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(The New York Times)   The activist Roberts court's Citizens United decision has meant that the GOP has flooded the airwaves with ads paid for by wealthy donors operating without restriction   (nytimes.com) divider line 263
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6736 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Sep 2010 at 6:06 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-09-13 06:11:54 PM
I had to read Subby's headline 14 times before it even made any sense.
 
2010-09-13 06:12:19 PM
I think if we just made it illegal for poor people to vote, it would solve a lot of this.
 
2010-09-13 06:14:21 PM
Free speech is scary.
 
2010-09-13 06:14:37 PM
damageddude: It's not activism when the Republicans do it. It's taking back the country. Putting right what went wrong. Truth, justice and the American way.

Right. I'm glad you understand.
 
2010-09-13 06:14:38 PM
I'm sure throwing endless amounts of money at our politicians will make America even better.
 
2010-09-13 06:16:06 PM
A corporation is a person. It thinks, it breathes, it feels. It knows what it's like to love, and to be loved. Some more than others.

Do I believe that a man should be allowed to marry a corporation? No, marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. If we change that, then there's no telling what could happen. A man marries a man, a man marries a corporation, soon we could have a man marrying a horse. But I have no problem allowing corporations to have 'civil unions'. It would be the same as marriage, we just wouldn't call it a marriage.
 
2010-09-13 06:16:16 PM
churchill72: Free speech is scary.

that's why our government saved us from it by pricing it out the reach of those damn commoners. Imagine the chaos if just any old person could say something to the nation! Dear lord! chaos would ensue!

now...about that net neutrality thing...
 
2010-09-13 06:17:14 PM
you are a puppet: A corporation is a person. It thinks, it breathes, it feels. It knows what it's like to love, and to be loved. Some more than others.

Do I believe that a man should be allowed to marry a corporation? No, marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. If we change that, then there's no telling what could happen. A man marries a man, a man marries a corporation, soon we could have a man marrying a horse. But I have no problem allowing corporations to have 'civil unions'. It would be the same as marriage, we just wouldn't call it a marriage.


I know a couple corporations that should be convicted of rape.
 
2010-09-13 06:17:42 PM
Government of the Corporation, by the Corporation, for the Corporation shall not perish from the earth.
 
2010-09-13 06:17:43 PM
So this means weak-minded people are more likely to be swayed by republican propaganda than democratic propaganda?

The horror.

I don't like restricting free speech by any means, personally. That applies to the propaganda.
 
2010-09-13 06:18:31 PM
GAT_00: Churchill2004: . I would love to see an example of the mythical only-billionaires-get-heard election.

When was the last time you saw a TV ad for one of your Libertarian candidates, besides Ron Paul? You don't because they don't have as much money as the Democrats or Republicans.

I really don't understand how you can defend that money = speech when it crowds out outside voices. Do those candidates have as much right to be heard as the Dems or Republicans? Of course. Are they heard as much? No. Why? Money = speech.


They don't have as much money because they don't have as much support. I would love for the Libertarian and Green Party candidates to get more attention and support, but it's stupid to say the Prohibition Party or New Whig candidate doesn't have freedom of speech because no one cares about or supports him. It's not about the red herring of "money = speech", and it is insane to claim freedom of speech is something that only exists so long as you never expend any resources on it.

There is no freedom of speech aside from your own literal control of your own vocal chords if it is illegal to spend money on your speech. A prohibition on spending money on buying a printing press, paper, and ink (or Internet access for a more relevant modern example) would strike at the heart of the freedom of the press, but according to your thinking, it's okay because "money isn't speech".
 
2010-09-13 06:20:21 PM
FTA: There are clues about the financing, though, like the two separate $1 million contributions from Louisiana companies tied to Harold Simmons, a Texas billionaire and longtime Republican donor who helped finance Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, as revealed in the campaign finance filings of one of the Republican-oriented groups, American Crossroads; or that David Koch, the billionaire co-owner of Koch Industries, helped found another major player, Americans for Prosperity.

Wish I could contribute $US 1-million to the Democratic Party, but I'm not a billionaire.

I never understood how limits on individual and corporate funding of political activities were ruled unconstitutional as they impeded free speech. One can only yell so loud, but, if rich, can spend until they're broke. Likewise, does this mean the rich and powerful have more freedom (free speech) than the poor and weak?

By the way, what major political party do most rich Americans belong to?
 
2010-09-13 06:23:37 PM
FlashHarry: nothing like overturning 100 years of settled law in order to tilt the elections! way to go!

Polifact rules such a statement: static.politifact.com.s3.amazonaws.com

source
 
2010-09-13 06:25:02 PM
FlashHarry: nothing like overturning 100 years of settled law in order to tilt the elections! way to go!

So, it's okay when they overturn 200 years of settled bankruptcy law to save Chrysler and GM? They did that too.

