A corporation, treated as a person for 1st Amendment purposes, can use the enormous amount of money it has at its disposal as a result of the collective efforts of thousands of workers, to drown out their voices with huge campaign contributions they could never hope to match on their own, thereby nullifying THEIR 1st Amendment rights.
Perhaps you can help me here, Nick?
Tom of course I can help you,
Federal Election Laws:
Individual Contribution Limits:
- $2,400 per election to a Federal candidate or the candidate's campaign committee.
- $5,000 per calendar year to a PAC.
- $10,000 per calendar year to a State or local party committee.
- $30,400 per calendar year to a national party committee.
- $115,500 total biennial limit.
CORPORATIONS AND UNIONS: THE LAW PROHIBITS DONATIONS FROM CORPORATIONS AND UNIONS.
Corporations and Unions can form Political Action Committees and raise money, but individual contributions are limited as stated above.
As of Jan 2010, corporations can run ads.
At the Federal level, the main source of campaign money is from individuals, PACs are much smaller piece of the pie.
So instead of asking what CEO was fired, the question is what corporation contributed? They are not allowed to do so!!
Now for my BIG rant. Federal subsidies are available to presidential candidates, subject to restrictions. Basically only Democrats or Republican candidates can qualify. In 2008 Tom Tancredo, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and John Edwards accepted government financing. I did not support ANY of them, however they got some of my tax money!! Can you explain why I should financially support candidates I do not like?
Remember I am against government intervention in the economy or our personal lives. If we can get back there, then there is no incentive for corporations or anyone to donate money. The root cause is the government re-distributing our money and corporations trying to get their piece of the action. I am not justifying corporate political activities, I do not believe in them. But if a corporation wants to spend its profits on campaign ads, it is their business. Remember that most companies need to generate $10 in revenue for every $1 of profit it gives away.
So lets get down to root causes...
If we as individuals have all our basic rights protected, then a group or corporation should not be treated separately or even given specific rights, because each individual is protected. So as a group or corporation, we would not need any rights.
The purpose of government where you and I live is to protect our basic rights. Not to regulate, rule, or re-distribute wealth. If the government cannot do that, then no one needs to contribute.
Suppose that you, I, Rog T, Roger C, Miguel, and Craig decided we wanted to start a company that manufactures specialized backpacking gear. Roger C has super knowledge, Rog T has special engineering know-how, Miguel has insight on how we can appeal to customers around the world, Craig understands the needs of many users, you are the voice of reason, and I can run the business aspects. We decide that we are a great team and can work together. One problem... Rog and Roger tell us that we need $100 million to start it right. None of us has that kind of money. But we think we can raise the money by forming a corporation. The five of us will own the majority of the company and will be the officers, and we will take on partners who supply the capital. So we form a corporation. We incorporate in California, because Craig and I live here, and the 5 of us agree it is most convenient. We sell shares for 40% ownership of our business venture. The stockholders are mostly BPL members, because they think our products will be great, and they stand to make a lot of money if we are successful. Good so far. Then the State of California passes a law that requires all officers of any California corporate to live in California, so they are socially responsible to the citizens of California. And then they pass a law that any California corporation must provide any of its products to the State for $5, no quantity limitations. The state wants to give them to anyone who cannot afford them. This means that you, Rog, Roger, and Miguel are no longer free to live where you want. Also, we can no longer freely trade with who we want, we have to sell to the government even if don't want to. Individually all of us are harmed. Of course these laws only apply to corporations because the are evil; sole proprietors are exempt because they are moral and ethical. This is why corporations seek status as a legal individual... and it should not be required.