Is Citizens United Focus a Good Use of Our Time? (2014)

Such a comforting thought—that overturning a single court case can resolve some of society’s biggest problems. With Citizens United, the idea seems to be that huge strides could be made by reversing it, thereby “getting the money out of” elections. It’s our current version of the “silver bullet” myth of old. Kind of like thinking …

(Citizens United) Court’s Campaign Money Ruling Is a Red Herring (2010)

by Jane Anne Morris Before running off trying to counter the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), we ought to sort out what this decision does and does not do. The Citizens United decision does make our democracy theme park a little worse, the way having an atomic bomb …

CORPORATE CAMPAIGN CASH AT THE CATERPILLAR STAGE (Not fuzzy at all)

Do you think you can understand butterflies perfectly well without knowing caterpillars? Corporate political contributions had a caterpillar stage; I’m guessing you won’t even recognize it. Here’s a snippet: No corporation doing business in this state, shall pay or contribute, or offer, consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, …

Corporate “Personhood” Must Be Challenged (2009)

by Jane Anne Morris When the “Hillary Clinton film” case is decided, headlines should declare, “Supreme Court affirms corporate personhood.” Instead, most media will call it a free speech decision. “First Amendment rights” will play the Trojan horse hauling corporate freight. By first putting human beings and corporations into one basket labeled “things that have …

Look to Congress for Supreme Court Fix (2010)

by Jane Anne Morris How is it unconstitutional for a state to require place-of-origin labels on meat? Regulate sale of its water? Establish worker protections stricter than federal standards? Where does the US Constitution say that states cannot require that toxic waste be sorted and labeled? Cannot include labor standards in state purchasing policy? Cannot …

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Speaking Truth To Power About Campaign Reform (1998)

By Jane Anne Morris This article was written around the time Maine and a few other states were considering “campaign finance reform” laws. The historical perspective, even in the aftermath of the Citizens United case, shows us how little has changed. Many of these issues have been discussed by Maine labor activist Peter Kellman, author …