As If Citizens United Isn’t Enough: The Republican National Committee Wants the Whole Enchilada

Corporate contributions directly to the campaign coffers of candidates running for office is the intent of the brief filed with the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court on January 10, 2012. This filing claims that the ban enacted in 1908 is unconstitutional by virtue of recently upheld Free Speech rights relying on the Citizens United decision. Part of this strategy is to make the face of the corporate donor not that of Exxon/Mobile, Halliburton, or GE, but mom-and-pop-sized small business:

“Most corporations are not large entities waiting to flood the political system with contributions to curry influence. Most corporations are small businesses. As the Court noted in Citizens United, “more than 75% of corporations whose income is taxed under federal law have less than $1 million in receipts per year,” while “96% of the 3 million businesses that belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have fewer than 100 employees.” While the concept of corporate contributions evokes images of organizations like Exxon or Halliburton, with large numbers of shareholders and large corporate treasuries, the reality is that most corporations in the United States are small businesses more akin to a neighborhood store…”

Lawyers representing the Republican National Committee contend that the ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates now is based on the argument that such a ban only prevents an end-run around individual donors, folks like you or me, and that is simply not a good enough reason to maintain the ban.

The efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters through the ALEC-inspired legislation introduced in 34 states in 2011 seems all part and parcel with this effort to make the individual contributions of non-corporate donors less important than those of corporate donors. It is a bald-faced endorsement of the hypothesis that corporations are persons, and as such, are more important than the individual, natural persons that eat, drink, breathe, enable corporations to exist through the agency of laws natural persons enact, to the detriment of those natural persons.

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About sdemetri
Portland, Maine freelance photographer, writer, activist

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