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(Huffington Post)   While we're all distracted by the Republican primary circus, the Koch brothers quietly collect $100 million, $60 million of it from them personally, to defeat Obama in November. Thanks, Citizens United   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 300
    More: Scary, Koch Brothers, Republican Primaries, Citizens United  
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3085 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Feb 2012 at 11:01 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-05 02:06:24 PM  

andrewagill: And now, for something completely different: What I'd like to see are laws like the ban on foreign contributions extended to a ban on any contributions from people outside the candidate's district/state/whatever (in the case of corporations, the location in question would be the place of incorporation). So no hard money from individuals or corporations to a senator or governor from outside the state, or a representative from outside the district. And yes, this would extend to contributions from the RNC and DNC.


I have a different idea - ban ALL soft money, up the limits on hard money by...hmm...15% and adjust for inflation. make donations from foreign corporations/influence groups illegal as you say and enforce the laws already on the books for election fraud.

i'm of two minds about limiting hard money donations from outside a given district. if we eliminate soft money completely, I'd say let people donate up to their limit anywhere they want. but that assumes we can actually purge soft money completely.
 
2012-02-05 02:08:30 PM  

Dinki: Weaver95: if Obama had any balls, he'd have that place closed down tomorrow and every last prisoner on a plane to a neutral country within 48 hours.

Better yet - go on TV and tell the nation- "Nation (channelling Colbert), the continued incarceration of individuals without trial at Guantanamo is an affront to the Constitution and a stain on the countries honor. Therefore in 30 days I am closing it down. I would prefer to transfer those prisoners to civilian prisons in the US and begin the process of trying them in our criminal courts, just as we have done with criminals and terrorists in the past. If the congress will not permit this, then I will release the detainees back to the country they were apprehended in, unless another country has a legitimate criminal/military claim to any individual and wishes to take possession of them. It is now up to the congress, by its action or inaction, to determine the fate of these people. But there is one certianity- in 31 days, there will be no more prisoners at Guantanamo."


It's not quite that simple. A lot of their home nations don't want them anymore. NO country wants them. We effectively have 170-some stateless people under our watch, people that won't be accepted by anyone on the planet. To send them somewhere, first someone would have to want them. You can't just fly over the home country and shove them out of the plane Latin-American-strongman style.

Oh, and also? Congress has allocated zero dollars in which to do this. Like, 94 of the Senators who voted on it opted to allocate zero dollars towards closing it. The only way you're going to actually get it closed in the next 31 days is if you bomb Gitmo and kill everyone inside.
 
2012-02-05 02:09:19 PM  
Good. I hope they double it by late summer.
 
2012-02-05 02:09:37 PM  

Fart_Machine: Or we could instead turn to public financing and close all the loopholes.


I believe you'll find the results under "Foxes, henhouse-guarding proficiency of, pp. 32-1198"
 
2012-02-05 02:10:25 PM  
Taxbongo usurps power from the American people: Good.
Wealthy, successful Americans try to take this country back and give it to We, the People: Bad.

Got it, libs.
 
2012-02-05 02:10:42 PM  
Move to Amend. Public campaign financing only. Otherwise there is no democracy and no amount of right-wing knob-slobbering will make there be. It's not even about whether the spending can influence votes - it can - but who the elected officials are responsible to after their election. Far right-wingers like being tools for the wealthy but the rest of us don't have to sit around and let a vile minority of fascists give democracy away.
 
2012-02-05 02:10:49 PM  
They aren't stupid, they wouldn't put forth so much money if it wasn't worth it for them. They will be repaid.
 
2012-02-05 02:11:47 PM  

Gulper Eel: Fart_Machine: Or we could instead turn to public financing and close all the loopholes.

I believe you'll find the results under "Foxes, henhouse-guarding proficiency of, pp. 32-1198"


Except that public campaign financing works the world over, and you just look like a moron saying it doesn't. This isn't an experiment. It's like public health care; we know it works because we have dozens of good examples to choose from. You're just a lying shill.
 
2012-02-05 02:13:51 PM  
$ = yelling fire in a theater

Let's regulate it.
 
2012-02-05 02:15:10 PM  

hinten: $ = yelling fire in a theater

Let's regulate it.


