Saturday, January 23, 2010

Robert Reich's Clever Suggestion

I like this very clever maneuver by Robert Reich in a posting on his blog. It uses the insane logic of the right to attack the right:
Five members of the Supreme Court have defied logic by assuming that corporations are people. They are not. They are legal fictions, nothing more than bundles of contractual agreements. They are owned by their shareholders.

So what do we do now, other than wait for another Supreme Court opening, and for the President to appoint another Justice who understands this?

Push Congress to enact the “Shareholder Protection Act.”

For many years, anti-union lobbyists have pushed what they call “pay-check protection” laws, supposedly designed to protect union members from being forced, through their dues, to support union political activities they oppose. Under such laws — already in effect in several states — no union dues can be spent for any political purpose unless union members agree.

The same principle should protect shareholders from being forced to spend their share of corporate earnings in favor of or against a particular candidate. Surely a First Amendment that protects corporate free speech protects individuals no less.

Under a shareholder protection law, shareholders would not have to spend their share of corporate earnings on candidates who they personally oppose. If a company dedicates, say, $100,000 to a particular campaign in a given year — directly, or indirectly through a front organization — shareholders who don’t want their money used this way would get a special dividend or additional shares representing their pro rata share of that campaign expenditure. ...

The Shareholder Protection Act is something even Scott Brown should be able to get behind. As should a Supreme Court supremely sensitive to First Amendment rights.
I think this would fit the description of "hoisted on their own petard".

1 comment:

thomas said...

I thought this was a good idea, too. And, it really should be this way already, corporations are going to be allowed to contribute to campaigns to this extent. This ruling by the court takes away the individual rights and makes people part of a larger hive so to speak. People grouped together in units like corporations, unions, clubs, churches, clans and gangs have given their voice to that group or unit and this could be the beginning of something very ugly. But, anyway if my money were being spent politically; I would want a vote on how and where.