This article tells us everything we need to know why Democrats, starting with President Obama and Chuck Schumer, hate the Citizens United ruling. This is absolutely rich with irony:

When the Citizens United Supreme Court decision came down earlier this year, holding that corporations could spend an unlimited amount of money in trying to influence elections, it was criticized by scores of people, including President Barack Obama himself, who worried that the decision would lead to a corporate takeover of American elections.

“They can buy millions of dollars worth of TV ads, and worst of all, they don’t even have to reveal who’s actually paying for the ads,” President Obama said in his 2010 State of the Union address. “Instead, a group can hide behind a name like ‘Citizens for a Better Future,’ even if a more accurate name would be ‘Companies for Weaker Oversight.’ These shadow groups are already forming and building war chests of tens of millions of dollars to influence the fall elections.”

You got that right. And if you needed proof, look no further than retail giant Target Corporation, which has stepped into a mess the size of Lake Superior by being caught giving $150,000 to a political action committee (PAC) in Minnesota known as Minnesota Forward. That PAC, in turn, funneled money to support a conservative candidate for governor, Tom Emmer. And Tom Emmer not only opposes same-sex marriage, but he has financially supported and pals around with a religious ministry that has been quoted as advocating for violence against gays and lesbians, wanting to overturn Minnesota laws in order to criminalize homosexuality, and calling all gay people pedophiles.

Oh, Target. The wicked things your money now touches. Perhaps you were hoping your $150,000 would advance “Minnesota Forward.” A more apt name may be Minnesota Backward.

Mitch Berg did a great job of exposing the funding sources for ABM in this post. What’s most disgusting to me is that ABM got most of their funding from people who used to own Dayton and Target:

So far in 2010, “Win Minnesota” lists the following donors to “Win Minnesota”’s current warchest (currently worth $1,173,500), again with emphasis added by me:

» Andrew Dayton $1,000
» David Dayton $50,000
» John Cowles $25,000 [Remember him from 2006?]
» MaryLee Dayton $250,000
» Emily Tuttle (MN) $5,000
» Ronald Sternal (MN) $5,000
» Alida Messinger (NY) $500,000
» James Deal (MN) $50,000
» Roger Hale (MN) $10,000 [Remember him from above?]
» Barbara Forster (MN) $25,000
» Democratic Governors Association $250,000;
So of the $1.1 and change million warchest, $851,000 came from Daytons, and Alida Messinger.

Mitch notes later in the post that Alida Messinger is the “ex-wife of candidate Mark Dayton.” Let’s see if I’ve got this straight: It’s evil when Target contributes $150,000 to a PAC that promotes pro-growth economic policies but it’s just fine if the people that made tens of millions of dollars while they owned Daytons to establish a shadowy organization whose main purpose is to criticize the GOP’s candidate, the only pro-growth candidate in the race?

I’m betting that ABM is upset with the Citizens United ruling because they could spew the most vile, the most wildly inaccurate statements imaginable with impugnity until Minnesota Forward was formed. Here’s one of the first things I quoted ABM as saying about Tom Emmer:

We’ve become accustomed to some extreme Tea Party characters from conservatives in this state (you know who I mean, I don’t need to link), but Tom Emmer’s vision for “prosperity” using his “principles” for this state rank right up there with even the most caffeinated of Tea Partiers. What do I mean? I mean drastic cuts to school budgets, essentials services like road plowing in the winter, and Minnesotans having to hold out their tin cup begging for a charity check-up from their doctor.

ABM’s statements have nothing to do with reality. ABM’s statements have everything to do with smearing a political opponent. If they need to make things up, that’s what they’ve done.

Just a few minutes ago, Republican party Chairman Tony Sutton issued this statement on ABM:

St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton today called on Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton to denounce his family’s funding of the pro-Dayton front groups Win Minnesota and the 2010 Fund. In this election cycle, Dayton family members have already donated $851,000 to Win Minnesota and the 2010 Fund, which in turn, have funneled over $1.6 million to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota.

“With the family of Mark Dayton flooding the campaign coffers of WIN Minnesota and the 2010 Fund to run the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s negative attack ads against Tom Emmer, it’s time Dayton himself stood up and denounced this obvious effort to buy the election. Dayton likes to rail against the ‘rich,’ but it’s precisely his rich family members who are funding this unprecedented onslaught of negative personal attacks. While Dayton gives his family a wink and a nod, Minnesotans will see right through his cynical attempt to hide behind these front groups.”

I think that Dayton and his family have alot of explaining to do, not because they’re major funders of this group, but because that organization has said some of the most outrageous things imaginable.

I’ll go a step further and say that ABM isn’t just Dayton Family Politics, Inc. It’s that the other DFL gubernatorial candidates have used the misinformation from ABM’s website. For example, during her interview with Tom Hauser on last Sunday’s @Issue, Speaker Kelliher said something very similar to this ABM golden oldie:

I mean drastic cuts to school budgets, essentials services like road plowing in the winter.

Instead of using the phrase drastic cuts to school budgets, Speaker Kelliher said that class sizes would increase dramatically.

ABM can’t get away with their smear campaign against Tom Emmer thanks to Minnesota Forward. ABM doesn’t like it that it’s more difficult, though not impossible, to define Tom Emmer on their terms.

Thankfully, the Roberts Court respected the First Amendment and made the proper ruling. The other thing that’s needed is transparency, though not the type found in the DISCLOSE Act.

Because of the Citizens United ruling, Minnesota Forward can tell Minnesotans about Tom Emmer’s pro-growth policies. In the end, that’s a very positive thing for Minnesota.

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3 Responses to “Why ABM Hates Citizens United Ruling”

  • Colin says:

    You take all shareholder rights away, but claim to be fighting for freedom of association. Face it, the Citizens United ruling amounts to fascism even if you agree with the corporate donors.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Some stocks come with voting rights, others don’t. Shareholders with voting rights make the decisions, whether it’s about political contributions or overall direction of the company.

    That’s known as capitlism. Deal with it.

  • Colin says:

    It has nothing at all to do with Capitalism. Shareholders with voting rights do not get to make decisions in America. Our government wrote laws to count unvoted shareholder proxies as siding with the board. This idea is ludicrous. Large investment banks rarely vote. As a result, all of our 401Ks are being stripmined for political contributions and ridiculous executive salaries that we have no say over. I will not “deal with it!” It’s no more right for a corporation than for a union.

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