Money == spending

CU is unique in the history of the US in holding that the government has no ability to regulate interstate and international commerce.
 
2012-02-05 02:16:05 PM  

Gosling: It's not quite that simple. A lot of their home nations don't want them anymore. NO country wants them. We effectively have 170-some stateless people under our watch, people that won't be accepted by anyone on the planet. To send them somewhere, first someone would have to want them. You can't just fly over the home country and shove them out of the plane Latin-American-strongman style.


actually, yeah - we CAN shove them out of a plane and force someone to take them in.

Oh, and also? Congress has allocated zero dollars in which to do this. Like, 94 of the Senators who voted on it opted to allocate zero dollars towards closing it. The only way you're going to actually get it closed in the next 31 days is if you bomb Gitmo and kill everyone inside.

I'd do it anyway and then just steal money from the CIA and NSA black budget to cover the operation. that shiat is all off books anyway and largely outside congressional oversight.
 
2012-02-05 02:16:09 PM  
You know, if they're throwing around that much money, why didn't they just use it to buy the President we have rather than try to unseat him?

For a businessman making a campaign contribution, that contribution is less and less likely to be a donation, and more and more likely to be an investment, depending on how much money is being donated. When you're in the hundred million range, you have to figure that whatever they want Romney to do is going to have to be enough to earn their money back.

So the question becomes: what does Romney plan to do that's going to give the Koch brothers a significant return on a hundred million dollar investment, sixty million of it out of pocket? Can he really save them THAT much just by cutting their taxes? Are they even paying that much in taxes at current rates?

Sooner or later, this is going to represent a loss to them and it's not going to be worth it to shovel that kind of money into elections anymore. If Obama wins, that's those $100 million more or less down the pipes for them. They might get some of it back by using it to buy a few state races, but that's it. At some point, they have to expect that some of their money isn't coming back.

Unfortunately, that's pretty much how we make any advances in gay rights in my state; we just keep bringing up the issue again and again, forcing the same old names to reluctantly pony up another fifty million dollars on "zomg deh gayz will eat my children!" ads, and eventually they just get sick of it, sit an election season out, and we win by default. That also pretty much describes how casinos get built around here - the guys who want them put them on the ballot every single year, and the guys against them eventually just go "Oh, no, not again" and stay home that November. The Koch Brothers just plain aren't going to be pouring huge amounts of campaign cash into buying the White House if they don't get more out of it than they put in. That's a bad business decision.

The only hope is that the Republicans screw this up badly enough to give "Koch Brothers donation" the same visceral reaction to the public as "connected to Jack Abramoff" or "ties to Bernie Madoff." They'll be forced to spend even more money trying to hide those donations. If this is the only trickle-down we get in this day and age, I'll take it.
 
2012-02-05 02:18:02 PM  

A Dark Evil Omen: hinten: $ = yelling fire in a theater

Let's regulate it.

Money == spending

CU is unique in the history of the US in holding that the government has no ability to regulate interstate and international commerce.


Unique until we, the people, decide it is not.
 
2012-02-05 02:19:01 PM  
Personally, I think political advertisements should be regulated like tobacco advertisements: banned on TV, with a prominent disclaimer in print ads stating that it will give you cancer, and if it can be shown that you're trying to appeal to children you can be sued for $300 billion.
 
2012-02-05 02:19:45 PM  

Tingle007: Need I remind anyone the largest campaign in the history of the world was Obama's 2008. He literally bought infomercials.


If that's your benchmark....

media.salon.com
 
2012-02-05 02:23:38 PM  

Edsel: If money was all it took to win elections, we'd be screwed. But the reality is that Americans just don't like Romney very much. Hell, Republicans dont even like Romney very much.


and we haven't don't even have a Romney VP yet - he might pick another Palin to pander to the fundies and further seal the deal for Obama.
 
2012-02-05 02:23:41 PM  
Given that President Obama has been proclaimed undefeatable, the Obamapologists™ should be happy to see Koch Brothers and the evil cabal of right-wing Rethuglican corporationists waste millions of dollars in a futile attempt to elect a Republican that absolutely no one will vote for in the fall election.

