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toymachines Donating Member (782 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:43 PM
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Let stockholders control corporate political speech
Let stockholders control corporate political speech
By Colin Parent, SDNN
Under any reasonable interpretation, the decision was revolutionary. It washed away centuries of limitations on corporate political speech. Prior cases on the subject were overruled. The Court actively struck down elements of the popular bipartisan campaign finance law McCain-Feingold...

The corporation used to be a rarity. Chartered companies were allowed only under the auspices of the King, and for the first century or so of the United States, they were created only by special legislation in the state houses. Now corporations are more routine. Anyone can fill out the right forms, pay a certain fee, and their states Secretary of State will issue them a certificate of incorporation...

Federal securities law regulates how corporations are allowed to set their compensation levels for their top managers. It doesnt make sense to allow a CEO to unilaterally dictate his annual salary. So Congress could pass a law requiring stockholders to pre-approve by a majority or supermajority, any political expenditures made on their behalf by a corporation.

Presumably, some stockholders would vote to approve significant political expenditures. This is especially possible for smaller corporations with a small number of likeminded stockholders. Such expenditures directly from corporate treasuries would be similar in scope and effect to that same group of stockholders voluntarily pooling their individual profits into an electoral expenditure. This is exactly what stockholders were already able to do prior to Citizens United...

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