Make Campaign Finance An Issue
by Deacon Blues
In a smart move this morning, congressional Democrats announced their legislative response to the Five Tools’ Citizens United decision. Rather than pursue a constitutional amendment to prevent Corporate America from buying the government outright, Chuck Schumer (for the DSSC) and Chris Van Hollen (for the DCCC) announced the outlines of a legislative package that will be introduced after the Presidents Day holiday and pushed through Congress before the 2010 elections, even without GOP support.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) called for a ban on companies with more than 20 percent foreign ownership, government contractors and bank bailout recipients from participating in U.S. elections. They also want to require companies to inform shareholders about political spending, and to mandate that corporate chief executives to appear in any political advertising funded by their companies.
Unfortunately, neither Schumer nor Van Hollen were willing to go as far as they needed to:
Not included in the Van Hollen-Schumer package is a proposal backed by lawmakers including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and which the White House has suggested it could support, that would require shareholders to vote before a corporation could spend money in elections.
"That’s a possibility down the road to be added to this, if they can devise a meaningful structure," said Van Hollen.
This proposal, which has full White House support, will not attract any GOP support, so Democrats should make this a loud campaign issue for the 2010 elections. Make the GOP and their candidates oppose this between now and November. The proper payback for the Citizens United decision by a group of political hacks masquerading as judges is to turn it against the GOP.
Better yet, make the GOP filibuster this and shut down the government to protect the same corporations who sank Main Street.