People ask me why I live in Alaska. The jokes are easy to make about liberals and “endangered species” or progressives being chased by hunters in planes. Though our numbers are small, the courage is big.
The SCOTUS decision has been whapped by 5 Democratic law makers. Thank you, Sen Wielechowski, Rep Gara, Rep Gruenberg, Rep Kawasaki and Rep Guttenburg! I won’t hold my breath for the representatives from Exxon, Conaco-Phillips, BP, Northern Dynasty, Princes Cruises, etc…
FIVE DEMOCRATS VOICE ANGER OVER SUPREME COURT RULING
Decision is ‘slap in the face to Alaskans’
JUNEAU – Five Democrats in the Alaska State Legislature today decried the US Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws that banned corporations from using their own money to support or oppose candidates for public office. The decision will allow large corporations to use their profits to buy political campaign ads.
The five conservative justices who made up the majority in the 5-4 decision said long-standing bans against corporate political ads created an unconstitutional restraint of free speech. Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), Reps Les Gara and Max Gruenberg (both D-Anchorage) and Reps Scott Kawasaki and David Guttenberg (both D-Fairbanks) say the opposite is true, and that the court’s decision shifts First Amendment protections from individual Americans to Corporations.
“Today Corporate America took the First Amendment from Americans,” Gara said. “ It’s why corporate executives put so much money into past presidential campaigns – to successfully take over the Supreme Court,” Gara is a former Alaska Assistant Attorney General.
“This decision allows the sound of shuffling dollars to drown out the voices of American voters, and establishes a precedent for government to the highest bidder,” Guttenberg said.
In his dissent Justice John Paul Stevens, “The court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.”
“After years of undue influence over policy, I am concerned that now big oil and corporations will have free reign over the election process and be on equal footing with the average Alaskan,” Kawasaki said.
In a strong statement issued shortly after the decision President Barack Obama said, “It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”
Not only will this allow large multi-nationals to pour money into US elections, but it will increase their ability to wield political clout, holding policymakers hostage for fear of losing corporate advertising support and influence.
“This decision is a slap in the face to Alaskans and our attempts to keep big money out of politics,” Wielechowski said. “The Supreme Court has put out the welcome mat for influence peddling of the worst kind.”
The decision may threaten similar state bans on corporate involvement in Alaska elections, and the five Democrats are planning specific actions to protect Alaskan voters from unwelcome corporate meddling.