Saturday, April 17, 2010

Corporations have more rights than you

The Supreme Court's decision (PDF) in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission is one of the biggest farces in American history, overturning 150 years of court precedent and rendering moot much of the campaign finance reform law in the United States, at both state and national level. (My February Ester Republic editorial was about this ruling—I strongly recommend reading Justice Stevens' dissenting opinion for some entertaining and commonsense treatment of the matter)

Fortunately, several states are fighting back, and Alaska is one of them. Unfortunately, the bills that would clarify in no uncertain terms that corporations are not to be treated as persons for the purposes of elections have been sat on in committee, and here we are, two days from the end of the session, and they still haven't been released for an up-or-down vote. This is OUTRAGEOUS!

The House bill is stuck in the State Affairs Committee, which is under the aegis of Rep. Bob Lynn. I urge everyone to e-mail and call his office at 465-4958.

Not only that, but a companion bill that makes sure that campaign donations by corporations must be reported, although the Senate bill passed (19-0), is also stuck in committee in the House. From Mudflats:
The State limits on private citizen campaign contributions are the same after the Supreme Court ruling. Those limits include the $500 annual limit on individual donations to candidates and a disclosure requirement. Unless legislative action is taken, corporations will have more rights than the citizens of Alaska.
But why should we be surprised? Large corporations already get massive subsidies and don't even have to pay income tax, even if they make tens of billions of dollars in profit. They're subsidized with our tax dollars, after all. Why should they have to deal with the limitations to their political activiities involving money like the rest of us?

Remember: we're the peons, they are the beneficent aristrocrats. We don't count, so we give up our money and our rights (through our elected representatives), so they can rob us blind. Don't believe it? Exxon not only didn't have to pay taxes for 2009, they got a $156 million tax refund. How much did you pay in taxes this year?


Glennie9654 said...


Merritt said...

I think that same sex corporations should be allowed to marry! Maybe hetro corporations could marry and could get a family rate on income tax?