Feb 132012
 

I wrote last week that until we change the Constitution to permanently kick corporate money out of politics, we can forget about Congress protecting us from cell phone company contracts that strip consumers of their right to go to court.

I got a lot of interesting email on that post, because most people who read “Where’s Our Money” and other blogs think there “oughta be a law” of some kind. But no matter what you believe in or where you stand on the ideological spectrum, anybody who is trying to make America a better place for human beings is going to have a hard time overcoming the corrupting effect of corporate money on public officials and the democratic process.

Think I’m wrong? Here’s my challenge:

Name a policy issue that involves our power as voters, consumers, workers, taxpayers or even shareholders and I will show you how corporate money has derailed any serious progress on the matter.

If you don’t want to post it publicly, just ask that your comment remain private, or send me an email.

The same day I mused on our new status as second-class citizens courtesy of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, President Obama’s re-election campaign endorsed a constitutional amendment to reverse that ruling. “The President favors action—by constitutional amendment, if necessary—to place reasonable limits on all such spending,” the Obama campaign said. This came in the context of a another controversial move: the President had decided to encourage supporters to donate to one of the Super PACs supporting him. “Super PACs” are the shadowy groups that the Supreme Court freed of restraints on political spending in Citizens United. Tens of millions of dollars, most of it from unidentified corporations and wealthy donors, have poured into the Republican primaries. But that’s just a fraction of what Super PACs are expected to spend to unelect Barack Obama in November.

In a stark example of biting the hand that has fed it, Wall Street has made it clear that it is offended even by the timid financial reforms mustered by the Obama Administration over the last few years. Now that the taxpayers have resuscitated the Money Industry, it wants to go all the way back to the insane deregulatory policies that pushed the nation into a depression in 2008.

There was a lot of critical commentary about the announcement, not just by hypocrite Republicans like John Beohner, but also by commentators on the left who feel Obama betrayed his commitment to campaign finance reform.

I for one can’t see how any candidate from either party can afford not to play by the deregulated rules of legalized bribery blessed by the Supreme Court. Like Obama’s campaign manager said, “unilateral disarmament” in the face of a massive attack of big money makes no sense. Our electoral system now assures the survival only of the financially fattest.

But will Obama really fight for the 28th Amendment? It’s one thing to endorse the concept and quite another to press for a change in the Constitution that would strip the corporate establishment of its power to elect candidates and dictate laws. The President has the bully pulpit and phenomenal power, but like the rest of us, he can’t hope to pass any laws if corporations maintain a hammerlock over the legislative branch. No one knows better than he how the powerful insurance lobby turned health care reform into a corporate boondoggle. If President Obama thinks there oughta be a law, any meaningful law, in his second term, he’s going to have confront Citizens United.

 

About Harvey Rosenfield

Harvey Rosenfield has been fighting to protect consumers and taxpayers against rip-offs and abuse for thirty years. He’s the author of Proposition 103, the landmark insurance reform initiative, which has saved Californians more than $63 billion in insurance premiums.

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  One Response to ““There Oughta Be A Law” – Want to Play?”

  1. Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.

    But there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !….Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

    HIMSELF

    Barack Hussein Obama II (

    Who hates American Values ) who is A ” SELF PROCLAIMED Enemy” ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II, WILL FORCE YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/

    { All on YOU

    | / At your COST & Sacrifice.\

    …This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE.

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying ……To his supporters.Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your Fellow Americans” – Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters. “I want all Americans to get in each others faces!– Obama Demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” –

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. ANGER VIOLENCE And more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america /“Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands ! *Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk To these folks…~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.“ OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /“`

    Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat” and HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and ON BORDERLINE killing MODE, “ VIOLENT / and STAND and STOMP and MOB for their immoral CAUSES and THIS IS WHAT HE LIVES FOR ./ ./ ./ THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. !* Obama Tells democrats: “ I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ….PLEASE…. go to reXes NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! — [ THE FINAL SOLUTION - for Un~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE.

    CLICK HERE http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/index.html

    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child, BORN ALIVE sTabS it iN the head and SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

    This is just too wrong and horrible. Please stand for Loving Children and the USA.

    Respectfully and Thankfully Thank you ALL for your Time.

    To see HORRIBLE HONOR Killings~` HATE CRIMES ]`~ ! eXecuted by the CLINTON,RENO and ATF Media WHO COMMITTED H0NOR KILLINGs [

    SLAUGHTERING }] 21 LITTLE Helpless Children at Waco.

    Click Here http://obomlnation.webstarts.com/partly_born_totally_murdered.html

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