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The W - Current Events & Politics - Supreme Court sticks up for those poor, neglected corporations (Page 2)
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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.47
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    I just hate that they equate GIVING MONEY to SPEECH.




But Stagger to be heard and reach people, it is. I wish that candidates and viewpoints could have equal exposure regardless of their level of wealth but without money, you have no way to be heard.



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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
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#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
First of all, I'm clearly not a conservative in the traditional fiscal or moral sense. I'm pro gay rights, and I believe that medical reform and health care reform are, right after job creation, the most important things that we need to do in this country right now.

I hope I am being consistent with this in a pro-first amendment way, because I think I've always been pro-first amendment. If you can find any times that I haven't been, let me know - but I give money to the EFF and ACLU both for their work in protecting constitutional rights.

I live in a town of 4000 people and work for a farmer owned cooperative now because I thought that working for a fortune 500 company was bullshit. I moved my family 1000 miles away from CA and my friends because I thought that Prop 13 placed an unfair tax burden on my generation and it was going to destroy CA. I left San Diego because I know that in 20 years there won't be enough water there.

SarbOx made officers liable for actions of the company, even when they did not know what was going on. The company commits fraud - the officers on the board can go to jail. This is what I mean by the board has liability for the actions of the corporation. http://www.hollandhart.com/​articles/​SarbanesOxleyActof2002.pdf

"The Company" can be fraudulent (Enron, Worldcom) but this doesn't just go away as a corporate problem now. People are held responsible and can go to jail.

Since the company is now putting liability (equating the board with the company in terms of responsibility) it is not a complete stretch to look at the individual rights of the officers and see if they also apply now that there is liability. This is how I am seeing this.

Does it suck that this will happen? Yes. Do I want companies to shut out lesser funded people? No. Am I fan of Monsanto now because of this? No. But, I can see how this makes sense, and I'm not too against it. I don't like laws that stop people from having political speech, in any fashion. I believe that campaign finance reform laws that tell people that they can't use their money how they want to are wrong and violate the first amendment. I'm glad this will strike them down.

Now I hope the public will see shills for what they are, and look for new sources of information (Public Broadcasting, CSPAN) that are not as commercial. I hope this makes them better informed. Let the paid broadcasters become a zoo.

(edited by Guru Zim on 21.1.10 2154)



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Since: 9.12.01
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#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32

    This is just an unrealistic and impractical expectation. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 99.9 percent of people working in America's largest corporate empires will have no say in the political activities of their employers - do you think it is practical to expect all these people to quit their jobs?


Yes. If people don't stand up for what they believe in, they get walked on.

It's not illegal to tell your employees they can't talk on the internet, and that you will fire them if they do. If you don't like it, quit.

Don't ever give a private company powers that you wouldn't give the government.

If people would stand up for what they believe in, you wouldn't need other people doing it for them.




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#24 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
    Originally posted by Guru Zim

      This is just an unrealistic and impractical expectation. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 99.9 percent of people working in America's largest corporate empires will have no say in the political activities of their employers - do you think it is practical to expect all these people to quit their jobs?


    Yes. If people don't stand up for what they believe in, they get walked on.

    It's not illegal to tell your employees they can't talk on the internet, and that you will fire them if they do. If you don't like it, quit.

    Don't ever give a private company powers that you wouldn't give the government.

    If people would stand up for what they believe in, you wouldn't need other people doing it for them.


...yes, because so many people have the resources to pack up and move if corporations do what the government is Constitutionally barred from doing. And it's a pretty good notion to say not to give a private company powers I wouldn't give the government, but the government just gave those companies more practical power than citizens. Standing up doesn't accomplish much when the opposition can stand taller and shout louder.





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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
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#25 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
Okay, I KNOW I get shit on here in the politics forum because I am not as articulate with ideas as others (and my opinions differ greatly from a bunch of people here) so I'll just do it bullet points style.

A CEO of a company runs the company.

The company gets it's money from producing goods or services.

The company is made up of individuals who provide goods or services, that the company makes a profit from.

The CEO should be able to use the money that he personally earns, to promote any candidate that he so chooses.

(I feel) that money earned by a company shouldn't be used to promote a specific candidate because it isn't neccesarily every employee or "producer" if you will's version of what they feel the fruits of their labors should be backing.

ME giving a hundred bucks for candidate A is legit, but a company giving a hundred dollars to candidate A is not.


OH, and when I agree with Kieth Olbermann, you KNOW its simply a bad, BAD idea.



