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Operation Reach B.L.A.C.K. is a Pan-African Blog with an acronym that stands for Building Leadership Awareness and Cultural Knowledge.

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(Opinions, Observations, and Commentary)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

President Obama's Weekly Address (9/18/10)

This election, President warns voters to beware the Republican corporate power grab

The election season is in full swing. And with that comes a host of new political ads to persuade the voter before the midterms. However, there's one big difference between this year and elections past: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50.

For a refresher, take a look at these remarks made by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, earlier this year:

In his address, President Obama noted that legislative efforts to address Citizens United have stalled in Congress. Warning voters of the impact, the President directed his frustration at Republicans for saying "no" to legislation that would allow for greater transparency in campaign advertising:

"Now, the special interests want to take Congress back, and return to the days when lobbyists wrote the laws. And a partisan minority in Congress is hoping their defense of these special interests and the status quo will be rewarded with a flood of negative ads against their opponents. It's a power grab, pure and simple."

Now, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case allowing increased corporate and union influence in campaign advertising will get its first real test run this Fall. And with this knowledge comes an added responsibility on behalf of the voter to scrutinize what comes on the television and over the radio.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an event for U.S. Senate candidate and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in Stamford, Connecticut, September 16, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
The President has already addressed Citizens United numerous times, but he used this week's address to remind Americans of one important fact: Regardless of outside influences, Americans still possess the ultimate authority - the power of the vote. President Obama made it clear:

"What's clear is that Congress has a responsibility to act. But the truth is, any law will probably come too late to prevent the damage that's already been done this election season. And that's why, any time you see an attack ad by one of these shadowy groups, you should ask yourself, who is paying for this ad? Is it the health insurance lobby? The oil industry? The credit card companies?

More than that, you can make sure that the tens of millions of dollars spent on misleading ads don't drown out your voice. Because no matter how many ads they run - no matter how many elections they try to buy - the power to determine the fate of this country doesn't lie in their hands. It lies in yours. It's up to all of us to defend that most basic American principle of a government of, by, and for the people. What's at stake is not just an election. It's our democracy itself."

The President's Weekly Address:




Video: Perspective Piece