The Citizens United case was probably the right ruling, even though the consequences are immediately negative. Much to my chagrin, the Chrysler ruling was probably the right one, too, as normal treatment of secured creditors would have tanked the pension guarantee fund.

/Bush v. Gore and Kelough were right, too, even if I disagree in principle
//Sotomayor was a good choice....Kagan, notsomuch.
 
2010-09-13 06:25:08 PM
GORDON: So this means weak-minded people are more likely to be swayed by republican propaganda than democratic propaganda?

The horror.

I don't like restricting free speech by any means, personally. That applies to the propaganda.


Speaking of propaganda influencing the weak minded, since when does money = free speech?
 
2010-09-13 06:25:40 PM
More liberty is a good thing.

Thanks Founders!
 
2010-09-13 06:26:41 PM
kapaso: I'm sure throwing endless amounts of money at our politicians will make America even better.

You ever hear about a thing called freshman orientation?

*Every member-elect ('member' is their official title) goes in to be brought up to speed on what exactly being a member of Congress is all about.
*During orientation, they all get it drummed into their head that the first and foremost thing they need to start doing is raise money for re-election. Like, immediately.
*After orientation, all these inexperienced greenhorns who haven't even been sworn in yet and have just been told to immediately start raising money for re-election are set upon by a metric assload of lobbyists.
*These lobbyists are well aware that these members-elect are not bound by gift-giving laws until they are sworn in. So they descend on them now. They'll throw around gifts to everyone in sight, and see how many of these members-elect they can stuff in their pocket- behind closed doors, of course- before they have to back off because of the gift-giving laws.
*Among these gifts: a place to sleep. Congressional salaries are simply not high enough for many of these greenhorns to take on a second residence, which they will need since they'll be spending significant time in both DC and their normal homes. DC is expensive as hell to live in. The lobbyists know it. The lobbyists offer a way to keep the poorer newbies from sleeping in a cot in their office. (A place to sleep where the lobbyists can easily reach them on a daily basis, of course.)

This is why many members of Congress quickly disappoint you once they start legislating.

Republican base, I am being sincere when I say you may want to pay close attention to this event.
 
2010-09-13 06:27:38 PM
Don't like it? Get a bunch of people together and raise funds supporting the opposing viewpoint.

And don't tell me it can't be done. Didn't Obama raise nearly a billion dollars from regular citizens? I forget how much, but it was a metric assload.


I am glad that there are organizations like corporations who can afford to counter the propaganda of unions, and who can, through their voice, promote a pro-business environment. Why? Because I believe that, generally speaking, a pro-business environment will lead to a rising tide of prosperity, lifting all boats. About half of the country agrees with me, so why shouldn't the businesses who thrive in that environment be encouraged to spend some of their money to advocate for political change? If unions can do it, if left-leaning organizations can do it, why can't corporations?
 
2010-09-13 06:28:02 PM
since SCOTUS made that ruling, more than 50% of all political ads i have seen (in Kentucky on the main 4 cable stations excluding radio) were paid for by outside groups and none of them were endorsed by the candidates they supported.

I wonder if someone could sabotage this by claiming to endorse one candidate but making an ad so poorly scripted and directed that it could have the opposite effect of gaining support. Of course it would have to straddle the fence of lies like normal ads do but otherwise be so laughable that you couldnt bring yourself to vote for them.
 
2010-09-13 06:28:09 PM
AirForceVet: One can only yell so loud, but, if rich, can spend until they're broke.

Well, you could bond together with a bunch of non-rich people and form some kind of entity that would attempt to influence elections for your common benefit.
 
2010-09-13 06:28:48 PM
mediablitz: Cagey B: Nabb1: Well that's just, like, you're opinion, man.

You're right. There's absolutely no doubt that that text specifically means that no one should put any restrictions on campaign spending.

Corporations are people. Well, when they WANT to be...


Which is a separate issue.
 
2010-09-13 06:29:00 PM
Churchill2004: They don't have as much money because they don't have as much support.

That's not the question. Money has nothing to do with support. TV ads have nothing to do with support, otherwise the candidate with the most ads and the most money always wins. This isn't true.

The right to be heard should be independent of money. Third party candidates have no ability to be heard because they have no money. They can't afford TV ads, and barely radio or newspaper ads. Thus, they have less speech, and therefore by the money = speech argument of Citizens United, they less free.

You are advocating a system where freedom is determined by money. That is atrocious. I've seen you argue for reform. Why argue for something that entrenches the system like the Citizens United ruling, particularly since the ruling makes YOU less free. You have less money so you are less worthy of speaking by Citizens United, and you're defending it! Do you not see that you're defending being called less equal?
 
2010-09-13 06:29:47 PM
jbuist: AirForceVet: One can only yell so loud, but, if rich, can spend until they're broke.

