Happy anniversary Citizens United, here’s our country on a silver platter

It’s been exactly a year since our Supreme Court, in a controversial 5-4 decision, ruled that corporate spending on political campaigns needed to be protected as though it were the free speech of an American citizen. The decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case has, among other things, made it unconstitutional to place any limits the amount of money spent by corporations and anonymous groups to influence political races. The resulting change in campaign spending was enormous, and the folks at the watchdog group Public Citizen have just issued a report detailing the shift. Following are just a few of their findings:

• Spending by outside groups jumped to $294.2 million in the 2010 election cycle from just $68.9 million in the 2006 cycle. The uncharacteristically high spending in 2010 presages blockbuster spending in the upcoming 2012 elections;

• Nearly half of the money spent ($138.5 million, or 47.1 percent) came from only 10 groups;

• Groups that did not provide any information about their sources of money collectively spent $135.6 million – 46.1 percent of the total spent by outside groups during the election cycle;

• Two “Crossroads” groups formed by Republican strategist Karl Rove combined to spend $38.2 million, more than any single group. Next was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at $31.2 million; and

• Of 75 congressional contests in which partisan power changed hands, spending by outside groups favored the winning candidate in 60 contests.

So, have you got that? Corporations spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on attack ads this past electoral cycle, and, in 60 of 75 congressional races, the winner was the candidate with the most corporate money.

One would think the American people would like to know about this, but apparently all the investigative power of our corporate media is being channeled to England, in an attempt to determine where Prince William’s fiance is getting her wedding dress from.

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8 Comments

  1. Knox
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I was reading a few days ago that two of our Supreme Court justices had gone to speak at secretive dinners sponsored by the Koch brothers. I don’t know if money was involved, but it looks suspicious.

  2. Posted January 24, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    No one cares, except Libertarians, who are ecstatic.

  3. Edward
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    God bless the corporate fascist state of America, with liberty and justice for the top 2%.

  4. Kim
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Who is going to make Kate Middleton’s dress? That’s a great question.

  5. Robert
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    We might all be better off if every one of us just filed as a corporation and faked the death of our identity as an individual. We could then live the rest of our lives free and safe from government interference and from identity theft. I think I would be much more popular as a corporation.

  6. Thomas K
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know that it fits here, but I found the following fact interesting. I clipped it from an email I received today from former congressman Alan Grayson. It was part of a long list of things he was hoping Obama would talk about it tonight’s state of the union address.

    Sixth, because corporate income tax revenues have dropped by half in the past decade, while Big Business is enjoying record profits, I will ask the IRS to audit every one of the Fortune 500. This will ensure that they are paying the taxes that are due, rather than evading taxes through transfer pricing and offshore tax havens. And I will ask FASB and the SEC to mandate that public companies keep one set of books, rather than one set for investors and a different one for the IRS.

    Have corporate income tax revenues really dropped by half in the last ten year?

  7. Robert Corporation
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    From now on you are all to address me as “The Robert Corporation, LLC.”

  8. Ms. Pacman's Lover
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I always knew corporations were evil. Now I have the proof.

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