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The incredible IRONY of the Supreme Court's ruling.

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mistertrickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:27 PM
Original message
The incredible IRONY of the Supreme Court's ruling.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't foreign nationals prohibited from giving money to political campaigns?

Well . . . not anymore!

Thanks to the SCOTUS giving corporate personhood to American companies, people like HUGO CHAVEZ can now funnel money through Citgo to the socialist candidate of his choice.

Guess the CONs didn't think about that . . .
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sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not direct campaign contributions. But issue advertising which
throws stones or rose petals from the sidelines.
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Fresh_Start Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. what a brilliant idea, can you talk Chavez into doing so?
try to have him prevent reelection of some of the GOPers by flooding the airwaves with issue ads against them?
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hey,
maybe if we ram this into enough of the heads of the teabagger morans that the "big bad socialists" are coming to influence their elections, an amendment to the constitution may actually gain some steam.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. it's FALSE
that's another section of the law that was NOT invalidated by the opinion.

cites available upon request.

this meme keeps getting repeated that "foreign corps can now..." and it's NOT true.

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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Hey,
even if its false we can still ram into their heads. They don't give a damn about facts and reason so we could always run with it.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. that's a bit too machiavellian even for me
i also don't buy the argument that either political party holds anything close to a monopoly on lying, ignoring inconvenient facts, cognitive dissonance, etc.

lots of examples on both sides of the fence.

regardless, the truth has a dignity all its own

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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. The OP didn't say foreign corporations..could be foreign major stockholders
Edited on Thu Jan-28-10 07:29 PM by lostnfound
or foreign directors of a US-based corporation, couldn't it?

On edit - I see that Obama, on the other hand, did say 'foreign corporations' - but with all of the alliances, subsidiaries, partnerships, partial ownerships etc. that go on between corporations, there are numerous ways to get around it.
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Frank Booth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
26. You're correct. Citibank for example
is an American corporation, but Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal owns billions in shares in Citibank, and like any other common stock holder he gets to vote his shares.

So this ruling doesn't explicitly give foreign corporations the right to pay for commercials supporting candidates, but it gives foreign individuals the right to do so through their US holdings.

The same analysis would apply to a foreign corporation or a sovereign wealth fund that holds shares in an American corporation.
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. Define "foreign corporation."
Considering the global nature of corporations these days, how do we define that term? What if a company's shareholders are mostly American, but the manufacturing is all foreign? What if the company was incorporated here in America, but now is controlled largely by foreign interests? How do we separate them, and even then, does the separation actually MEAN anything anymore?

:shrug:
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-29-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
27. most large foreign conglomerates have US companies


I am sure that it would be perfectly legal for Toyota US to contribute.
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mistertrickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-29-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. I didn't say FOREIGN corporations. I was referring to US corps owned by foreigners. nt
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mediaman007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Why would any foreign corporations choose to fund the Republicans?
The Republicans are myopic! I would think that the World would prefer a United States government that solves problems with thinking and cooperation. The Republicans want to hit everything with the biggest hammer they can find.

Our side may find great support from corporate Europe and Asia.
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Fresh_Start Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. why would companies who want jobs outsourced from US
support the GOP? Because the GOP is happy to allow expanded outsourcing
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. I hope the Canadians start running ads here for Single Payer Healthcare
:P
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. false
that section of the law was not invalidated.

cites available upon request...

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Atticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I'd like those cites, I'll read them. nt
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. it's quite simple
per Bradley A. Smith Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School.




1) The Citizens United case dealt with a blanket ban on corporate expenditures. The Court struck down the ban, which is part of 2 USC 441b.

(2) A separate section of the law, 2 USC 441e, prohibits foreign nationals from making expenditures or contributions. Foreign nationals includes corporations that are not incorporated or headquartered in the United States. This is an extremely broad prohibition that applies to any U.S. election (including state and local elections) and to any activity in connection with an election. The Citizens United ruling doesnt touch this prohibition and specifically notes that it makes no judgment about foreign corporations.

(3) This would allow a U.S. corporation, incorporated and headquartered in the United States, to make expenditures (Obama, remember, referred to foreign corporations). But . . .

(4) FEC regulations at 11 CFR 110.20 further delineate the prohibition:

A foreign national shall not direct, dictate, control, or directly or indirectly participate in the decision making process of any person, such as a corporation, labor organization, political committee, or political organization with regard to such person's Federal or non-Federal election-related activities, such as decisions concerning the making of contributions, donations, expenditures, or disbursements in connection with elections for any Federal, State, or local office or decisions concerning the administration of a political committee.
Additionally, the FEC requires that any funds so spent come from U.S.-generated income (in other words, the parent corporation cannot send capital to the U.S. subsidiary and then have the subsidiary spend that in connection with U.S. elections). Therefore . . .

