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Can a corporation walk into a voting booth and pull a lever for a candidate?

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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:05 PM
Original message
Can a corporation walk into a voting booth and pull a lever for a candidate?
Simple question and yet this seems to never have been considered in the run up to corporations assuming the legal protection of "person-hood".

I get the idea of a corporation assuming person-hood in the form of a board acting at the behest of the shareholders. It makes sense to have one "person" enter into a legal agreement, keep the corporation alive longer than any given shareholder, allow the corporation to act as a person in all things financial and legal.

But if the corporation can not walk into a voting booth and vote, should they be able to act as a person in the political Field? Never mind the fact that if the corporation could vote then all the shareholders would, in essence, be given two votes.

And given the very fact that a corporation can have convicted felons as shareholders, other corporations as shareholders and even foreign entities as shareholders, should they be allowed to act in a purely political way?

I have no problems with people who own corporations getting together and give individually to the candidate of their choose, that is free speech. But to poison the political world with money from an entity that can not vote is, to me, a slap in the face to all of the people who have only their vote to check the millions of dollars that corporations can bring to an issue.

Donating money is an extension of a persons political rights as a voter. A corporation can not vote because it is a collection of anonymous shareholders

In the same vein, children and trusts should not be allowed to donate money since they can not vote. Currently, kids over the age of ten, I believe, can contribute money. Trusts can also donate money and should not be able to because they can not vote.

Bottom line; until a corporation can walk into a voting booth and pull a lever, they should not be treated as a political entity. Period!
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FormerDittoHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think the better question is: WILL *WE* BE ABLE TO?
...just thinking out loud...





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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This argument before the Supreme Court has nothing at all to do
with out votes but rather should a corporation be legally able to become a player in the political arena. If somewhere down the line our rights as voters are challenged, then we can address you fears...
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FormerDittoHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. The power of the vote, I would argue, is SMALL compared to other rights.
I do not see the significant distinction between having a vote that means nothing and not having a vote at all.

Consider the current health care debate, and how much VOTES are being considered...
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. I differ.
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 10:01 AM by pnorman
The question is whether or not a corporation can be a player in the political arena, as a PERSON (as defined in the 14th Amendment). This would give IT the same protection of the Bill Of Rights (particularly the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments), as a "Natural Person".

There are some on the SC that have rationalized their reactionary opinions, under the doctrine of "Original Intent". It will be interesting to see how they twist their words and/or squirm on this.

pnorman (broadly speaking, a "Natural Person")
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ej510 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. It will pass 5 - 4.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. An all too familar vote split, so I won't bet against you.
Most if not all here acknowledges the spurious basis on which that "Corporate Personhood" doctrine was established -- it wasn't an actual Court Decision, but merely a "Head Note" of the court reporter. But since then, some Decisions were made, citing it. It's now The Law Of The Land. So it'll take either a different Court line-up, or an Amendment to the Constitution. Either way, that'll take TIME.

In the meantime, Obama's opponents are doing EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO SLOW DOWN HIS MOMENTUM, OR BRING HIM DOWN ALTOGETHER! So let's all suspend this endless quibbling at least til the year is up, and rally behind him with all we've got!

pnorman
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. Nothing to add but...
K&R

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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Nope. They buy them, instead.
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. They do it the easy way,
they buy them.
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Nope...they just buy the votes instead. n/t
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
8. When corporations can enlist in the military and receive fatal enemy fire.
That results in the corporation ceasing to exist and never recovering even in a new form (reincarnation).

Then they can contribute.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:35 AM
Response to Original message
9. Not yet. nt
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. No need to since they can buy the votes of breathing human beings
away from them.
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vincna Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
11. Your argument could be a double edged sword
The exact same arguments could be applied to labor unions and by those standards, they would be prohibited from engaging in political activity. Is that what you want?
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I'd want that.
As long as the playing field is level, I'll remove our pieces from the board if theirs are also gone.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Are unions granted person-hood status and protection?
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. corporations make the voting machines... and pull the so-called
lever behind the scenes..
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vincna Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. That is a very broad question
You need to be more specific. In what sense is a corporation a person? Corporations can enter into contracts, as can a person. With respect to protection, corporations can be sued, as can a person, but the shareholders' personal assets are protected. Persons can go to jail for breaking the law, but corporations, obviously cannot (corporate executives can be jailed for law violations of the corporation). I believe these same considerations would all apply to labor unions (I would not be surprised if most labor unions are actually organized as corporations).

What do you believe a corporation has that a union does not?
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
15. They dont have to pull a lever....the do it the "old fashioned" way
They BUY their candidates.
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
18. Some corporations can
Diebold. Sequoia. ES&S, for example.
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