Dems seek to gut Citizens United SCOTUS decision

Ed Lasky
Respect for the Constitution? Respect and deference to the Supreme Court of the United States? That was so 2008 and before. We know how Barack Obama has a fetish for attacking groups, including the Supreme Court justices during the State of the Union address.

Now we can witness moves afoot by Democratic Senators to try to weaken their decision in the Citizens United Case - the decision that allowed corporations to fund independent political broadcast in elections.
Most Senators are lawyers; but here political power and the desire to help control what citizens hear takes precedence over respect to the Constitution. The White House is working with key Democrats to weaken the impact of Citizens United. Meanwhile, unemployment stays stubbornly high-and our politicians are spending time on figuring out how to chill free speech,.

In the coming week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) plan to unveil legislation to close campaign-finance loopholes opened by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. The legislation was written in consultation with the White House. Here are details that have been circulated to Democratic congressional staffers, and were obtained by POLITICO.

The legislation will address seven major points:

* Enhance Disclaimers: Make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for their ads.

* Enhance Disclosures: It is time to follow the money.

* Prevent Foreign Influence: Foreign countries and entities should not be determining the outcome of the elections

* Shareholder/Member Disclosure: We should allow shareholders and members to know where money goes.

* Prevent Government Contractors from Spending: Taxpayer money should not be spent on political ads

* Provide the Lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties: Special interests should not drown out the voices of the people.

* Tighten Coordination Rules: Corporations should not be able to "sponsor" a candidate.

Of course, the devil is in the details.

For example, "provide the lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties" means that entrenched incumbents and political parties are weakening the chance that opponents will be able to compete with incumbents. Democrats are trying to make it easier to keep their seats - now that they are in the majority.

Preventing government contractors from spending means that an entire group of businesses will not be able to engage in supporting free speech merely because they receive more than $50,000 in government money. In an era where government is coopting major sectors of the economy and spending money as if there is no tomorrow, this will foreclose the ability of many businesses from being able to express their political views.

One could go on about this attempt to chill free speech.


Respect for the Constitution? Respect and deference to the Supreme Court of the United States? That was so 2008 and before. We know how Barack Obama has a fetish for attacking groups, including the Supreme Court justices during the State of the Union address.

Now we can witness moves afoot by Democratic Senators to try to weaken their decision in the Citizens United Case - the decision that allowed corporations to fund independent political broadcast in elections.

Most Senators are lawyers; but here political power and the desire to help control what citizens hear takes precedence over respect to the Constitution. The White House is working with key Democrats to weaken the impact of Citizens United. Meanwhile, unemployment stays stubbornly high-and our politicians are spending time on figuring out how to chill free speech,.

In the coming week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) plan to unveil legislation to close campaign-finance loopholes opened by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. The legislation was written in consultation with the White House. Here are details that have been circulated to Democratic congressional staffers, and were obtained by POLITICO.

The legislation will address seven major points:

* Enhance Disclaimers: Make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for their ads.

* Enhance Disclosures: It is time to follow the money.

* Prevent Foreign Influence: Foreign countries and entities should not be determining the outcome of the elections

* Shareholder/Member Disclosure: We should allow shareholders and members to know where money goes.

* Prevent Government Contractors from Spending: Taxpayer money should not be spent on political ads

* Provide the Lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties: Special interests should not drown out the voices of the people.

* Tighten Coordination Rules: Corporations should not be able to "sponsor" a candidate.

Of course, the devil is in the details.

For example, "provide the lowest Unit Rate for Candidates and Parties" means that entrenched incumbents and political parties are weakening the chance that opponents will be able to compete with incumbents. Democrats are trying to make it easier to keep their seats - now that they are in the majority.

Preventing government contractors from spending means that an entire group of businesses will not be able to engage in supporting free speech merely because they receive more than $50,000 in government money. In an era where government is coopting major sectors of the economy and spending money as if there is no tomorrow, this will foreclose the ability of many businesses from being able to express their political views.

One could go on about this attempt to chill free speech.