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Gerry McGill
Gerry McGill
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 615

Saving face for Mitt Romney. Treat Corporations as People

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We probably should not get too upset about what is said at any State Fair gathering, including the Iowa State Fair, but poor Mitt Romney is catching flack for saying that "Corporations are people". Of course they are. That’s what the five Republicans on the United States Supreme Court said in their Citizens United opinion. Otherwise they would not have ruled that corporations could spend limitless amounts of money to support political candidates. Frankly I don’t think the day is far off when all Congressional delegates from Arkansas are members of the Walmart Party, all members of the Louisianna delegation are from the BP Party, and all members of the Texas delegation are members of the Enron Party.

But let’s be fair and consistent in our approach. Consider the Deepwater Horizon disaster which cost 11 lives. Should there be criminal proceedings against the corporations involved for involuntary manslaughter or other charges of criminally culpable negligence? But we can’t put a corporation in jail even if the Supreme Court says it is a person. Maybe then they should be charged with a criminal conspiracy. But in order to prove a conspiracy there has to be at least two persons involved. Under the current reasoning we already have the first person, the corporation. All the jury now has to decide is if any of the other persons in the corporation was a member of the conspiracy. If the corporate officers were held personally liable there just might be a change of attitude about putting profits ahead of safety concerns.

As Detective Baretta used to say a long time ago: "Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time."