Friday, January 29, 2010

10 Ways to Stop Corporate Dominance of Politics

Here are some practical ideas to mitigate the effects of the extremist, ideologue fascist five SCOTUS Justices’ assault on freedom.

FatCat2 The recent Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited corporate spending in politics just may be the straw that breaks the plutocracy’s back.

Pro-democracy groups, business leaders, and elected representatives are proposing mechanisms to prevent or counter the millions of dollars that corporations can now draw from their treasuries to push for government action favorable to their bottom line. The outrage ignited by the Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission extends to President Obama, who has promised that repairing the damage will be a priority for his administration.

But what can be done to limit or reverse the effect of the Court’s decision? Here are 10 ideas:

  1. Amend the U.S. Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons
  2. Require shareholders to approve political spending by their corporations…
  3. Give qualified candidates equal amounts of free broadcast air time for political messages…
  4. Ban political advertising by corporations that receive government money…
  5. Impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions…
  6. Prohibit companies from trading their stock on national exchanges if they make political contributions and expenditures…
  7. Require publicly traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than for promoting their products…
  8. Require the corporate CEO to appear as sponsor of commercials that his or her company pays for…
  9. Publicize the reform options, inform the public of who is making contributions to whom, and activate the citizenry…

The measures listed above—and others that seek to reverse the dominance of money in our political system—will not be easy. But grassroots anger at this latest win for corporate power is running high… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Alternet>

What I’ve done here is to include only the headers and minimal explanation from each of the ten items.  I strongly recommend that you chick through to the original for the meat of this.  I don’t agree with all ten.  I think that the first would take too long, if possible at all.  I like the sixth the best, except that it should be contributions and advertising.  Cousin FatCat disagrees with me.

Good night! (see today;s open thread).


the walking man said...

3,4,6,7,9 would do it for me.

And I would ask those shareholders why they would prefer the company to spend profits which should rightfully go out as dividends on political gerrymandering.

Holte Ender said...

No doubt when the political ads start to flood the airwaves, every ad will get big time scrutiny and be picked apart like never before, by the blogs more than the MSM, because the MSM are going to love the large chunks of soft money that's coming their way. Why would they be against it, they're corporations too, with shareholders hungry for dividends.

Lisa G. said...

Is that Oso's cat? Sure looks like her. I'm with WM again; once the shareholders see this nonsense going on instead of into their pockets, the corps will shape up.

ivan said...

All this parsing is begging the question. If you sift through Obama's speech you will see he said it right on.
He put Wall Stret and and a supportive, activist Supreme Court in his sights.

benjibopper said...

Number 1 might be an insanely tough battle, but what a difference it would make. It is a fundamentally sound thing to do.

Today our supreme court ruled against forcing our government to bring Omar Khadr home. Sad day.

Jack Jodell said...

I salute you heartily for these ideas and this outstanding post. As far as I'm concerned, these are the 10 Commandments for corporate campaign spending! My faves are 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8, but ALL are necessary!

I am very encouraged by the massive and broad opposition to this most ridiculous decision ever rendered by SCOTUS.


BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Excellent ideals,but in the real world you would first need Congresspeople and Senators who were noble enough to implement those laws.

Tom Harper said...

I think BigmacinPittsburgh nailed it. Those ten ideas are all excellent. But in a perfect Catch-22 scenario -- if any of those ideas were actually achievable, they wouldn't be necessary.

TRUTH 101 said...

Ban all corporate contributions. They serve one purpose. As bribes for either a government contract or for the CEO to get a night in the Lincoln Bedroom.

an average patriot said...

They are working on a way to negate the selling of America. For the scum Alito it was payback!

Did you hear Obama call them out today at their Republican Retreat. He got them on everything it was great!

Obama stole the show as he went item by item as Republicans brought up their complaints of not being listened to and artfully by example pointed out in every case that he was, regardless of what they said on TV or to constituents to score political points.

About darn time! He said, this division is keeping us from meeting our obligations to the people! Obama went into the lions Den "the Republican Retreat" in Baltimore Maryland and took the bloody red meat out of their mouths. I hope their games stop now!

He is right but he told them they are giving themselves very little room with their constituents when they make it look like what he is doing is some kind of a Bolshevik plot! Obama, Republicans Spar at GOP Event

"You demonize me for believing the same things you do" It is about damn time he points that out. He pointed it out in every instance! This is supposed to be in privacy at the Republican retreat but this had transparency and relief to me. It is about time! They expected him to be on the defense but he went right on the offense. Beautiful!

Oso said...

Lisa G,
I thought the same thing;the pic does look like Dulce! and she is greedy enough to take Wall St $ but fortunately she's not in a position of responsibility.

TomCat take care of yourself bro-we need you healthy plus you're a great guy. If you need to cut back a bit-do it and don't feel guilty.

otis said...

My thought on what needs to happen with corporate ads is just this simple: You have to put your company name and logo on the ad. Just like they do in medicine commercials. The entire commercial has their medicine name on it, corporations should be required the same. Nothing says 'I am environmental' like a big Exxon Mobil logo on a campaign ad.

Oh, and the logo you have to put on it is where the money came from directly. No PACs can be used, after all, PACs have NOT been declared people, and they are not corporations by any measure. Also, no dummy corporations. It can only be something that actually produces something and creates jobs, more than just a manager and a PO box.
I think that it would be even better if the candidate had to pitch their product. Can you see that?
"Hi, I'm John McCain, and I use Lockheed/Martin for all of my air defense needs. I have wrecked more of their planes than any of the competition."
"I'm Joe Leiberman, and when whining and crying on the Senate floor I use Kleenex brand tissues and Aetna provides them to me as part of my 'unnecessary health care' bonus."
"I'm Nancy Pelosi, and I used to use Kotex, before I hit menopause. Now, people keep trying to shove them in my mouth."
"I'm Harry Reid, I use Everlast back braces in replacement of my spine."
Oh, the list goes on for amusement for me. Of course, I amuse easily.

I think that requiring a logo and clear indication of WHO is paying for the commercial is quick and easy and a first step. Of course we will have to see if Everlast will give out free samples to the Dems for something that thoughtful to come about.

Kevin Kelley said...

I think I like 2, 5, and 8 the most.

TomCat said...

Corporate profits to shareholders, Mark? What are you, some kind of communist? ;-)

Quite true, Holte.

Lisa, I found tyhe pic on the web. Any similarity between that cat and Oso's cat is purely coincidental. I think shareholders are so ignorant about the doings of the companies behing their investments, that I'm not sure they will take charge.

Ivan, the one clear thing here is that Obama will be in their sights.

Jack, I's like to take credit, but these are not my ideas. The cite is linked.

Good points, Mac and Tom.

Truth, the SCOTUS decision makes it impossible to do so.

Right on, Jim. See today's second story.

Thank you, Oso. I'll take a break shortly and get back to answering comments later.

LOL, Otis. Humerous, but dead on!

Those are good ones, Kevin.

TomCat said...

OOPS! Sorry, Benji. True, but can you inagine the corporate advertising flood as it went through the states?