Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ironic, Ain't It?

Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press ran this editorial decrying the latest Supreme Court decision, which essentially struck down McCain Feingold as unconstitutional. It is fearfully titled, "Government by the people, RIP."
Thursday's 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission gives corporations, labor unions and other wealthy agglomerations of narrow economic interest the green light to expand their already disproportionate influence over governmental policy in health care, nutrition, financial regulation and every other realm in which corporations stand to make a buck at the expense of the public interest.
Up until this Supreme Court decision, none of us had to worry about special interests influencing government policy. It just didn't happen. We were protected. But don't worry, the Free Press is calling on the government to save us, in spite of the Supreme Court, to save us.
But Congress must not abandon the fight to regulate corporate spending in candidate elections, and Michigan's congressional delegation and state legislators must push for tougher disclosure rules to assure that voters can at least observe the corrupting impact of corporate campaign cash in real time.
Yes, that's right folks, only Congress can protect us from corporate predators. And they will take care of our medical, energy, and financial needs . . . even though the only working experience most of these people have is in politics and government. They will get advice from smart people . . . who aren't considered special interests?

Today though, in this article, it seems there is a slightly different point of view to the effect of special interests in government.
Dozens of current and former corporate executives have a message for Congress: Quit hitting us up for campaign cash.

Roughly 40 executives from companies including Playboy Enterprises, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, the Seagram’s liquor company, toymaker Hasbro, Delta Airlines and Men’s Wearhouse sent a letter to congressional leaders today urging them to approve public financing for House and Senate campaigns. They say they are tired of getting fund-raising calls from lawmakers — and fear it will get only worse after Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling.
Congressional candidates who find themselves attacked by a flood of special-interest TV ads in the 2010 elections will likely reach out to their party’s biggest donors for money to help them counter the blitz.

“Members of Congress already spend too much time raising money from large contributors,” the business executives’ letter says. “And often, many of us individually are on the receiving end of solicitation phone calls from members of Congress. With additional money flowing into the system due to the court’s decision, the fundraising pressure on members of Congress will only increase.”
So remind me, whose fault is again that deep-pocketed special interests are running roughshod over us regular Americans? Do members of Congress have some sort of disability that limits their ability to take responsibility for their actions and outrageous mistakes? Maybe Congress needs to pass laws protecting corporations from unscrupulous politicians.

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