Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court Ruling

There were an assortment of statements expressing that came down after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday that struck down the campaign finance law. Here are the ones I received in my inbox today.

Democratic Senate Candidate Roxanne Conlin was the only one to use her statement to attack her opponent (I didn't get a response sent from Senator Chuck Grassley).
(DES MOINES) – Following is a statement from Democratic Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin regarding today’s Supreme Court decision:

“The last thing Iowans need is to give the special interests more influence in politics—and it’s why I’m so disappointed in today’s Supreme Court decision.

"Senator Grassley has nearly $2 million in PAC and lobbyist money already in his campaign coffers. During his 50 years in elected office he’s carried the water for Wall Street, even using billions of taxpayer dollars to bail them out. He enriched the pharmaceutical industry when he authored legislation that increased drug prices for consumers and profits for them.

"Because of today's decision corporations who have foreclosed on our neighbors homes, charged credit card rates that would shame a loan shark and polluted our water and air will have an even greater voice in our political process. The special interests will have a louder voice at the expense of everyday Americans."
Attorney General Tom Miller is still working on it...
We are analyzing the Court’s decision and its impact on Iowa law, which must be consistent with the Court’s decision today.

The decision relates specifically to independent expenditures by corporations and makes it unconstitutional to ban such expenditures. The portion of Iowa’s statute that prohibits corporations from making independent expenditures that expressly advocate that voters should vote for or against a specific candidate is unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s decision today.

The Court’s decision does not specifically address direct corporate contributions to candidates’ campaign committees, but the rationale of today’s decision raises questions in that realm, and we will review those questions over the next few days
Secretary of State Michael Mauro doesn't seem to be much of a fan of the ruling.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling removing the restriction on corporate election donations opens up an already flawed system in which special interests and powerful big business will gain greater control of the political agenda. Now more than ever, campaign finance reform needs to be addressed on the state and national level,” stated Mauro.
“It has been evident for years big money and special interests have influenced campaigns, crowned candidates and controlled policy agenda at the expense of the public. The court’s decision will take misleading campaign advertising to unprecedented levels. I urge legislators to take a serious and objective look at true campaign finance reform that puts politics back on a level playing field for everyone seeking public office.”
Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell not only didn't like it, but he proposed a constitutional amendment to do something about it.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Leonard Boswell introduced a constitutional amendment to restrict corporations and labor organizations from using operating and general treasury funds to bankroll federal campaign advertisements in response to the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 ruling today that overturned 20 years of campaign law.

“I have introduced this important legislation today because the Supreme Court’s ruling strikes at the very core of democracy in the United States by inflating the speech rights of large, faceless corporations to the same level of hard-working, every day Americans,” said Boswell, a founding member of the Populist Caucus. “The Court’s elevation of corporate speech inevitably overpowers the speech and interests of human citizens who do not have the coffers to speak as loudly.”

“Corporations already have an active role in American political discourse through million-dollar political action committees and personal donations to campaigns,” Boswell said. “The legislation I introduced today will prevent the Wall Street corporations that received billions in taxpayer bailout dollars from turning around and pouring that same money into candidates that will prevent financial regulation on their industry. No American should have to turn on the TV and see AIG telling them how to vote.”

H.J.Res. 68 would disallow a corporation or labor organization from using any operating funds or any other funds from its general treasury to make any payment for any advertisement in connection with a federal election campaign, regardless of whether or not the advertisement expressly advocates the election of defeat of a specified candidate in the election.
Republican Congressman Steve King sent out the only statement I saw from the Iowa delegation in favor of the ruling.
“The First Amendment to the Constitution clearly states that Congress shall make no law ‘abridging the freedom of speech.’ The Constitution protects the rights of citizens and employers to express their viewpoints on political issues. Today’s Supreme Court decision affirms the Bill of Rights and is a victory for liberty and free speech.”
What did you think of the ruling? Is it free speech? Will it give big business and unions too much say over people with opinions, but without money, to fight against their spending?


desmoinesdem said...

If a corporation is a person, maybe their contributions should be limited the same way individuals are limited to giving no more than $2300 to federal candidates during the primary and $2300 during the general election.

But more broadly, this was an activist ruling by an activist court overturning decades of precedent to give moneyed interests more power to dictate election results. Bad all around.

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Anonymous said...

Roxanne Conlin, I have one word for you. Hypocrite. If anyone is benefitting from Wall Street, it is you. You ARE Wall Street. I see from your pulic financial disclosure report that you invest in more than 100 stocks and funds on Wall Street. If Wall Street and corporations are so bad, then why are you giving these Wall Street tycoons your dough? And if anyone is getting rich off Wall Street and corporations - it is you! Can you say 'hypocrisy'? Don't you make your living off of suing companies? Didn't you pocket $75 million as a trial lawyer from suing Microsoft? And then you slam the pharmaceutical industry while you are getting rich off the drug industry? I see you invest in Pfizer, Teva, Abbott, etc. Roxanne, you ARE Wall Street. Get real.

ta2 said...

Statements for All True Americans

As An America,Obama is NOT BLACK he is an abomination to GOD as IT SAYS in the BIBLE!! a 1/2 Breed! and The America GOV! ISNOT a Democracy It is the REPUBLIC!! As it says in the song for the REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!!
Other Presidents back in the 40's and 50' thru all Aliens out of USA for Americans to have jobs!!!after WWII READ about it!!
And A Marriage Should be between A MAN AND WOMAN As the BIBLE SAYS!!
And Allso says a Woman isNOT to have a place of Authority!!!

Anonymous said...

About time the playing field leveled . Unions are about to get thier comeuppance.