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Here's a Silver Bullet to Eliminate Illegitimate Corporate Interference Ads (Citizens United)

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:55 PM
Original message
Here's a Silver Bullet to Eliminate Illegitimate Corporate Interference Ads (Citizens United)
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 09:56 PM by Land Shark
I SUGGEST ENACTING THE FOLLOWING INTO LAW (the debate would be great even if it didn't pass!):

Any corporation making more than a de minimis political contribution and therefore funding "Citizens United"-style ads, would be required to, JUST LIKE NATURAL PERSONS WHO ARE CANDIDATES, make the following truth-in-campaigning statement:

"Hi, This is XYZ Corporation, and neither our shareholders nor our customers have approved this message."



Even in the very unusual case of actual shareholder approval, there will virtually never be customer approval. Why should the costs of political interference be passed on to customers?

Among other reactions that are highly likely to certain, maybe customers will start realizing that they are being assessed a private tax to fund political ads/power plays they want nothing to do with.

In the meantime, unless and until this gets enacted, one can ALWAYS ask whether corporations' customers have approved corporate political ad efforts, and if not, why not? Isn't the customer the king or queen in their business anymore? Isn't the customer always right?

If they respond by suggesting they are asserting their rights, one might ask:

"Isn't it true that every employee, officer and shareholder in your company can make political contributions as they see fit? Why should those people EITHER have DOUBLE rights (one individual and then again through the corporation) if they agree, or have their political opinion canceled by the corporation if they disagree, just because they happen to work at that corporation???

I'm sure you can think of other pertinent questions to ask. Post them if you like.

As for me, while my actual efforts will, since I'm human, probably have more vigor with ads I disagree with, my policy against corporate interference in elections (which are for VOTERS only) applies to all such ads, whether I disagree or not.

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
Sounds good to me.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Very nice. When are you going to run for Congress? :) K & R nt
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Do ya think I'd draw lots of "independent" ad expenditures, or few, w/ this approach? :) n/t
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. My guess would be few mega-corporate, many smaller "out" progressives.
Go for it! :applause:
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2 Much Tribulation Donating Member (522 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. We can ask Target and best buy this, for starters. n/t
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. kick; anybody got any ideas or feedback? n/t
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. This needs to be brought to Government. Can we start a petition and have it
presented to your Congressman or Senator or someone that would push this to a Law and then to a vote? It is wrong all the way around that Corporations use the Public's money for their own personal gain and without the knowledge of the customers.
Another option would be a Lawsuit I suppose challenging the new Law.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
7. The only problem I foresee is that the corps will do an end run around any true disclosure
by hiding their identities in shell entities which will do the actual purchasing of ads. We always have these BS "Committee to Save Unicorns" type of organizations which run ads saying "vote for Dick Dildo, he wants to save the Unicorns" and then Dick Dildo wins and then you find out that he runs a unicorn meat processing plant.

I am thinking we do need a Constitutional Amendment addressing the fact that corporations are not people or that money does not constitute speech. I was hoping to get an impeachment move going to get rid of the 5 justices who sold our country down the river to be unduly influenced in elections by multinational corporations and/or foreign governments.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. Probably, but we may as well give it our best effort to minimize it. n/t
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
10. CU is a dedicated political advocacy group so how would...
...the shareholder clause apply to them?
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. The "use of another's funds" doesn't arise QUITE the same in that context

With an expressly political entity, (and, for that matter, any media corporation where both customers and shareholders know full well they are supporting fora for political publication of views) the problem of using funds of another doesn't present the same exact problem, but it is analogous as my modified language for nonprofits (rough draft) shows below. (Other issues also arise with nonprofits, of course)

There surely ought to be disclosure, as in Minnesota, of who's funding the express advocacy group and if they have consented. That's close to what happened in Minnesota recently with Target, who claimed they gave money to MN Forward only for the purpose of promoting good tax policy or somesuch and not for "social" issues. An "advise and consent" process would prevent these kinds of issues, and be the necessary investigation prior to finalizing the political ad under the OP proposal, so that one would know what form to give it in.

To expand the OP to adjust for different circumstances in nonprofits: THIS IS XYZ NONPROFIT CORPORATION, we're an express advocacy group and our contributors WERE/WERE NOT consulted and DID/DID NOT approve this message. A list of funders is available at xyz.org ...

Please keep in mind the above language is on the fly and can probably be tightened up.
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Would it apply to unions? i.e. do members have to vote...
...on how which candidates/issues the union can spend money towards?

I can see some anti-union types using your law for disingenuous reasons.

Would a newspaper or newtowrk have to consult its shareholders before it endorsed a candidate?

Of course I can see your disclaimer becoming so long it would take up a lot of time to recite within the context of a 30-second ad. Not that it makes sense (sorry, not trying to be mean, just sayin'). How could a contributor to an advocacy group NOT know what they were contributing towards?

I mean, if I contribute to NARAL I would look kind of stupid if I suddenly shot back, "What? Whaddaya mean you support abortion rights?"
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Unions, unlike corporations, are democracies. Union leaders
are elected. When they back a candidate, they only back candidates that are supportive of the union's goals. Party isn't as important than being worker friendly.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. THere are already precedents allowing union members to "opt out"
at the very least, corporations' shareholders and customers should be able to "opt out" based on the same "forced speech" concerns used in the union opt out precedents.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Oh, the right are vociferously self-righteous about that kind of thing.
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 03:23 PM by Joe Chi Minh
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. I'm for any attempt to repeal this unconstitutional action
supported by United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. Great idea..
I agree with above poster..when are you running for office???
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
16. did i dream that corporations' donations can be anonymous?
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. As I warned sometime ago, this is exactly the NEXT STEP they want
...in order to avoid boycotts and/or any accountability in the form of real debate about the opinions being expressed.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
20. K&R
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
21. It infuriates me when I'm contemplating buying online, and I ask
the basic particulars for the purchase, I'm supposed to give them private and household data that has no relevance to the purchase. It's not the info. Unlike my wife, I don't care who knows my age, but it's the principle.

I admire your spirit and tenacity regarding those campaign contributions. In effect, it means an employee is liable to be forced to be complicit in bribes that are likely to be to his or her own material detriment, and of which his or her morality would disapprove in any case, even were it in furtherance of his or her own political/economic interest. There seems to be no limit to the depravity of corporate presumption in the rights they arrogate to themselves.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
23. Should we start with a member of congress or our state legislature?
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
24. K&R
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
25. Good idea. In the short term, however--
--I like the idea of invoking the illegality of foreigners making election contributions.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Though in the corporate context, this reinforces the idea that corps get rights from shareholders
i.e., corporations pick up "foreignness" from their shareholders and so therefore they can also pass through 'rights' from shareholders (natural persons, often) to the corporate shell. The big weakness in their theories is at precisely this point: how in the world do corporations get these rights that haven't existed for centuries?
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I'm talking about making xenophobia work for us in the short term
Many who are OK with corporate domination get bugged by "furriners."
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-10 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. I know, and I'm saying that will backfire big time. it's BAIT, in effect. n/t
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theFrankFactor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
28. K&R!
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