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In 2010, the US Supreme Court effectively gave US elections over to corporations by its Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. That ruling was based on its decision in Buckey v. Valeo which codified that spending money is a form of political speech. Because speech is a constitutionally protected right and a corporation is equivalent to a person, its speech cannot be restricted. In effect, carte blanche was given to corporate spending on elections.

The McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is a natural progression of Citizens United. It determines whether an individual can contribute an unlimited amount of money to any candidate.

Currently there is a total of $123,200 that can be contributed by one person to candidates, national political parties, and certain PACs. This includes the $48,600 limit that can be given to candidates.

The Supreme Court ruled that the $123,200 is unconstitutional. Individual limits per candidate remains. This means ideologically similar plutocrats can now form informal consortiums and provide unlimited money to politicians of their choice.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

Politicians currently spend an inordinate amount of time raising money for their next election. It means that the moneyed interests have the ear of the politician, not its constituents. If one has any doubt about what this means one simply needs to look at today’s reality.

• Twenty-eight percent of all disclosed donations, $1.68 billion, was given by 31,385 people, 1 percent of the 1 percent.

• The median donation of the 1 percent of the 1 percent was $26,584. That is about half the median yearly income of Americans.

Polarization? Four out of 5 of the 1-percent-of-the-1-percent donors gave all of their money to one party or the other.

Is there any doubt why today’s politics have become so caustic and polarized? It is a battle between the plutocrats. The average American citizen is simply a spectator seemingly without power.

Elections matter. Americans are not impotent. The fight by the working middle class and the poor to get their message out with the plutocrats’ stranglehold of the traditional media will be difficult. However, as long as the internet remains open, steady work by the grassroots can mitigate this travesty.



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Comment Preferences

  •  It's already up for sale (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye, Tracker, bobswern, Rashaverak

    This just increased the bidding.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:06:37 AM PDT

    •  It's truly a CLEARANCE SALE. "Everything Must Go!" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      prettymeadow

      As the one percent stuffs their pockets, and those of their minions inside the Beltway, it should be no surprise to everyone outside of the Beltway when they come to the realization that our so-called democracy will now become completely bankrupt, in every philosophical/political sense of the word, as a result of this last straw.

      What may one "take back" if there's nothing left?

      How do you take back climate change?

      Brutally destructive imperialism and wars?

      The ongoing pillaging of our society by the one percent?

      Corporate governance that trumps sovereignty?

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:41:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Putin can buy the White House (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye, Pinto Pony, Maverick80229

    With this and CU combined.

  •  It's our money. Why should we be restricted in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye

    how we use our money?
    Money is a tangible symbol of an obligation or debt. Nothing more. It is worthless in itself. A figment of the imagination.

    Spending money is not a problem. Restricting people's access to money is a problem. Indeed, it's a problem that's not very different from restricting access to reading and writing.

    That 30% of our adult population is functionally illiterate is not a happenstance. It took a lot of effort and regimentation to produce that result. Since time is limited, if many hours are spent restricting speech and locomotion and communication, there's not much time left to practice reading and writing and speaking intelligibly.

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:11:15 AM PDT

    •  Because in having vastly more money than anyone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229, matador

      else, you have shut out anyone and everyone who can't afford the pay to play game and they also don't get the access to their representatives either.  

      For a politician, a person(s) who gives massive campaign donations will have their ear and be beholden to the person dispensing the cash.  They tend to do the bidding of their major donors without thought to what is actually best for the country as a whole, rather than for just the bottom line of their major contributors.  

      This isn't good policy nor is it a good outcome for the vast majority of Americans.  

      Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

      by prettymeadow on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:24:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If some people hoard money, then that (0+ / 0-)

        behavior needs to be addressed. If members of Congress encourage hoarding by refusing to set taxes to see that the currency is rapidly recycled through the Treasury, then that's poor management and those Congress critters need to be replaced.
        Anyone who wants to avoid paying any tax can do so quite simply by not using our currency.

        "Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." In a democracy, we the people are Caesar and the Treasury is our treasury.

        http://hannah.smith-family.com

        by hannah on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:53:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fully 100% (0+ / 0-)

      Agree, hannah! This has been strategically set in motion some time ago and is coming to light with full impact to follow.

      If we take hold of our selves we can get the vote out, they cannot pull the lever or mark the ballot or touch enter for us!

      I am ticked (well that's mild putting of it) but I will keep a tight focus to regain my ability to act and speak to others and get the votes out in tall order.

      I will vote small, unfunded every chance it is practical
       

      •  NOT TRUE! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skyye, jedennis, JGibson

        They stole the 2000 election and the 2004 election at the ballot box. Michael Connell, their IT guru, stole the votes and was prepared to testify against Karl Rove. Then his plane went down. I don't think it was a coincidence.

