Home / Be The Change / Brazil Bans Corporate Donations in Elections, Meanwhile U.S. Elections Drown in Corporate Cash

Brazil Bans Corporate Donations in Elections, Meanwhile U.S. Elections Drown in Corporate Cash


Taking an approach to the issue of corporate donations in election campaigns almost completely opposite that of the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v FEC, the Brazilian Supreme Court has banned corporate donations in elections.

Last week, the court ruled 8 to 3 that campaign donations from corporations were unconstitutional.

The Brazilian ban on corporate donations comes amid an extensive corruption scandal that has reached all the way to the Brazilian presidency, with citizens calling for President Dilma Rousseff to be impeached.

During the Brazilian elections last year, close to 76% of the total $760 million donated to the campaigns for congress and the presidency, came directly from corporate sources, according to The Guardian.

Taking virtually the opposite position of the Brazilian Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, in the case of Citizens United v FEC, ruled to allow virtually unlimited giving to political campaigns by corporations in the United States

While in the U.S. corporations are technically limited in how much they may donate to a candidate or party, the use of 501 (c) 4 organizations, commonly referred to as a “super PAC” allow corporations to give limitlessly.

According to the Sunlight Foundation:

Traditional political action committees are bound by a $5,000 annual limit on the size of contributions they can accept from individuals and are prohibited from accepting contributions from corporations and labor unions.

A super PAC is freed from these restrictions under two conditions: The PAC must neither 1) give money directly to a candidate or other political committees that give directly to candidates, nor 2) coordinate how it spends its money with a federal candidate. As long as those two conditions are met, a super PAC may accept donations directly from corporate or union treasuries and in amounts that are limited only by the size of donors’ bank accounts.

Arguing that big money in politics had created a game that was rigged from the start, thus undermining the legitimacy of government as a whole, Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber said,

READ MORE:  Speeding Cop Kills Man, Only Gets Ticket. Prosecutors Magically Forgot to Tell Judge Someone Died

“The influence of economic power has ended up transforming the electoral process into a rigged political game, a despicable pantomime which makes the voter a puppet, simultaneously undermining citizenship, democracy and popular sovereignty.”

One potential loophole that could be exploited is a provision in the ruling, which allows for donations by individuals, of up to 10% of their annual income. One of the main concerns is that this allows for the potential exploitation of the rules by companies channeling their money through “bundles” of individual voters.

In America, super PACs currently operate as de facto campaigns, which although legally prohibited from coordinating with the legitimate campaign, often work in concert with the official campaign. Super PACs have already collected over $300 million in donations to be spent on the 2016 election cycle.

Although banning things, or creating legal prohibitions rarely result in the desired results, it seems common sense to keep corporations from bringing such undue influence to bear in a political arena that dictates nearly all aspects of the lives of individuals.

  • Help us share this good news in hopes that Americans will catch on.

    • So true

    • So Dam True!!

    • I don’t care about all that BS. Don’t tie us all into the the same category. Memes like this just continue to discourage the real activists. The world isn’t waking up any faster than we are. Read the f*ckin news once in a while

    • Trying to get money out of politics is a fools errand, the smart thing to do is limit the scope of government.

    • I believe they go hand in hand.

    • It worked so well in Libya.

    • And Ukraine

    • But I need my dodge, snap back, Starbucks, the J’s , tattoos’, obey shirts, and apple equipment. (Read in sarcastic voice)

    • Sad, but true… 🙁

    • I’ve always said corporations run this country.

  • This is 100% false. As a Brazilian citizen, I can comfortably say there is PLENTY of money in politics, especially with the whole scandal involving Petrobas. If you want to be seen as a reputable source of information, I suggest you do your homework before you post bullshit memes.

    • They not talking about corruption, but donations in elections. Is diferent.

    • I’m pretty sure that elected officials including the president is draining money out of a quasi-state owned oil company Petrobas, I’m pretty sure that means MONEY inside of Politics. Okay, elected officials can’t receive donations, doesn’t mean they can’t get the money elsewhere.

    • Of course it doesn’t! But forbiding corporations to finance political parties they are moving in the way of transparency. One step at a time.

    • Trust me when I say this, they get money under the rug. Rest assured

    • Trying to get money out of politics is a fools errand, the smart thing to do is limit the scope of government, something the Constitution was supposed to do.

    • Jake Hagan

    • One step at a time, Victor.

    • Brasil,! Ole ole ole!

    • Brazil politicians are still accepting money from corporate. Victor is correct!

