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Justice Alito Defends Citizens United Ruling At High Dollar Banquet - Elitism In The Open!

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posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 02:14 PM

Originally posted by jimmyx

of course they do, but they too, should not be allowed to put money into one candidates election fund. the CEO of EXXON can come on any media program and say he will be voting for "john smith" and give the reasons he believes that way, and he has the freedom to put his own personal money into the election fund of any candidate...however he should be barred from handing over [ investors (owners) of said corporations] money to "john smith"..... the investors (owners) gave him money to make them profits, and they might disagree with his personal political choice.

The mental walls that you have built up in your logic is amusing.

A media corporation does not have to donate money to support an agenda. People normally pay them to get air time to push an agenda. If they provide air time to someone at no charge, then it is the same as them giving money to that person to support an agenda.

What is the difference between a corporation using money to buy media time to push a political agenda while not charging the person they are helping…. And a media corporation pushing an agenda with biased reporting while not charging the people they are helping?

They are both corporations using their assets to push a political agenda. One is using their money to pay for coverage on a media network, while the other is using their media network that cost money to support.

Thought exercise here.
Is it right for walmart to push a political add on tv with corporate money? Yes/No

Would it be OK if walmart started the walmart news network (WNN) and started pushing biased reporting on TV that supported that same political group? Yes/No

If walmart became a media coporation, would they have the right to broadcast a biased opinion? Yes/No

If walmart was a media corp, would they enjoy the same “freedom of the press” that every other media network enjoys? Yes/No

The thing is.. all four questions are one in the same. Freedom of the press dictate that the answer for all four questions is YES. And the freedom for a group to voice their opinion through what ever assets that group has, also dictates all four answers will be YES.
edit on 17-11-2012 by Mr Tranny because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 02:19 PM

Originally posted by jimmyx
this isn't about what can be 'said"'s about using investors money that could be returned as profits, and using those profits to support a political candidate monetarily to whom the investor does not agree with

If the investors do not like what the CEO is doing, then they can vote him out. If they do not hold enough votes to vote him out, then the investor can sell his shares. There is nothing forcing someone to own shares in the company.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 02:32 PM

Originally posted by Mr Tranny

To hold an entire corporation accountable for the act of a few people that are in that corporation is to hold everyone in that corporation liable for acts that they had nothing to do with. The only time the rest of the people in the group become liable is if they know what is going on and continue to support what is going on.

They have everything to do with it, regardless of whether they are CEO's, stockholders or the people who work for the corporation. They all benefit monetarily from the actions of that corporation. Since they can all profit from corporate status then they should all be held liable in criminal cases as well. You can't have it both ways or at least shouldn't.
Yet in reality they can and do have it both ways and given their power over Congress and the amount of money they can throw at lawyers and buying public perception through the media they have more than the best of both worlds.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 02:39 PM
I think the Citizens United decision did go the way that it had to go for the principles and outright letter of the Constitution. The Super Court is not SUPPOSED to be looking at anything outside that for inspiration of what to interpret. So, in that sense, they did their jobs. They basically said that law cannot pass muster under our system. Fine Fine... I even agree. It doesn't. However, that doesn't mean a problem doesn't exist.

They both worked to make this election one of the most obscene in world history for a monument toward seeing the best system money can buy. In that total, red exceeded blue by a bit. It really doesn't make any difference. They both pushed spending to the stratosphere and seem quite proud of the fact. I could just throw up, personally.

They got here by different paths.... No question on that.

Though, (and I thumbnail this one) the paths are not THAT different.

(Source of Data -

The only winning move for the American public that I can see is to *FORCE*...NOT ASK... future candidates to take the public funding of campaigns and *ONLY* the public funding of campaigns to the penalty of outright disqualification from the election race itself if that is found to be violated. That needs to cover Corporations, Unions. PAC's, individuals outside the IRS deduction box for this purpose or anyone else. Money to the national offices should be federal and supplied equally and with absolute CUT OFF points known in advance for the flow.

