These conservatives, who whine about federal laws that override “states’ rights,” insist that all states abide by this destructive and clearly wrong-headed mandate that corporations share the same rights as human beings.
What this means is that the lies that will be sponsored by both sides (but more from the right, I daresay) will be aired on television, radio and the Internet.
Last election cycle, my state representative, Jane Whilden, was done in by an out-of-state ad that claimed she traveled to China on public funds. The story was a complete fabrication; Jane paid her own way to China and she could prove it, but she couldn’t afford an ad to rebut the lie and no one in the local media thought it was a story with printing or airing.
Tim Moffitt, the Republican and Tea Party darling who unseated her, claimed the ad only ran once (I heard it several times) and that he had no idea it was going to run.
Part of the problem here is that lies in ads don’t seem to matter to news media whose owners profit from the ads. People in the news media are far less likely than they were even a few years ago to question candidates’ exaggerations, or even outright lies like the Jane Whilden trip top China story. They don’t seem eager to counter lies with truth.
Citizens United has turned our Democracy upside-down, giving corrupt corporations complete control over our election process.
We need to amend the Constitution to take corporate money out of elections. It’s the only way we’ll ever get election finance reform. Of course, corporations will fight any move to amend tooth and nail, but it really is our only hope.
We won’t get any help from the media because it’s all owned by huge corporations that make staggering profits from the unfettered spending on political advertising.
It’s obvious we have to change the court or change the Constitution. If Romney wins the White House in November, any hope of changing the court for another 40 years is lost.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.