Here’s How Citizens United Plays Out
Chevron money rains down on Richmond election
RICHMOND — With its mighty East Bay refinery under attack from environmentally minded politicians here, Chevron is pouring staggering sums of money into this blue-collar town’s local election — raising eyebrows across the nation and questions about the role global corporations should play in local politics.
Council candidates who accept matching funds in this city of 107,000 people are limited to raising $65,000 for their election campaigns. Chevron has contributed $3 million to three local political action committees, roughly $72 per registered voter. That is about seven times the amount tech billionaire Meg Whitman spent per voter on a losing 2010 governor’s race that was the most expensive nonpresidential race in U.S. history.
Corporations are people, my friend. And money is speech. So if a corporate people decides to buy City Hall and their speech is run through a mile-high stack of Marshall amps well, that’s just the way it goes.