BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | JAN 4, 2021
“I am sorry. I must have the wrong number,” a hesitant and polite voice offered.
“Well, you do and you don’t,” I replied. “You have the number you were supposed to dial, but you’ve got the wrong person. My name isn’t Kendelyn and I don’t live in Georgia. I have been getting calls and texts from you folks for months and would appreciate it if you would take me off the call list.”
“Yes, of course,” the polite voice responded.
She did not have to tell me why she was calling. I knew. Her call was one of a barrage of incoming missiles from both sides in the January 5 special elections in Georgia. I have received nearly 200 text messages, phone calls, and emails, many of them for Kendelyn. Continue reading
Many immediately proclaimed last week’s Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision as a huge win for business “special interests.” But those quick draw reactions are based more on ideology and political rhetoric than hard facts. While this latest change in the campaign finance landscape creates new options for both business and labor, it’s unclear if and how either side will use these new opportunities.
The Citizens United case overturns a variety of campaign finance laws enacted over the past century. For example, it nullifies part of a century-old statute known as the Tillman Act (1907), which barred corporations from using treasury funds to engage in the political process. It also vitiated similar prohibitions imposed on unions after World War II. Moreover, the decision invalidates part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold) that prohibited certain types of ads within 60 days of a general election and 30 days from a primary. Bottom line: Both corporations and labor unions may now use their general treasury funds to pay for unlimited independent expenditures, including advertisements, for or against candidates at any time.