        Those Republican bastards pay hard ball. They have stolen the Supreme Court from the people with their "strict constructionist partisan Republican rat bastard" appointments.

        If the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, the Koch brothers and the Republicans will have completed their coup against the American people. It's a done deal already. Game over.

        They won.

        •  Well (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maverick80229, betsyross, matador

          I pretty much agree with:

          They stole the 2000 election and the 2004 election at the ballot box. Michael Connell, their IT guru, stole the votes and was prepared to testify against Karl Rove. Then his plane went down. I don't think it was a coincidence.

          Those Republican bastards pay hard ball. They have stolen the Supreme Court from the people with their "strict constructionist partisan Republican rat bastard" appointments.

          If the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, the Koch brothers and the Republicans will have completed their coup against the American people.

          But, I was taught to drive when I was around 9 or so (in order to help pull fence wire) and so by the time I was barely able to see over the wheel, my father would make me get to 55 or so and take off the gravel road onto the dirt road.. He made me do this to teach me to control it and I recall him saying over and over, when I was scared, that when I am scared, that's when I have to drive that bitch like she ain't never known, he said you drive till she ain't movin, when help comes I want them to see those hands still on that wheel, you just never ever lose focus or stop.

          So.. this part

          It's a done deal already. Game over.

          They won.

          I will not give up my vision of hope, even when I am thoroughly too through and though.. I will drive on as long as I have a breath!

          But I get you man and I have to work my mind hard at times like these, to keep on driving the vision.

          Maybe just maybe, this is what it takes for people ro unite and move and demand change we voted for in 08 and 12! I still hope

        •  the proof is in the pudding. (0+ / 0-)

          Republicans have made a mess of things, so they should not be elected again.

          It only takes a second to spill milk and a half hour to clean it up. Expecting a Democrat in the White House to clean up eight years of malfeasance in less than eight is unrealistic.
          Having a competent Congress in 2014 would help. Having a media that does more than prognosticate would also help.

          http://hannah.smith-family.com

          by hannah on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:58:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is the worst SCOTUS ever. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skyye, Maverick80229, matador, jedennis, NM Ray

    I wish Alito, Thomas, and Roberts would all have major heart attacks and leave.  Though that will never happen, as they keep proving over and over again, that they have no heart and have sold their souls to the highest bidder.  

    I though it was supposed to be illegal for judges to show partisanship, but these three continue to show up at right wing fund raisers, do speeches for right wing groups and go to right wing "educational" seminars.  Shouldn't they have been impeached by now for their behavior?

    They are doing no favors for the American public at large.  

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by prettymeadow on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

  •  Between Plutocrats? (3+ / 0-)

    Can anybody point to one who's fighting the others, for our side?

    Last I counted there was 1 billionaire on earth willing to fight climate change, but none willing to fight to make the US a progressive society, or really fight for the people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:32:51 AM PDT

    •  Why would plutocrats want to level (0+ / 0-)

      the playing field?  It's in their best interest to stay at the top and dictate to the rest of us.  

      Though I don't know how much more money they could possibly need in order to be satisfied with their wealth. The top 85 billionaires in the world already have more wealth than the bottom 3.5 billion people on the entire planet.  

       How, as an individual, could you as a billionaire, possibly spend enough, even with your billions to keep the economy going?  

            Answer:  You can't.

      The people who actually spend money on goods and services are the ones who keep the economy going, however most people currently can't afford much beyond the basics of living, and some not even that much.  

      Throwing money into the gambling casino of the stock, bond, and/or the commodities markets, does little to nothing to help the economy as a whole.  

      http://www.forbes.com/...

      http://www.oxfam.org.uk/...

      Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

      by prettymeadow on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corporations are people and money is speech (0+ / 0-)

    thanks to the Supreme Court we have now.  Democrats have to learn vote in off year elections is we ever want to change the court in the future.

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:56:52 AM PDT

  •  Excellent information and analysis of this case (0+ / 0-)

    available at scotusblog.com. Here is a link:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/...

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:24:34 AM PDT

  •  We got sold out in 2000 when 5 evil supremes (0+ / 0-)

    Picked evil W.

    Actually this "country" was a lie from the beginning. It was created for evil rich to own people & to exterminate the natives for land.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:43:09 PM PDT

  •  For Sale: US Congress (0+ / 0-)

    Sold!  US Supreme Court

    John Roberts is undoubtedly the worst Chief Justice in the History of the US Supreme Court.  

    Clarence Thomas was asked if he agreed, but all he said was, "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ"

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:04:04 PM PDT

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