    • They just cut off money for small and new comers. Every time a government do something is to screw the people.

  • Never happened in Brazil and its never gonna happen here.

  • Americans take to the streets pretty often. However when it happens, no one takes them seriously, but the activist, who happen to be already concerned…

    Instead they are told to get jobs, called moochers, labeled thugs… etc etc. In other words, belittled and marginalized, no matter what the cause.

    … a nation divided.

    • Not enuff, cuts into selfie stick time

    • I didn’t see very many selfies from Occupy, unless you count all the images of police brutality…

    • Occupy charged the national conversation, and we are still discussing issues that were held at the core of the demonstration. But if you ask anyone about what they thought concerning the movement… “Dirty hippies” will most likely be mentioned in their response.

    • “Hippies”? 🙂 You spelled “hipster” wrong…


    • Occupy was dumb. They blamed the people giving the money instead of the politicians taking the money. Its an exercise in futility as long as the politician still has his hand out.

    • To think that I thought I’d have to work to make a point. Wow, thanks for proving my statement as accurate, Liam.

      Surely, that one imaginary girl, “Dakota,” is the face of the entire movement. /applause

      What is your opinion on BlackLivesMatter? Or should I not bother to ask?

    • “Would rather occupy wall street than a shower” …. That’s the kind of crap I would hear whenever i brought it up

    • I seem to remember them calling for the repeal of Citizens United, which would, you know, make it difficult for politicians to rake in billions of special interest money…

      But what were you saying, Matt Kelly?

    • See, even in this context… Americans rail against other Americans for having collective concerns.

      It is a cultural sickness.

    • You’re on point Luke keep speaking your mind

  • Merica has more bloody control

  • Lol clearly you know nothing about Brazil. Remember the FIFA hosting the world cup and the govt. Evicting hundreds of citizens? Ofcourse there is fuckin money in politics

  • Well… Both yes and no.

    There’ve been plenty of times hundreds or thousands of Americans take to the streets JUST like this, all over America, all the time. The main problem we have, is that the American broadcast media’s agenda is to NOT publicize it.

    I’ve been part of five hugely, massive rallies here in Connecticut, New York city and in Washington DC. And not a single word was mentioned anywhere, except from independent sources, unaffiliated with the larger stations.

    Another problem is the fact that America isn’t made up of a society of like minded people. It’s a “melting pot”, to use that phrase. We don’t have anything remotely close to a hive-mind mentality, like many other, older countries have. And the current American government PROMOTES division among the masses.

  • Brazil is one of most corrupt and unfree countries in the world. You just lost credibility.

    • The govt. and institutions are corrupt, give the people time to transform! This just happened! Power back to the people!

    • You are right.

    • I hope things get better politically. In the meantime, still great food and beautiful women.

    • Obviously you didn’t read the article. You are not focusing on our point.

  • Guarantee that it won’t end the corruption there and make them a free society

  • And us super- obedient Aussies!

  • Noah Cook

  • The American Government is really good at using the tactic of Divide and Conquer

  • If someone opened a hot dog stand there, there’d be money in politics…

  • Billy Schneider

  • Bernie sanders did not take a super pac wants money out! Vote bernie!

  • The people here cannot agree on what they want. So there is no unity. That gives the power people the ability to pander to groups.

  • Brazil’s government needs to up its propaganda game, people are still to aware of what’s going on, need to be more distracted.


  • What a crock of shit.
    Stupid Brazilians are being raped everyday by a gang of criminals who robbed the country.

    • VC quer dizer, os 24 anos do PSDB em São Paulo, né?

    • Ei petista de merda, vai tomar no cu.

    • Only very stupid people believe in this socialist idiocy.

    • Stupidity really has no limits.

    • Cool

    • Você ainda acredita que há diferença entre partidos? Todos são bandidos. Acorda!

    • The wealthy are like a bowl of slippery snakes when it comes to manipulating society, and government to their own greedy agenda. This law will not solve the problem, but it is recognising the problem, and a step in the right direction. More are needed.

    • The wealthy??
      If people want to get money out of politics, they should take politics out of money. The only reason individuals try to bribe politicians is that the State has so much power over business.

      The reason politicians are interested in “campaign finance reform” is that it gives them even tighter control over who controls the State apparatus. In the logical limit, where all private donations are banned and elections are “publicly financed,” we would have the farce of reigning government officials hand-picking two possible successors every time a position opens up, and then letting the public cast votes on those two people. Call such a system whatever you will, but don’t use the term “democracy.”

