Booksellers without Borders (readherring) wrote in talk_politics,
Booksellers without Borders

Why is Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission FTW?

The Supreme Court decision to increase corporate and union powers to campaign for presidency and congress caught me by surprise. Equally surprising (to me) is that many conservatives consider this "a win". Honestly, I don't think that this is a good outcome for conservatives. The only big "pro" I see for them is that it would help them match money against Democrats with runaway grass roots fund raising campaigns. But if the movement in the Obama election turns out to be a one time phenomena, (as I think it will be) then this decision is just closing barn doors after the donkeys ran free.

It's been debated in other posts whether or not money wins elections, so I won't touch that here. What concerns me is how much more influence corporations and unions will have on politicians. Increased union influence is scary for both sides - with two branches of our government currently being controlled by the liberals, the last thing any of us needs is for them to feel even more reliant on labor unions.

Increased corporate control over the politicians beholden to them isn't very good for the conservatives either. When it comes to elections, voters are much, much more likely than a corporation to vote for the percieved common good than their own self interest. Uninsured conservatives regularly come out against Obama's health care. Wealthy liberals regularly came out against Bush's tax cuts. But corporations are very efficient at serving their own interests. Those interests don't necessarily agree with the corporate agenda.

Bush distanced himself from the political/fiscal conservative core by continually growing government and spending money. He catered to the corporations. Corporations LOVE government money and will go to great lengths to get it. Consider the bail outs of Detroit and the banks. Or how happy big pharma would be over an expansion of drug coverage under welfare. Or how happy big contractors would be to build bridges and roads that we don't need. Corporations are created to serve the needs of the company and the shareholders. If they have leverage to get more money out of the government, the more efficient corporations will do so.

Consider also illegal immigration. The big meat packing companies routinely get busted for drawing illegals into the country, as does big agriculture. There isn't really a strong corporate interest that would run counter to those who would profit from smuggling illegals into the country. Giving these companies more influence over politicians would be bad news for conservatives opposed to this immigration. I'm sure there are other major industries that run counter to what are traditionally conservative stances. Legalization of drugs also comes to mind.

These are my thoughts on the matter. I am interested to know why anyone of any political stripe would consider this a good idea. I expect that "Free speech for all" would be the first answer, but if this is the case, then why are there so many restrictions on PACs?

>>As an aside, does anyone have a good sense now as to how corporations now compare to PACs and 527 organizations? Or how hard it would be for a PAC to incorporate to avoid restrictions?
Tags: conservatism, corporations, elections, legislation, scotus
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