During wednesday's State Of The Union address, President Obama made the following statement about the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. FEC case:
"[it] open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."
Obama made this statement with the entire Supreme Court in attendance. Justice Samuel Alito appeared to respond "that's simply not true" following Obama's statement.
Alito probably said Obama's words were not true because.....
Obama's words were not true.
Here's an explanation from Bradley Smith, law professor at Capital University:
The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication."
The President Of The United States owes the Supreme Court an apology. I won't hold my breath.
As for the Citizens United v. FEC ruling allowing special interests to gain a disproportionate foothold in American politics.............you gotta be kidding me. We just got done bailing out Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citigroup, Bank Of America, many other banks and Wall Street firms, foreign banks, General Motors, Chrysler, GE, etc. We subsidize every special interest from Agriculture to Zoology. In Obama's health care reform, the unions got an exemption from the Cadillac tax unavailable to non-union workers. Two senators were bribed with special deals to get their votes. Lobbying on Capital Hill is a booming business. Health care reform is favored by every big health care interest - the insurance companies, big pharma, AARP, etc. They all see it as a great boon to THEIR special interests. You also didn't see tort reform in Obama's health care plan, because the trial lawyers are a huge special interest who contribute to the Democrats.
The facts are - special interests already run the USA, because they run the government. The people who get stuck with the bill are the little guys, the taxpayers. When Obama says he doesn't "think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests," I respond with a different observation - I don't think America's most powerful interests should be bankrolled by the American taxpaying public. And Obama is public enemy #1 in that regard, because he's spending more of our money than ever. And let's not forget the single largest special interest in the country - the federal government itself. Whether it's run by Democrats or Republicans, it's serving the special interests of Democrats or Republicans. And it's robbing us blind, putting the country on the road to economic ruin. Until that changes, the state of the union will never be good, and the presidential State Of The Union message will be a partisan, spin-filled crock.
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