Well, you could bond together with a bunch of non-rich people and form some kind of entity that would attempt to influence elections for your common benefit.


Form a human centipede for voting purposes? That's disgusting. Jesus Christ this country goes further down the gutter every day.
 
2010-09-13 06:29:57 PM
Churchill2004: They don't have as much money because they don't have as much support. I would love for the Libertarian and Green Party candidates to get more attention and support, but it's stupid to say the Prohibition Party or New Whig candidate doesn't have freedom of speech because no one cares about or supports him. It's not about the red herring of "money = speech", and it is insane to claim freedom of speech is something that only exists so long as you never expend any resources on it.

There is no freedom of speech aside from your own literal control of your own vocal chords if it is illegal to spend money on your speech. A prohibition on spending money on buying a printing press, paper, and ink (or Internet access for a more relevant modern example) would strike at the heart of the freedom of the press, but according to your thinking, it's okay because "money isn't speech".


I'm not exactly opposed to what occurred in Citizens United. However, recent decisions concerning who has to provide documentation as to where the money goes upset me...but, anyway...

With your examples that you've been providing, haven't you effectively placed a limit on speech by saying someone needs to have a good enough idea to get support before they can enter the arena?

Sure, it is a limit that makes sense. But, it is still a limit.

Democrats and Republicans have a huge lead in the "raising money" field and, with that lead, can drive the cost of political advertisement, thus making it impossible for anyone to compete unless they have the funds to compare to those two parties.

Yes, it is silly to say it is free speech as long as no resources are expended...but certain speech is so far outside the reach of some people that it seems kinda silly to call it "free speech".

I mean, I'd like 50,000 people to agree with me and give me $200 a pop cause my ideas are awesome...but I didn't know that was a required thing.
 
2010-09-13 06:30:57 PM
Christ. I'm truly scared for my country when I read so many citizens convinced that the best way to protect the health of democracy is for the government to criminalize political speech. Had Citizens United gone the other way, it would be a felony to produce and release a documentary within 60 days of an election. A felony. To make a documentary. Direct contribution prohibitions are one thing, but when we're at the point that the government criminalizes speech to ensure the 'right' result, what's left of the theoretical underpinning of democracy? If voters aren't to be trusted in an environment that allows political speech, then what's the point of the voters in the first place?
 
2010-09-13 06:31:04 PM
bulldg4life: I'm not exactly opposed to what occurred in Citizens United.

In the decision. Not the whole banning a movie thing.
 
2010-09-13 06:31:08 PM
Dancin_In_Anson: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

"We assumed you'd know that we were talking about the natural rights of man, since our government was base upon that concept. Our bad. We will now continue spinning in our graves over that one." -- Founding Fathers

"But besides the danger of a direct mixture of Religion & civil Government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded agst in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations. The power of all corporations, ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses." -- James Madison

I'd say that is true of non-religious corporations, too.
 
2010-09-13 06:31:51 PM
♪♫ Who's Soros now ♪♫
♪♫ Who's Soros now ♪♫
 
2010-09-13 06:33:07 PM
So now there are finally political groups with the money and clout to do what the unions have been doing for decades. About farking time.
 
2010-09-13 06:33:24 PM
This is way less interesting than the slutty Halloween costume thread.
 
2010-09-13 06:33:29 PM
Occam's Nailfile: Don't like it? Get a bunch of people together and raise funds supporting the opposing viewpoint.

America: Where every single person matters in the political process.

As long as they are part of a mob.
 
2010-09-13 06:34:28 PM
Forced Perspective: Christ. I'm truly scared for my country when I read so many citizens convinced that the best way to protect the health of democracy is for the government to criminalize political speech. Had Citizens United gone the other way, it would be a felony to produce and release a documentary within 60 days of an election. A felony. To make a documentary. Direct contribution prohibitions are one thing, but when we're at the point that the government criminalizes speech to ensure the 'right' result, what's left of the theoretical underpinning of democracy? If voters aren't to be trusted in an environment that allows political speech, then what's the point of the voters in the first place?

The SCOTUS could have also chosen not to take the case. Or chosen to judge narrowly enough to where it only affected this specific case. Nothing says that your outcome was the only other option.
 
2010-09-13 06:34:36 PM
helix400: Polifact rules such a statement:

source


Thanks for the link, helix400. That clarified the issue for me concerning direct contributions and independent expenditures.

I am still concerned about the independent expenditures as the Swift Boat Vets For Truth really impacted Kerry in 2004 and was just about bunch of lies, well-funded lies.
 
2010-09-13 06:35:58 PM
FlashHarry: nothing like overturning 100 years of settled law in order to tilt the elections! way to go!

Activist judges are fun
 
2010-09-13 06:37:35 PM
damageddude: It's not activism when the Republicans do it. It's taking back the country. Putting right what went wrong. Truth, justice and the American way.

