In a profoundly anti-democratic decision with far-reaching implications, the US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law limiting the ability of corporations to spend money in support of political campaigns: here. And here.
Thom Hartmann’s “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights” (Paperback) The Seminal Book on How Corporations Came to Have the Same “Rights” as People, Leading to the Disastrous Supreme Court Decision on Jan. 21.
From the Jewish Journal in the USA:
January 26, 2010
Campaign finance decision may hurt Jewish influence
By Ron Kampeas, JTA
In the rarefied arena of ideas, the American Jewish community has done quite well over the years in making the case for Israel, civil rights and the environment, among other issues.
These ideas may now be tested in the blood sport of politics.
Last week, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upended a ban of more than a century on direct corporate involvement in elections. Politics watchers are still trying to understand the implications of the 5-4 ruling by the court’s conservative majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
The decision could have a profound effect on how Jewish groups operate in the public sphere.
Most pro-Israel and Jewish civil liberties groups still operate under the tax code as 501(c)3 organizations—religious, educational and charitable groups. This classification allows donors to write off contributions as a tax deduction but bans direct participation in the political process.
Groups with this classification are limited to pronouncements on issues and ideas: They may, for instance, speak generally about care for the environment or about energy conservations, but they cannot endorse or oppose specific candidates.
Last week’s Supreme Court ruling opens the way for corporations to directly attack candidates.
“It does shift the balance of power in the free marketplace of ideas, said Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement’s activist arm, the Religious Action Center—itself a 501(c)3. “It shifts it dramatically towards corporations, which can now get involved in debate around elections.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s payout of $2.4 million in bonuses to city employees and others for their work on his reelection campaign has sparked a controversy within the city’s political establishment: here.
The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy, by Noam Chomsky: here.
A new poll has found nearly two-thirds of respondents oppose the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect and defeat candidates. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Glenn Greenwald offer differing opinions on the controversial ruling: here.
Illinois’ Scott Lee Cohen Lesson: Super Rich People Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Buy Elections Any More Than Corporations: here.
U.S. court denies right to sue corporations: here.
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!: “Today marks the one-year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate spending on election campaigns. We speak with Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, which has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Justice urging it to investigate whether Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas should have recused themselves from the case last year because of a conflict of interest”: here.