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Senate Proceeding on Oct 21st, 2009 :: 8:18:00 to 8:30:50
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Jon Kyl

8:17:56 to 8:18:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jon Kyl: proven support from the shareholders or customers whose

John McCain

8:18:00 to 8:30:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John McCain

John McCain

8:18:01 to 8:18:22( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: money pays for the advocacy. the fluor iraq of corporate speech through pacs and continued harms of direct corporate electioneering has vindicated rather than undermined austin's approval of segregated funds. mr. president, it's clear that the austin and mcconnell cases were correctly decided on the

John McCain

8:18:23 to 8:18:43( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: merits, and those decisions remain sound today. according to the brief filed by the u.s. solicitor general, the court in austin held that corporations may constitutionally be prohibited from financing electoral advocacy with funds derived from businessctivities. that holding was correct when issued and should not be

John McCain

8:18:44 to 8:19:05( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: overturned now. use of corporate treasury funds for electoral advocacy is inherently likely to corrode the political system, both by actually corrupting political officeholders and by creating the appearance of corruption. moreover, such use of corporate funds diverts shareholders' money to the support of

John McCain

8:19:06 to 8:19:27( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: candidates whom the shareholders may oppose. congress's interest in preventing these pernicious consequences is compelling. congress has chosen a valid means of achieving it, requiring the corporation to fund its electoral advocacy through the voluntary contributions of officers and share holds who

John McCain

8:19:28 to 8:19:50( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: agree with its political statements. the solicitor general's brief further stated, "corporate participation in candidate elections creates a substantial risk of corruption or the appearance thereof. corporations can use electoral spending to curry favor of particular candidates and, thus, to acquire undue influence over

John McCain

8:19:51 to 8:20:11( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: the candidate's behavior once in office" the record in mcconnell which is by far the most extensive body of evidence ever compiled on these issues, indicated that during the period leading up to bickers enactment, federal officeholders and candidates were aware of and feet indebted to corporations

John McCain

8:20:12 to 8:20:32( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: and unions that financed electioneering advertisements on their behalf or against their opponents. the nature of business corporations make corporate political activity inherently more likely than individual advocacy because quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption.

John McCain

8:20:33 to 8:20:54( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: even minor modifications in complex legislation have great potential to benefit or burden particular companies, industries the economic stake of corporations andhe nuance of such matters as industry-specific tax credits, subsidies or tariffs generally dwarfs that of any set of individuals.

John McCain

8:20:55 to 8:21:17( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: and when those benefits can be obtained through a game of pay-to-play, corporations are better suited than individuals to afford the ante. corporate managers need not aaassemble a coalition of like-minded. they can draw on the firm's entire capitalization without seek the approval of shareholders. if only businesses can afford

John McCain

8:21:18 to 8:21:39( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: the investment necessary to pursue rents in this way, only businesses can reap the even larger reward. and the public perception tt businesses reach such -- reap suchewards from legislators whom they've recorded in campaign creates an appearance of corruption that corrodes popular confidence in our

John McCain

8:21:40 to 8:22:02( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: democracy. at the heart of the citizens united case is a critical question: do the cherished individual rights protected by the constitution extend in the same manner to corporations? corporations, after all, are artificial creations of law, provided for by acts of congress

John McCain

8:22:03 to 8:22:23( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: and the state legislatures, and endowed under these laws with perpetual existence, special tax status and other privileges, all for the sole purpose of economic gain. the resolution of this question in the affirmative will have wide-ranging and unpredictable results for our legal system.

John McCain

8:22:24 to 8:22:45( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: for example, if the court determines corporations have first amendment rights, it would be logical that corporations also have fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination. is a corporation endowed by its creator within inalienable rights? just last year the court found that the second amendment right

John McCain

8:22:46 to 8:23:06( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: to bear arms is right. if the crt were to determine that corporations hadhe same rights as persons, would corporations have the right to arm themselves? would the lobbies of fortune 500 companies contain grand weapons carbs. the absurdity of the argument should be apparent to the

John McCain

8:23:07 to 8:23:27( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: members of the court. john marshall, former chief justice of the supreme court, wrote in 1819, "corporations were -- quote -- "an artificial being invisible, intangible" therefore, he stated, "being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its

John McCain

8:23:28 to 8:23:48( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: creation confers upon it. either expressly or is incidental to its very existence. essential to a corporation's existence is a first amendment right to speak about their products and services. essential to a corporation's existence is the right to sue for the theft of its intellectual property.

John McCain

8:23:49 to 8:24:09( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: essential to a corporation's existence is the right to enter into contracts, not essential to a corporation's existence is the ability tcontribute unlimited funds to political candidates. it is for this reason and others that the supreme court has repeatedly and consistently upheld a ban on direct

John McCain

8:24:10 to 8:24:30( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: contributions to political candidates by corporations and unions. chief justice roberts stated at one point during the argument in the citizens united case that -- quote -- "we don't put our first amendment rights in the hands of f.e.c. bureaucrats."

