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Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:31 PM

Republican National Committee Files Brief Seeking To Allow Corporate Funding Of Campaigns [View all]

Republican National Committee Files Brief Seeking To Allow Corporate Funding Of Campaigns

By Ian Millhiser

One of the few remaining limits on corporations’ power to buy and sell American elections is that corporations are not allowed to give money directly to federal candidates. Citizens United frees them to spend billions of dollars running ads or otherwise trying to change the result of an election to suit their interests, but corporations cutting checks directly to candidates or to political committees such as the Republican National Committee is one of the few things the Supreme Court’s conservatives have not yet imposed upon the country.

If the RNC gets its way, however, that will soon change. In a brief filed yesterday in the Fourth Circuit, the RNC argues that the federal ban on corporate donations is unconstitutional in large part because it applies across the board to all corporations:

Most corporations are not large entities waiting to flood the political system with contributions to curry influence. Most corporations are small businesses. As the Court noted in Citizens United, “more than 75% of corporations whose income is taxed under federal law have less than $1 million in receipts per year,” while “96% of the 3 million businesses that belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have fewer than 100 employees.” While the concept of corporate contributions evokes images of organizations like Exxon or Halliburton, with large numbers of shareholders and large corporate treasuries, the reality is that most corporations in the United States are small businesses more akin to a neighborhood store. Yet § 441b does not distinguish between these different types of entities; under § 441b, a corporation is a corporation. As such, it is over-inclusive.

This attempt to make mom and pop stores — as opposed to Halliburton — the face of the RNC’s argument is clever, but it does not change the implications of their argument. If a court accepted the RNC’s argument, it would have to strike down the entire federal ban on corporate donations — leaving Exxon and Halliburton free to give money to any candidate they’d like. Congress might be able to restore part of this ban by enacting legislation. But, of course, that would require any such bill disadvantaging corporations to survive John Boehner’s House and Mitch McConnell’s filibuster.

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South Carolina Voters Overwhelming Disagree With Romney That Corporations Are People | GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney’s belief that “corporations are people,” will place him in very lonely company when he travels to South Carolina for the next chapter of the Republican primary contest. Only 33 percent of the states voters agree with Romney and the five conservatives on the Supreme Court that corporations are the exact same thing as human beings. Sixty-seven percent take the more sensible view that “only people are people.”


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Reply Republican National Committee Files Brief Seeking To Allow Corporate Funding Of Campaigns [View all]
ProSense Jan 2012 OP
Shadowflash Jan 2012 #1
socialindependocrat Jan 2012 #2