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Supreme Court opens floodgates on 2010 spending -- second body blow to Democrats this week

Hold on to your hats. Your wallet too.

The U.S. Supreme Court just this morning cleared the way for corporations to spend as much money as they want -- in the name of the 1st Amendment -- on political campaigns. Preserving restrictions on corporate contributions to individual candidates -- that's still taboo -- the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that corporations could run ads on behalf of various causes. Expected to fall soon: similar limits on labor union spending.

This all comes out of the case brought by makers of "Hillary: the Movie," who went to court to challenge the Federal Election Commission ruling that kept their film about now Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton off the air in 2008. While they were at it, the justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

The ruling is potentially the second body blow to Democrats this week. President Obama is talking today about the need to put some limits on banks, blasting Wall Street for its excesses.

But the Supreme Court ruling makes corporations a new force for pro-business interests in the upcoming elections. And coming two days after Republican Scott Brown's stunning upset in winning the Senate seat in Massachusetts, the decision is cheering Republicans.

"Hurray," Republican strategist Tom Korologos wrote. "The Court read the first amendment. First Scott Brown and now this. And it’s only Thursday."

-- Johanna Neuman

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Why should the union goons have more power than corporations ?The cadilac
tax exemption just granted by Obama to the unions in another one of theese secretive back-room deals? Corporations are the job creators...not the very
often leftist sectarian and dogmatic union intellegentsia...and when government threathens to socialize the economy or great portions of it...corps
should have unlimited rights to defend the free market system to wich this
country owes it's prosperity. American citizens are perfectly capable of
deciding (as demonstrated in Ma this week) where their interest lies.freedom
works....socialism and heavy government interventionism destroys freedom
and prosperity.

You are out of your mind...neither unions nor corporations should be allowed to control elections. Corporations don't get a vote, corporations don't get taxed the same, corporations are not citizens. What we are really losing is our democracy due to a faction of paranoid morons.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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