(edited by StaggerLee on 22.1.10 0053)


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Since: 9.12.01
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#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
    Originally posted by StaggerLee

    (I feel) that money earned by a company shouldn't be used to promote a specific candidate because it isn't neccesarily every employee or "producer" if you will's version of what they feel the fruits of their labors should be backing.


Working for a company is far, far from a democracy. At the cable company, I had the option of looking the other way and collecting a pay check while I watched policies in the Acceptable Use Policy for customers that I strongly disagreed with. I thought that the cable company was overstepping their bounds.

For instance, I would guess almost all employees of every company would be against bonus packages for their CEOs and boards. But, these packages exist, and are huge. Should the employees of the company have say over whether or not this happens?

No.

The shareholders do, by way of electing the board and the officers.

If the shareholders of a company want that company to say "We are in favor of all children eating rice 3x a day" is that any different than the shareholders saying "We are in favor of all children living with heterosexual parents"? Both are advocacy positions. Why should one be allowed and the other not? You can't simply squelch the speech of an organization because you don't like the idea of what they are going to say.

I hate advertising and I think marketers are pure evil. I think trying to make people do things that are bad for them for your benefit is one of the worst things in society - I really do. But - what's the difference between Coca Cola trying to make each and every one of us drink their flavored sugar water (which has health risks and no real benefit to society) and Coca Cola telling us to vote for X? Why is it OK for them to have one kind of speech but not OK for the other? Why do the shareholders of that company not have the right to spend their money as they choose, through their proxy?

I think the Supes got it right, even if I don't like the idea of massive arms race spending in elections. The goal now is for those of us who don't want the corporations to win to find a way to win within the constraints of the Constitution. We can't make laws in our favor just because we feel it is right.




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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#27 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by Guru Zim

    I hate advertising and I think marketers are pure evil. I think trying to make people do things that are bad for them for your benefit is one of the worst things in society - I really do. But - what's the difference between Coca Cola trying to make each and every one of us drink their flavored sugar water (which has health risks and no real benefit to society) and Coca Cola telling us to vote for X? Why is it OK for them to have one kind of speech but not OK for the other?


Because if Coca Cola approaches your Congressman and says "Vote for this bill, or we'll spend $50 million dollars on ads telling your constituents to drink our flavored sugar water," he'd say "good...the local broadcasters in my area could use the money."

But what happens when they say "Vote for this bill, or we'll spend $50 million dollars on ads telling your constituents to vote against you"?
StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
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#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
Well Guru, I don't see how a company having the resources to purchase and finance a candidate, and usher him in to power over the citizens of a city/town/state/country is proper.

We already have enough problems with unions in this country spending it's members's money to pad the accounts of a political candidate, we really don't need Dow Chemicals paying to get a guy into the EPA.





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Since: 7.11.02
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#29 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by Peter the Hegemon
    Because if Coca Cola approaches your Congressman and says "Vote for this bill, or we'll spend $50 million dollars on ads telling your constituents to drink our flavored sugar water," he'd say "good...the local broadcasters in my area could use the money."

How is this different from lobbying (which is a whole other topic)?

Also, campaign laws were not uniformly applied to all corporations. Corporations that owned media companies had the right to speak freely about candidates or issues (and rightly so). However, corporations that did not own a media company was barred from airing ads within 60 days of the election. So, the previous law did enfringe on the free speech of non-media company corporations because they did not have the same free speech rights as media corporations.

Even worse, was that McCain-Feingold did allow censorship. Remember when the Hillary movie was not allowed to be aired during the 2008 campaign because it was deemed unflattering to Hillary. And, during the oral arguments before the Court, it was pointed out that McCain-Feingold gave the government the authority to prohibit the publication of corporate-funded books calling for the election or defeat of a specific candidate.

Maybe I have a more optimistic view of people, but I think that increased transparency is more important than limiting money. If voters see that Exxon or the Teamsters or whatever corporation/union is funding an ad, then the bias of the ad is pretty clear. OTOH, when PACs fund ads, then there is little transparency and it's not immediately clear where their money comes from.


(edited by Corajudo on 22.1.10 0852)
bash91
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Since: 2.1.02
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#30 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.50
    Originally posted by Corajudo


    Also, campaign laws were not uniformly applied to all corporations. Corporations that owned media companies had the right to speak freely about candidates or issues (and rightly so). However, corporations that did not own a media company was barred from airing ads within 60 days of the election. So, the previous law did enfringe on the free speech of non-media company corporations because they did not have the same free speech rights as media corporations.


