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Bill Moyers: The Hoax of Citizens United

Posted on Jul 9, 2012
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According to Bill Moyers, the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to revisit the controversial Citizens United ruling shows that the initial case was never about free speech. Instead, he argues, Citizens United was just a hoax (albeit a really big one).

“Free speech, my foot: It’s about carpet bombing elections with all the tonnage your rich paymasters want to buy,” Moyers said on his most recent show. 

Thanks to super PACs, “free” speech in America is no longer free, but instead can be bought and paid for by the wealthy individuals and corporations that can afford the steep price. The impact of Citizens United has led to bigger donations, sure, but it has also resulted in less transparency as rich givers look to keep their contributions a secret.

Moyers pointed out how Republicans, whom he refers to as the “cowardly lions” of free speech, have taken a hypocritical stance on the issue of political contributions and donor disclosure: “On the one hand, conservatives declare that corporations and the superrich can spend all they want on exercising their First Amendment rights, but on the other, they demand to keep it secret so the rest of us can’t exercise our First Amendment rights to fight back.”

For Moyers, that’s the biggest “joke” of the matter.

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“Three things don’t go together,” he said. “Money. Secrecy. Democracy. And that’s the nub of the matter. This is all a sham for invalidating democracy in the name of democracy.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.


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