(5) You could have a foreign-owned but U.S.-incorporated-and-headquartered subsidiary, using U.S. funds, controlled solely by U.S. nationals, make expenditures. However, bear in mind that . . .

(6) Such a corporation is already eligible to operate a PAC which can make unlimited expenditures and also make contributions directly to candidates (under the same restrictions of U.S. funds managed by U.S. nationals) and to spend unlimited sums from any source. Its executives and managers who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (i.e., the same people who would have to decide on any corporate spending) are already eligible to spend unlimited sums on U.S. elections.

So claiming that the Citizens United decision will allow foreign corporations to spend without limits in our elections is as misleading as saying that Obama and the Democratic Congress have allowed foreign corporations to spend without limits in our elections. The corporate ban is not about foreign contributions, and the government never tried to defend it as such. To suggest that this ruling allows foreign expenditures in elections is wholly misleading.

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Atticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I anticipated direct citations to statutory or case law which supported your view.
This may be---and likely is---an accurate synopsis of what this person (these people?)believe, but that is a non-authoritative opinion.

My understanding of the significance of Citizens United was that it allows corporations to do DIRECTLY and without limitation what, up until this decision, had to be done through PACs, i.e,, subject to what might be called "cumbersome" and "restrictive" rules. Your paragraphs 5 and 6 corroborate this.

As stated in the dissent, this is such a broad and sweeping decision that so totally ignores precedent and eschews considerations of consistency that it is really difficult to say with certainty what it will not permit. At best, it does not specifically allow "foreign corporations" to dabble in our politics. It also does not say that they can't.

The only thing made crystal clear by this decision, for those who had doubts, is that Roberts and Alito lied through their pearly-whites at their confirmation hearings with that BS about deferring to precedent.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. i'd love to see some legal analysis
besides this. i just haven't seen any

i've just seen the assumption that this applies to foreign corps.

please, if there is any good legal analysis that agrees or disagrees with this, i'd love to see it.

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Atticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. FYI:
http://www.poten.com/NewsDetails.aspx?id=10333049

When looking for this, I came across the source of your synopsis: The National Review. Not many Obama fans or liberals there.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Your link says the source is Democracy 21 not The National Review.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-29-10 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #18
28. so what?
i've posted NUMEROUS times i read (at a minimum) every issue of the nation, reason, and national review.

i do NOT believe in only getting news/analysis from one side of the fence. i think that encourages myopia
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. please see post 12
and pay close attention to the last 3 paragraphs.

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Make7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. "Hey CITGO, did you decide to spend this money or did PDVSA tell you to?"
"Of course our executives in Houston, Texas, right here in the U.S. of A. made all these election campaign ad decisions."

"Okay then, as long as no one from Venezuela discussed this with you, you're okay. Run along now."
 
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. I found this-not sure of the source
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/citizen-united-...

Section 441e prohibits contributions or expenditures by any "foreign national" -- which is defined to include any corporation "organized under the laws of or having its principal place of business in a foreign corporation."

Thus, a corporation organized in Germany, or with its headquarters in China, remains subject to a ban on spending in U.S. elections.

But there are domestic corporations -- those organized under state law in the United States -- which are and can be controlled by foreign interests.

Those kinds of corporations -- domestic corporations owned by or controlled by foreign governments, foreign corporations or foreign individuals -- are not in any way prevented by section 441e from spending corporate treasury funds to influence U.S. elections.

Prior to the Citizens United decision, these corporations were prevented from spending their funds on expenditures to influence federal campaigns by the general prohibition on corporate campaign spending. But now that that prohibition has been struck down, these foreign-controlled domestic companies are free to spend their treasury funds directly to influence U.S. elections.

Thus, there is no statutory prohibition against foreign-controlled domestic corporations from making expenditures to influence federal elections, following the Citizens United decision.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. This is spot on.
Those kinds of corporations -- domestic corporations owned by or controlled by foreign governments, foreign corporations or foreign individuals -- are not in any way prevented by section 441e from spending corporate treasury funds to influence U.S. elections.

Prior to the Citizens United decision, these corporations were prevented from spending their funds on expenditures to influence federal campaigns by the general prohibition on corporate campaign spending. But now that that prohibition has been struck down, these foreign-controlled domestic companies are free to spend their treasury funds directly to influence U.S. elections.

Thus, there is no statutory prohibition against foreign-controlled domestic corporations from making expenditures to influence federal elections, following the Citizens United decision.

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. They give all the time. They belong to trade groups
here in the U.S. and many bundle contributions to candidates at election time.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. But now it will be more open spending.
And god knows, we won't be able to stand television.

The buying of political campaign ads will definitely increase.

.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
24. The 5 court wing nuts are completely detached from that reality.
Edited on Thu Jan-28-10 11:52 PM by TexasObserver
These guys have each spent a lifetime refusing to accept that the constitution as interpreted in the 1890s is not the constitution we have in the modern era.
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