Archive for January 22nd, 2010

by Pete Talbot

By giving corporations the same rights as citizens, the U.S. Supreme Court guarantees a less-than-level playing field in upcoming elections. A majority on the court (this would be mainly your Reagan/Bush/Bush appointees) overturned much of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act.

Here’s the story, and how each justice voted.

Of course, labor unions have also contributed vast sums to candidates and campaigns but weren’t happy with the ruling. SEIU denounced the court decision, saying it opened the door for corporations to outspend unions:

“I don’t think working people would ever have as much to spend as corporations. For us, being able to spend a few extra dollars isn’t worth allowing decisions to be made from boardrooms instead of the polling booth,” said union spokeswoman Lori Lodes.

In my inbox this morning was a timely request from David Sirota. He called the SCOTUS decision a “a radical ruling that threatens the most basic fundamentals of American democracy.” I agree. And Sirota offers up a petition to amend the Constitution to declare that corporations are NOT people. Please sign it.

by jhwygirl

If coal creates such awesome tax revenue and 1,000’s of high paying jobs and all that good stuff, why is there a severance tax that provides direct funding to communities directly affected by the impacts of coal mining and its industry-run-amok practices?

I mean, shouldn’t the jobs and increased tax revenues that come with all those high paying jobs and investments in infrastructure of said coal operations? Why does there have to be an extra tax that takes care of the basics – things like firetrucks and police cars and wastewater system improvements?

What other communities around the state get bonus tax dollars from their major industries?

By God, does the free market exist? You’d think on of the oldest industries here in the U.S. would be viable enough that it generated enough jobs and tax revenue for the communities it runs roughshod over?

I’m shocked.

Did the western states miss out on a timber severance tax? We should try and grab that up. I’m sure Libby and Thompson Falls and Dillon and Darby and Deer Lodge can all use a little extra cash for pothole repair or police cars.

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