Corporate Interests and Voting Rights

011aCorporate Interests and Voting Rights

Generally voting rights are not considered a business ethics issue but they are the subject of business lobbying. Two of the organizations heavily committed to voting restrictions are ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council and Americans for Prosperity are in large part corporate financed. Would it be a logical assumption that if corporate interests are best served by less democracy, than less democracy will be lobbied for? We’re also seeing this in school privatization where local control is superseded so that school board elections don’t interrupt the process of moving the money. It may well be that corporations being oligarchal in structure themselves prefer other creatures of the same species. Red China with its capitalist heresy intact could be the natural home for the American corporation. After all, they speak the same language of power and disdain for the rabble whose desire to breath air and drink water are serious encumbrances to the pursuit of power and profit.

Of course, the problem with China is that benefits conferred may be taken away. A nation under an oligarchy may have too powerful a central government for a corporation to feel security – just as a democracy may have to much self government for a corporation to feel secure. Does that mean that corporations naturally act in conflict against nations, all nations, seeking a continuous round of benefits concessions and controls? If that were so, we individuals in the wake of Citizens United are pawns in a much larger struggle.

The corporate form is a creature of the state, at least for now. They desire the status of independent nations and the new trans-pacific trade agreement is designed to help them achieve this. But that “free  trade” agreement is in serious difficulty. So we still have time to act before the leave our jurisdiction. We Americans can change the form of their organization and we should consider this seriously. National registration of corporations is the most logical step. The corporations can play havoc with the states playing one off against another, and they’ve been doing it for years. Let’s make them play in the big leagues.

James Pilant

When ‘patriots’ unite to restrict voting rights | Al Jazeera America

For groups such as Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council, measures that restrict ballot access are one point in a larger agenda. The states in which Republican governors are passing restrictions on voting — such as Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina — are the same places where conservative lawmakers have tried to roll back people’s voice in the workplace, curtailing union rights and inhibiting employees’ opportunities to have collective representation. Taken together, these efforts align with a vision of America that concentrates political power in the hands of a wealthy few.

Most offensive of all is that the same wealthy donors restricting the influence of regular voters are also actively seeking to expand the power of money in politics, supporting Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United v. FEC, which eliminated restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations, associations and labor unions.

Conservative billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers and the politicians they support have every right to debate their views. Like all other citizens in our democracy, they should enjoy the freedom to present their opinions in the public sphere. But when their agenda involves expanding the already enormous influence of big money in politics while limiting access to the polls by ordinary citizens, their actions become a cynical assault on the American system and American values they purport to uphold.

via When ‘patriots’ unite to restrict voting rights | Al Jazeera America.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Celebrating Time.

http://celebratingtime.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/voter-id-and-marriage-inequality/

The Republican legislature and the Republican governor passed this law in 2012. There was almost zero evidence of voter fraud, but they thought it was a pretty good way to help Romney win (watch this if you don’t believe me).

And then, even when it didn’t help Romney, I guess they looked at some demographic trends and kept thinking it was a good idea and so, every election, we’d get these instructions about what we were supposed to say (it’s not required YET, but we’re requested to request proof that you are you) and sheets of paper telling people that soon they’d have to somehow try to get an ID if they didn’t have one – though, as it turned out, it wouldn’t have been easy:

Required IDs were only available through 71 PennDOT Drivers Licensing Centers across the state. Five of the 71 DLCs are located in Philadelphia, nine counties have no DLCs at all, and DLCs are openly only one day per week in nine counties and two days per week thirteen counties. The Pennsylvania Department of State provided too little access, no financial support to providing IDs to those without access, and no alternatives to obtaining the required IDs.

Anyway, the registered Republicans were all over this. They’d come in and triumphantly whip out their driver’s licenses. It’s not required, we’d say. Well it should be, they’d say. “Voting should be a privilege, not a right,” one even said. There was a lot of huffing and puffing on both sides.

Now, it’s dead. The Commonwealth Court ruled against it, and our fine Governor Corbett has finally said he’ll no longer fight to get it reinstated.

The Republican legislature and the Republican governor passed this law in 2012. There was almost zero evidence of voter fraud, but they thought it was a pretty good way to help Romney win (watch this if you don’t believe me).

And then, even when it didn’t help Romney, I guess they looked at some demographic trends and kept thinking it was a good idea and so, every election, we’d get these instructions about what we were supposed to say (it’s not required YET, but we’re requested to request proof that you are you) and sheets of paper telling people that soon they’d have to somehow try to get an ID if they didn’t have one – though, as it turned out, it wouldn’t have been easy:

Required IDs were only available through 71 PennDOT Drivers Licensing Centers across the state. Five of the 71 DLCs are located in Philadelphia, nine counties have no DLCs at all, and DLCs are openly only one day per week in nine counties and two days per week thirteen counties. The Pennsylvania Department of State provided too little access, no financial support to providing IDs to those without access, and no alternatives to obtaining the required IDs.

Anyway, the registered Republicans were all over this. They’d come in and triumphantly whip out their driver’s licenses. It’s not required, we’d say. Well it should be, they’d say. “Voting should be a privilege, not a right,” one even said. There was a lot of huffing and puffing on both sides.

Now, it’s dead. The Commonwealth Court ruled against it, and our fine Governor Corbett has finally said he’ll no longer fight to get it reinstated.

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