A little while back, my Sen., Tom Udall, and Colo. Senator Michael Bennett (not, perhaps significantly, Tom's cousin, also a Colorado Senator of the Dim persuasion) introduced into the Senate a measure which would set in motion the process of amending the Constitution in ways that the sponsors say are designed to mitigate the effects of the US SCROTUS' 5-4 decision last year, that bestow individual personhood on corporations by endorsing for them--in the Citizens United case--the same right of speech in political campaigns which had previously been affirmed for individuals.
(That's prolly the longest sentence you're likely to encounter today, hippies; but this is "Woodyville," capitol of the Land of Long Sentences.)
It would be, I think, an enormous understatement to say this decision will have more, and more enduringly baleful, destructive, corrosive effects than Bush v. Gore, in 2000, which ended the Florida recount and ensured the Chimperor his first term, and which provoked the Nation's running jump onto the horns of evangelistic, Right-wing, All-murkin, neo-fascist perdition.
In the aftermath of CU decision, as its obvious, evident, predictable effects played out in 2010's elections--and as it bids fair now, again, to overwhelm the process in 2012--the "best minds" of a leftish persuasion have been struggling to find ways to 'get around' the SCROTUS ruling.
The problem--which should be apparent to even an earthworm--is that the only ("legal") expedients are all "legislative," in that they entail 'electoral' remedies, such as the passage of legislation, or the enactment of a Constitutional amendment, such as the one proposed by Udall and Bennett, on the other day.
We all agree (well, not ALL) that the biggest source of the corruption of our political process has been the conquest of the whole political system by private/corpoRat interests and financial influence, right down to the proprietary software in the tabulators that "count" your votes.
So, here's what I want to know...I'm gonna ASK this VERY slowly, clearly, and distinctly:
How does one amend the constitution to get private money out of politics when the private money already IN politics will certainly oppose it with every resource at their disposal, which are virtually unlimited and already unbounded, and include already owning out-right or effectively controling all the machineries, personalities, and institutions which would have to cooperate to get private money OUT of politics?(That might be the second longest sentence and the longest question of they day, nest paw, hippies?)
According to the wire stories on the introduction, the proposed Udall-Bennett amendment..."doesn't directly address the justices' (insupportable, probably suborned) legal "finding" that "corporations have a right to free speech that was curtailed by election law." Instead, it would add to the Constitution language that says Congress and the states can regulate campaign contributions and expenditures.
I'm dreadfully sorry, but that somehow doesn't sound all that much of an improvement, to me.
Okay. Under the proposed amendment, States "could" regulate campaign financing expenditures.
But why or how WOULD they, when the SAME corpoRats who now exert a choke-holds on political discourse would be--ARE NOW--free to exercise EXACTLY the same baleful, corrupting, corrosive influences at the State level with which they have infected the National one.
Think about it. It's probably gonna be LOTS cheaper and EASIER to buy off State officials than national ones. That's cuz the costs of getting elected and maintaining a political establishment are lots lower in Santa Fe or Bismark or Columbus, so the bribes don't have to be exorbitant.
If Jack Abramov's right in his recent revelations that virtually EVERYBODY in office in DC is either bought or available, it is SURELY the that one can buy ANYBODY in ANY "state" gummint for a mere FRACTION of what it would cost for the services of a US. Rep, much less a Senator. And they, like their national colleagues, are ALL for sale, IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT!
On top of that, the scrutiny by the electorate (or the lap-dog "press") is less intense and easier to evade.
State judges are the key. They are usually elected, and they are essential tools to successful, corpoRat coups d'etat, as the corruption and despoliation of the SCROTUS proves, in the macro-scope: take the Judiciary, and EVERYTHING ELSE is possible.
So save yer sheckels, and "C'mon Down, Hippies."
I'll see ya at the beach...