THIS, this and this a thousand times. If you are arguing that corporations shouldn't have free speech rights, then you are also arguing that media corporations shouldn't have freedom of the press rights. It is really that simple. Logically, you can't give some corporations First Amendment rights while denying those same rights to other corporations just because of what they produce.

    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Even worse, was that McCain-Feingold did allow censorship. Remember when the Hillary movie was not allowed to be aired during the 2008 campaign because it was deemed unflattering to Hillary. And, during the oral arguments before the Court, it was pointed out that McCain-Feingold gave the government the authority to prohibit the publication of corporate-funded books calling for the election or defeat of a specific candidate.


Personally, almost any decision that spits in the face of John McCain has to be good. Having said that, anything that makes speech freer is always a good thing in my book. Plus, prior restraint is always evil, and McCain-Feingold had that in spades.

    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Maybe I have a more optimistic view of people, but I think that increased transparency is more important than limiting money. If voters see that Exxon or the Teamsters or whatever corporation/union is funding an ad, then the bias of the ad is pretty clear. OTOH, when PACs fund ads, then there is little transparency and it's not immediately clear where their money comes from.


Again, THIS. More speech should always be our default position, no matter from where or from whom or from what the speech is coming! Otherwise, when they came for me...

Tim



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Since: 28.8.09

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#31 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.54
If we were talking pure endorsement here, have at it. But we're not. This is about money money money, and like StaggerLee I'm not sure how a corporation buying its own personal Senator equates to freedom of speech.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#32 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
I'll only say that anything that lets me know what companies spend money on who, will help me. I am already not buying from 5 companies because of their CEO's political giving alone. (companies/people that fund candidates that support any abortion, anytime do not get my money) and this seems more open to me, than the PACs are.



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Since: 11.2.03
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#33 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by Corajudo
      Originally posted by Peter the Hegemon
      Because if Coca Cola approaches your Congressman and says "Vote for this bill, or we'll spend $50 million dollars on ads telling your constituents to drink our flavored sugar water," he'd say "good...the local broadcasters in my area could use the money."

    How is this different from lobbying (which is a whole other topic)?


It's not different from lobbying, and it's not really a whole other topic. Lobbying is already a disproportionate influence on our political system, and this decision gives lobbyists a new weapon.

Imagine if baseball decided to let teams buy an extra out in an inning for half a million dollars. Imagine the response "how is that different from the rich teams being able to buy all the best players?"

    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Also, campaign laws were not uniformly applied to all corporations. Corporations that owned media companies had the right to speak freely about candidates or issues (and rightly so). However, corporations that did not own a media company was barred from airing ads within 60 days of the election. So, the previous law did enfringe on the free speech of non-media company corporations because they did not have the same free speech rights as media corporations.


Then this law infringes on the free speech of non-incredibly-profitable corporations because they don't have the same free speech rights as incredibly-rich corporations.

Free speech rights, yes. Free spending rights, no. That's the difference. If a corporation has a right to airtime, why don't I? Just because I can't afford it?
spf
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#34 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
Any time I agree with bash and AWA I always feel a bit odd, like maybe I haven't considered this enough. Not because I think anything negative about them, just because it happens so rarely.

But I think I have given this a good deal of thought. My one demand going forward is that the government takes the FEC and gives them the funding needed to really enforce the laws as they now stand. And that we get real transparency in fund raising. I don't care if Exxon buys a Senator, but I want to know WHO they are buying so I can do everything in my power to oppose them.

(edited by spf on 22.1.10 1459)


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bash91
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#35 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.50
    Originally posted by spf
    Any time I agree with bash and AWA I always feel a bit odd, like maybe I haven't considered this enough.

    But I think I have given this a good deal of thought. My one demand going forward is that the government takes the FEC and gives them the funding needed to really enforce the laws as they now stand. And that we get real transparency in fund raising. I don't care if Exxon buys a Senator, but I want to know WHO they are buying so I can do everything in my power to oppose them.


I'm sorry. Are there obvious physical problems or is this a more generalized symptom?

Good call on the FEC and the necessity for transparency. If you are going to say something, man up and own it. Don't filter it through several layers of concealment so you can try and pretend it wasn't you.

My own pet peeve, remove the non-profit exceptions, and this specifically includes churches. Let them speak, but also make them disclose if they choose to speak.

