Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tea Party Protesters missing Corporate takeover of Elections. What's next, Health Care?

Corporate power is about to take control, thanks to the high court appointments by Bush. Alito and Roberts head up one of the most activist supreme courts in history. The Republicans don't need to be in political power anymore. The die is cast.

USA Today: If the Supreme Court opens the door to more corporate money in political campaigns, it could affect laws in nearly two dozen states and a host of governor's races next year, including high-profile contests in Texas and Connecticut, experts say.

Twenty-two states ban corporate spending in state candidate races, and gubernatorial contests are underway in 17 of them. Fourteen are rated as competitive by election handicappers, such as The Cook Political Report. "The Supreme Court decision has the potential to open the floodgates," said Paul Ryan, of the non-profit Campaign Legal Center, which supports campaign-finance restrictions

In Virginia, one of six states with no contribution limits, business interests spent more than $4 million to aid Republican Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell. That's nearly 10 times what companies gave to his Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds and nearly twice what unions gave the Democrat.

Chief Justice John Roberts and others in the court's conservative majority questioned whether the limits violate free-speech rights.
"There's real hostility among a number of these justices to campaign-finance restrictions," said Michael Toner, a lawyer and former Federal Election Commission chairman who represents GOP candidates.

A ruling allowing unfettered corporate and union spending could affect other state-level races, according to groups such as Justice at Stake, a non-partisan organization working to keep special-interest money out of state judicial campaigns.

The Wisconsin Legislature recently passed a law allowing taxpayer funding of the state judges' races, but efforts to restrict what corporations and unions can spend on political advertising in state contests stalled, said Jay Heck, director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, because "everyone is waiting with some dread about what will happen in the Supreme Court."

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