Rep. John Hall: America at Risk of Fascism
New York Democratic Rep. John Hall, who lost his seat in the midterm elections, is warning that the influx of corporate money into politics is putting America at risk of a decent into Fascism.
"I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism," he told the New York Observer. "So that's really the question-- is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?"
The court decision he is referring to is Citizens United, the controversial Supreme Court ruling that led to greater corporate spending in the midterm elections, much of it anonymous. In the wake of the decision, Democrats tried to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have mandated that corporate donors identify themselves in their advertising, but the measure failed amid GOP opposition. Ads from groups with anonymous donors were particularly prone to misleading or false claims.
Hall said the influx of corporate money in the wake of Citizens United handed the House of Representatives to Republicans
"The country was bought," he told The Observer. "The extremist, most recent two appointees to the Supreme Court, who claimed in their confirmation hearings before the Senate that they would not be activist judges, made a very activist decision in that it overturned more than a century of precedent. And as a result there were millions of extra dollars thrown into this race."
Hall, who said he was particularly disappointed by the failure of DISCLOSE, said he had been approached by Democrats about running again in 2012. And while he isn't closing the door on a run, he said he would already need to be raising money if he was serious about running -- something he isn't doing.
The former leader of the rock bank Orleans, Hall lost in the midterms to ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth after two terms in Congress.
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