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Letter to the Editor (The Chronicle) by Larry Kerschner

February 13, 2010

How does it feel to finally see behind the Wizard of Oz curtain of the ruling class? In the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission the high court is finally showing who owns them and runs this country. The corporations influence on local and national issues and votes has just been given the green light with no speed limit. The far reaching and chilling decision went far beyond the simple question of free speech protections under the First Amendment.

In this decision the Supreme Court has overturned federal campaign regulations enacted in 1907, some of the few remaining constraints to prevent corporations from undue influence in our elections. It overruled previous Supreme Court cases from 1990 and 2003 that agreed restrictions on corporate money in politics do not violate the Constitution. It hands over the power to decide our nation’s most critical issues to profit-driven corporate CEOs and their shareholders by allowing unfettered spending to purchase votes and media voice or sometimes media silence.

In earlier decisions the Supreme Court found that corporate persons have more rights than natural persons and found that political contributions are the same as free speech. We have corporations in the United States that are owned in large part by entities that are not in the United States. In fact large chunks of some of their corporate stock are owned by the Government of Communist China. About 20% of the members of the boards of directors of the Fortune 100 companies, the hundred largest corporations in America, are non-US citizens. Some of the wealthiest individuals in the world own these transnational corporations. Their interests are not the same as those of a U.S. citizen but the Supreme Court just said that they have the same right to free speech as you do. That is whatever free speech you can afford to buy.

Free speech will only be equal to political contributions when both individuals and corporations have equal amounts of each. Corporations already own the lawmakers through their lobbyists and thus have compelling advantages over common citizens. With this latest gift from the ruling class law interpreters to large business policy makers, media moguls and lobbyists, corporations have been given a megaphone, while John Q. Public is forced to stand in the corner and whisper. For more information about this Supreme Court decision go to: and and organize to keep constitutional rights for individuals, not corporations.


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