Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Last year in the Citizens United decision the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could spend as much as they wanted on political campaigns. Money is their voice, as it were. As long as the contributions went to independent groups, and ads were run by third parties (and not to the candidates themselves) corporations were free to drop as much money as they wanted to voice their political opinion during a political campaign.

Well, now, according to a U.S. District Court decision corporations can spend as much as they want on individual candidates because corporations enjoy the same rights as individual citizens. Put another way, corporations are people too. Only they are richer and enjoy the fact that politicians dependent on them for their political lives.

What the judges in our country who make these rulings don't seem to understand is that foreign owned corporations are also empowered to voice their opinion in our political process too.

While there are several sites that explain the long history behind corporate personhood, the fact is establishing corporate personhood is really a product of a damn typo. Seriously. I have commented on the long and less than distinguished road to corporate personhood here, here and here.

At the end of the day, our emerging reality is that corporations can now dominate the political process in America - more so than they did in the past.

If we have to live with this corporate personhood nonsense, then I'm with Rep. Kucinish (D-OH), and have one request: If corporations are endowed with the same rights and privileges as U.S. citizens, and are considered people in the eyes of the law, then I want to see a birth certificate ... long form too.

At what point do we realize that corporations aren't the same as people? They are legal concepts that have have been granted life and significant protections by the state. They were created to serve the state, not the other way around.

Surrendering our sovereignty and our individual rights to a private legal abstract is nuts.
- Mark

Addendum: Artwork from Keith Tucker at "What Now!" Toons.

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