Monday, January 25, 2010

Citizens United v. FEC

I haven't looked into this decision too closely, but my initial take is actually that it could cut two ways. The first, obviously, that corporations and unions will be able to have more direct influence over political candidates. But on the other hand, and related to this, perhaps this will get rid of the fiction that corporations and unions were somehow walled off from politics by the prohibition on corporate and union donations.

It ought to be pretty simple to come up with a way to show a given legislator's corporate and union donations on a "smart" TV or internet screen whenever they are on there talking or are quoted in the press (similar to the way corporate financial data can be quickly linked-to in online news stories about publicly-traded corporations).

In short, it could actually clarify things in a way that is healthy.

Postscript: It bears repeating that while the individual unions spend a lot of money on politics, the corporate sector as a whole outspends organized labor about 10 to 1.

2 comments:

Karlissimo del Banco said...

Wouldn't this system essentially decide who will be running for office in the first place? If you know that you can't have the business sector's support, and your potential opponents will, you may decide to not bother running for office. Given how campaigns are run these days, it seems that this could be a likely byproduct of that decision, which is, I think, a bad thing.

M. Rondin de Fromage said...

Right, but isn't the "wealth primary" that you speak of already in place? It's true I suppose that I'm musing about a Leninist "smoke out the contradictions" strategy, which is admittedly hella risky.

Although it worked for Lenin.

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