The contributors of money to
It would be cheaper for all concerned if business were directly to pay senators and congressmen and eliminate the middlemen, the parasites who live on the surplus money in this system, paid for their ability to persuade both sellers and buyers (so to speak) that they are providing a service by facilitating the bargain. Elections now cannot take place without them.
There would seem to be two steps by which this rot has taken hold.
The first is change in the legislation originally concerned with the use by broadcasters of the airwaves, a public resource. In 1934 the
This rule applied to commentary on the news and to coverage of elections and acceptance of political advertising. There had to be substantial balance.
This arrangement was destroyed by the Reagan administration, which removed the FCC's responsibility to enforce political "fairness" in radio and television network commentary and election coverage. The Republican-controlled
This change was challenged in 1976 by a congressional candidate who contended that he had been defeated by a candidate who spent on his campaign a sum enormously more than the plaintiff could spend. He contended that the
In one of the more notorious and deplorable decisions in the history of the
Since 1908, business corporations have been prohibited from spending on federal elections. Unions have been banned from doing so since 1947. States have banned corporate campaign spending since the late 19th century. Today corporations and unions contribute indirectly through political action committees, limited in what can be contributed.
If corporations now were licensed to make direct payment from corporate funds to influence elections, the country would become a wholly owned subsidiary of American business. The government would no longer be able to act disinterestedly. In the circumstances, there would appear to be no possibility that legislation to reverse the effects of such a ruling could succeed.
I do not know whether this is something the majority of citizens wish to see happen. Probably, in these difficult times, the majority do not even know that it is happening. They will discover it later.
- Partisan Superfans are Driving Average Americans From Politics
- Democratic majorities in Congress are hindering rather than helping President Obama
- Senior citizens are more opposed to Obama's healthcare plans than any other age group
- Obama's Never Ending Healthcare Campaign
- Media Coverage of Obama Grows More Negative
- Speeches Not Enough for Obama to Succeed
- Afterthoughts from Obama U.N. Address
- President Obama creates tension in a supposed search for civility
- Nastiness Dominates Washington & the Anti-Obama Movement
- Politics: Incivility in Congress
- Obama's Pragmatism Will Strengthen Foreign Relations and National Security
- Obama's Poor Choices Could Threaten Our National Security
- Campaign Finance Laws Under Siege
- Welcome to the United States of Plutocracy
- All U.S. Presidents Need a War to Call Their Own & Obama Has His
- Rep. Charles Rangel -- Sign of the Times
- No Rules in the Arena (of Politics)
- Politics: Joe Biden Peripatetic Veep
- Pragmatic Look at Obama's Pragmatism
- Trouble in Liberal Land
- The Reason for Our Discontent
- Glenn Beck Explained
- Glenn Beck: Joe McCarthy Lives!
- Thank You, Glenn Beck!
- On Race: Carter v. Obama
- In Defense of ACORN
(c) 2009 William Pfaff