Supreme Court’s Citizens United verdict crippling Obama’s Campaign
By Roger Caldwell
In 2010, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision erased the restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. This decision gave corporations the opportunity to flood the political process with corporate money and distort candidates’ image and platform. Justice John Stevens with the dissenting opinion said, “A democracy cannot function effectively when constituents’ members believe laws are bought and sold.”
Many political pundits and experts have proof that many politicians make a political decision based on how much financial support they receive from a supporter. Basically, in politics the candidates tell their supporters if they scratch my back, I will scratch your back by supporting a bill that you need passed. This process is not new, but with the Citizens United decision buying off politicians now appears legal.
There is always an appearance of corruption in politics, and eventually many politicians end up in jail because they crossed the line. With the passage of the Citizens United verdict, the Supreme Court threatened the health of our democracy by allowing PACs to finance ads with unlimited amounts of money under a vile of secrecy. This decision has changed the electoral process, because candidates have at their disposal millions of dollars that they no longer must report to the state supervisor of elections.
President Obama was a major critic, saying the verdict was “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interest that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” The 2012 president electoral cycle has become a major circus and both parties are extremely negative and looking for the most dirt.
President Obama is losing to the Republicans in the last three months in raising campaign funds for his election. The President is losing in raising money that the democrats are reporting to the supervisor of elections, and he is also losing in raising funds for the democratic PACs. The Republican PACs have 5 billionaire donors that many politicians and political experts believe are trying to buy off the 2012 presidential election.
At the head of the list are the Koch Brothers, David, Charles, and William, who are worth $103 billion, according to Forbes. They have pledged to spend about $400 million during the 2012 election season, and they are not forced to identify themselves and disclose where the money goes.
Sheldon Adelson is second on the list worth $25 billion, and he owns the Las Vegas Sands Casino and has pledged $100 million to defeat President Obama.
The third on the list is Harold Simmons worth $9 billion and has donated $15.2 million to super PACs this year. Peter Thiel is worth $1.5 billion and he donated $6.7 million, and fifth is Jim Walton worth $23 billion but has only donated $300,000.
There is no doubt in my mind that these wealthy sponsors of super Republicans PACs have decided that they will influence the election with their wealth. There are very few people in the world that can compete with the wealth of these wealthy sponsors, so the American political system has become polluted. The vast sums of money that these few individuals will put in the election system will distort public opinion, and give the impression of widespread support regardless of actual support.
Financially the Republicans will win in this campaign cycle, and it is too soon to determine if Americans will vote based on truth. As the election gets closer, the deciding factor in this election will be the president’s transparency, his openness, his sincerity, and honesty. Americans in 2012 must vote based on facts and knowledge, and not be confused with the Re-publicans dog and pony show.