Check the facts before you cast your vote this year | Searcy Law

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John Hopkins

Vote YOUR Conscience This Election Year

» Written by // August 14, 2012 //

The citizens of the state of Florida should be permitted to elect our own public servants without interference from political, business or other forces OUTSIDE the state of Florida.

Seems simple, reasonable, right? I mean why should a lawyer from Atlanta, Georgia want to come down here and try to influence the election involving OUR Supreme Court Justices?

Why would a Kansas corporation like Koch Industries send BIG money down here to Florida to fund PAC’s and campaigns trying to influence Florida politics?

Why is Karl Rove and his PAC, American Crossroads, invading Florida with groups bearing a variety of very lofty sounding names for the purpose of swaying Florida voters to “his” way of thinking?

Why? Because they can. Because when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and money is the equivalent of free speech, business and conservatives saw an opportunity to seize upon.

Haven’t liberals and Democrats taken advantage of this new decision? These groups, as they will tell you, have trouble agreeing on where to have lunch. They are free thinkers who do not walk in “lock-step” with any specific ideology. So, they are always going to have a more difficult time forming up the necessary consistent dogma necessary to sustain a message.

In the judicial branch of the government, running for office has always had its share of dangers to attempts at influence peddling and candidates with entrenched ideology they carry on to the bench. I do not think there is any denying that happens, but when money is “free speech” influence can become a dangerous byproduct.

When all of us should be clamoring for campaign finance reform, a single court decision opens the moneyed flood gates by giving corporations “human identity” and labeling the all mighty dollar with the very powerful moniker of “free speech”.

As a judge who knows about these dangers said:

“Get actual facts out in front of the public, not a bunch of sound bites. Show how big money is being dumped into a particular race… Don’t let them hide behind corporate shields. They don’t want to do their dirty work in public.”

“If people (corporations) can throw enough money into judicial races and effectively elect justices and judges who are more interested in promoting some core part of their ideology or some particular special interest philosophy, they’re going to do that”.

During this election season, beware of candidates who have been endorsed by a myriad of political action committees (PAC’s) without any real purpose.

No matter who is saying it or how glitzy the presentation, check out the facts to your satisfaction.

Whether you are Democrat, Republican, Tea Partier or Independent, let’s really think through the choices we make this election season and not simply vote the “party line”.

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