/Think of Citizen United as a transfer of wealth from the big business right-wing to the left-wing workers in the media and advertising.
 
2012-02-05 02:24:08 PM  
i43.tinypic.com
 
2012-02-05 02:24:11 PM  

LarryDan43: They aren't stupid, they wouldn't put forth so much money if it wasn't worth it for them. They will be repaid.


They can't get repaid if their candidates lose. Money can have a lot of influence, it can wheedle, guilt, convince, coerce, tempt, threaten, strongarm, but it cannot force. Your vote is, at the end of the day, yours and yours alone. When you go into the voting booth, I guarantee you a pile of dollar bills will not leap into the booth with you and physically force your hand to mark a ballot differently from how you want to mark it.

You have one vote.The Koch brothers have one vote each. They can flood your TV with whatever they want, but there ain't no TV in the one room that matters. They can spend all they want to try to convince you to do their bidding, but they cannot actually go "I will pay you $60 million if you'll cancel the election and directly award the office to my candidate." They can't win without the help of the voters.
 
2012-02-05 02:24:29 PM  

Weaver95: Mrtraveler01: Weaver95: personally, I'd go after Obama for his inability to close Gitmo

I dunno, all Obama has to do is say "I tried to bring them to Illinois but the GOP were too scared to."

if Obama had any balls, he'd have that place closed down tomorrow and every last prisoner on a plane to a neutral country within 48 hours. sure, there'd be issues to hammer out, and yes - some paper pushing jerks would have to get their feathers ruffled in the process...but if the President of the United States really wanted Gitmo closed down, it would get closed down.


Obama doesn't want to close Gitmo for any substantive reason. The real issue is Bush and Obama both claiming they have the power to decide whether someone can be indefinitely detained with due process or without due process. Obama is definitely for having that power, and has gone further by asserting that he can assassinate American citizens without any due process at all. The real problem is that one branch of government can write secret memos justifying why the terrorist label applies to someone, and then the only "laws" controlling how that person is eliminated are other secret memos. None of this can be litigated in court because judges always accept the government's argument that revealing anything in court would harm national security, so case dismissed. Voting for Obama or Romney won't change this.
 
2012-02-05 02:26:32 PM  

tcan: Sadly the harsh reality of today's politics is that it has escalated into a spending war. I wonder if there is any proof that candidates who spend the most win? Seems to me I remember a lot of high profile races where the opposite was true. Fark posters notwithstanding, there is no objective reality or truth out there when it comes to politics. It's all about spinning the perceptions to reflect what you want to believe or want someone else to believe.There are no impartial judges or referees to rely on. When anyone tries this it only works as long as they agree with your, side as soon as they criticise your side they are unacceptable. So this leaves the elections in the hands of big money who have convinced the candidates that the loudest megaphone wins. Stop pretending that you hate all the negative ads or the distortions or the influence of mega-rich donors. You only hate it when it's the other side doing it. If we can't agree at least we can be honest about our hypocrisy.


I dislike most political ads, especially negative ones. even when the ad is supporting who I'm going to vote for.

Once again I view Obama as the lesser of two evils. I still don't like seeing pro Obama ads on YouTube though. It's like, oh shut up. I'm going to hold my nose and vote Democratic, you don't need to waste money on YouTube.
 
2012-02-05 02:28:05 PM  

soy_bomb: I'm an eager slave, and I'm trying to spin this as a FARTBAMA BAD thing rather than what it truly is, which is the corporatist aristocracy buying what's left of democracy wholesale, because I'm totally for that.

 
2012-02-05 02:28:46 PM  

ArkAngel: Because Soros never did this to try and get Bush out of office


It must really drive you rightie-tighties up the wall to know that Soros isn't an evil JP Morgan type plutocrat, doesn't it? That out there is one guy is using his money to help out the little guy and level the playing field, even though he's just one guy up against a thousand other billionaires who are seething with pure hatred and evil.

Every time you guys go "But but but Soros!", it's as stupid as someone in Metropolis saying that Superman is just as bad as Lex Luthor because he uses his power to get what he wants too.
 
