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Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:58 am
by Barbo
Representative Grayson has introduced legislation in reaction to the ruling.

Jon

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:53 pm
by areopagite
fedaykin13 wrote:What I am really not getting is this:

Some people on the 'right' are saying this is a victory, that it will hurt rich incumbents, and will help an average Joe get elected and somehow levels the playing field.

I've yet to understand exactly how this ruling does this.


It will help the average joe who is willing to be a likable, human deflector for a corporation's interests to get elected, certainly. Much in the same way the W was a likable, human deflector for the plans of the maniacal right. It's like how you can't get mad at the person who cold-calls your cellphone trying to sell you fake car insurance because they're a real person who's "just doing their job." I can see things getting pretty sinister.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:26 pm
by Colonel Panic
This is why totalitarian regimes invariably make a primary agenda of eliminating the educated "intellectuals" in their society.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:49 pm
by fedaykin13
someone made this point to me:

For my own argument, I didn't say that big business buying politicians is a good thing. That's silly. My argument is that this already happens and the laws in place have been ineffective at stopping it.

Thus only good can come of this, as the situation will either remain the same or real structural reform (I don't know what kind) will take place.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:54 pm
by fedaykin13
ugh

Joe Conason wrote:But to understand its actual impact, listen to Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, who drew this pithy comparison: Under the old dispensation, which prohibited direct corporate expenditures on elections for nearly a century, Exxon Mobil could spend only what its political action committee raised from executives and employees. In 2008, said Waldman, that was roughly $1 million. Under the new order, the world's biggest oil company can spend as much as its management cares to siphon from its earnings -- which in 2008 amounted to $45 billion.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:57 pm
by iembalm
fedaykin13 wrote:someone made this point to me:

For my own argument, I didn't say that big business buying politicians is a good thing. That's silly. My argument is that this already happens and the laws in place have been ineffective at stopping it.

Thus only good can come of this, as the situation will either remain the same or real structural reform (I don't know what kind) will take place.


Gosh, that sounds a little bordering on naive to me.

And today, there's this.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100122/ap_ ... nance_ceos

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:23 pm
by tbone
connor wrote:
iembalm wrote:And today, there's this.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100122/ap_ ... nance_ceos

Their annoyance at getting phonecalls from politicians outweighs their desire to buy and craft legislation? I find that a little hard to believe.


Oh thank god, those corporate fat cats at Ben & Jerry's will not be excercising their newfound right to jam all that delicious pro-ice cream legislation down our throats.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:25 pm
by numberthirty
fedaykin13 wrote:someone made this point to me:

For my own argument, I didn't say that big business buying politicians is a good thing. That's silly. My argument is that this already happens and the laws in place have been ineffective at stopping it.

Thus only good can come of this, as the situation will either remain the same or real structural reform (I don't know what kind) will take place.


While I agree that this is true to some degree, a piece I saw on CNN made a very strong case against this.

Budweiser is currently a company owned by people without U.S. citizenship.
This ruling seems to say this company has the exact same right to use it's free speech during elections that a U.S. born citizen does.

Nevermind that a citizen has a limit on how much they can give while a foreign owned company will not.

To me, that is insane.

Glenn Beck should be spitting up blood.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:34 pm
by Wood Goblin
My thought this afternoon. You want to allow corporations to donate as much money to politicians as management wants? Fine. Require shareholder approval for every such transaction first.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:01 pm
by iembalm
I've been thinking Tessier-Ashpool, actually, but I get it.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:23 pm
by Andrew.
Wood Goblin wrote:My thought this afternoon. You want to allow corporations to donate as much money to politicians as management wants? Fine. Require shareholder approval for every such transaction first.


This level of commitment to "democracy" seems a bit anemic... So long as Monsanto's majority shareholders agree to flood elections with millions in propaganda, and not just the board, you're ok with it?

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:32 pm
by Andrew.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:45 am
by Andrew.
Yup, you make a good case.

connor wrote:Now, if only that unified, well-organized construction that is the international left would listen to me...


Seriously signature worthy.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:34 am
by Cranius
Analysis of the details:

REAL News Network: Court green-lights corporate election spending

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:42 am
by frelnamp
What part of the grouping of people, that together forms a corporation, gets to decide how and where to allocate the moneys to Candidate X? Is every employee of the corporation going to vote for Candidate X? No, some, maybe lots of them, will not like the candidate and won't vote for him. What's their recourse? What's their recourse if they feel bullied or harassed at work because they won't be voting for the candidate that their corporation/person is funding?

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:59 am
by Waverider
I still don't know why no lefty NGO has followed through on that other overlooked corporate legal right - the death sentence. I'd be happy to start with de-chartering Monsanto.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:48 am
by warmowski
frelnamp wrote:What part of the grouping of people, that together forms a corporation, gets to decide how and where to allocate the moneys to Candidate X? Is every employee of the corporation going to vote for Candidate X? No, some, maybe lots of them, will not like the candidate and won't vote for him. What's their recourse? What's their recourse if they feel bullied or harassed at work because they won't be voting for the candidate that their corporation/person is funding?


