Corporations are not evil. “A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law ... [I]t possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it.” Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518, 536 (1819).
Problem 1: that second “only” can be dropped. Problem 2: shares of corporations can be owned by any person or corporation. Problem 3: after Citizens United Money can spend on elections without much of a trace. Problem 4: private corporations control elections.
It gets worse. Generally, individuals, partnerships and corporations conduct business. There has to be some form of an organization authorized to do business to sign contracts and to be held accountable. The two major political parties are corporations.
Individual state parties are formed as corporations. The Indiana Republican Party is a nonprofit, incorporated by Citizens United attorney James Bopp, Jr., and under the control of the board of directors of another nonprofit corporation, The Indiana Republican State Committee, Inc.
Control of our government should be through the votes of registered voters. Instead, the two “major political parties,” as Indiana defines them, enjoy significant advantages. I.C. §§ 3-8-6-2, 3-8-6-6, 3-8-6-8. Voters do not determine who is on the Board of Directors.
As an example, the 4th Article of Incorporation of the GOP Committee says “The corporation shall have no members except the members of the Board of Directors.” The 5th article says “The election or appointment of new directors shall be governed by the Bylaws of the corporation.”
There are no links to any “Bylaws” on the Secretary of State’s website or the GOP’s. The “State Committee is the supreme party authority in this state...” (State Rule 1-1.) Any amendments to the Rules must be passed by a majority of the Committee. (State Rule 1-3.)
I wouldn’t mind if this were a corporation that manufactures toe nail clippers, but it controls our government. On March 6 at the Marion County GOP caucus in Indianapolis, State GOP leaders had the ability to appoint precinct committee people (PCs) in any number necessary.
That was to elect the last-minute candidate they backed. A Federal case illustrates the extent of direct control of our government by corporations. Wilding v. DNC Services Corp., 941 F.3d 1116 (11th Cir 2019).
The Framers of the Constitution loathed political parties, even as they formed the first two; and professed love of liberty, as they cut deals and reached compromises to protect the institution of chattel slavery.
Political parties have to be some type of entity to conduct business and enter contracts, but we have, in corporations, entities that have autonomy, yet bear no concomitant responsibility for their conduct. To virtually seal leaders from accountability to voters is absurd.
John Schmitz was polite enough to invite me, Bob Croddy and Chris Moore onto John’s podcast, “Mouthwash,” tomorrow, March 16, at 8 p.m. (Indiana time). We’ll discuss this stuff. At least I think we shall.