      If the U.S. Congress really wanted to deter wealthy groups from giving them money, then the Republican and Democratic parties could adopt policies stating that any of their members who accepts donations higher than $X from a single group, will not be placed on any committees and no other Republicans/Democrats will vote for legislation supported by such rogue officials. Until Republican and Democratic parties adopt such internal rules–which they have every right to implement since they are just announcing how their own members will behave–then I don’t believe them when they tell Americans how much they lament the corroding influence of money in U.S. politics.

      Ah, and you know dick shit about Brazil.

    • Caralho que idiota nervoso

    • Another stupid that deny its origns… Looking to be accepted by the ones that are fucking him in the ass…

    • André Fonseca É seguidor do Olavo de Carvalho… Precisa dizer mais?

    • America is number 1 in rape and other sexual crimes against children

    • Trying to get money out of politics is a fools errand, the smart thing to do is limit the scope of government.

  • My Eastern Allies I come to you from the ends of the earth besieged by the congregation of the wicked. I teach Righteousness and Judgement upon the wicked, that great day when the Eastern winds Howl and blow open all the gates. My great Honourable warriors I come to tell you the Good news of the complete destruction of the Whore of a Nation..code named Babylon the Great. This Mother of all Harlots is soon to receive her Just punishment. She will be Stoned from above at the perfect time. This being my call to the God of Gods, my most earnest request to save mankind. Our fragile creation can no longer risk Babylons adultery. Her vision of the future of this earth is a nightmare for all peoples. I have thought Long and hard and now her Judgement is set. Upon impact of my ROCK the great Eastern winds will blow ever so fiercely. All out Military invasions on my Location and many more Locations as suited! Those who serve the symbol of the one eye must be totally eradicated in the immediate aftermath of Babylons fall. There WILL be peace and security for ALL the children of the earth and you my Honourable warriors have been chosen to execute the written Judgement. Shout with joy upon your beds as we edge closer and closer to the great and Terrifying day when all is revealed and the FINAL battle commences. BLESSED BE THE ANGELIC WARRIOR SAINTS, BLESSED BE THOSE WHOM SEE PARADISE EARTH COMING, BLESSED BE MY ROCK AS IT DESCENDS TOWARDS THE GIANTS FOREHEAD!
    Faithfully and Truly yours,
    The Lion of the Tribe of Judah,
    The Root of David,
    William Malcolm Poth

  • Way to go Brazil! Hopefully Americans wake up soon and follow your lead!

    • Seriously? You think Brazil is a role model?

    • Bumper sticker idiot.

    • Yeah I guess I’m one of those crazy idiots who think the government should work for the people instead of the 1% and the corporations, how stupid of me.

    • Duh! I saw it on the internet! It must be true!

    • Keep watching Fox news and being sheep I guess Ron. If you do some actual research you might realize how many rights and liberties you have already lost and just how corrupt our gov’t has become. Other countries are passing us by in pretty much every area and a lot of it is bc the avg American could care less as long as they don’t lose their reality tv. Nobody wants to stand up and fight for liberty so we keep losing more of it. But sure pal, just sit there and take it, that’s the kind of attitude that has us in the current situation we’re in.

    • Ryan, I agree with you on the state of the union but I don’t think Brazil is the direction you want to necessarily go.

    • I agree with you Charles Bohlman that Brazil is a far cry from where we want to be. My context of praising them was that they stand together country wide to press the government for change instead sitting around taking corruption without fighting against it. Govt should be afraid of the people not the other way around. Strength is in numbers and we outnumber the corrupt by a huge margin yet most won’t stand up. When we unite instead of continuing to be divided we can actually inact some needed changes.

    • If you actually did your research you’d know yourself that this meme isn’t all true. ?

    • Emily Ann let’s just keep him with his ilk in the shallow end. Probably does all his own “research” and had to use spell check to make sure he got it right.

  • Americans will never do this.. unless their tv is turned off!

  • Is not that easy. We’re trying, but laziness and corruption are destroying my county.

    What do you think most brazillians care about? Let me tell you: get drunk, gadgets, bodysculpt, empty celebrities, fool selfies, money, get drunk again, having sex, use drugs, get drunk again…

    Please, we are not a good example.

  • If Americans took to the streets how can we keep up with what the Kardashians are doing??

  • My stepsis lives in Sao Paolo!! #HangDilma!!

