Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

How to Fix ‘Citizens United v. FEC’

with one comment

SCOTUSblog has a pair of posts about Citizens United v. FEC, the first on proposed Constitutional amendments to abolish corporate personhood and the second analyzing regular Congressional redress, as well as the logic behind and likely outcomes of the decision itself. Like Greenwald, Miller tries to take a balanced look at the decision. She concludes things are not apocalyptic; unfortunately her reasoning is entirely unpersuasive. In short, she argues that:

1) Corporations won’t want to risk their market share and shareholder goodwill on political advocacy;

2) Some sort of basic open disclosure requirement (attached to the ad itself) could disincentivize the few corporations willing to violate #1.

First, there’s just no good reason to think #1 is true; corporations, or the individuals who run them, may well decide the advantages of advocacy are worth any potential backlash. (Just ask John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods.) Any corporation that had already made that calculus would likely be willing to risk #2.

But put that aside; the more important objection is what the post from Matt I linked earlier demonstrates, that no money need ever actually be spent; the mere threat of a flood of corporate-backed attack ads would be enough to cow every politician on the Hill. The mere potential for this sort of corporate interference in elections is the crisis.

So, sadly, the corpocalypse is still on. Progressives, let’s get to work.

One Response

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  1. I think this probably opens corporations up to the death penalty in some states.


    January 25, 2010 at 11:41 am

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