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Reply #23: Let me help you resolve your ambivalency. [View All]

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clear eye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-21-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
23. Let me help you resolve your ambivalency.
Edited on Thu Jan-21-10 10:57 AM by clear eye
Even w/ a complete ban on corporate campaign donations singly or via PACs or industry-wide associations, every single individual person associated in any way w/ any corporation, from the Chairman of Board, the CEO, the major & minor stockholders, down to the cleaning women would still have complete freedom of political expression for themselves. Even if they chose to express ideas or back candidates in a way that was dishonest and colored by calculations about how it would affect the corporation with which they were affiliated. The only thing they couldn't do was to use the resources of the corporation to do it.

The reason this limitation makes sense in terms of liberty is that the laws of incorporation of for-profits warp what speech can be uttered in its name, especially when monetary resources are used in its expression. When an employee or board member is using corporate resources, by law they can only use them to advance the profitability of the corporation, either short or long term. If they do otherwise they are open to legal reprecussions from other stakeholders (e.g. a stockholder lawsuit) all the way up to and including the loss of their position, restitution and fines. So even if a person w/ a high position in, say, a coal company feels strongly about the danger of climate change and its impact on humanity, if it will be more profitable to flout regulations for the next ten years, that company executive cannot give corporate money or equivalent resources to support a candidate or bill that might significantly strengthen regulations or their enforcement w/o facing those negative consequences.

This reality makes the impact of corporate donations a very poor reflection of the collective best judgment of the persons whose money is being donated, and even further from the best judgment of society as a whole. The influence of such donations been described as "sociopathic" in its fixation on the effects on profits to the exclusion of all other considerations including such transcendently important ones as the continuation of representative government or avoidance of ruinous wars.

If you tend to agree w/ this explanation but find yourself w/ cognitive dissonance regarding the ACLU's role in advocating in favor of the ruling, perhaps it will help you to know that the ACLU is normally paid very well when it assists a wealthy company or individual and can expect many add'l donations from other corporate coffers for protecting their "rights". In hard times when it may be a little shaky financially, that may have affected its judgment. At any rate, its interpretation of the issues involved is certainly not held unanimously by civil libertarians. It is in agreement w/ the Libertarian Party's, though.

Personally their position on this and their part in the resulting disaster has so alienated me that I prefer to support instead in any way I can, the Brennan Center (which argued on the opposite side of this case), Human Rights Campaign (for LGBT advocacy) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (currently defending ACORN). I feel that any freedom for me, my loved ones and all U.S. citizens that the ACLU may have helped protect in the past is dwarfed by the loss of responsiveness of the federal government to our needs that this ruling causes.

Btw, a study found that for-profit corporations and their associations lobbied Congress w/ money that was over 60:1 what non-profits, like the Sierra Club and unions spent combined. I'm sure they would be happy to forswear their ability to donate to campaigns and stick to advocacy and lobbying rather than have that corporate money moved to swamp the political process. Hope you've found this useful.
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  -Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Campaign-Finance Provision cali  Jan-21-10 09:20 AM   #0 
  - let me just say there is no way to overemphasize just how bad this is  cali   Jan-21-10 09:21 AM   #1 
  - Welcome to the FSA (Fascist States of Amerika),  dgibby   Jan-21-10 09:29 AM   #11 
  - I am torn  Kurt_and_Hunter   Jan-21-10 09:22 AM   #2 
  - I don't believe that corporations are persons and I certainly  cali   Jan-21-10 09:23 AM   #3 
  - I also do not think corporations are persons  Kurt_and_Hunter   Jan-21-10 09:30 AM   #13 
  - Let me help you resolve your ambivalency.  clear eye   Jan-21-10 10:51 AM   #23 
  - Recommend. This is a disaster.  TexasObserver   Jan-21-10 09:24 AM   #4 
  - We absolutely need a fifth seat or things will continue to get worse. nt  alsame   Jan-21-10 09:25 AM   #5 
  - I wish I had the money to change myself into a corporation,.  BurtWorm   Jan-21-10 09:25 AM   #6 
  - You need $164.95 in NY  Nye Bevan   Jan-21-10 10:54 AM   #24 
     - I need the money to freely express myself.  BurtWorm   Jan-21-10 11:13 AM   #26 
  - The hits just keep coming. n/t  lumberjack_jeff   Jan-21-10 09:27 AM   #7 
  - The Supreme Court has never been more politicized. Fucking disastrous.  Fuzz   Jan-21-10 09:28 AM   #8 
  - Disaster  drm604   Jan-21-10 09:28 AM   #9 
  - it's official  G_j   Jan-21-10 09:29 AM   #10 
  - Welcome to The United States Inc. nt  sufrommich   Jan-21-10 09:30 AM   #12 
  - end of America as we know it n/t  yodermon   Jan-21-10 09:32 AM   #14 
  - Actually, the 2000 "election" of Bush was the end as we know it  derby378   Jan-21-10 09:35 AM   #19 
  - That was the last straw...  kentuck   Jan-21-10 09:32 AM   #15 
  - The internet is no match for the purchasing power of Wall Street. We've been defeated. nt  Selatius   Jan-21-10 09:37 AM   #20 
  - Money = Power will be the rule  liberal N proud   Jan-21-10 09:32 AM   #16 
  - The Framers wasted their precious time and effort.  Gregorian   Jan-21-10 09:33 AM   #17 
  - Fait accompli.  Selatius   Jan-21-10 09:35 AM   #18 
  - fucking assholes.  ima_sinnic   Jan-21-10 09:45 AM   #21 
  - Add that to the decision that said Fox News had no affirmative responsibility to report TRUTH  Phoebe Loosinhouse   Jan-21-10 09:58 AM   #22 
  - Everything members of Congress will do from now on will have to position themselves  clear eye   Jan-21-10 11:02 AM   #25 
  - This adds a whole new dimension to the phrase "the best government that money can buy".  Arkansas Granny   Jan-21-10 11:15 AM   #27 

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