2012-02-05 02:28:51 PM  

Deftoons:

This is like a fan complaining one team is scoring points against the other team in a game of basketball.


Sure, it's totally like that, if you consider the refs suddenly say that it's ok for the other team's fans to rush the court and start playing ball.

/see, I can make bad analogies too!
 
2012-02-05 02:29:08 PM  
Oh goody, another two-minute hate dedicated to the Koch brothers, brought to you by the Obama leg-humpers at the HuffPo.
 
2012-02-05 02:33:35 PM  

Snarfangel: Woohoo, that's $100 million they can't use for a solid gold swimming pool to create jobs!


Dude, obviously they're rich, so if it wasn't for socialist Obama, they could use all that money to create jobs and end all unemployment, but they're being taxed to death at 15% so it's come to this. Sad that they have to spend their millions this way, but it's all Obama's fault.

/the lack of blatant spelling mistakes should clue people in this is sarcasm, but just in case...
 
2012-02-05 02:34:49 PM  
"I'll believe corporations are people when the State of Texas executes one."

Link (new window)

Anyone defending the current campaign finance laws, no matter how sophisticated in argument, is simply not willing to consider how to shape the world around them in a better fashion.
 
2012-02-05 02:38:13 PM  
Problem, trolls?
 
2012-02-05 02:39:14 PM  

Skwishmitten: Gosling: The funny part is how they'll spend $60 million of their own money and end up getting nothing for it because Romney's going to lose.

Imagine how much they would spend on a really viable candidate. In four years the flood gates are really going to open.


And the GOP will be wallowing even deeper in the sewage of derp by then, IF they're still around as a viable party at all.

As for the DNC side, there are a few candidates that may not be Obama class, but are still with some potential. Unlike GOP glory whores like Steve King, Democrats are too busy actually doing their job as opposed to making outragous comments in front of cameras.
 
2012-02-05 02:39:29 PM  
And it's wasted money, because Mittens is gonna lose. I'm OK with them wasting money.
 
2012-02-05 02:40:02 PM  

Nem Wan: Obama doesn't want to close Gitmo for any substantive reason. The real issue is Bush and Obama both claiming they have the power to decide whether someone can be indefinitely detained with due process or without due process. Obama is definitely for having that power, and has gone further by asserting that he can assassinate American citizens without any due process at all. The real problem is that one branch of government can write secret memos justifying why the terrorist label applies to someone, and then the only "laws" controlling how that person is eliminated are other secret memos. None of this can be litigated in court because judges always accept the government's argument that revealing anything in court would harm national security, so case dismissed. Voting for Obama or Romney won't change this.


Obama has already said he will not use that clause. The problem with him vetoing it would be that there were already enough votes to override his veto. The last thing he needed in an election year would be a veto override, so he signed it. By the time a future president attempts to enforce it, Obama will have the court packed with a couple of more Constitutional scholars that will strike it down.
 
2012-02-05 02:42:48 PM  

Gulper Eel: Fart_Machine: Or we could instead turn to public financing and close all the loopholes.

I believe you'll find the results under "Foxes, henhouse-guarding proficiency of, pp. 32-1198"


Because private financing of campaigns has worked out so well in term of influence peddling.
 
2012-02-05 02:44:11 PM  
Simple fix. Not my idea, but I don't remember who suggested it so I can't give proper credit. Make all campaign donations 100% anonymous. Donations go through a proxy. You get a receipt for your taxes. The receiver gets a check, never knowing who donated - not even how many people donated. Make the punishment for bypassing the proxy or attempting to divulge or discover information about donors a long stint in prison (five years seems reasonable).

But I'd settle for two other changes, instead. 1. Corporations are not people so do not have freedom of speech, therefore they can not donate a single dime. Individuals in the corporations are free to donate all they want. 2. Political campaign contributions are no longer tax deductible. This wouldn't prevent the average person from donating his $100, but might give those rich people second thoughts.
 
2012-02-05 02:44:44 PM  

thamike: It's like educating a wart.


Why did you try to educate a wart? Or was it just an experiment to compare the similarities between educating a wart and reading a question asked of someone other than yourself?
 
2012-02-05 02:45:01 PM  

Gulper Eel: Fart_Machine: So obviously the best way to decrease Federal power is to remove any ceiling on political donations. Or something.

