“The Supreme Joy of Citizens United”

This article has been posted on The Huffington Post. Click on the link to read it at Huff Post.


The Citizens United decision was an egregious blow to democracy.

Republicans applauded the Supreme Court ruling in January, 2010 seeing an opportunity to spend millions of dollars to destroy the liberal message and Democratic candidates without repercussions and incarceration.

They are now feeling the unintended consequences of the wrongful interpretation of law forced on the American people by 5 men in black robes. A partisan attempt to manipulate elections; a dishonorable maneuver that set election law back 100 years.

But, their attempt to influence elections, to legislate from the bench, has backfired!

Republican presidential candidates are suffering the harm the Supreme Court decision has wrought. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys!

The Citizens United verdict gave corporations and wealthy individuals the freedom to contribute money without limits to Super PACs, Political Action Committees (PAC), without immediate disclosure.

Five simple men in black robes falsely interpreted the 1st Amendment when they determined that money is speech and corporations are people. That interpretation is absurd. Corporations are not people! Any reasonable person, anyone with common sense, would come to that conclusion.

But not ‘the five,’ the dark side of the highest court. Determining that money is free speech and allowing their influential contributions to remain secret is clearly a violation of the electoral process.

So they compounded their mistake and now, in a bit of irony, the Republican hopeful’s are feeling the acerbity of the Supreme’s decision; a decision meant to derail the Democrats and grab political power.

Mitt Romney struck the first vengeful blow, or should we say his buddies did, producing a series of negative ads directed at then front-runner, Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire.

Gingrich, who claimed he wasn’t going to run a negative campaign, pleaded with Romney to tell his Super PAC to cease and desist with the negative attacks. Mitt’s non-committal rejoinder changed Gingrich’s attitude about campaigning.

Candidates are not allowed to coordinate with the Super PACs and monies may not be intermingled. Ads of the candidates must be funded by the campain and approved by the candidate. Super PACs, thanks to the Supreme Court, are not under the same regulatory constraints, however, the relationships must remain separate.

But Romney and his former Bain colleagues who run one of his PACs share a rare symbiosis greater than any of the other candidates in the race.

So the hounds of hell were released in South Carolina with millions being spent by candidates and Super PACs to destroy opposing candidates prior to Saturday’s South Carolina Primary. South Carolinians were bombarded with negative campaign ads for more than a week.

The onslaught of derisive and acerbic ads exposes the absurdity and destructive nature of the Citizens United ruling.

This Republican presidential carnival has become a game for billionaires with each claiming a candidate and maneuvering to muddy opponent’s credibility.

Despite the extreme enjoyment one might derive from the political infighting and Republican’s discomfort, the ultimate losers of the Supreme Court’s misapplication of the law are the American people.

There are a number of Congressional members, groups, and individuals drafting legislation and amendments to address the Citizens United decision and overturn or repeal it. Efforts are also underway to eliminate corporate personhood from any reference or discussion of free speech. Justice Stevens offers a compelling argument against the Citizens United ruling in his dissent.

Corporations are ‘not’ people, nor should they ‘ever’ have been granted that designation.

Attempts to rectify the destructive ruling does nothing to change the derisive Republican attacks and will not be adopted or passed in time to effect the Florida Primary or 2012 election.

The reward of an obviously flawed Supreme decision is what it’s doing to the Republican field.

All the negative ads have done is to make these unqualified candidates look more unqualified, bad candidates look worse. Finally some honesty from the Republicans.

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Primary proving the power of negative advertising; advertising that showed none of these candidates are worthy of public office.

Now that three different candidates have prevailed in the first three primaries it appears negative ads will accelerate in Florida. More money will be pumped into the Super PACs by rich benefactors; wealthy individuals with far different agendas than most Americans.

What Citizens United has done is damage the credibility of the Republican candidates and further destroy an already battered American political system.

If ever there’s a positive outcome of the Citizens United ruling it will be the obvious necessity to get money out of politics. It has become a serious threat to our elections; to our democracy. The threat is real!

We’ve now seen how ugly it can get. Getting money out is the only hope for our political survival.

Let’s reverse the damage the Supreme Court’s decision has done to our electoral process and make our individual votes count just as or forefather’s intended.

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