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Mitches United

4 May

Mitch McConnell, eternal protector of the voiceless (oh, wait…), recently submitted an amicus curiae to the Supreme Court in regards to Citizens United and the more recent Montana ruling that questioned it. In brief, McConnell has looked at the two years that have passed since the C.U. ruling and has come to the conclusion that it has, if anything, only made our democracy richer. Per David Firestone at the Times:

Mr. McConnell has outdone himself with a legal brief submitted recently to the Supreme Court that’s blind to how unlimited contributions damage the political system. Not only is there no reason for the court to reconsider or overturn its 2010 Citizens United ruling, he wrote, but the events of the last two years actually support the correctness of the decision.

Outside spending in the presidential election (through early March) was $88 million, more than twice as much as in the same period in 2008, and more than six times as much as in 2004.

But this wash of money, most of it buying attack ads, actually pleases Mr. McConnell, who sees it all as an exercise of speech (by those who can afford to speak in this way, most of whom happen to be Republicans). In his brief, urging the court to strike down the Montana law, he says the money has allowed “far more political speech in 2012 than would otherwise have been the case,” making the campaign less predictable and more interesting. (In fact, predictably, the guy with the most money won the Republican nomination.)

Read the whole article! And if you have the time / seratonin levels necessary, read McConnell’s brief itself – it’s not that long, actually, and quite illuminating.

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You too can be a Corporate Person

5 Mar

These days, it sure can seem paltry just to be a regular old person, now that corporations can be persons too; which, it would seem, is a much bigger, shinier, and definitely richer option than boring old normal persons. Fortunately, our friend Jan Edwards sent us some nifty instructions for how to change that! Now you too, with the help of just some cardboard, glue, and other assorted household items, can achieve the new deluxe standard of personhood. Just follow Jan’s instructions and upgrade your wardrobe with the king of power suits.

A Memo (song) for Mitt

11 Jan

Now that Mitt Romney – unwavering champion of corporate personhood – has won both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, we thought it appropriate to once again remind him of what seems obvious to many (including, in these past few days, the Montana Supreme Court and 67% of North Carolinians): that only people are people. But this time, we’ll do it in song, courtesy of Jan Edwards – who successfully managed to get her small town to abolish corporate personhood, as seen in This Land is Your Land – and guitarist/co-vocalist John Ause. Click “continue reading” for the lyrics and please, sing with us on this one!


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Publicly funded elections?

8 Jan

In another challenge to Citizens United this week, New York City’s Council joined Montana, L.A. and other local governments by passing a resolution to provide that corporations are not entitled to the same protections of natural persons. Though Corporate Personhood rights are not limited to influencing  politics, it tends to get a greater bi-partisan response in election years. In Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address last week, he went as far to suggest there be publicly funded elections, like in NYC.

Lawrence Lessig on The Daily Show:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Montana Supreme Court says “Corporations are Not People!”

4 Jan

The Montana Supreme Court has done it again! 100 years later…

In 1912, the Montana Supreme Court passed an initiative barring corporate contributions for political candidates. That law was undone by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, when they gave corporations the same 1st Amendment rights as citizens -permitting them to give money freely to politicians.

That decision was rebuked by the Montana Supreme Court last week, denying corporations the right to donate to political parties and politicians.

The decision will apply to state-wide elections only, as of now. But if it’s appealed, it could force the issue back to the U.S. Supreme Court where critics of the decision in Citizens United vs. FEC could get a chance to overturn it.

“Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people — human beings — to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creatures of government,” wrote Justice James C. Nelson.