Serving two masters

Just stumbled across this while debating an issue over at Ed Cone's place:

The U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies have begun lobbying against Democratic proposals that would limit their spending on political campaigns.

President Barack Obama has called for legislation tightening election spending rules, following a Supreme Court decision last week striking down bans against corporate spending.

Before we go any further, this brings up another question: Foreign-owned companies lobbying Congress? I mean, I know it happens all the time, but should it?

"Talking about restricting foreign influence in elections may sound like good politics, but when you peel back the layers, it could have a wide spectrum of unintended consequences," said Nancy McLernon, who heads the Organization for International Investment, a lobbying group that represents U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations. "There is no reason to distinguish a Nestle from a Hershey's," especially because both have U.S. employees, she said.

Ms. McLernon declined to name the companies that are involved in the lobbying effort. About 160 major corporations are in the group, including the domestic subsidiaries of brands such as Belgium's Anheuser Busch InBev NV, Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Sony Corp. of Japan. Representatives of those companies didn't return calls seeking comment.

I would never suggest that U.S. citizens be granted fewer rights because they are employed by a foreign company. But that's not what we're talking about, is it? We're talking about funds from the general treasuries of foreign-owned corporations (subsidiaries or not) being used to sway elections here in the U.S. And Republicans are defending their (newly-acquired) right to do so.

If there are any Democratic Congressional candidates reading this, there's your first tv ad.

Comments

Best pundit line on SCOTUS F-UP

But while I’m unsure of the decision’s impact on the political system, I have no doubt about its impact on the Supreme Court itself: the Roberts court has lost its virginity.

From the Times.

And then, another line in that article

How about this one?:

The question now is what the Roberts majority’s next target will be — where will the court’s raging judicial hormones lead it next, now that it has experienced the joy of overturning?

Roe v. Wade? Would they DARE?

Hey, if they are idiotic enough to make this latest decision on campaign financing, it seems NOTHING is out of the question.

Oveturning Roe

Would deliver the presidency to Democrats for a whole generation. I doubt even Roberts is that tone deaf.

I hope you're right

I just watched a huge anti-abortion demonstration aired by CSPAN the other day, and one of the speakers said something like, "For the first time in decades, over half of Americans polled said they wanted to stop abortions."

I'll try to find the poll he was referring to.

Remember Chinagate?

Didn't Al Gore have to return money that was given to the DNC because it was considered foreign money influencing American elections? I guess that would be OK now as long as they funneled it through La Choy Food Products Inc.

Glad they still care.

I am glad the foreign corporations are still interested in the US of A. I'm sure they are also spreading influence in China and India and anywhere else money is to be made. I feel for those countries that they have no interest. Those countries are where we find the real misery.

Yes, we should be glad

they care enough about us to fuck around with our elections.

Do you have any snake oil in that wagon? I'm fresh out, and the rheumatiz is acting up again.

Chinagate

I think Bill Clinton's foundation is still raking in foreign money by the bushel basket full. It came up in Hillary's appointment as Sec of State. But the adminstration found that those foreign contributions to Bill have no influence whatsoever in anything. Those foreign contributions are as pure as the driven snow we may get this weekend. Those millions given to Bill are strictly to help our poor country as they could find no other causes as worthy as Bill's. I'm convinced it is all above board.

That Bill

He has a heart of gold!

What is not to like?

See Mountebank, Bill Clinton is pretty much a progressive and his foundation follows that philosophy pretty much.

Now, if someone is not big on progressive thought or in doing things to aid in the human endeavor around the world, well, that someone probably can find some sneaky little conspiracies and alternative objectives and so forth in what the foundation and Bill, himself, is about in this.

There is good and bad in most everything in some way or another. I think something that is far more good than bad needs to be recognized as such.

Lest we forget

"Yes we should be glad they care enough about us to fuck around with our elections.

Do you have any snake oil in that wagon? I'm fresh out, and the rheumatiz is acting up again."

Now I know that you know that the good ol' US of A has fucked around in a whole bunch of elections. We have deposed regimes and propped them up and made some and got rid of some and paid some and bought some. Seems to me we are doing that in Iraq and Afghanistan as we write. And how many other parts of the world are we involved in seeing that our guy is in office.

If we don't lead the world in meddling in other's affairs I don't know who does. Tell me so I can alter my history books.

Maybe what goes around is coming around. It's funny that we are crying about foreign intervention in our elections.

Do you remember Vietnam?

Foreign influence over our electoral process

will only make our meddling worse. Especially considering that the great Communist threat is no longer a driver of foreign policy, supporting business interests over people is now the primary mission.

Just take a long look at what happened in Georgia (the country, not the state) a few years ago, and you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Monopolistic media control by canidates

Local and state elections are the sweet spot for buying elections. A few hundred thou and you can buy up all the ad and air time in a town or district, in advance of an upcoming election, and keep the pubic from hearing your opponents voice.

A few mill and you own all the ads and airwaves in a small state.