Corporations should not be allowed the same freedom of speech as individuals

Natalie Ekstrand

Policies regarding the campaign finance laws were open for discussion regarding the legality of the political documentary of Hilary Clinton.

In the past, laws regarding the financing of political campaigns prohibited “electioneering communications” funded by corporations 30 days before the presidential primary and 60 days before the general election.  These laws were enacted following the McCain-Feingold hearing.  Until the recent retirements of Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter, the courts have been averse to corporate funding in politics.  Recently the courts have taken small steps towards greater corporation involvement.

Although there have been no set decisions about how or who can spend money in political campaigns, the debate is as confused as ever.  Many are pitted against corporation involvement while others want to liberate a few certain institutions.  In fact, some are even in favor of complete involvement.

Many agree think that the Hilary Clinton documentary should be a legal segment of free speech while others say it disregards the campaign finance laws.  Ultimately this decision forces the courts to reconsider the whole issue of campaign finance.

While Americans should exercise free speech, the right of corporations to fund campaigns would give these companies too much power.  The corporation’s role as prominent financial support puts it in a major position of influence.  Although funding would give political parties more resources to communicate with the people, it would not be without sacrifice.  Corporations could and would choose to follow the politician which benefited them the most.  This would ultimately lead to a heavily influenced and corrupted system.

Americans should be given the tools to make their own decisions.  Their votes should be cast after they have been informed of the facts.  Corporation funded campaigns run the risk of biased political media.

Carving out specific corporations and allowing them to fund campaigns is also risky.  Admittedly, some companies are less corrupt than others. However, this is a slippery slope.  The government cannot spend the time micromanaging and monitoring corporations.  It is better to keep political funding as clean as possible.

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