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Corporations and democracy


Fri, Apr 2nd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Historians indicate that the Roman Empire fell in 476 A. D. and left in its wake untold devastation and political chaos.

Likewise, The United States of America, as a democracy, ceased to exist on December 12th of the year 2000, when five Republican judges of the Supreme Court handed down a purely political decision, rather than a judicial decision, that has left in its wake untold devastation and political chaos.

Then, on Thursday, January 21st, 2010, adding insult to injury, the U. S. Supreme Court overruled two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations. A bitterly divided Supreme Court 5-4 ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections which reaffirmed and guaranteed corporate power to effectuate the outcome of elections in the U.S.

The dissenters said that allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy. The ruling represented a sharp doctrinal shift, and it will have major political and practical consequences. Specialists in campaign finance law expect the decision to reshape the way U.S. elections are conducted.

Supreme Court Justice Stevens in his dissent said, "The majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings."

The ruling overruled two precedents: Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a 1990 decision that upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates, and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, a 2003 decision that upheld the part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that restricted campaign spending by corporations and unions.

President Obama called it "a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

This decision, the most naked act of judicial activism in our history, has, along with the Bush vs. Gore decision on Dec. 12, 2000, pounded what may be the final nail in the coffin of democracy in the United States. The court reached out to decide an issue that had not even been raised by the parties challenging the law, and reversed a decision that even the conservative Supreme Court Judges Rehnquist and White had joined 20 years ago and which also had been recently affirmed.

So much for representative democracy in our .....
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The Mess Our Politicians Created

Fri, Mar 26th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Bobbie Sauer, Sr.'s, response to my last letter was in many respects accurate and factual. But, to define why this recession occurred and to assign blame where it belongs, it was completely useless. My "shoddy historical basis" is, in fact, incomplet ..... 
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Who should solve the health care problem?

Fri, Mar 26th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Currently, all of the political minds in Congress are of the same mindset that health care reform is needed. Everyone understands that health care in our country has grown needlessly expensive, and that some who want coverage cannot afford it. The o ..... 
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Bipartisanship requires work and will

Sat, Mar 20th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

After seven hours together at their recent health-care forum, President Obama, congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans emerged no closer to an agreement than when they started. It was as fine a tutorial as you could want on why true bi ..... 
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Ready, fire, aim

Fri, Mar 5th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

I always knew my political and community outlook was at variance with Mr. Gudmundson but don't remember anything quite as jarring as his last effort ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, Mar 5th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

As I witness the usual dichotomy of our state government positioning our local economy in the passenger seat of an on-going, overwhelming financial crisis, I beg the question, "What can we control?"

Whether talking about local government aid ..... 
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One moment, please... Survivor: The Pilot Mound Series

Mon, Mar 1st, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Last week, I took a break from writing anything political. Now, I'm back in the saddle and clopping full speed ahead. I have two subjects to discuss but only enough space in the newspaper for one of them this week. You'll get this one now in today's ..... 
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Enough Is Enough

Fri, Feb 26th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

When President Obama advocated nuclear energy, offshore drilling and research to provide clean coal technology as solutions to our increasing energy problems, I winced. Granted, he also advocated the use of alternative energy resources. When he pred ..... 
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Is it really tea time?

Fri, Feb 19th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

The Tea Party movement has been receiving a great deal of attention of late. The recent Nashville convention featuring keynote speaker Sarah Palin garnered worldwide media coverage. However, there were more reports about the costs of attending the c ..... 
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