  • I like your posts but this is not true. The crowd’s photo is located far away in time and is not correlated with the end of private donations to finance political parties campaigns.
    And no, politicians in Brazil dont fear people. Make posts reporting the absurds brazilian congress are voting right now against the will of the people!
    Is hard to explain what the crowd in the photo claimed at that time, but the 2013 protests were marked by having NO EXPLICIT GUIDELINES, only “end of corruption”, followed by a sense of indignation and a shout of “no parties”. This was because the drowning in corrupt money done through the preparations for the 2014 WORLDCUP, one of the biggest embezzlement of Brazilian history.
    The 2013 protests won almost nothing compared to it’s size. That’s why you should be report our politics, not saying they have “heard our claims”

  • This is not the only thing America cares about it’s the only thing you see on TV stop watching TV and get involved

  • Great. Can we do this without harm to other ordinary people or their property? Brazil didn’t as far as I know, but apart from that, I’d like the silent majority to be less silent.

  • You mean the most corrupt police state in the world should be an example of how to run our country. Yeah. No.

  • Yeah, these broad generalizations are kind of annoying. A lot of people have taken the streets during occupy and now to protest GMOs, police brutality, etc. A lot of people got their asses kicked and worse. Just because the mainstream media doesn’t always report it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Show some respect. We are not all asleep.

  • Brazil is even more corrupt that the US, what a load of trash!

  • Ouch

  • I am not certain I am about to promote Brazilian politics. The best of Brazil is pretty shady in a good day.

  • There are like a million of these “the opposite of what Americans do” memes going around. I call bullshit on every one of these quotes.

  • Funny, that did not work in Venezuela.

  • On this one minute idea, this young lady has a salient point. But, Brazilians are marching asshole to elbow trying to get here……precisely because of their government.

  • The Supreme Courts decision of “Citizens United” is a blatant show of corporate power in the US.

  • We do that. Then agencies pay assholes to agitate the situation and then the local law enforcement gets to break out their military over stock and beat the crap outa people.

  • The USA government will just stage a terrorist attack or cop shooting in order to get everyone back in line. Either that or they’d just call the people in the streets terrorists and give the police the OK to shoot.

  • Saw a lot of rioting before the World Cup and seems like it was all for nothing. Billions lost playing host… People still in need.

  • TFTP has lost my respect.. You have real Brazilians here telling you that your post is wrong. Why would you keep it up? You’re only furthering the false news we get from the media to begin with…

    • Socialism is just that. Stupidity plain and simple.

  • Our rich and powerful use fear and hate to divide us so real change never happens.

  • we took to the streets with the Occupy Wall Street movement. They sent the storm trooper police in against them

  • of course we do the opposite. our government has a agenda to divide us. so far it is working out well for them.. not us… until we unite . . unless we unite,,, they win

  • Brazil is a bad, bad example.

  • So is she liberated? I doubt it! The corporations find more inventive ways to enslave us!

  • If it were Americans we would just wind up fighting each other until we were tear gassed into submission.

  • Is this the same Brazil where Olympic athletes ate catching the Ebola from the water?

  • America has waaaay more portesters then that ! We just do it via facebook…

  • Zach Jacob

  • Gino GG let’s move to Brazil!!!!

    • Love brazil and the supreme courts decision but brazilian politicians give the cockroaches here in NY a run for their $$

  • Well . . . Brazil is a shit-hole, hopelessly in debt, shrinking employment and GDP, and one black swan away from an episode of The Walking Dead, so I’m not really sure the folks there have it all figured out quite yet . . .

  • Where is the love button.

  • Love the comment section!

  • This is bullshit. So long as men have power to rule over others there will be no control of those men.

  • But.. but… Tom Brady.

  • FTP please start researching you claims BEFORE you post them. Thank you.

  • There is no share button on m site.

  • Let Brazilians deal with American cops and see how difficult it becomes

  • HAHAHA Right! The politicians that get paid from special interest groups decided to ban the special interest groups from paying them. Good one!

  • i really have to disagree with that, Americans do it all the time and they are beaten, pepper sprayed, arrested, shot and killed taking to the streets.

  • Yo military aint got shit on ours. Stfu

  • Brazil, where traffic accidents are at an all time high and murder and poverty… Brazil… Lol, what a joke.

  • real successful revolution you got there.

  • Hahaha Brazil and how is that working out for you

  • Yeah we should, all the other counties and nations in the world show no fear, why do Americans chicken out when it comes to taking back the street but anywhere else in the world someone is willing to die to change a corrupt system

  • People are scared of the government. And police that’s why.

  • Rachel Portugal

  • Cool if true!

  • They just cut off money for small and new comers. Every time a government do something is to screw the people. Brazil right now can not be positive example for anything.