Tim



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#36 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.79
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    I'll only say that anything that lets me know what companies spend money on who, will help me. I am already not buying from 5 companies because of their CEO's political giving alone. (companies/people that fund candidates that support any abortion, anytime do not get my money) and this seems more open to me, than the PACs are.


I agree with AWArulz (I think). If the companies have to identify themselves when running political ads, as opposed to creating generic sounding PACs this is nothing but a good thing. Also, which corporations support a given candidate will probably provide a bit more of a window into said candidates.



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#37 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.20
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    I'll only say that anything that lets me know what companies spend money on who, will help me. I am already not buying from 5 companies because of their CEO's political giving alone. (companies/people that fund candidates that support any abortion, anytime do not get my money) and this seems more open to me, than the PACs are.


But this was not the Supreme Court's argument or rationale. If transparency is the goal, then laws forcing more transparency are in order. Not giving a small number of business leaders a second political voice, one based on resources that are not entirely their own.
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Since: 9.12.01
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#38 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.32
Once more -

The CEO is acting for the company, on behalf of the shareholders. If the shareholders don't have policies in place to govern how their money is spent, they should put them in place. Otherwise, the CEO can and will speak and act on their behalf, as the Chief Executive Officer.

The resources of the company are essentially the resources of the CEO. I don't understand your argument - you seem to imply that the workers in the company somehow own it or have a right to their opinion being reflected. This is clearly not the case at all. If this were true, line workers would get fat bonuses and CEO's would sit in cubicles.


As much as you want the worker to own some stake in the factory, it is truly the factory owner that owns the factory. He hires a management team, and can fire them. It is the owner's property that is being used, his resources. He has granted the CEO the right to do this.

If anyone has a right to complain, it is the owner. Owners do this via election of boards, proxy voting, or by direct hiring and firing. If a CEO is acting against the interest of the owner, including in making political speech or political contributions, he will be dismissed.

The opinions and will of the worker are irrelevant in this scenario, no matter how much it isn't what we want.

If you aren't OK with this, than you aren't OK with capitalism. This is how it is and how it has always been. This is why workers unionize and try to collectively bargain - because they want to have more power as a collective than they do individually.

I'm not saying I am happy with this at all. I wish I could sit down with the richest CEOs in the world and have an equal voice with theirs - and convince them that my way to run the world is the best. It's not gonna happen, though.

Instead of trying to artificially win the the arms race by capping spending at levels we can compete at, we need to concede the money advantage and find a way to make it irrelevant.

I say we try for laws that make it illegal to funnel money to a PAC. Let them spend whatever they want, but make them put their name on it.

We have got to find better ways to compete other than handicapping one side. This may be much harder to do, and may require millions of people to get out in the street and campaign door to door, instead of counting on ads during the nightly news. This might be the new arms race. It sucks to be on the poor side and to be fighting for your rights, but maybe we can find a way to influence the right kind of change that is immune to being bought. Maybe having medium amounts of money involved just made it easier to spend the max amount in all places and ensure that a politician is in place who could be bought out for a reasonable amount of money. Maybe if people spend more money, they will stick to their opinions more.

I don't know the answer, and I don't like the possibility of the world going to hell in a handbasket, but I already think that our limited spending system was corrupt and this might have the possibility of letting these guys spend each other to death. Maybe we can take all of the money out of the two parties in the next 10 years and spend them into a place where a third party becomes viable.




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Since: 3.10.02
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#39 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Once more -

    The CEO is acting for the company, on behalf of the shareholders. If the shareholders don't have policies in place to govern how their money is spent, they should put them in place. Otherwise, the CEO can and will speak and act on their behalf, as the Chief Executive Officer.

    The resources of the company are essentially the resources of the CEO. I don't understand your argument - you seem to imply that the workers in the company somehow own it or have a right to their opinion being reflected. This is clearly not the case at all. If this were true, line workers would get fat bonuses and CEO's would sit in cubicles.


Does the name L. Dennis Kozlowski ring a bell?
Because if you really think that the money a company makes belongs to the CEO, then you are also saying that you have no problem with a guy 'using' a few hundred million of company funds to throw parties, hire Jimmy Buffet for birthday parties , etc.


On another note, what about companies that have shareholders who are not residents of the USA? Isn't it illegal for foreigners to contribute to campaigns?



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Since: 28.8.09

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#40 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.54
Yeah Guru, not sure how you can be cool with a CEO using his company's money to make a statement of his personal political beliefs, but not cool with him spending it on whatever the Hell he wants.
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