I wonder how many of those who expressed frustration and annoyance regarding the seemingly endless phone calls, fliers and door-to-door canvassing prior to Wellington’s March 13 municipal election really understand what has happened to the campaign process, how it has affected them, and that they themselves may well have supported the idea from the outset.
A bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court recently overruled two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations resulting in the ruling that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. The 5-4 decision was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said that allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy. So it seems, according to the Citizens United ruling, corporations equal people and money equals speech.
Generally speaking, the right/conservatives support the Citizens United ruling while the left/liberals/progressives oppose. If you are among those supporting the Citizens United ruling, stop complaining and prepare for nine more months of unprecedented negative campaigning to invade your life for election 2012. Don’t get angry at the phone bankers, canvassers or truck-load of mailed fliers. Instead, thank them for providing you with your requested most expensive and huge load of propaganda regarding the issues that money can buy!
Nancy Tanner, Wellington