Right now, money owns the system from the School Board to the President and every office held in between. Some years Blue pays more or better and some years Red pays more or better. Either way, I'm sick of having colors to vote for. I want MEN to vote for. The money in this doesn't leave men, just colors.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 03:00 PM

Originally posted by Asktheanimals

They have everything to do with it, regardless of whether they are CEO's, stockholders or the people who work for the corporation. They all benefit monetarily from the actions of that corporation. Since they can all profit from corporate status then they should all be held liable in criminal cases as well. You can't have it both ways or at least shouldn't.
Yet in reality they can and do have it both ways and given their power over Congress and the amount of money they can throw at lawyers and buying public perception through the media they have more than the best of both worlds.

A corporation built on a ponzi scheme is a fraudulent corporation.

If you are one of the first investors, you may get your money back plus profit. You may sell your shares for a profit and go on about your way before the thing turns belly up.

You profited from a fraudulent action.
You had no idea that the company was a fraud.
You have no idea that the money you made, resulted from fraud.
Are you responsible for running the ponzi scheme?
Should the person that bought stock the day before the ponzi scheme was busted be held responsible?
....No....and.... No...

Intent is a big part of law.

If all investors were held responsible then the stock market, and corporations, could not exist. The people that are share holders in any one company, will change from day to day, and hour to hour. A lot of people that are share holders may not even know it. If your stocks are managed by an investment firm, then you will have no idea what shares you own at any one time, unless you ask. If you held all investors responsible, then you basically be prosecuting random people throughout the population.

The dividing line in responsibility between the employees and the investors is a solid hard line that has been put there for a reason. It allows open trading without fear of repercussions for things that are beyond your control. Your strict liability is the value that you have invested in that share. Your investment, and possible loss of that investment is what you can control, and that is your culpability.

The workers, managers, and CEOs are the ones that are strictly liable for their own actions as paid employees. The investors have no authority to dictate what the corporation will do, beyond selling their shares. The CEO can anticipate what the individual investors want, but he is in no way obliged to follow that advice unless they are a majority share holder. With that lack of control by the investor, comes lack of responsibility. People can not be held liable for actions outside of their control.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by Mr Tranny

The comparison of the press to other multinational conglomerates to me is misleading. The press does have a voice, to be sure. That is their industry and purpose - just as, say, chemicals are the industry that Dow engages in. Dow, too, has a voice - through the press. Proof of concept - most Americans have no idea that thousands died because of Dow in the Bhopal disaster in India. Dow utilized the media, and their influence upon it, to minimize their negative exposure in the press.

Just as politicians do.

But this is, of course, a red herring regarding Citizens United. Because we aren't really discussing having a voice here. We are discussing money. We are discussing the ability for corporations to deeply influence government. This is a direct conflict of interest as government is the body that regulates business.

If I were say, a criminal drug lord, nobody in their right mind would think it Constitutional for me to fund the war chests of my local police chief, mayor, attorney general, nor host the local DEA sections annual fund raising ball. This would not be considered "freedom of speech". It would be called bribery.

Citizens united legalized Federal level cronyism and bribery IMO.


posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 07:50 PM
reply to post by Hefficide

The problem you keep ignoring is money is fungible. If the media gives one party favorable press coverage worth X number of dollars. That is X number of dollars that that party doesn’t have to spend on media coverage. That is money they can do something else with.

If walmart gives party X 2 million or they spend 2 million supporting a media channel that gives party X favorable coverage. What is the difference?

When a channel gives one side favorable coverage for free, it doesn’t mater how much the other party spends on the media because it will be continuously counteracted by the free coverage the biased channel is giving.

And your argument about DOW is not even relevant because the citizens united has no effect on that. There was never any law limiting a company to use it’s money to support it’s public image. Citizens united is strictly regarding a corporations support of a political candidate.

