-TERM PROFITS at the expense of any long-term thinking about the health of either their shareholders, their country, or their planet! I’ve personally been reamed by a big insurance company that’s about as good a neighbor as one who’s poisoned your dog! My fiance’ has been reamed by a now-defunct financial corporation who ruined his and others’ credit histories so they could make a bazillion dollars in fees and bogus charges on mortgage payments that are impossible to recover. L, if you are making the mistake of thinking that belief in capitalism is the same as belief in the rights of corporations to wage war and pillage all of value in our lives, than you, friend, have swallowed the Kool-Aid!!!

  • L

    Sound reasoning reveals that corporations are a consenses of many citizans who work together for the good of prosperity in any country. If the “corporate” intent is for the good of the people at large, then to stifle their positive influence is not only unconstitutional, but crimminal.

  • Bob

    Oh, you really are making sense here! (NOT!) It was a REPUBLICAN (McCain)who was selected to run for PRESIDENT by the REPUBLICAN PARTY (2008) and by voters in the Primary, who co-sponsored the Bill—JOHN MCCAIN!!! That’s why the Bill is named McCain-Feingold! So, what in the world are you talking about? If you don’t like it, why don’t you ask JOHN MCCAIN why he co-sponsored it? I’ll tell you why he co-sponsored it—-For once in his miserable political career, he actually did something to protect the average American citizen from the CORPORATE ELITE who are trying mightily to destroy the Middle-class. If you don’t know about who paid for the “swift-boating” of John Kerry (corporate elite) and you don’t know that massive lies were told to the public about Kerry’s service in Vietnam, then you are truly FOX-FAKE NEWS brain-washed! I am a Vietnam War veteran and I can tell you Kerry served HONORABLY and G.W. Bush got into the Texas Air National Guard (to avoid any chance of going to ‘Nam) when he scored a 25 out of 100 on the entrance test and DADDY BUSH GOT it fixed!!!!! POOR MIS-GUIDED YOU!

  • Kevin Beck

    Unfortunately, a corporate charter means exactly the opposite of what you assert: It grants to a corporation the right to be treated as a legal person under the laws of the state where it is chartered. This means it has all the rights under the law that a natural person has. I hope this simple explanation makes sense, because it is the law in all the states, and therefore at the Federal level. The main thing this ruling does is it now allows that corporate donations can be made in the name of the corporation, instead of hiding behind a fake name of a political action committee. It will make all contributions transparent.

  • Kevin Beck

    However, it is the OWNERS of an S-Corporation that pay taxes directly on their individual tax returns. So what do you claim the difference is?

  • JOE A

    THE SUPREME COURT DID GET IT RIGHT.THESE POLITICIANS THINK THEY ARE ENTILED TO BETTER TREATMENT THAN THE REST OF US.THE SUPREME COURTS DECISION LEVELED THE PLAYING FIELD.NOW SOME ONE NEW CAN GET MONIES TO COMPETE AGANST THE INCUMBENTS THAT HAVE THE POWER AND MONIES.
    MAKE THEM COMPETE THIS IS NOT A MONARCHY YET”’

    P.S I OWN MY OWN BUSINESS FOR 25 YRS,
    S CORP

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