Free speech and cash flow |

Free speech and cash flow

The premise of CU v. FEC (Other Voices, Feb. 10) is that corporate spending on election campaigns cannot be restricted because such money equates to speech, and speech is protected by the first amendment. To others like Justice Stevens money is not speech, it’s property that buys speech, and property can be regulated (i.e. taxed, etc.).

But by allowing unlimited corporate campaign contributions, the Supreme Court has, in fact, diminished speech – yours and mine. Since individuals, labor unions, minor political parties, etc. cannot compete with the huge moneyed corporations that monopolize access to candidates and the mass media during election campaigns, the speech of non-corporate interests will, in effect, be diminished.

If money really is speech, all the more reason to get money out of elections, beginning with public financing of campaigns, and free air time for opinions on what are actually the publicly-owned airwaves.

With CU v. FEC, the principle of one man one vote has been subverted by “the more money the more speech, and the less money the less speech.” Makes you wonder when judges cite the original intent of the Constitution, in which corporations are not even mentioned.

Robert Lobell

Nevada City

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