Written by Friend of the Clam Larry Oaks or “Lawrence Okenclam,” as he is now known across the lands.
Question 2: This is an easy one:
Vote Yes if you know the Gorton’s fisherman isn’t a real life fisherman with the same inalienable rights as you and me.
Read more if you’re bored or whatever:
It wasn’t so long ago in this country that corporations had to navigate a set of rules put in place to promote fair elections. Of course companies went ahead anyway and funneled obscene amounts of money into the coffers of the candidate of their choice – after all the rules didn’t go anywhere near far enough toward limiting the influence of private wealth on our elections – but at least there were rules! Remember those days? Good times!
And what might you ask does any of this have to do with the Gortons fisherman?
Eight years ago the already weak campaign finance rules in place all changed. And not for the better.
In the now infamous 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens V. United Election Commission the Court through a narrow 5-4 decision (thanks Antonin Scalia) struck down any remaining limits on corporate political spending and in the process placed the rights of corporations and special interests on equal footing with those of actual human beings.
In effect, the court decided that corporations are people. Not pretend people, drinking in Williamsburgh with dudes named “Tigh” but real, actual people.
Corporations are people? As if!
Look, we all know corporations aren’t anything like actual people, right people? After all you can’t grab a brew with Archer, Daniels and Midland – you wouldn’t spill your secrets to Johnson & Johnson and who the hell would wanna spend an afternoon at Good Harbor Beach with Proctor and Gamble?
Listen, those may sound like real people but they’re definitely not.
A “yes” vote on Question 2 means you’ll be joining us over at the Clam in supporting the creation of a Citizens Commission to investigate and report on the effects that Citizens United and similar court cases have had on our political discourse.
We Clammers see this one as a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter (or at least it shouldn’t) what political view you happen to hold. Who isn’t for fair elections? Who doesn’t believe in equal representation? Who doesn’t think campaign finance reform is needed?
Who thinks corporations are people?
Oh, right. A lot of greedy politicians, that’s who!
So be sure to vote “Yes” on question 2. Let’s form a group of real life people and have them report back to ‘we the people’ on how to begin getting the money out of politics.
And in the meantime remember people, Stanley Morgan is your friend, your neighbor and a real life person. Morgan Stanley is a bank. And the Gorton’s fisherman? He isn’t a real fisherman.
This is quite clear, and true. We can have the kind of city we want (within actual possibility) IF we’re willing to be clear about what that is, and then spend to our vision. I’m willing, but it’s a hard sell to many people. If we coast others will make the call for us, based, likely enough, on their immediate commercial interest. BTW, the market isn’t perfect or frictionless no matter what the profs say. Prices rise pretty easily, but prices are sticky on the downward side. People will take losses to avoid feeling that they’re not getting what they should. Think of anyone who has an interesting old car in their driveway…