Just in time for Sonia Sotomayor to hear her first case as a Supreme Court Justice, the court today will begin hearing arguments for easing or eliminating restrictions on corporate and union campaign contributions. Even though the case stems from a group action, Citizens United, that released a critical movie about Hillary Clinton in January 2008, Hillary: The Movie, the larger issue is corporate and union influence as free speech versus excessive and unfair influence on elections by corporations and unions. The courts are considering overturning a 2003 ruling restricting broadcast political ads by corporations and unions just prior to an election and a 1990 decision placing limits on corporate campaign contributions at the state and federal levels.

As noted in this article by Reuters,

“Overturning these well-established laws would turn our elections into free-for-alls, with massive corporate and union spending,” said David Arkush of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington.

and

“Corporate influence would likely be strengthened over all policy decisions — on healthcare reform, climate change, trade, everything,” said Arkush, director of the group’s Congress Watch division.

Over the past 30-40 years, various restrictions have been put in place to keep elections free from outside interests. However, many of the reforms put in place have been side-stepped with PAC’s, 527’s, and 501(c)’s.

Our election process in America is totally corrupt. One of the many contributing factors in this corruption is allowing corporations, unions, and other organizations to endlessly contribute to multimillion dollar political campaigns. Whether it’s via 527’s, bundlers, etc.., an election should not be unduly influenced from a non-voting,non-person. Individuals within a voting precinct should only be allowed to contribute to a political race within his/her precinct. When any individual outside my voting precinct contributes funds to a political race in my precinct, then my freedom of speech and opportunity to be represented is adversely affected. When non-person organizations/groups are allowed to contribute to political campaigns in my voting precinct, then the same negative effect occurs. Allow contributions to political campaigns only by individual voters residing in the precinct themselves. What harm could come from such a move? None. What benefit would arise out of such a policy? Plenty. For starters, voters may have a true voice in their election process.