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View Full Version : Wacky Idea... Grassroots Corporation




Tarzan
07-07-2011, 03:29 PM
This has been running around in my head since the supreme court made its (stupid and wrong) decision that corporations are individuals... and, that they (corporations) can spend their money however they like... including on political free speech. While I disagree (strongly) with their ruling (wrong, just dead wrong) this give us a possible leverage with which we might take advantage.

There are loads of potential problems with the idea... different types of supporters not agreeing on a course of action, etc... but, here's the idea. (from an email I sent a friend, cleaned up and redacted in places for public consumption)

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First, its important to note that I HAVE NOT checked into the actual legal workings of this... so, a GOOD lawyer needs to be consulted... but, here goes:

With the supreme court ruling that corporations have first amendment rights (unbelievable!) there appears to be a huge opening on how the grassroots might operate.

A corporation could be setup (make sure its incorporated) without all the special IRS bull required of 501s. Then, this corporation sells a product... say, online books, that require little or no expense for the actual product. Affordable (cheap) products could also be sold like posters, banners, signs, t-shirts, literature, etc. for a VERY high profit margin.

Let's say an electronic books costs $100... or, a digital poster for $100. The corporation would be making a very good profit margin from these items. Then, the corporation uses its newly found first amendment rights to express itself... say, a commercial extolling a particular candidate... or billboards of the same ilk... or a direct mail campaign to express itself... or, hiring buses to deliver emissaries to a given event (you get the idea). Since the Supreme's ruling removes all limits on this type of spending the sky would be the limit.

Supporters of a particular product by linking a product to a given effort. For example, "buy a copy of the Ron Paul for Iowa" radio spot... or "buy a copy of the Ron Paul Iowa TV Spot"... $10 each, and you can buy multiples. You could setup an online store with different 'highlighted' by linking the product for sale to the planned effort.

Basically an end run around what an individual can contribute to a candidate by running your own set of messages or supporting efforts to disseminate that message.

Some care would need to be exercised... beware McCain/Feingold timing issues (though most of these are superseded by the SC ruling). Also, no coordination with an official campaign (oh... say, for example, Ron Paul's Campaign). Other than that, the sky would be the limit on this type of nonsense. On the other hand, the forces of evil could also use this tactic to raise HUGE amounts of money and outspend any such effort.

Another thought on this... it should be professionally run and that type of effort deserves reward in the form of a salary. The people running it and being hired to do the work should be professional and compensated accordingly. Bluntly, set this up and take a salary... hire professionals with genuine credentials and abilities.

For example... the corporation might produce videos for sale... a professional video production staff of free lancers would need to be hired and paid. As a corporation you would need to spend some money... because you are going to have to pay taxes... with good planning the taxes could be mitigated allowing more 'discretionary' monies for expressing your first amendment rights.

Bottom Line
Setup a corporation (legally)... sell an affordable to produce a product at different price levels (wink)... hire a professional staff (and pay them)... buy necessary equipment (a tax write off)... use the profits (after taxes) to express your first amendment rights.

Elwar
07-07-2011, 03:46 PM
This has been running around in my head since the supreme court made its (stupid and wrong) decision that corporations are individuals... and, that they (corporations) can spend their money however they like... including on political free speech. While I disagree (strongly) with their ruling (wrong, just dead wrong) this give us a possible leverage with which we might take advantage.


It was not the recent ruling that said that corporations are the same as individuals, they were just following the logical conclusion that if corporations have the same rights as individuals, then free speech is one of those rights. The corporate person-hood should be changed. That has nothing to do with the past year's ruling other than to highlight how ridiculous the concept is.