  • This is why mainstream media is giving Brazil bad press

  • what a lot of crap

  • LOL do they got our army and police

  • Dude, really? How you gonna post some straight up bullshit and claim to bring the truth at a time when truth is so scarce? This is 199% BULLSHIT. Brasil has had corruption in its gov’t since gov’t was first introduced to Brasil. The U.S. happens to be at the core of that corruption. What kinda dumbass shit are you on? Please don’t share that shit. Just say no to ignorance.

  • Americans are brainwashed since birth to obey authority or your not a good American or Christian.

  • Some tried. Occupy Wall Street was one. But because of all the laws we’ve passed to make us so “Civilized” – zoning, disturbing the peace, trespassing on public property (how the f’k can THAT be?), etc. we have giving government the power to silence civil disobedience. We even have to get a permit to have a parade, march or organized protest on our (public) property.

    With our short attention span and 30 second soundbite media, too, these huge one day or one weekend protests don’t work, either, as they disappear quickly from view and thus our limited attention.

  • That is the biggest BS I’ve ever heard!!! Brazilians are a bunch of Sissies, their government have bankrupt a country that had the potential to be in a better condition than China and the only thing the brazilian people do is sing on the streets while wearing jerseys of their failed national soccer team.
    Their government made illegal for corporate donations because their socialist party get all their votes from the 75% uneducated population.
    Stop smoking dope and learn all the facts before posting all this garbage.

  • Brazil is on that The Zeitgeist Movement Global

  • Bullshit.

  • Your country is a joke, its to late to save it. Just a big joke. Corrupted country that is build on slavery, corruption and war.

  • Bagulho de apropriar kkkkk maluco ta fazendo legal ou não sabe de nada Leo Costa

  • The people in politics need us, we don’t need them.

  • Sometime you gotta go a little insane to do something rational people are too soft and polite in amarica

  • i think this is slightly MASSIVELY wrong

  • Well. It was not that way. There was serious issues that weren’t considered. And no, no one took the streets for that cause. It was for something else.

  • the NAO A PEC 37 written in the face of the lady has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the corporate donations thing

  • Won’t happen. When Americans take to the streets, it’s almost never because we have simply decided we want better for ourselves, it’s usually because some tragedy happened and the response of the people is to revolt until their anger subsided or the media stops paying them attention. American politics with the help of our skewed media has mastered the fine art of divide and conquer. Thus, the people are so busy picking sides and waging this illusionary battle of this side and that side, that they have forgotten the people are supposed to hold the power. We give the government it’s power. Good luck reminding the masses of this though.

  • Not true… Brazil is a poor ass country, their government almost bankrupt the country when they hosted the world cup…

  • Marie-Pier Cloutier Voila comment on change les choses!

  • I’m Brazilian and I say that, sadly, this is not the way it had been done

  • Because Americans are a bunch of fucking idiots.

  • Haha Even though I find this measure great, it didn’t happen like that at all…

  • We would get shot here…. Slaughtered by our government and the sheep that believe one entity is good no matter what they do they are the good ones. They won’t realize until it is too late for them to actually join the masses in protest.

  • The reason politicians are interested in “campaign finance reform” is that it gives them even tighter control over who controls the State apparatus. In the logical limit, where all private donations are banned and elections are “publicly financed,” we would have the farce of reigning government officials hand-picking two possible successors every time a position opens up, and then letting the public cast votes on those two people. Call such a system whatever you will, but don’t use the term “democracy.”

  • Too bad Americans are easily distracted. Forget improving our world, there is a new episode of…

  • This is a fucking joke. Brazilian politicians dont give a crap about what the people think. Se have a gigantic and corrupt state that dictates every smallest bit of our lives.

  • It will cost around $800 million dollars to elect the next president. The process is corrupt , cost outrageous.

  • #berniesanders does not take any corporate donations. Check him out berniesanders.com

  • OK,,, That’s not the problem. Next, try getting politicians out of politics.

  • Yes We American’s do take to the street’s to protest’s so You’r wrong…

  • Jonas Sorgeloos

  • that’s because your government doesn’t have comanche helicopters with this kind of armament.
    1× 20 mm XM301 three-barrel Gatling-style cannon mounted in a Turreted Gun System (capacity: 500 rounds)
    Internal bays: 6× AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, or 12× AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles, or 24× 2.75 in (70 mm) Hydra 70 air-to-ground rockets
    Optional stub wings: 8× Hellfires, 16× Stingers, or 56× Hydra 70 rockets.