Seems Obvious

In the upcoming Philadelphia District Attorney primary, George Soros has announced he will spend $1.4 million to advance the candidacy of one of seven candidates. In Philadelphia terms, that is a lot of money. The obvious question is why?

The simple answer is George Soros is very wealthy and there is nothing to stop him.  Hmmm.

Actually George Soros is and should be free to “prefer” any candidate in any State or National election and even make verbal recommendations. The real question is why should George Soros, or anyone else who is not a resident of the US, a State, or a local election be able to spend money to influence the election’s outcome?

Most people would find it repugnant that a foreign citizen or country could spend money to influence a US election. Why then should someone living in Michigan or Mississippi spend their money to influence an election in Boston or Los Angeles?

Cynically, the answer might be that the more money spent in any elections translates into more revenue spent in the State and local economy than would have been spent otherwise. Spending loosely translates into jobs, and what’s bad about jobs?

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling called corporations the same as people. With that reasoning, rights accruing to people should accrue to corporations, the reasoning goes. And, spending is an expression of free speech. Hmmm.

So, a large multi-location corporation, flush with money, could support local politicians who espouses certain policies viewed favorably by this corporation, to the disadvantage of local citizens and not to mention smaller, local corporations. The notion of “one man – one vote” just went swishing by, out the window.

Not to complicate this issue needlessly, surely corporations operating in a jurisdiction in question must have opinions on many issues, and would routinely express these views directly or through lobbying firms to elected officials. Why not join the conversation before the candidate is elected?

From my perspective, this seemingly obvious question boils down to what is “reasonable”, and in line with the voice others who will cast a vote (corporations despite being people do not vote) will have. What should be at the heart of this issue is protecting the integrity of the vote. A citizen’s vote should not be drowned out by a voice greatly amplified by money coming from any source, particularly sources outside the jurisdiction whether corporations or by individuals.

The current lack of campaign funding regulations represent cynical attempts to utilize vast sums of money to twist the electoral process to favor certain parties, ideologies, and policies in contempt of the one man – one vote tradition.

George Soros should have no role to play in Philadelphia.

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3 Comments on “Seems Obvious”

  1. Terrant Says:

    While I agree with what you wrote, I think there is a flip side of the coin here. If you forbid people from spending in a race in which they are not a constituent, you are essentially telling them how they can spend their money. I’m not saying that it is right or wrong but it is something else that should be considered. Also, Soros spending his money in that manner is different from a corporation spending its money. Soros is a natural person that has inalienable rights granted by the Creator. Corporations are not natural people as their creator is men. Any rights they have are granted by men. I understand this contradicts over hundreds of years of court precedent but I would argue courts granting these rights was a case of judicial activism.


    • Terrant, thanks for the comment. With respect to your comment that George Soros is being denied his right to spend his money how ever he wants, I agree this seems a contradiction at first. But if you begin with what is most certainly a higher principle enshrined in the Constitution, one man – one vote, then there needs to be campaign financing rules which keep the playing field even if people do their part. In other words, if candidate A can raise $100,000 primarily from Unions or Corporations, then Candidate B should reasonably be expected to be able to raise $100,000 from other supporters (say $10 from 10,000 donors). If not, the election is in danger of being bought.

      The second aspect is that George Soros is not a registered voter in Philadelphia. Philadelphia has the right to decide who can contribute to election campaigns and how much. Soros is getting around this by establishing a Political Action Committee in Philadelphia and donating to that PAC and that PAC will spend money on behalf of one candidate. Hmmm.

      • Terrant Says:

        Things are certainly rotten and the process needs more transparency and light shown on it. One of the biggest reasons for these political action committees is to hide from public the people and corporations that are trying to skew in their favor. They want to have their free speech and skip that pesky consquences part. Unfortunately, as long as the our leaders hold their power as they do and the courts continue their charade that corporations are natural people, there will always be corruption such as this.


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