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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

January 24, 2010 at 5:59 AM

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Corporate political contributions

Posted by Letters editor

Politicians will become NASCAR drivers

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling removing restrictions on campaign contributions from corporations is a blow to the people [“Ruling alters election equation,” page one, Jan. 22]. I guess we need to edit the Declaration of Independence to read: “Of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.”

What needs to be done now is for Congress to pass legislation requiring all politicians to publish their sponsorships. I can see it now: Members of Congress wearing shirts covered with varying-sized logos — much the same as a NASCAR driver.

Or better yet, a senator will be introduced as: “Sen. Maria Cantwell, WA-D; brought to you by Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boeing.”

— Kevin M. Callahan, Seattle

Corporations aren’t people

Democracy is down for the count. Corporations are not people. Corporations are business entities, shielding individuals from liability.

The Supreme Court has made the most reprehensible decision since the Dred Scott decision upheld slavery in 1857.

Asserting that this recent decision upholds free speech is false. It upholds the ability of the rich and the powerful to influence elections and buy our government — a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. Corporations are not people.

We have already seen terrible hardship wrought on the American people by large banks, insurance and other business giants who care far more for profit than they do for the average American citizen — or for democracy itself.

Corporations are not people. If they were, one might be tempted — due to the experience of the American public — to suspect them of tending toward sociopathy.

— Bambi Lin Litchman, Tacoma

Affront to Constitution

Our Constitution is our only — although sometimes ineffective — protection against the powerful enacting arbitrary laws designed to enrich the powerful at the suffering of the people.

Now our Constitution is the victim of an arbitrary interpretation by the powerful designed to enrich the powerful at the suffering of the people it was intended to protect.

This is extremely disheartening. Between the war on drugs, the war on terror and now this, we are coming full circle to a “robber-baron society” — where the powerful justify their arbitrary and capricious policies with fear of what would happen if they were not protecting us.

We die in wars, on the street and in our hospitals. Our opportunities are limited by consolidation of commerce and our lives suffer through wild swings of boom and bust, primarily because a few are addicted to power and wealth they will never be able to fritter away in their lifetimes.

Now they have unlimited ability to flood us with ads that don’t even need to be factual — this when their prime directive is bottom-line profit to shareholders. Result: Short-term profits at the expense of community stability that we all have suffered through.

Please let your representative know that this pendulum has swung way, way too far to be healthy for our culture and our children’s future.

— John Yunker, Seattle

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