Friday, January 29, 2010

State of the Union: decision opened floodgates to foreign corporations

Commenting on last week's US Supreme Court decision, I blogged that four questions, once crazy, now had to be seriously addressed:  These questions were: 1) Had the US Supreme Court put US democracy at risk?; 2) Are humans different than corporations?; 3) Did the "Founding Fathers" believe corporations should have the same rights as people?; and concerning 4) I blogged
a fourth question . . . sounds a bit xenophobic, but I think asking it will go a long way toward waking Americans up to the crisisCan foreign agents now use companies to buy American politicians?
Last night in his 2010 State of the Union speech, Obama honed-in on that fourth question:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.
Because -- as Justice Stevens noted, so many companies are "multinational" and so many US companies have foreign shareholders -- I suspect that legislation targeting "foreign companies" is unlikely to resolve the problem of foreign influence.  I believe this will remain the case until those other crazy questions raised by the Supreme Court decision have been answered.

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