Anyone who sells broadcast and print media advertising on the national and local level probably woke up with a screaming hangover this morning. Undoubtedly, they were out partying like it was 1999 last night, because in a controversial decision that will forever cheapen and prostitute the American electoral process, advertising professionals were gifted a massive raise along the way.
The United States Supreme Court has turned national and local politics into the equivalent of NASCAR sponsorships. In a landmark decision with devastating implications to the electoral process, the court ruled yesterday that corporations and unions are in fact the equivalent of individual citizens; and as such, have the right to raise money and donate funds to political campaigns.
For all intents and purposes, politicians at the national and grass roots level might just as well wear those cute little fire suits race car drivers wear; you know the ones: they are covered head-to-toe in advertising endorsement sponsorships from every conceivable product imagineable. It remains to be seen how those emblems will look on politicians’ professional attire.
Reaction nationwide across party lines and throughout corporate boardrooms has understandably been mixed. As Erwin Chemerinsky of The Los Angeles Times points out today:
“The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision holding that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money in election campaigns is a stunning example of judicial activism by its five most conservative justices. In striking down a federal statute and explicitly overturning prior decisions, the court has changed the nature of elections in the United States. At the same time, the conservative justices have demonstrated that decades of conservative criticism of judicial activism was nonsense. Conservative justices are happy to be activists when it serves their ideological agenda.”
The effect of the court’s decision is immediate, thereby freeing corporations and unions to begin advertising now…just in time for mid-term elections. It would not be a stretch to assume that the very first ads the nation will see in the coming weeks will be from pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, and doctors organizations, all jockeying for candidate positions on healthcare reform; or, enormous banks and investment firms like Goldman Sachs financing ads for candidates against President Obama’s punitive banking reform.
On the local level here in Florida and specifically Miami-Dade County, Hispanic and senior citizen populations in the electorate are prized booty of both parties, and most certainly will be targeted. It won’t be surprising to see ads from such state-based corporations as:
Florida Power & Light: a mammoth provider of electricity will now be able to spend millions endorsing candidates that support rate increases.
Lennar Corporation: one of the nation’s biggest builders of residential communities will now be able to invest in candidates that favor moving the Urban Development line further west on Krome Avenue, allowing still more room for developers to build.
The list of Florida entities that will now be able to influence election outcomes by endorsing and advertising on behalf of their politician of choice is endless: Auto Nation, Well-Care Health Plans, Fresh Del Monte Produce, Republic Services Waste Management, Burger King, Florida Rock Industries, Citrix Systems, Florida East Coast Railroad, CSX Railroad, Carnival Cruise Lines…well, you get the idea.
Still more disturbing than the political endorsement angle is the fact that in a national economy with unemployment in excess of 10%—-and over 11% in Florida and Miami-Dade county—the very same companies that could be pouring millions of dollars into job creation will now be filling the coffers of political favorites who can help guarantee the highest profit.
As MSNBC political commentator Keith Olberman pointed out in his Special Comment on “Countdown’ last night, the political scales, the campaign table, and the interests of the little guy have all been irretrievably skewed in favor of corporate giants and unions, thus turning the political process and candidates participating in it into the grossest form of prostitution.
Be sure to check out other articles by Miami Political Buzz Examiner Glenn Osrin!www.aerochug.com/x-26028-Miami-Political-Buzz-Examiner