Friday, January 7, 2011

Ex-Congressman Hall Warns Of Fascism Following Citizens United Decision

John Hall, former congressman (D-NY), gave a departing interview to the New York Observer in which he warned of fascism with the rising influence of corporate money in the political process, particularly after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. The ruling lifted all political campaign spending limits on the part of corporations, something Hall (a singer-songwriter who co-founded the band Orleans) sees as a direct threat to democracy:

Speaking about the Citizen's United decision, which allowed unregulated flow of cash into campaign coffers, Hall said, "I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism. So that's really the question— is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?"

..."The country was bought," he said. "The extremist, most recent two appointees to the Supreme Court [Alito and Roberts], who claimed in their confirmation hearings before the Senate that they would not be activist judges, made a very activist decision in that it overturned more than a century of precedent. And as a result there were millions of extra dollars thrown into this race."

The extra money floating around, he said, compounded the Democrats' weaknesses on the economy, unemployment and the mortgage crisis. And he said that for of the accomplishments of the lame duck Congress, their failure to pass the Disclose Act—which would have at least forced corporations to reveal who they were donating to—stood out a black mark on the session.

"We are talking about supposedly wholesome names like Revere America, American Crossroads, Americans for Apple Pie and Motherhood—if somebody hasn't trademarked that one I probably should. The fact is you can call it anything and the money could be coming from BP or Aramco or any corporation domestic or foreign," Congressman Hall said.

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