Tag Archives: Citizens United

The Beginning of Corporate Rights

By: Kourosh Behnam
March 19, 2012

One hundred ninety three years ago in 1819 the Supreme Court Case Darmouth College v. Woodward  ruled to allow corporations to have the same rights as, “The People”.   Sixty seven years later in 1886 The Supreme Court’s decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad   recognized corporations as people under the Fourteenth Amendment.  This decision that was made one hundred twenty six years ago is the foundation for modern laws concerning corporate personhood.

The most recent law regarding corporate personhood is Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commissions. This land mark decision is directly responsible for the rise of Super PAC’s  that are flooding our elections with money financed by oligarchs, multi-national corporations, and labor unions.

Recently many activists have been attempting to amend The Citizens United Decision,  declaring that corporations are not people.  While I think this activism is crucial to accomplishing our goals, we need to direct our energies to the beginning of when corporations were given their Fourteenth Amendment rights.  “Our communities expend time, money, energy, and resources in an endless game in which he right of corporations and those who command them harm our communities and deny our rights isn’t even on the table.”   I do agree with overturning The Citizens United Decision, but when we do accomplish this goal, corporations will still have persons rights.  We the people need to amend the constitution in certain ways that benefit the rights of nature and people over corporations.

Read More: Corporate Rights , Democracy School, IFG Programs: Wealth and Power

Billionaires And Super PACs Endorsing Obama

By: Kourosh Behnam
March 3, 2012

Last month, the Obama reelection team endorsed the use of Super PACs. Super PAC’s are political action committees that have the ability to raise limitless amounts of money from individuals, corporations, and unions and spend it on behalf of political candidates – however they cannot directly be in contact with those candidates.  Super PACs have become the new campaign finance tool since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that allows unions and corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in federal elections.

What is interesting to note here is that Obama has criticized the Citizens United decision and the use of Super PACs.  In addition, the White House believed that Citizens United could be a political opportunity for Obama, “a powerful rhetorical opportunity to decry the influence of corporate money in politics”.  But why has he changed his mind?

The reality is, running for President is not a easy feat.  It seems that every candidate this election needs a billionaire.  The pro Obama Super PAC Priorities Action USA has raised a total of $4,459,431 in comparison to the pro Mitt Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future which has raised $36,797,202.  The billionaire behind Priorities Action USA is Jeffery Katzenberg, chief executive of Dreamworks Animation who has donated $2,000,000.

Obama has contradicted himself.  I do not agree with the decision his campaign team has made.  According to Jim Messina, Obama’s  campaign manager, “We’re not going to fight this fight with one hand tied behind are back . With so much at stake, we can’t allow for two sets of rules.  Democrats can’t be unilaterally disarmed.”  This is a big excuse to go after money.

The oligarchic influence is too powerful to deny.  These Oligarchs don’t care who wins the election.  They have bought both sides and average people will have to suffer from their decision making . They have set up a “show election” for us and Obama is part of this production.

Read More: Obama Gives Blessing To A Super PAC, We Will Not Play By Two Sets of Rules , Obama Plays The Super PAC Game, Endorses Priorities USA