There it is. The City of Bellingham last night passed another resolution on a Federal matter, thus continuing to assert themselves as one of our strong local Political Action Committees (PAC’s). It’s one thing for a city council to pass resolutions regarding how they will and won’t conduct city affairs, but it is a PAC who resolves to oppose specific legislation or rulings on legislation such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC . As I’ve said in the past, each person in this nation has elected representation in these Federal Issues and Bellingham City Council members are not them. Even so, many people and groups know that the Bellingham City Council is ready, willing and able to be used as a tool for most any progressive cause. In this case the progressive cause is beyond just the court decision and is both clearly pro-union and clearly anti-capitalism, which should read as socialism.
The basic Citizens United decision can be summarized as this:
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC on Jan. 21, 2010, is having a profound effect on the laws governing corporate political activity in nearly half the states. The court ruled that the federal government may not prohibit direct corporate and union spending on advertising for candidates’ elections. www.ncsl.org
My personal position on this matter would have me going against this ruling which most say is conservative. In a purest sense, I’d get behind an effort to allow only limited personal donations to campaigns and campaign advertising. I think that would be even, fair, encourage candidates to stand on their own merit and I don’t really mind so much if that position carries a conservative or progressive label. The problem with my position is that it is not supported by either the progressive or conservative camps.
The conservative camps seem to be rallying in favor of this ruling which would allow more wide open high dollar candidate support while the progressive camp is rallying against the “evil” corporate financial influence and holding their breath hoping that nobody notices that the ruling was aimed at unions as much as corporations. And the progressive camp is right where the City of Bellingham has pitched their tent and is unrolling their sleeping bag.
"WHEREAS, several proposed amendments to the Constitution of the United States are being considered by the United States Congress that would allow the American people, by and through their democratically elected government, to limit the rights of corporations to unfairly influence elections.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON:
That the City Council of the City of Bellingham hereby supports amending the United States Constitution to declare that corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of natural persons, and further to ensure that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech and may be subject to justifiable regulation for the common good, and the City Council calls on Congress to begin the process of amending the United States Constitution"
I know! Where is the progressive COBPAC’s resolve that unions not “unfairly influence elections” and where is their declaration against union expenditures or unions assuming the rights of natural persons? If the Citizens United ruling was so amazingly wrong, why is the COBPAC resolving to be outraged against corporations, but not unions? Well you won’t hear an anti-union argument from progressives, because the outrage against the Citizens United decision is not about the rights of groups vs. individuals it’s about progressives silencing capitalist corporations leaving only unions to unfairly influence elections.
As I said above, I’d get behind an effort to allow only personal donations to campaigns. But I’d only get behind that effort if the effort attacked unions, especially government unions, with the same vigor that they attack corporations. Unions don’t qualify as people anymore than corporations.
Oh, and by the way City of Bellingham, when the Citizens United ruling refers to corporations they are referring to both non-profit as well as for profit corporations and so…well since 1904 you’ve actually been a corporation. So I think, you as a corporation, by passing this resolution, you’ve actually violated the spirit of your own resolution against corporate influence in elections and right about now your head should be exploding from circular logic.
Take home points:
- If you are anything but a raging progressive you should be outraged at the City of Bellingham.
- City of Bellingham is again acting as a de facto Political Action Committee.
- The City of Bellingham is again acting as de facto idiots.