Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

May 6: Corporate Money in Politics

We’ll revisit the subject of “money in politics” to see if we can develop some new insights. (As you may recall, this is a subject we’ve discussed several times in the past.)

The original suggestion was to discuss a question something like:

Which is the greater threat to our country: “government” or “corporations?”

We can go in lots of directions:

  • What do we mean by “our country?”
  • Is the perceived “corporation” risk mostly about their concentration of power and Citizens United free speech rights or is there more to be concerned about?
  • If we think narrowing Citizens United is appropriate, how would we do so? (Citizens also covered labor unions. What about Political Action Committees? “Super-PACs?” How about significant political expenditures by individuals such as Tom Steyer or Sheldon Adelson?
  • Does “money in speech” reform have a chance of passing our federal and state legislatures? While many support reform in principle, enthusiasm seems to wane when the actual specifics are defined. Here’s an article on New York’s recent experience.

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