Saturday, May 1, 2010

Campaign Finance Reform Post-SCOTUS Decision

It's time to reform campaign financing, and I for one like the couple of proposals that were introduced into congress. From an article by Darlene Superville I came across on Yahoo! News, the legislation seems simple:
Legislation introduced in Congress this week would require that corporations and unions identify themselves in political ads they pay for and that the chief executive or other top official state that "I approve this message."

The measures are in response to a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in January that upheld the First Amendment rights of these groups to spend money on campaign ads, thus enhancing their ability to influence federal elections...

The proposals also would also bar foreign-controlled corporations and government contractors from spending money on U.S. elections and prohibit political spending by companies that accepted government bailout money. Corporations and unions also must disclose campaign-related spending on their websites and report such spending to shareholders and members.
I think this would get bipartisan support, and the right should especially love the part barring foreign-controlled corporations and government contractors from financing campaigns, as well as companies that had received bailout money from contributing, but I suspect they will want to obstruct this legislation as well because the Democrats are for it. I'm sure the Republicans have no problem being what Ron Paul called the president - corporatists.

Americans have a right to know who is making these political messages. Many of these executives are hiding behind their companies to fund their political interests. Americans are at a disadvantage and this legislation seems to level the playing field a bit.

I would also like to point out that the law targets unions in addition to corporations.  Unions are a popular target among the conservatives and they are constantly claiming they are the ones pulling the Democrats' strings, yet the Democrats are constantly writing legislation including unions.  Go figure.  The typical conservative response is that they are just aggrivating the people who put them in power - the Democrats are burning their bridges.  Maybe the right needs to come up with some new talking points...

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