Every political topic revolves around Citizens United

January 21, 2012 | By | 4 Replies More

Bernie Sanders Points out that every political topic is affected by Citizens United:

If you are concerned about the collapse of the middle class, you should be concerned about how American campaigns are financed. If you wonder why the United States is the only country in the industrialized world not to have a national health care program, if you’re asking why we pay the highest price in the world for prescription drugs, or why we spend more money on the military than the rest of the world combined, you are talking about campaign finance. You are talking about the unbelievable power that big-money interests have over every legislative decision.

The corporate coffers are wide open, thanks to a mere 5-4 majority:

It’s a virtual certainty that all of this spending will fundamentally distort our democracy, tilting the playing field to favor corporate interests, discouraging new candidates, chilling elected officials and shifting the overall policymaking debate even further in the direction of giant corporate interests and the super-wealthy.

I agree completely. Until we overturn Citizens United (by passing a constitutional amendment — perhaps one of these), we are incapable of having any honest discussion with our politicians.

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Category: Corporatocracy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    I don’t get it though. All Citizens United did was overturn BCRA, a law that was only in place since 2001. How come the previous decades of campaign finance reform didn’t fundamentally change anything?

    How come BCRA itself didn’t usher in an era of government for the people?

  2. Adam Herman says:

    Wait a minute, did he just say we don’t have a national health care program? Does he remember his vote for the health care bill? Or is he referring to single payer? The American public doesn’t support single payer.

    Sounds to me like the biggest problem in this country is that minorities of one, such as Bernie Sanders, Congress’ only socialist, are under the impression that the only reason the country doesn’t support them is because they can’t control the political discourse.

  3. NIklaus Pfisig says:

    Adam, The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act was enacted in 2002 and prohibited corporations from certain electioneering practices.
    Citizens United (CU) is a font organization, registered as non-profit so it is not required to expose it’s donors. CU has a lobbing branch and a productions branch which has released 20 documentary/propaganda films, including several featuring Newt Gingrich.
    The land mark case involved advertising for “Hillary – The Movie” produced by Citizens United Productions. The “documentary” used heavily edited bits of archive video of Hillary Clinton combined with interviews and opinion editorials by over a dozen neo-conservative hacks.

    The promotional ads for this documentary blatantly violated the Feingold-McCain act, and the lawsuit, along with some well placed right-wing activist Justices not only overturned BCRA, but set a precedent effectively giving multinational corporations the freedom to buy any elected office for a puppet legislator.

    On Health care,
    Numerous polls showed the public favored some form of government funded and regulated health insurance. In many cases this was the public option, which effectively a government operated health insurance plan to be offered to low income workers, with varying degrees of subsidies for small and medium businesses.
    It was a good plan, and addressed in detail all the flaws in health insurance in this country. The Senate bill however was a joke as it deferred pretty much every thing to citizens committees made up of industry consultants with a minority of governmental representation.

    The result, the personal mandate, is what we got, a system proposed many years ago by John McCain, and put into effect in Massachusetts in 2003 by Mitt Romney. The personal mandate, privatizes health care insurance by guaranteeing that everyone must carry coverage. Low income people will have their premiums subsidized.

    The public had little say in the matter. Funny thing here is that when the personal mandate was a republican idea it was good, but when Obama accepted the idea it suddenly became evil.

  4. Adam Herman says:

    However, single payer would never have been supported by the public. 80% of Americans at the time the bill was being debated liked their own health insurance. Single payer would require them to give it up. Never gonna happen. We got the system we got because in theory it wouldn’t require anyone to give up their current health insurance.

    The moderate Democrats weren’t stupid or just catering to big business. They passed a bill that every Democrat could support. There wasn’t even enough support among the Democratic caucus for single payer.

    Besides, Sanders seems to have missed the last 40 years of history. Single payer is obsolete. Most countries have a multi-payer system. Keeps both the public sector and the private sector honest to have them compete with each other.

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