Thursday, February 4, 2010

Supreme Court Decision Undermines Climate Change Legislation

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States recently overturned campaign finance laws. This encourages more direct spending by corporations, unions and other special interest groups.

This will add billions to the money already spent by special interests. According to a Needham & Co. estimate, $2.8 billion will be spent on issue oriented influence in the US this year.

The Supreme Court ruling removes restrictions for federal campaign financing from these special interest groups and gives them the same rights to freedom of speech as citizens.

Although this may be a boon for corporations, marketers and media agencies, the decision is profoundly harmful to the electoral and legislative processes.

We have seen the results of massive spending on the health care debate. The Washington Post reported that corporations spent an average 1.4 million per day to defeat the President's health care legislation.

Our public debates are already being confused by misinformation and our political culture is distorted by corporate spending. Under the new ruling, facts will be lost under a tidal wave of clever corporate sponsored deceit.

This does not bode well for pending climate change legislation. With wild claims about exorbitant rates and sky high taxes, the fear mongering on climate change legislation has already begun.

The Supreme Court has helped corporate America embolden its influence on the levers of power and made it more difficult for lawmakers to challenge the entrenched interests of the old economy.

Next: Protecting the Planet from Corporate Influence

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