The Supreme Court's 2010 decision Citizens United should be repealed.
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In brief Summary: The Supreme Court decided that the voice of corporations constitutes a collective of voices and as such, should have the same rights as an individual under the First Amendment. Restricting the use of money in order to speak is violation of free speech.
Though this seems sensible on face value, it has ramifications on how money influences the government and how the dissemination of information is brought to the public. With PACs and super PACs, funded by corporations and wealthy interests; enormous amounts of resources are available to spread their message; pro or con on those running for office, or opinions regarding legislation. But, in turn, those individuals or groups not possessing such resources do not have the ability to do the same. The weight of information is not balanced, especially with respects to the political process in how citizens make decisions.
Before the ruling various corporations, special interest, trade unions and non-profits could contribute to Political Action Committees (PACs) as a collective voice to promote their agendas. PACs have been around for some time. There are some single donor limits to PACs, as well as limits on spending directly to a political party, individual politician or to other PACs. In addition, there are rules disclosing donors. However, there are no limits how their money is spent outside these restrictions. What this enables PACs to do is to run independent political campaigns without direct financial affiliation.
After the Citizens United ruling, Super PACs, which have exponentially grown in number, cannot make any contributions to parties or individual campaigns, nor as with PACs, do not have limits on independent political spending. Differing from PACs, they are devoid of limits on donations made by any group or individual. They too have donor reporting regulations but, loop holes allow late in the election cycle contributions to be disclosed after an election is over.
Herein lies the problem, unlimited donations. In the last elections cycle Super PACs have out spent more than all PACs collectively. Billionaires, large corporations and financial interests are not only are filling the coffers but, also creating Super PACs. Most of this money has been used to buy negative advertising. Just think of the preponderance of information disseminated to the public against the lesser funds of regular PACs. This provides too much one sided information without competing or contradictory viewpoints. This has undue sway toward the public and affects individual political decision making; as well as negates the influence of regular Americans who make small donations to support their preferred candidates.
I-DrankYourMilkShake forfeited this round.
Under the current situation, it"s easier to hide the source of incoming money, especially from foreign sources, which has been illegal since 1966. Many reported contributions cannot be traced back to their source due to donors masking themselves behind indescript corporate entities.
In the last election, $1 million dollars was donated to a Super Pact for Mitt Romney. These dollars came from an Asian, Indian majority holder of a Canadian Insurance Investment firm. Campaigned finance law is vague when it comes to subsidies of foreign governments verses individuals. Further still, are the sketchy sources and lax regulation of US Corporations owned by foreign entities. Chinese money was a root of a scandal during the Clinton campaign even before the Citizens United ruling.
In the race for money lines get blurred. Recall Romney"s comments recorded during a fund raising speech regarding 47% of A American"s don"t pay taxes, and his remarks at an Iowa State Fair that "corporations are people, my friend;" insinuating that individuals don"t matter is telling and appears to be a trend with several candidates. Campaign financing through Super Pacs has exponentially escalated since Citizens United.
Here is the big rub; there are no laws against candidates promoting fund raising efforts for a particular Super Pac. It"s a give me the money scenario. Both parties and candidates are guilty in cajoling billionaire or corporate donors toward their agendas which creates a quid pro quos situation when it comes to favorable consideration on a wide variety of legislation and policy. As individual citizens, we do not have the financial means to off-set this type of monetary influence. For those who have an understanding of economics, or those who were adults from the 80"s to now, will understand that this country is turning into an oligarchy during the lifespan of a single individual; the Citizens United ruling has hastened that process.
I-DrankYourMilkShake forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lexus 11 months ago
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