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Friday, January 22, 2010

Supreme Backfire?

I was thinking this morning that aside from the recent SCOTUS decision to allow big corporations/labor unions the same "free speech" rights as individuals wouldn't necessarily be a complete molestation of the political process. The reasoning behind this is rather easy to see when you realize that you'll be able to see what companies are backing a particular candidate. And, considering Wall-Street's love of Republicans, wouldn't it stand to reason that this should be an eye-opener for perspective Republican voters?

But the broader question is this - will the GOP care if people know who stands with them, because they sure are loving this decision.

– Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “It is about a nonprofit group’s ability to speak about the public issue. I can’t think of a more fundamental First Amendment issue. … [The ruling could] open up resources that have not previously been available [for Republicans].” [NYT]

– Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “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.” [Statement]

– Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): “If the freedom of speech means anything, it means protecting the right of private citizens to voice opposition or support for their elected representatives. The fact that the Court overturned a 20-year precedent speaks volumes about the importance of this issue.” [Statement]

– Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): The court took a step toward “restoring the First Amendment rights [of corporations and unions]. … By previously denying this right, the government was picking winners and losers.” [AP]

– RNC Chairman Michael Steele: “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, serves as an affirmation of the constitutional rights provided to Americans under the first amendment. Free speech strengthens our democracy.” [Statement]

– Senate Candidate Marco Rubio: “Today’s SCOTUS decision on McCain-Feingold is a victory for free speech.” [Statement]

There is a fair bit of Republican camouflage being thrown around with this decision. They are framing this purely as a "First Amendment" issue, that it's private citizens that will benefit. This completely ignores that fact that large corporations will have more control over the voices of politicians that claim to have "private citizens" best interest at heart.

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