Archive for the ‘Campaign finance’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Sept. 12, 2009, in response to the Camera’s question: The Supreme Court signaled Wednesday it may let businesses and unions spend freely to help their favored candidates in time for next year’s elections. Congress included limits on these so-called issue ads in the belief that they were campaign ads in disguise. What do you think?

Free speech is a significant portion of the case of “Citizens United v. The Federal Election” before the Supreme Court. One side argues corporations shouldn’t be allowed free speech because they aren’t flesh and blood but profit-making, economic entities government allowed to form. On the other side is the idea that “Congress should make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” so speech is good from any source, including corporations and unions.

The case that started out ruling on a 2008 political documentary, “Hillary: The Movie,” funded by a corporation, has broader ramifications. In March the Solicitor General raised an audible breath from the Supreme Court in response to a comment she made to opposing council. Elena Kagen said Congress has constitutional powers over not only television and cable during an election but also book publications. Therefore, it would be a crime if a corporation published a political book during an election time. We’ll soon see what the court says.

During elections, I get tired of political ads but would rather hear more voices identified by their sources than have government curtail speech.* Instead, stockholders, members and customers should keep corporate and union speech in check. Some local residents displayed recently how this works when John Mackey, founder and Whole Foods’ CEO, wrote his own opinion in the Wall Street Journal. They reacted by boycotting Whole Foods and writing letters to the editor. In response, Whole Foods clarified its lack of position on the issue.

*Note: Only the first the first sentence of the last paragraph was published though the entire paragraph was submitted. 

Source: Daily Camera

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