Mountain Area Information Network

CONTACT: Wally Bowen, 828-231-16031-21-10

Supreme Court lifts limits
on corporate political speech

Dear Friends of MAIN:

This morning, the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, lifted spending limits on corporate speech in political campaigns and elections.

This shocking decision reverses decades of efforts – and legal precedents – to limit the influence of money in the American electoral system.

The great American jurist, Justice Louis Brandeis, wrote: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Justice Brandeis also noted that: “The most important political office is that of the private citizen.”

With today’s Supreme Court decision, five justices (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito) equated the speech rights of multinational corporations – like Exxon-Mobil and Monsanto – with the speech rights of individual American citizens. This decision repudiates the democratic idea that great concentrations of wealth should not have unlimited influence on our elections.

As one of America’s oldest media reform organizations, the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network has long understood the power of corporate money and corporate media to control our public discourse, limit citizen speech, and thereby favor Wall Street over Main Street.

With this decision, MAIN’s media reform efforts – and those of our allies nationwide – become all the more critical, especially in limiting corporate control over the Internet and the public airwaves. Likewise, MAIN’s pioneering work in promoting local ownership of media infrastructure (public access TV, low-power FM radio, fiber and wireless broadband networks) has never been more important.

Please take a moment to consider the profound implications of today’s Supreme Court decision – and then make whatever tax-deductible donation you can afford to ensure that MAIN’s media reform work continues, both here at home and nationwide.

Platitudes like “the stakes have never been higher” do not express the injury that this decision has inflicted on our American political system.

Please continue to monitor the MAIN homepage – or follow us on Facebook – as we continue to cover this disturbing development.


MAIN Board, Staff and Volunteers