Supreme Court

About That Corporate Takeover of Politics


New York Times editorial board members, as noted last week, believe that Citizens United vs. FEC "has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding." They should think about reading their own paper, where David Kirkpatrick on Sunday asked "legal scholars and social scientists" about corporate corruption of politics, and found that "the evidence is meager, at best." From the piece:

"There is no evidence that stricter campaign finance rules reduce corruption or raise positive assessments of government," said Kenneth Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "It seems like such an obvious relationship but it has proven impossible to prove." […]

Australia barely regulates political money. Individuals and corporations can give without limit. Parties can spend freely. And there is not much disclosure about who gives what to whom. But political corruption has not threatened a vibrant democracy there.

In the United States, studies comparing states like Virginia with scant regulation against those like Wisconsin with strict rules have not found much difference in levels of corruption or public trust, several scholars said. Jeff Milyo, an economist at the University of Missouri, has compared states with strict bans on corporate contributions to political parties against those with no limits at all. "There is just no good evidence that campaign finance laws have any effect on actual corruption," he said.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Free Speech for Corporations

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  1. How come no one in the media has mentions that the same rules now apply to unions?



    1. [happy glitter sounds and rainbows]Because unions are a force for good and righteousness where people bond together in camaraderie and shared power to provide equality and fairness for the littlest and everyday persons.[/happy glitter sounds and rainbows]

      [horrible wailing sulphuric smell and Slayer’s “Hell Awaits”]Corporations are the vehicle of rich and powerful white men to rape and pillage Gaia and her children, particularly the “minority”, women, and poor children, with acts of pure greed and lust for their evil desires.[/horrible wailing sulphuric smell Slayer’s “Hell Awaits”]

      So corporations having this right is a very bad thing while unions, our great equalizers, will use this right to bring Utopia for the working person.

      [happy glitter sounds and rainbows…with puppies]

      1. …please explain how to pillage Gaia & her children, I get the rape part…

  2. You forgot the unicorns……..

    1. Steve Smith raped them all to death with his penis.

    2. I ain’t raping no unicorn…heavy petting only.

  3. Great news for the Obama campaign, now instead of their number one corporate contributor in 2008 Goldman Sachs employees giving a mere 1 million in contributions the entire corporation can give a billion. After all they have been funneled billions via Treasury and the FED so they should have a spare billion for the Obama 2012 campaign.

    1. The decision doesn’t allow giving directly to campaigns, only airing advertisements no coordinated with the campaign 60 days before the election

      1. It is very frustrating that so many people have somehow got the idea that this decision was about cash contributions to campaigns, and not about the ability to produce ads about elections.

        1. Well, you may have noticed that the media on the whole has done nothing to clear up this misconception.

          1. maybe cause the media doesn’t have an f*&king; clue…

  4. “It seems like such an obvious relationship but it has proven impossible to prove.”

    They may understand human nature a lot better in the fifth gayest city in America but I do not see any reason why it would be obvious that campaign contributions cause corruption. Instead I would expect someone with a PhD, or a high school diploma for that matter, to reconsider their understanding of causality.

    Maybe it is the other way around. Maybe having an institution that perpetually increases its power and the spending that goes with it might attract both politicians and donors with a certain moral flexibility. If only there was some sort of check on the power of the federal government.

    1. This. This. This.

  5. Funny how the NYT never thought it should be banned from speaking within 60 days of an election. It is a corporation after all.

    1. do you think we could extend the ban a little longer in the case of the NYT?

  6. All this wailing from the left in general and the media like the NYT in particular is all about a diminishment of their own monopolistic position.

    If others can speak without restraints in the same way there are no restraints on the media, that reduces the relative clout of said media.

    And since the media is predominatly liberal who can reliabily be counted on to promote the liberal agenda and accept liberal premises about everything, the rest of the left are upsent at the diminshmnet of their monopolistic position as well.

  7. The revolving door causes much more corruption IMHO.

  8. Wow, this actually sounds pretty good dude.


  9. I don’t think we should have any campaign finance laws. Why make it harder to cheat?

  10. You know C-Span would be much more enjoyable with the occasional “This 10 minute resource is brought to you bySony Pictures Love Town, opening everywhere Friday.”

  11. What the article fails to take into account is that all of Australia’s politicians are in the pocket of Big Marsupial.

  12. what corporation would be crazy enough to potentially piss off the very people who can destroy them at a whim (politicians and regulators)? Corporations are generally callow and submissive and will toe whatever line those in power want them to.

    1. what corporation would be crazy enough to potentially piss off the very people who can destroy them their competion at a whim (politicians and regulators)?

      There, FTFY.

  13. Corporations are generally callow and submissive and will toe tow whatever line lion those in power want them to.

    Get with the program, dennis.

    Although I certainly agree with your point.

  14. they’re not scared of the ‘corporations’. they’re scared of the people like those whose movie/documentary/whatever brought the case to the SCOTUS in the first place.

  15. “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and still vote against them, you have no business being up here.”
    “Big Daddy” Jesse Unruh, Speaker of the Calif State Assembly speaking of lobbyists

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