The political interests of the company would in almost every case be interpreted finally by its management and its board. Commonly a big corporation over a certain size has a point person for governmental affairs who reports to the CEO. Often this is not an executive but a very, very well-paid consultant. Typically this person has a legislative or governmental background and is trading on their previous time in public service.

You don't have to tell anybody your vote. If your boss asks, you don't have to tell the truth. If your boss asks as part of intimidation - say, by implying the answer relates to your continued employment, you should consider getting a different job or calling the US Dept. of Labor or Federal or State Election Commission to complain, even anonymously.

Overtly pressuring a workforce to vote one way or another isn't really on the table generally -- yet. Wal-Mart's actions are a recent exception that might, especially with this Supreme Court decision, become more common. In fact, if I had to guess, I'd say it will probably become more common.

Subtle pressure really works, and it always will inside any institution. In a corporation, letting it be known through the grapevine which candidate is better for the company will very, very often produce electoral volunteerism from toadies in middle management. In a union, the same can be expected from the stewards, (although their leverage over the rank and file is not as great).

For a corporation, if social conditions, regulatory laxitude, and organizational culture allow, electioneering arm-twisting of the rank and file by management can easily occur, and almost always comes from middle managers and middle manager hopefuls.

All kinds of worker pressure is on the rise in many areas. Sometimes it comes from a nice DVD presentation. There is a booming business in making videos and cartoons that communicate to uneducated workers the "right" way to do all kinds of things: how to not go to the doctor every time you get hurt at work, how to not bother the company benefits manager and look things up yourself on the not-very-complete company benefits website instead - it's a short hop from here to demonstrating the "right" way to interpret a local or national politcal news story.

In the end, nobody really has to vote for anybody and nobody has to talk about what they did in the voting booth. The main part of the problem is that greasy little douchebags looking to score brownie points with their boss will happily do so.

Waverider wrote:I still don't know why no lefty NGO has followed through on that other overlooked corporate legal right - the death sentence. I'd be happy to start with de-chartering Monsanto.


Along a similar train of thought for management...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-warmo ... 32633.html

-r

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:32 am
by evanrowe
warmowski wrote:Along a similar train of thought for management...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-warmo ... 32633.html

-r


Just so's you know, a friend of mine here in town just posted this to his Facebook wall. Cool to see your name there. Good piece.

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:25 am
by frelnamp
warmowski wrote:The main part of the problem is that greasy little douchebags looking to score brownie points with their boss will happily do so.


Did you mean greasy as in "smoothe", or greasy as in "sweaty and desperate"?

You don't have to tell anybody your vote. If your boss asks, you don't have to tell the truth. If your boss asks as part of intimidation - say, by implying the answer relates to your continued employment, you should consider getting a different job or calling the US Dept. of Labor or Federal or State Election Commission to complain, even anonymously.


It might be obvious who you're going to vote for based upon opinions expressed at work, or just personal style. The temptation for the company to compel employees to have the same political opinions as management is too great (plus the fact that even management may not be in consensus), and is another good reason for the corporate world to stay out of political candidate financing.

Have you ever decided to alter something you were writing for huffpost because it wouldn't set the right type of tone for what Huffington (editor-in-chief), Lerer (owner), Hippeau (CEO), or Sekoff (editor) preferred to put across? Have you ever experienced problems when resisting revisions that any particular higher-up(s) suggested for a piece you wrote?

Re: Supreme Court to dismiss all pretense of democracy

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:11 am
by warmowski
evanrowe wrote:Just so's you know, a friend of mine here in town just posted this to his Facebook wall. Cool to see your name there. Good piece.


Hey, thanks.

frelnamp wrote:
warmowski wrote:The main part of the problem is that greasy little douchebags looking to score brownie points with their boss will happily do so.


Did you mean greasy as in "smoothe", or greasy as in "sweaty and desperate"?


I was trying to get at a type I've run into many times: a kind of person who isn't in a big organization by accident. They could be smooth, they could be desperate, but they are 100% in the right place because they're kind of permanently small and need lots of help to impose themselves.

It might be obvious who you're going to vote for based upon opinions expressed at work, or just personal style. The temptation for the company to compel employees to have the same political opinions as management is too great (plus the fact that even management may not be in consensus), and is another good reason for the corporate world to stay out of political candidate financing.


That is a great point, and yet another reason to distance one's political and other personal preferences from one's institutional life. For some, it also helps to avoid as much institutional life as possible.

Have you ever decided to alter something you were writing for huffpost because it wouldn't set the right type of tone for what Huffington (editor-in-chief), Lerer (owner), Hippeau (CEO), or Sekoff (editor) preferred to put across? Have you ever experienced problems when resisting revisions that any particular higher-up(s) suggested for a piece you wrote?


Nah. I don't write op-eds for any particular audience. It's like here at EA or at my blog, except I formalize it a bit and cut the fucking profanity. I kind of try to figure out what I think and write that. I haven't once been edited, and short of the day I was invited there, have had zero contact with the place's staff. I would not like it one bit if I was edited for content. At the same time, I'd see it as a luxury if I had a copy editor. I wouldn't mind if someone came along behind me and cleaned up my clause inversions and other bad habits, but I'm not Alec Baldwin.*

-r

* No proof, but I have my suspicions