The best way to decrease Federal power is to quit voting lock step for either Democrats or Republicans. Do not be a chump they can take for granted, even if you fully agree with them. But in the meantime...

Full and prompt disclosure is the solution, not more and more legislation with more and more inevitable loopholes. Prompt as in "the info better be up on the campaign website AND the (incumbent's) legislative website soon as the check clears."

Any foot-dragging on disclosure will be cause for immediate ineligibility to run for office.


I would be fine with this idea, and I'm a libertarian.
 
2012-02-05 02:47:28 PM  

Weaver95: I have a different idea - ban ALL soft money, up the limits on hard money by...hmm...15% and adjust for inflation. make donations from foreign corporations/influence groups illegal as you say and enforce the laws already on the books for election fraud.

i'm of two minds about limiting hard money donations from outside a given district. if we eliminate soft money completely, I'd say let people donate up to their limit anywhere they want. but that assumes we can actually purge soft money completely.


I think hard money should be banned altogether, and we should go to public campaign financing. The nominating process should be financed by each respective political party, by their wishes. Each presidential candidate in the general should be initially allotted $50,000 for each Congressional district and $500,000 for each state (including DC), for a total of $52.4 million. This will increase annually to match inflation.

Meanwhile, 527 donations should be subject to a heavy duty (or, alternatively 527 organizations should be subject to a proportional tax on electioneering expenditures). Duty income will be disbursed equally among political candidates during the next election cycle as a part of their public financing. That way, you're limiting the amount of money that can be effectively spent on independent expenditure, while increasing the amount of money candidates' own campaigns have, ideally bringing their expenditures in rough parity with one another and cancelling out distortion, while forcing political campaigns and interest groups to innovate and speak more efficiently.
 
2012-02-05 02:50:11 PM  

A Dark Evil Omen: Except that public campaign financing works the world over, and you just look like a moron saying it doesn't.


It is nowhere near as widespread as public health care (59% as of 2006), and in any case with public financing elsewhere you get either barriers to entry raised so high that only two major parties become eligible (how convenient!), or set so low that nutcakes like the British National Party find themselves in position to be taxpayer-funded.
 
2012-02-05 02:52:39 PM  

s2s2s2: thamike: It's like educating a wart.

Why did you try to educate a wart? Or was it just an experiment to compare the similarities between educating a wart and reading a question asked of someone other than yourself?


It was a simile, dumbass.
 
2012-02-05 03:01:42 PM  

Weaver95: Mrtraveler01: Does anyone outside of the dittoheads really give a shiat about Solyndra?.

no, not really. I'm sure it means something to the Limbuagh crowd, but to be honest - as a campaign year issue it's a non-starter. personally, I'd go after Obama for his inability to close Gitmo, his failures on protecting personal freedom and privacy and his refusal to acknowledge the well coordinated efforts of pro-cannabis reform groups to open a dialogue on our many (and well documented) failures in the 'war on drugs'.


Since the GOP's not smart enough to do that, Obama's going to win.

Really, until the GOP grows a working brain, I have no worries about them. Given that they're almost literally playing supervillain, that's saying something.
 
2012-02-05 03:04:29 PM  

Don't Troll Me Bro!: ArkAngel: Because Soros never did this to try and get Bush out of office

What year was the Citizens United verdict? Does Soros have a time machine? You could at least try to make your bullshiat plausible.


maybe you just don't understand what CU changed as well as you think you do.


In an interview with The Washington Post on November 11, 2003, Soros said that removing President George W. Bush from office was the "central focus of my life" and "a matter of life and death". He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat President Bush, "if someone guaranteed it".[54] Soros gave $3 million to the Center for American Progress, $2.5 million to MoveOn.org, and $20 million[55] to America Coming Together. These groups worked to support Democrats in the 2004 election. ...according to the Center for Responsive Politics, during the 2003-2004 election cycle, Soros donated $23,581,000 to various 527 groups dedicated to defeating President Bush. A 527 group is a type of American tax-exempt organization named after a section of the United States tax code, 26 U.S.C. § 527.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros (new window)
 