Democracy only counts when your guy wins!
 
2010-09-13 06:38:52 PM
Aren't judges "activist" by definition? I mean, if they're passive, what's the point?
 
2010-09-13 06:39:15 PM
Forced Perspective: If voters aren't to be trusted in an environment that allows political speech, then what's the point of the voters in the first place?

Don't you understand? We're powerless to vote against what the idiot box tells us!
 
2010-09-13 06:39:39 PM
AirForceVet: I am still concerned about the independent expenditures as the Swift Boat Vets For Truth really impacted Kerry in 2004 and was just about bunch of lies, well-funded lies.

See, that's the real problem there. It's one thing to fund a big campaign on one viewpoint, but it's quite another when the big campaign is based on lies. And yet no victim, anywhere, has the sack to sue for libel or slander. That needs to be more easily able to happen.
 
2010-09-13 06:40:32 PM
oldebayer: but when their "right to free speech" effectively bars me from exercising mine, something has gone very wrong.

Corporations spending money on speech bars you from exercising your right to free speech, in the same way gays being allowed to marry bars you from getting married.

Hint: Speech, Marriages, and other abstract concepts are not finite resources that can be used up.
 
2010-09-13 06:41:09 PM
Submitter: The activist Roberts court's Citizens United decision has meant that the GOP has flooded the airwaves with ads paid for by wealthy donors operating without restriction

Subby, I may not agree with your almost-unreadable headline, but I will defend to the death your right to get a hundred of your friends to buy TF subscriptions in order to vote it up.
 
2010-09-13 06:44:22 PM
Representatives rely on campaign contributions to win elections.
Representatives owe favors to those who fund their campaigns.

In short= the more an individual, group, or corporation spends on campaign contributions, the more control it maintains over the legislature.

This country is turning into a goddamn plutocracy, and it amazes me that people will sit here and defend it.
 
2010-09-13 06:45:12 PM
namatad: I thought that the spending would still require disclosure.

isn't there a corporation arguing that disclosure would violate their first amendment rights?
 
2010-09-13 06:45:15 PM
FlashHarry: nothing like overturning 100 years of settled law in order to tilt the elections! way to go!

Doesn't sound too settled if it was overturned.
 
2010-09-13 06:46:15 PM
I'll tell you something. This country is going to the dogs. You know, it used to be when you bought a politician, that son of a biatch stayed bought.
 
2010-09-13 06:46:24 PM
Retarded Rabid Elk: oldebayer: but when their "right to free speech" effectively bars me from exercising mine, something has gone very wrong.

Corporations spending money on speech bars you from exercising your right to free speech, in the same way gays being allowed to marry bars you from getting married.

Hint: Speech, Marriages, and other abstract concepts are not finite resources that can be used up.


Hint: Money is a finite resource as far political donations go. This issue more than many highlights how effective propaganda is.

We should getting lobbyists and corporate/organized money out of our political arena, not pumping more into it. Common sense anyone?
 
2010-09-13 06:47:05 PM
Well if they're saying the corporations and GOP can pay for ads what's stopping the left of center interest groups from doing the same thing?

It was a good ruling in my opinion. The only issue I have with it is that there is no full disclosure of who's raising the funds. We need stronger disclosure laws.

But the thing I find absolutely priceless is that the Democrats have done the same thing. Anyone remember the 527 groups back in 2006? Yeah, the Democrats are griping because the Republicans are beating them at their own game. Perfect example of why the Democrat party should be renamed the Whine party.

/breaks out the cheese.
 
2010-09-13 06:48:31 PM
bulldg4life: Giant, soul-less, monolithic government = bad
Giant, soul-less, monolithic corporations giving millions of dollars to shape giant, soul-less, monolithic government = freedom of speech


Giant, soul-less, monolithic government = bad
Giant, soul-less, monolithic corporations giving millions of dollars to shape giant, soul-less, monolithic government = bad *AND* freedom of speech

Don't you morons farking get it? Freedom of Speech applies EVEN TO SPEECH YOU THINK IS BAD!!!
 
2010-09-13 06:48:46 PM
Nabb1: Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences when you intentionally lie and those lies damage others.

but being rich does give one some serious advantages, like a lot of crafty lawyers.
 
2010-09-13 06:50:17 PM
Cagey B: Also, I think it's hilarious that you're upset about the unions when one CANDIDATE has spent upwards of $100 million.

Well, you know how it is: You allow collective bargaining, 40 hour work weeks and no child labor and the next thing you know you've got Socialism.
 
2010-09-13 06:51:18 PM
kapaso: Hint: Money is a finite resource as far political donations go.

Meh, it's a matter of priorities. If citizens were really all that concerned they could take the money they spend on entertainment and donate it to political efforts. But, they don't, because they don't really care.
 
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