Home National Politics Jim Moran Rips Koch Industries, Out-of-Control Corporate Power at “Citizens United” Rally

Jim Moran Rips Koch Industries, Out-of-Control Corporate Power at “Citizens United” Rally

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At the George Mason University campus in Arlington yesterday, Congressman Jim Moran (D-8th) ripped into Koch Industries specifically and the corporate takeover of American politics in general, at a forum/rally against the egregious January 21, 2010 Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That decision, as several speakers – in addition to Moran, speakers included AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel, People For The American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker, Public Citizen Government Affairs Lobbyist Craig Holman, and Coffee Party USA Founder Eric Byler – explained, essentially gave corporations the constitutional “right” to spend unlimited money influencing our elections and buying our democracy.

As Marge Baker explained, “Citizens United” was a wild, radical overreach by ultra-conservative Supreme Court judicial activists (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito), throwing out decades of precedent and basically taking on a case that nobody was even arguing. Since that ruling, as Craig Holman detailed in his presentation, corporate spending in our elections has gone through the roof, making a mockery of “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Making matters even worse, nobody really knows exactly where much (most?) of this money’s coming from or even how much is being spent, thanks again to the egregious, outrageous Supreme Court ruling of January 2010. Today, we need to do whatever we can to reverse this, including urging President Obama to sign this executive order, “requir[ing] companies that bid for government contracts to disclose their campaign spending, in order to diminish the likelihood that contracts are a payoff for political expenditures.”

By the way, with regard to the Supreme Court, Moran rips its “radical, conservative activists” and specifically their decisions to hand the 2000 election to George W.Bush, as well as its “overturning [of] 200 years of interpretation” on the Second Amendment. Moran particularly rips into Clarence Thomas for being a “consistently radical ideologue for voting in a pro-corporate conservative agenda.” According to Moran, “Citizens United” is “not representative of American values,” as it “turns the constitution upside down.” Finally, Moran stresses the need for electing a president in 2012 who “represents  the mainstream of American” and have a Congress that isn’t “totally beholden to the corporate sector.”

P.S. Please see the “flip” for more video as it uploads to YouTube, including questions by 2010 Democratic 10th CD congressional candidate Jeff Barnett and Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola. Also, I’m going to post Eric Byler’s speech in two parts, as soon as it uploads to YouTube.

P.P.S. Among others in the audience yesterday were Del. Bob Brink (D-48th), 49th House of Delegates district candidate Stephanie Clifford, numerous members of the Brigades (formerly the Webb Brigades), and Reston founder Robert E. Simon.

In this video, Jeff Barnett asks how the Supreme Court rationalizes the Citizens United decision. Marge Baker says it “boggles my mind.” Baker adds that she believes the Court was “surprised” at the negative reaction, but in the end, they “did it because they could.”  Barbara Favola said she’s trying to “get back to a good government model” and advocates “equal time” (e.g., the “fairness doctrine”). Craig Holman finds it remarkable that “we could not get a single Republican in the Senate to vote for the DISCLOSE Act in the last session.”

  • totallynext

    The original case that allowed Corp to be treated like people?

    Seems to be the one to be reviewed and challenged.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    It is important to note that the Supreme Court has NEVER specifically ruled that corporations have the same rights as persons. That whole concept got reinforced in a remark, not part of the court ruling, made in 1886 in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, that said, “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”

    There also is law in the federal code that states that corporations have some of the rights of individuals, such as making contracts, owning property, being sued, etc.

    In my opinion, Citizens United created the worst attack on our democratic government in my lifetime. Bravo to Jim Moran and the others for highlighting this travesty. Now, if the American people could just understand…

  • linda b

    for being the point person in setting this up.

  • to post that 14 different groups co-sponsored this Rally as follows::

    George Mason University College Democrats  

    Alexandria Democratic Committee

    Arlington Democratic Committee

    Falls Church City Democratic Committee

    Fairfax City Democratic Committee

    Fairfax County Democratic Committee  

    Prince William Democratic Committee

    8th Congressional District Democratic Committee  

    The Brigades

    FCDC National Affairs Committee

    Mason Law Democrats

    Progressive Democrats of America-Virginia

    NOVA MoveOn

    Virginia AFL-CIO  

    Also, Klassen added, “Numerous of each groups members were in the audience.  Margo Horner, 8thCD Chair, and Betty Coll, Falls Church City Chair were both there.”