Friday, February 12, 2010

McCamy Taylor's Journal - Democracy in America (1787-2010) RIP

McCamy Taylor's Journal - Democracy in America (1787-2010) RIP
Under the Bush Jr. administration, there was no enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, a linchpin of our democracy. Instead, the DOJ rubber stamped illegal minority vote suppressing redistricting in Texas and a Poll Tax in Georgia. Companies like Diebold boldly stole elections in Georgia, 2002 and later across the country. Suddenly Democrats had to be leading by more than the margin of error in the polls, otherwise the machines would cook the results and Republicans would stage upset victories.

But even that was not enough for the supporters of corporate fascism who call themselves names like the New Federalists. This year, their operatives in the Supreme Court placed the last nail in the coffin of our democracy.

The US Supreme Court has struck down a major portion of a 2002 campaign-finance reform law, saying it violates the free-speech right of corporations to engage in public debate of political issues.

In a landmark 5-to-4 decision announced Thursday, the high court overturned a 1990 legal precedent and reversed a position it took in 2003, when a different lineup of justices upheld government restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations during elections.
Note that the corporate media, when it bothered to cover this story, always talked about how corporations and unions would now be allowed to contribute as much as they wanted to federal campaigns. As if the and unions made it alright.

Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision to reshape the way elections were conducted. Though the decision does not directly address them, its logic also applies to the labor unions that are often at political odds with big business.

In a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down laws that banned corporations from using their own money to support or oppose candidates for public office.
By 5-4 vote, the court overturned federal laws, in effect for decades, that prevented corporations from using their profits to buy political campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states. /

To compare corporations and unions is not simply a case of apples and oranges. Try whales and minnows. According to one source

Since 1990, labor unions have contributed over $667 million in election campaigns in the United States, of which $614 million or 92 percent went to support Democratic candidates. In 2008, unions spent $74.5 million in campaign contributions, with $68.3 million going to the Democratic Party. Already, unions have contributed $6.5 million to the 2010 elections, and $6 million has gone to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C.

Let’s do some math. Nine elections since 1990. $667 million spent. That averages out to be about $70 million an election. Now, compare that to (mostly) corporate spending in 2008 alone…

In the 2008 election cycle, nearly $6 billion was spent on all federal campaigns, including more than $1 billion from corporate political action committees, trade associations, executives and lobbyists.

More math. $1 billion minus $70 million equals…

Corporate “citizens” are more equal than union “citizens.” No wonder Congress failed to vote on the Employee Free Choice Act, even when they had a clear 60 vote majority in the Senate. Now, they will blame that woman from Massachusetts for their failure to follow through on their promises to labor, the same way they will blame her for their failure to do fuck about health care.

Bought and sold, that describes our Congress, our president, our Supreme Court. Welcome to the New Federalist United States. If it seems strangely familiar, that might be because it resembles Mussolini’s Italy, a land where corporations ruled and everyone else paid.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini ...

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