John McCain

8:24:31 to 8:24:52( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: i agree, and that's why the court s. has repeatedly upheld -- has repeatedly ueld bans passed by the congress of the united states and by the state legislatures on unlimited corporate or union spending in elections. under current law, corporations are free to give to political candidates through political action committees.

John McCain

8:24:53 to 8:25:14( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: in an editorial in "the boston globe" entitled -- quote -- "corporations aren't people yet" yet," the editorial board rightly states. "even under finance restrictions, health care industry groups are pouring millions of dollars is into congressional campaigns in the hope of thwarting reforms that might constrain their members.

John McCain

8:25:15 to 8:25:37( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: a september 10, 2009, editorial in the ""philadelphia inquirer"" stated, "allowing corporations to flood elections with their aggregate corporate wealth would place a heavy thumb on the scales of democracy. if a certain industry didn't like the way a senator voted on environmental regulations, for example, there would be nothing to stop that industry from

John McCain

8:25:38 to 8:25:59( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: dumpindumping $20 million into the campaign of that senator's opponent." the editorial goes on to say, "if the high court rules now that corporations have the same political speech rights as individuals, average citizens will have that much more trouble being heard. the distinction between corporate speef and indivual

John McCain

8:26:00 to 8:26:20( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: speech is clear enough. and the importance of limiting the undue influence of money in politics is significant enough that the court in all its wisdom should leave well enough alone." i agree. in conclusion, the court should

John McCain

8:26:21 to 8:26:41( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: not overturn precedent and congress's clear intent to limit corporate contributions to political candidates. in summary, there are three simple points that were raised by the court's consideration of the citizens united case. first, whatever one thinks of a first amendment right for corporations, it is not

John McCain

8:26:42 to 8:27:02( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: appropriate for a nondemocratic branch of government to raise the question of the broadest scope at the last minute when such a question was not raised in the trial court, and there's no ability to build a record. congress is the most democratically elected branch of government and should be able to make laws that do not stand in

John McCain

8:27:03 to 8:27:24( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: the face of whether or not the members of the court would tmselves support such legislation if they served in the elected branches of government. secondly, the principle enshrined in law for many years wa that corporations, because of their

John McCain

8:27:25 to 8:27:47( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: and special privileges, including perpetual existence, pose a unique throat our democracy. however, the current court seems poised to find that thomas jefferson, theodore roosevelt and others were wrong, despite there being no record built on this point in the case. in mcconnell, there was a

John McCain

8:27:48 to 8:28:08( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: record built to support the decision. here the trial court never examined the idea of corporations having broad first amendment rights. the court is reaching to find such a conclusion as part of the citizens united case. lastly, i stress again to my

John McCain

8:28:09 to 8:28:29( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: colleagues, the implications of the decision the court may reach in this case. the court is considering a question that may lead to corporations being treated as persons under the constitution, would allow a corporation to assert a fifth amendment right to refuse to testify under oath, and to keep documents from

John McCain

8:28:30 to 8:28:50( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: lawful investigations, and would allow corporations to be subject to individual tax brackets. are my colleagues prepared to provide such rights to corporations? are my cleagues prepared to pass legislation that taxes corporations and persons at the same rate? if the court provides full first amendment rights to corporations, there is no reason

John McCain

8:28:51 to 8:29:13( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: that corporations cou not receive the benefits as well as the responsibilities of being a person. justice sandra day o'connor wrote in the mcconnell decision, and she said, i think with such accuracy, "money, like water, will always find an outlet.

John McCain

8:29:14 to 8:29:35( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: and that the government twhras therefore justified in taking steps to prevent schemes to develop to get around the contribution limits. again, justice o'connor knew better than most jurors. as former arizona state senator, a majority leader of the arizona state senate. i hope and wish that the current

John McCain

8:29:36 to 8:29:58( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: court heeds the words of this brilliantury hoist had real-life eeriences in politics. mr. president, needless to say, i am very concerned about the integrity of our elections, should the supreme court rule to overturn the austin decision. i sincerely hope that the justices will practice restraint and rule in a manner consistent

John McCain

8:29:59 to 8:30:20( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: with judicial precedent the constitution of the united states of america. i, again, want to as i have on from wisconsin, a man of courage and integrity and a man i have always been proud to be associated with on issues such as these that are important to the integrity of the institution

John McCain

8:30:21 to 8:30:42( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: that we both try honor. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. fegold: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. feingold: i want to thank the senator from arizona for what he has done to improve our campaign finance system. we have been partners in this effort for over a decade.

John McCain

8:30:43 to 8:30:50( Edit History Discussion )

John McCain: in fact, it will soon be 15 years. there is no one in this body that i admire more than john mccain.

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