The left likes to talk about the corrosive effect money from deep-pocketed corporations will have on future elections, as a result of the recent “Citizens United” case. They argue that elections will be bought by corporations, with politicians catering to the wishes of corporations that donated to their campaign.
In his concurrence to the Majority Opinion, Justice Scalia wrote that:
Stevens dissent was “in splendid isolation from the text of the First Amendment. It never shows why “the freedom of speech” that was the right of Englishmen did not include the freedom to speak in association with other individuals, including association in the corporate form.”
Those on the Left may be correct – there are ample examples of deep-pocketed organizations that use their money to curry favor with the Government, take for example the three SEIU locals that got waivers to exempt their members healthcare plans from the very healthcare reform bill they were so supportive of. In total, SEIU contributed $27 million to the election campaign of Barack Obama, and (it could be argued), as a reward for their support, SEIU was able to deny its members the $750,000 annual coverage limit demanded by healthcare reform, and instead offer them only $50,000 in annual coverage.
But is a labor union the same as a corporation? Pretty much. A labor union typically has, as its primary goal the protection and well-being of its members while a corporation typically has, as one of its goals the protection and well-being of the corporation, and by extension, their employees and shareholders. At the heart of a corporation, be it publicly traded or privately held, are people, with the same rights and responsibilities as an individual – no more, and no less.
Wikipedia: Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee entry
RealClearMarkets.com: Why the SEIU Wants Health Reform