On your comment about a criminal drug lord…… Um…… There is so many things F’ed up in that statement that I don’t even know where to begin, so I won’t.

edit on 17-11-2012 by Mr Tranny because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 08:03 PM
reply to post by Mr Tranny

The issue has nothing to do with fungibility IMO. In fact that concept is at the heart of why Citizens United is so morally wrong as a fungible item is a commodity open to trade. Elections of public officials is NOT barter nor trade, it is Democratic process. Boiling it down to a business transaction clearly demonstrates the problem inherent here.

As for my example of a drug lord being so wrong as to not warrant response. I reiterate, corporations which are regulated by government having an ability to fund politicians without restriction or limitation is exactly correlative to my metaphor. When the regulated bodies are enabled to fund the regulators... the effects of such a relationship are immediate and obvious.

Citizens United quite literally put a "For Rent" sign on the White House and Congress. This, to me, is unacceptable and utterly reprehensible. Government rules by the consent of the people to enable commerce - not by the consent of commerce over the people.


posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:03 PM
reply to post by Hefficide

You are still not getting it.

Your method, by default, gives control of the election over to the “media corporations”

It will no longer be open to barter or trade because the “media corporations” will own it lock stock and barrel.

The means that the cost of the “ticket” to office becomes truly astronomical. Your supporters will literally have to own a media outlet to fight on your behalf. That wasn’t as much of a problem back in the old days. Anyone could set up a printing press and hand out news papers. Now a days, getting in a place to control the source of the media truly takes vast sums of money, and/or connections. It makes your statement about money tainting things seem ironic.

And it also draws a dubious line between corporations we classify as “media corporations”, and all other corporations.

If a corporation starts a media channel to air material that supports, or is biased to a party. Is that allowed under freedom of press, or is the money spent to run that channel classified as illegal campaign spending? Are they a media corporation now? Or are they a corporation trying to spend money to advertise for a candidate? Who determines if it is biased news coverage or not?

That is where you get into the incestuous loop. The people that will determine those questions is the government. The government will dictate which corporations have a right to have freedom of press. The companies that are bestowed the “media” label will be the ones that support the government party that is in power at that time.

A corporation that produces a program that goes against the incumbent party will be labeled as illegally advertising.

When campaign spending can be put into advertising that supports your party on a third party channel, or it can be spent to run your own channel that pushes your party. Then the distinction between media, and non media corporations becomes critical.

Another problem. If a big non media corporation buys a news channel, fires all the people on it and hires people from one political party to produce and air the news. Is the money spent on that, “campaign spending”? Or are they a media corporation now, and enjoy the freedom of press?

Again, the one that answers that is the government. Which way will they lean? That will probably depend on how they think the corporation will portray their party in media coverage.

That will be an almost single handed elimination of the freedom of press.
It will bring in a one party dictatorship.

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 09:36 PM
reply to post by Mr Tranny

This goes back to original argument in thread, that because we deregulated the media, ended the fairness doctrine, editorial rebuttals and community access that the media has it's current bias and limited owners..
Now we're arguing that because of media bias it must also be ok for other corporations to exert influence the same way the MSM does.
The airwaves belong to the public, not corporations. Or that's how it was originally (and wisely imo) set up. The FCC was a public trust.

Our arguments are getting circular here but I would like to say that you do a great job in representing your point of view.

edit on 17-11-2012 by Asktheanimals because: added comment

posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 10:27 PM

Originally posted by Asktheanimals
reply to post by Mr Tranny

This goes back to original argument in thread, that because we deregulated the media, ended the fairness doctrine, editorial rebuttals and community access that the media has it's current bias and limited owners..

The fairness doctrine applied only to over the air radio and TV. It is not, and never was applicable to cable and satellite based distribution. It didn’t apply to print either. Corporations like CNN never paid attention to it because it is not applicable to them.

