opinion | jim Leach
October 14, 2012
Adapted from a speech delivered at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge on Oct. 7.
It warms my heart to read a piece by a Republican that reflects the Republican Party to which I once belonged. It is thougtful, logical and represents the highest ideals of the GOP past tense. Today's Party will have little truck with such ideas as this. Today's Republican Party has sold its soul for religion and money and one could only hope that the public sees what it is voting for or that if it fails to the Republic will survive this error it calls down upon itself and my old Party will once again regain its sanity. Mr. Leach could well be a person that could heal today's Republican Party let us hope there are more true "conservatives" out there who will step forward into the breach.
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Amen. What can we do? I disagreed with Mr. Leach when he was in Congress, but I never doubted his honesty and committment to our country. He reflects the Republican Party which held the respect of Americans. Citizrens United must go. How can we begin?
If a politician is running on a platform of shutting down nuclear power, you had better hope there is an industry ad allowed to run explaining why that is a bad idea and what will happen to you. If a politician is running on a platform of more socialist spending and socialism in general, you had better hope there are ads from corporations explaining why that is a bad idea and what will happen to your finances and the economics of the country! The definition of corporation makes clear they are a 'group of people' 'legally recognized as a person'. People against this ruling really seek to shut-down one side of a conversation! When you pretend you are against Citizen United, what you are really saying is you want to eliminate one half of the argument!! It's a slippery slope from here and thus it is easy to see why the Supreme Court allowed it.
User needs some kind of help. His logic nodes are completely scrambled. I have rarely read such a ridiculous series of sentences from a sane person.
There is a public policy question on the ballot in Massachusetts in a number of districts to inform our state senators and representatives to support the Democracy Amendment that would effectively overturn the Citizen's United decision. The intent of this effort is to amend to the constitution to give our elected officials the right to make laws to regulate the amount of money spent on political campaigns. When corporations, unions, or wealthy individuals can give people running for office unlimited amounts of money they do it with the expectation of getting something in return. It goes without saying that the interests of these groups don't always coincide with the public interest.
Mr. Leach's other point has to do with the rights of corporations, an issue also addressed by the Democracy Amendment. Most of us don't have to be told that Corporations aren't people but rather legal entities created by people, and that they should not have the same rights as people. The first amendment right of free speech applies to individuals, there is nothing in the constitution that ever gave this right to corporations or unions. By confusing corporations with people the Supreme Court has given corporations expanded rights in the mistaken belief that this would not be corrupting. I think most people know better.
Passing the Democracy amendment is an important first step in reclaiming our democracy to serve the interests of all people.
I agree with you and I think the Democracy amendment is a good idea, but passing it with a two-thirds majority in Congress and then through three quarters of the state legislatures will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. The opposition, per the Citizens United decision, will be using unlimited funds to fight it every step of the way.
Excellent. Just excellent.
I have only a mild disagreement with Jim Leach. Even before Citizens United, our government had all the trappings of an oligarchy.
Also, Leach underestimates the corrosive effect of the Citizens United decision. Doing business in our state are three banks wholly owned subsidiaries of foreign corporations, incorporated in the United States: Citizens Bank (Royal Bank of Scotland), Soverign (Santander) and TD Bank. CITGO, of course, is owned by the Venezuelan government, which means that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez can contribute large sums to the candidates of his choice, as can all the aforementioned banks and many other "American" corporations with foreign ownership from all continents except Antarctica.
The Citizens United decision makes no distinction whatsoever between wholly American corporations and corporations with foreign ownership. Critics of earlier supreme courts have call them "activist", but isn't the current court activist in conveying personhood to corporations and calling money free speech?