'We the People' Must Take Back Our Political Process

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 31, 2010 | Go to article overview

'We the People' Must Take Back Our Political Process


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Jon Bartholomew

If you thought that big corporations have too much say in Congress now, just wait a year. From stalling health care reform to weakening banking reform, big business has been calling the shots in Washington, D.C., for some time.

And that's without corporations being able to spend unlimited cash on campaigns.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case changes all that. The ruling had two key aspects, both of them shocking.

First, the court said that corporations have the same First Amendment rights to freedom of speech that flesh-and-blood people have, thus they should be able to spend as much money as they want on campaigns.

Second, the court said that such spending has no possibility of corrupting politicians or even the appearance of corruption.

Let that sink in for a minute. Five Supreme Court justices believe that if Exxon-Mobil spends $20 million to support a candidate, that politician won't be influenced in any way, and the public won't think it will.

That is pretty hard to swallow.

It is also difficult to agree with the idea that corporations, which are created by the state to facilitate economic activity, should be given the same rights as citizens. Last I checked, the Constitution started with the phrase, "We the People."

How will this decision affect Oregon? On one level, not at all. For state elections, Oregon currently has no limitations on campaign contributions from corporations or anyone else. This alone is cause for alarm and needs to be changed. Oregon is one of only a few states with no limits on campaign contributions. If they wanted to, corporations, big unions and wealthy individuals could all flood Oregon state races with huge sums of cash.

But most big corporations are more concerned with federal regulation and the results of congressional and presidential elections. Oregon has a history of being a swing state in presidential races, and has often had close House and Senate races. Think about the 2008 U.S. Senate race between Jeff Merkley and Gordon Smith - then imagine 10 times as many campaign ads on TV and radio, more phone calls, more mailings, etc. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'We the People' Must Take Back Our Political Process
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.