There is an old saying that has been around for ages, “you can’t fight City Hall”. With the decision handed down, on Thursday, by the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) not only can you fight City Hall; but you can buy it and everyone that works for it.
In a 5-4 decision the court overturned a decades old law preventing corporations from donating money to a campaign. Now, corporations are allowed to use an unlimited supply of money to run ads against the candidate they do not like–or–the candidate that will help move the corporations interest. They are not allowed, however, to give money to a specific candidate but they are allowed to run ads using the candidates name. Many people on the left of the political spectrum feel that this will kill democracy, and they are right. Furthermore, It undermines the political parties by allowing corporations to spend as much money as they can to promote the candidate they want. Before this, it was the D.N.C. and the R.N.C. that searched for candidates. Corporations now have that power.
Justice Kennedy stated, “The First Amendment does not permit Congress to make these categorical distinctions based on the corporate identity of the speaker and the content of the political speech.” However, in 1986, the Court ruled that a newspaper that was owned by a pro-life advocacy group was exempted from the freedom of the press provision under the First Amendment.
In essence, this will mute the voice of an individual, and will compromise our democracy by allowing corporations to operate political war rooms in helping to elect the person that will forward their agenda for sake of greater profits. Oil and utility companies that are afraid of climate taxes will pour money into the candidate(s) that will kill any bill for it, thereby hurting the environment. Did somebody say “drill baby drill”? All the regulations on the banks, so that we won’t go through another severe mess–forget it. Tax cuts for the rich, on the backs of the middle class–you got it.
This decision will not just hurt people on the federal level. Many States that have a few big business’ will be held under pressure. Anyone who lives in Rhode Island knows the heavy influence that CVS Pharmacy has on the politically corrupt environment of this State. Specifically, CVS has expressed interest in buying a whole street in Woonsocket for a new warehouse. Citizens are outraged and CVS has threatened the State that if they don’t get this stretch of land they will move out of the State. And, in a State with a 12.9% unemployment rate and a $200 million deficit that spells trouble. It is to no surprise that the right wing is in favor of this, but what they don’t know is that they are being used. The “teabaggers” are just pawns in this and in the end they will know it. These people who rail against Government spending and big deficits have no clue what will happen to the debt in the next few years. Corporations will push for lower taxes, creating a shortfall in revenue.
We already have a Congress in bed with special interest, and this court decision will make it worse. If you thought the debate on health care was bad–just wait. Let us just hope that the fabric of this great Republic doesn’t get destroyed by the powerful corporate structure of America.