Tomorrow the United States Senate will vote on the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that would require corporations and special interests who finance political advertising to disclose their identities in those ads (undoing some of the damage done by the Roberts Court’s Citizens United ruling). The House of Representatives has already passed this bill. President Obama went to the Rose Garden today to urge the Senate to follow suit…
It now appears that the Republicans in the Senate will do the will of their corporate masters and block action on this bill. As the President said today “On issue after issue, we are trying to move America forward, and they keep on trying to take us back.”
Read the transcript of President Obama’s remarks following the break.
The United States Supreme Court ruled today that corporations are people and therefore are guaranteed the same rights to free speech under the United States Constitution as people. They can spend as much money and exert as much influence as they want on political campaigns. President Obama strongly disagrees. He issued the following statement from the White House following the ruling by the Supremes:
With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington–while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates. That’s why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.
(There’s that ‘bipartisan’ word again. I would have thought that word would be out of his lexicon by now. Bless his heart.)
I wish the President luck. Otherwise, the future leaders of our country will be selected by the huge corporations. The Republicans think they are seeing Fascism now. Just wait.
P.S. The Court ruling was 5-4, with conservative justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy ruling in favor of the corporations.
Is there anybody out there who believes that Johnny McCain would be accepting the government check if the situations were reversed? Rather than spending all this time complaining about Barack Obama not taking the government’s money, why isn’t the right wing busy collecting money for Johnny McCain? I know they can do it. After all, they collected something like $275 million for George Bush Jr. back in 2004.
Aboard the Straight Talk Express from the airport to the hotel in Minneapolis, McCain said that his campaign has decided that it will accept public financing for the general election. “We will take public financing,” Asked what his thinking was, he said, “Because we decided to take public financing.”
That will enable McCain to spend $84 million after the GOP convention.
There needs to be, I believe, a bit of clarification on this matter. About one a half million members of the public (thus far) have contributed to Barack Obama’s campaign. Senator Obama is going to rely on the public to fund his campaign between the convention and the election. That’s public financing.
What Johnny McCain is taking is not public financing. He is taking is a handout from the federal government. He is going to rely on the government to fund his campaign.
The Republicans are throwing a tantrum because Senator Obama is not going to take the government check. And here all this time I have been led to believe that Republicans were opposed to government handouts. Isn’t self-sufficiency supposed to be a big part of their platform? You live and you learn, I guess.
WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he would not participate in the public financing system for presidential campaigns. He argued that the system had collapsed, and would put him at a disadvantage running against Senator John McCain, his likely Republican opponent.
With his decision, Mr. Obama became the first candidate of a major party to decline public financing — and the spending limits that go with it — since the system was created in 1976, after the Watergate scandals.
Mr. Obama made his announcement in a video message sent to supporters and posted on the Internet. While it was not a surprise — his aides have been hinting that he would take this step for two months — it represented a turnabout from his strong earlier suggestion that he would join the system. Mr. McCain has been a champion of public financing of campaign throughout his career.
“The public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system,” he said. “John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.”
I have been anticipating this decision for some time and it comes as no disappointment to me whatsoever. Quite the contrary, I think that any other decision by the Obama campaign would have been foolish. Though Johnny McCain will scream and holler about the unfairness of it all, the truth is that the right wing machine is going to ensure that Johnny has plenty of money for this campaign.
Had Senator Obama opted to limit himself to the public general election funds, he would have put himself at a decided disadvantage. In an election as important as this one, where the future of our country is literally at stake, we simply cannot afford that.
Good on you, Senator Obama, and congratulations on a decision well made!