In 1976, the Supreme Court made a ruling on Buckley v. Valeo. This case is one of the most important, and to my mind, the most damaging decisions ever to come from the Court.
In 1974, over the veto of President Ford, Congress passed the first significant amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. It attempt to create the first comprehensive effort by the federal government to regulate campaign contributions and spending. It required full disclosure of contributions, set a limit of $1k. It limited personal funds spent by candidates on a campaign, and also created and fixed the method of appointing members to the FEC.
What is significant in this decision is that it for the first time set forth the idea that spending money equated to free speech.
When this singular concept is combined with the concept of “corporate person-hood” first recognized by the Court in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), the begin the long slide toward tyranny Thomas Jefferson was sure would eventually occur in America. Jefferson said that when the government fears the people, there is liberty, and when people fear the government there is tyranny. I don’t believe he ever envisioned a government where the Corporations and special interests, such as the unions and the large national lobbies, would ever wield so much power that they would become the de facto government.
The economic collapse of 2008 is the surest indication that this shadow government has no fear of the people…and that he people surely have fear of it.