Home > Uncategorized > Billboards on the White House?

Billboards on the White House?

cartoon from davegranlund.com

Three days ago,  in response to Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, a divided Supreme Court decided that lawmakers cannot stop corporations from spending money to support or oppose political candidates. The decision sets a new precedent for campaign rules which will transform the campaign battle grounds of the future.  As if lobbyists and special interests didn’t have enough influence in politics, now corporations will have the full power of their wallets to influence election results. Democrats and Republicans accuse each of other of being beneficiaries of big donors; Democrats through drug companies, interest groups, and Hollywood money and Republicans through allies of big business and groups like the NRA.

As expected, there has been considerable backlash to the court decision. President Obama made a statement declaring the decision “a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics”. House Democrats vowed to draft legislation to put restrictions on corporate campaign spending. The upcoming midterm elections will be the first test of the court’s decision. Big, publicly-owned corporations are not expected to become heavily involved in campaign spending so as not to create controversy among consumers, investors, or affiliated groups.

Why should corporations have the same rights as American citizens? Corporations are not people! They are institutions made up of people who are already able to exercise their rights to free speech. Excessive campaign spending has suffered from a snowball effect. The larger campaign coffers grow, the more candidates must raise funds to offset attack messages. In the 2008 election, for the first time ever, over $1 billion was raised by presidential candidates in total. With the problems this country is facing today, let’s imagine all the ways this money could have been better spent.

Keep your eyes peeled for empty billboard spots on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave! Hurry! Spots are limited!

Categories: Uncategorized
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