2012-02-05 03:08:04 PM  

relcec: In an interview with The Washington Post on November 11, 2003, Soros said that removing President George W. Bush from office was the "central focus of my life" and "a matter of life and death". He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat President Bush, "if someone guaranteed it".[54] Soros gave $3 million to the Center for American Progress, $2.5 million to MoveOn.org, and $20 million[55] to America Coming Together. These groups worked to support Democrats in the 2004 election. ...according to the Center for Responsive Politics, during the 2003-2004 election cycle, Soros donated $23,581,000 to various 527 groups dedicated to defeating President Bush. A 527 group is a type of American tax-exempt organization named after a section of the United States tax code, 26 U.S.C. § 527.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros (new window)


I take it you are a fan of George W. Bush.
 
2012-02-05 03:09:05 PM  

PsiChick: Weaver95: Mrtraveler01: Does anyone outside of the dittoheads really give a shiat about Solyndra?.

no, not really. I'm sure it means something to the Limbuagh crowd, but to be honest - as a campaign year issue it's a non-starter. personally, I'd go after Obama for his inability to close Gitmo, his failures on protecting personal freedom and privacy and his refusal to acknowledge the well coordinated efforts of pro-cannabis reform groups to open a dialogue on our many (and well documented) failures in the 'war on drugs'.

Since the GOP's not smart enough to do that, Obama's going to win.

Really, until the GOP grows a working brain, I have no worries about them. Given that they're almost literally playing supervillain, that's saying something.


Technically, those two issues would mean a complete reversal of platform for the GOP. They're the ones who created Gitmo in the first place, and it is their base that are among the most vocal supporters of the War on Drugs. Ironically, the logical issues that one could use to run against Obama are the things the GOP are staunch supporters of.
 
2012-02-05 03:09:25 PM  

Mike_LowELL: Taxbongo usurps power from the American people: Good.
Wealthy, successful Americans try to take this country back and give it to We, the People: Bad.

Got it, libs.


How positively winterwhileian of you!

forever...
 
2012-02-05 03:14:23 PM  
Never going to stop crying about this are you? By the way, which candidate did they donate this money to? Oh wait, they haven't yet so this has nothing at all to do with Citizens United?

I believe I distinctly recall it being "Cool" that Obama was suppose to collect around one BILLION dollars for his reelection campaign but this is the part where you pretend, as you always do, that it comes from "small donations from many individuals".

You can quit crying about the loss of the raising advantage thanks to laws that favored Democrats at any time you know. This is the way it is now. You have your big money and we have our big money.
 
2012-02-05 03:14:38 PM  

CitizensUnited: You're welcome.


I came here for this, and am not leaving disappointed.
 
2012-02-05 03:15:51 PM  

thamike: It was a simile, dumbass.


And you concluded by my reply that I wasn't aware?

/2...3...is this thing on?
 
2012-02-05 03:17:29 PM  

s2s2s2: And you concluded by my reply that I wasn't aware?


This is the answer to all of your questions.
 
2012-02-05 03:19:16 PM  

Jim_Tressel's_O-Face: CitizensUnited: You're welcome.

I came here for this, and am not leaving disappointed.


Yeah, quite a few of us have him on ignore so we don't have to listen to his crap. Thanks for quoting him.
 
2012-02-05 03:19:42 PM  
randomjsa

Does it bother you that everyone thinks you're a moron or do you just see yourself as some noble defender of the truth fighting, Galileo-like, against a system that's stacked against you?
 
2012-02-05 03:20:27 PM  

Gulper Eel: A Dark Evil Omen: Except that public campaign financing works the world over, and you just look like a moron saying it doesn't.

It is nowhere near as widespread as public health care (59% as of 2006), and in any case with public financing elsewhere you get either barriers to entry raised so high that only two major parties become eligible (how convenient!), or set so low that nutcakes like the British National Party find themselves in position to be taxpayer-funded.


That's one of the benefits of a system like Patriot Dollars. When the voters are in charge of who gets funding for political campaigns, it makes the parties compete for funds by responding to voters' concerns. You can't really legislate that system into a two-party stronghold without making it blatantly obvious what is going on.
 
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