4 hours ago
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Posted by Mojo at 9:00 AM
In case you hadn't heard, Target (tar-ZHAY) stuck its retail giant toe in the waters stirred up by the Roberts Court with its unfathomable decision in Citizens United v. FEC early this year. It seems the corporation spent $150,000 -- of corporate funds -- on advertising for a pretty outspoken anti-gay, anti-worker candidate in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. What's that mean to you or me? It means that if left unchecked, this decision will turn our electoral system into the next College Bowl or NASCAR Series. Remember when the Sugar Bowl was the Sugar Bowl -- not the USF&G Sugar Bowl? Or before the Southern 500 became the Mountain Dew Southern 500? Well here we have the Target Minnesota Gubernatorial Election. Sure. The people of Minnesota are free to vote for whomever they choose. Realistically? They'll vote for the name that's in their face the most often with the most spin. But setting that aside for a moment, even those who do support the candidate in question lose in this deal. Because guess who's going to ultimately pay for those ads. (Hint: it won't be Target's President, CEO or Board of Directors.) Target's shareholders aren't going to care much for their dividends being cut into like this, so the money's going to have to be made up somewhere. Guess where.
Congress has one avenue left to them to control the damage done by the Citizens United decision. A Constitutional Amendment. They haven't managed to get together on one yet, and given the glacier-like speed at which governments move I wouldn't expect one to surface soon. Happily, there's still one recourse left to the public at large. We can speak directly to the corporations themselves -- and in their native language. We can vote with our feet... and dollars. Like these guys.
But maybe without the singing.