Posted on October 16, 2013 (April 14, 2021) Corporate Abuse of Power Share: Recently the Statesmen Journal featured a powerful opinion piece written by Mike Sumner, a small business owner and Republican from Woodburn, Oregon. His piece illustrates the threat of corporate dominance in our elections due to increased power from campaign contributions, and the particular concern for small business owners and consumers alike. It begins, As the owner of a small business – an auto repair shop in Woodburn – the past few years haven’t been easy for me. But through hard work and perseverance, we’ve made it through the worst of the recession. Small businesses are the backbone of our nation: we create jobs, build strong local economies, and give back to our communities. But the rules of the game are changing and small businesses are at risk of being run off the road. Just as the gap between the richest Americans and the rest of us is widening, so is the gap between big corporations and small businesses around the country. Big corporations could always get politicians to return their calls, but after the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, the floodgates of unlimited campaign cash opened. Huge corporations and their extremely wealthy executives buy influence with their political contributions. They use that influence to rewrite the rules of the game, and to squeeze small businesses out. But if Citizens United was bad news, the McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court case has the potential to be a catastrophe. It could spell the complete breakdown of the basic rules of our democracy. McCutcheon is a case brought forward by Alabama millionaire Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, who don’t think that Citizens United went quite far enough. According to Mr. McCutcheon, the fact that he currently can’t write checks totaling more than $123,200, across a range of political party committees or candidates’ committees is infringing on his freedom of speech. He’d like to be able to get rid of that limit, and to write multi-million dollar checks instead. Now, I believe in the free market and in capitalism, and I’m a strong proponent of the First Amendment. I’m also a proud Republican. But it’s clear to me and to small business owners all around the country that the Supreme Court’s actions are undermining these basic tenets of our society. Allowing huge corporate interests and wealthy individuals to flood the political system with cash is bad for business, and it’s bad for the consumer, because it leads to corruption. Politicians have always picked up their big donors’ calls, but now those donors are calling all the shots. Read the full piece here.