Even if the fairness doctrine was still in place, it would almost have no relevance because of the shift in media market share. The only thing it would do is cripple the radio talk shows that expressed a viewpoint differing from what the government considered “mainstream’.

The other problem with the fairness doctrine was the fact that the Government was the one that decided what was “controversial” and when they had to let the opposing view point have air time. There were no written rules. It was done on a “case by case” basis. Where have I heard that before? That lead to many court cases.

Do you think the current administration would consider the “global warming” diatribe that the weather channel spews on a daily basis to be “controversial”? And require them to give airtime to the people saying global warming is a bunch of bull hockey? That is besides the point that the weather channel would have never been subjected to the fairness doctrine because it is not an over the air broadcast channel in the first place.

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 11:13 AM

Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by Mr Tranny

The comparison of the press to other multinational conglomerates to me is misleading.

Equating Corporations to the Press is a straw man.

Bottom line is that the founders singled out the Press...Not corporations or Industry...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Read that passage carefully

FIRST....It says "OR of the press"...Press is seperate from "speech"...Otherwise they would not have used the word OR to differentiate it from "speech" and "speech" would have been sufficient.

If the constitution had not said "OR the press"...then "speech" would have been left more open to interpretation, the inclusion of "OR the press" tells us that they did not even think the press fell under the definition "speech" and it was neccessary to carve out a specific exception for to claim that "speech" is some all encompassing vague term that includes corporations fails...right there in that sentence. Speech and press are two different things in the constitution. They had to add "the press"...cuz "speech" was reserved for real people vs. entities................."OR" the press. ..........Speech (people) vs. Press (entity)

There is no "OR corporations"

Entities are not considered people and entitled to constitutional protections of "free speech", but the founders understood the virtue of a free press and ADD it to that enshrined protection.

If they had thought 'Industry" or "Corporations" as warranting that same excpetion as they afforded the "press" when they chose to include it, and thought "Corporate speech" should be enshrined they sure as crap would have said so...not like the most brilliant men in the nation didn't debate and ponder every word of that document.

edit on 19-11-2012 by Indigo5 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 11:30 AM
Thomas Jefferson...

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws our country".

Clearly, the society created by The Constitution did not see people as the same as corporations or vice-versa.

But here’s the biggie. Back in the early days of the nation, most states had rules on the books making any political contribution by a corporation a criminal offence.

Indeed, so restrictive was the corporate entity, that many of early America’s greatest entities were set up to avoid the corporate restrictions. Andrew Carnegie formed his steel operation as a limited partnership and John D. Rockefeller set up Standard Oil as a trust.

Not surprisingly, as corporations grew larger and their shareholders wealthier, they began to influence the rule making process that governed corporations. Using the money they had accumulated, they began to chip away at corporate restrictions. Eventually, corporations were permitted to go on forever. Where shareholders had once been personally responsible for the actions of the corporation, modern corporations shield them from liability. And as more money became involved, the politicians who regulated them grew increasingly seduced by what the wealthy corporations could do for them.

This history is what makes yesterday’s decision by a Supreme Court dominated by alleged strict-constructionists dedicated to giving full force and effect to the intentions of the Founders so … odd.

Reading the majority opinion, written by Justice Kennedy, one has to say that it is a very well written and persuasive argument. But when I read the minority opinion written by Justice Stevens, it is equally as persuasive.

At the end of the day, this entire question is about who, as a ’speaker’, is entitled to First Amendment protections.

Justice Kennedy, and the majority, believe that the criminalization or restriction of a corporation’s right to express itself via political contributions is a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.

Justice Stevens, and the minority, believe that a corporation was never intended to be defined as being capable of being a ‘speaker’ as it is a legal fiction.

Based on the history and a rational reading of the Constitution, it seems clear that Steven’s argument carries the day. Yet, his was the minority point of view.

And it’s not just the Founders. Since we rarely go wrong when listening to the words of Abraham Lincoln, here is what he had to say-

Abraham Lincon..

The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.

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