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(Talking Points Memo)   Congrats Steve Stockman, you may be the first real case study on the corruption resulting from Citizen's United   (talkingpointsmemo.com ) divider line
    More: Followup, Steve Stockman, case study, corruption, sole source, British Virgin Islands, government ethics  
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3966 clicks; posted to Politics » on 26 Nov 2013 at 10:12 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
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2013-11-26 09:38:55 AM  
Steve Stockman is one of the handful of genuinely mentally unstable tea partiers (amongst a majority who are simply sociopaths) who I've been hoping would flame out spectacularly in true "Bachmann 2012"-style at some point.  It'd be a shame if something as boring as plain old corruption was what took him down.

/I had high hopes for Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) too, but he seems to be laying low and not living up to his promise.
 
2013-11-26 09:57:56 AM  

dookdookdook: It'd be a shame if something as boring as plain old corruption was what took him down.


I don't care how they implode, just get the slime out.
 
2013-11-26 10:14:02 AM  
He's also a profoundly stupid man. Like, you wonder how his autonomic functions continue without someone standing behind him saying, "breathe in. Heart beat. Breathe out."
 
2013-11-26 10:16:46 AM  
It's a violation of his first amendment rights for you to know where and how he makes his money
 
2013-11-26 10:17:03 AM  
Wow, it sounds like here's a case of a politician genuinely participating in unambiguous mail fraud that would get you a dime in the real world.  With the party-first attitude of the republicans, we'll be lucky if he faces censure.
 
2013-11-26 10:17:37 AM  
Don't believe me?

Read on!
 
2013-11-26 10:24:04 AM  
Subby either link to an article that has some reference to citizens united or read up on the decision.

While Im sure Steve Stockman is a colossal douche bag his salary from a fictitious corp has nothing to do with Citizens United.

BTW Im more comfortable with corporations buying advocacy advertizing for a candidate's reelection than corporations directly contributing to a candidate.  In the latter case the candidate can keep the money and pocket it after retiring.
 
2013-11-26 10:24:58 AM  
And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."
 
2013-11-26 10:25:33 AM  
*would be enough for me to forget Christmas dinner
 
2013-11-26 10:26:25 AM  

pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."


Because that would either require an enormous grassroots movement or the complicity of those who benefit from citizens united.  Duh.
 
2013-11-26 10:27:09 AM  

ikanreed: pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."

Because that would either require an enormous grassroots movement or the complicity of those who benefit from citizens united.  Duh.


Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.
 
2013-11-26 10:29:01 AM  
Hey subby, this is from the 3rd paragraph of the article:

"failed to make federally required disclosures about business affiliations that stretch from Texas to the British Virgin Islands, and has provided no details about the business he claims as his sole source of income."

Now, do you see the part in there that says he was required by federal law to make those disclosures, and failed to do so? That's because the Citizens United decision didn't do *anything* to alter federal reporting requirements.

He's still required to report the source of income and campaign funds.  He's not doing that.  He's violating the law.  There is nothing going on here that has anything to do with CU.
 
2013-11-26 10:32:37 AM  
How ironic that the institution (SCOTUS) ostensibly empowered to keep corruption and imbalance from the three legs of American government is the institution that broke one of those legs off.
 
2013-11-26 10:38:29 AM  

pdee: Subby either link to an article that has some reference to citizens united or read up on the decision.


I'd always believed Citizens United was about sex for everyone, instead of leaving it just to the porn professionals. And the people who could pay for it.

m.brobible.com
 
2013-11-26 10:40:37 AM  

ikanreed: Wow, it sounds like here's a case of a politician genuinely participating in unambiguous mail fraud that would get you a dime in the real world.  With the party-first attitude of the republicans, we'll be lucky if he faces censure.


Sounds like he was one of the dudes who makes those "The Secret to ROCK HARD ABS that SCARES Nancy Pelosi to DEATH!" ads you see on WND.

http://www.thebaffler.com/past/the_long_con/
 
2013-11-26 10:41:51 AM  
East Texas embarrassment Stockman not filing? Colour me surprised.
 
2013-11-26 10:44:03 AM  
He's a grifter.
 
2013-11-26 10:44:19 AM  

Lost Thought 00: It's a violation of his first fifth amendment rights for you to know where and how he makes his money


FTFY
 
2013-11-26 10:45:10 AM  

pueblonative: ikanreed: pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."

Because that would either require an enormous grassroots movement or the complicity of those who benefit from citizens united.  Duh.

Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.


Can you put that in the form of a Facebook status that I can "share" or an email that I can forward to everyone in my contact list? I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get this done, as long as "whatever it takes" is me clicking a button on my computer.
 
2013-11-26 10:49:06 AM  

Obama's Reptiloid Master: He's also a profoundly stupid man. Like, you wonder how his autonomic functions continue without someone standing behind him saying, "breathe in. Heart beat. Breathe out."


Only one heart beat during a breath? Who does he think he is, Dick Cheney?
 
2013-11-26 11:01:07 AM  

mod3072: pueblonative: ikanreed: pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."

Because that would either require an enormous grassroots movement or the complicity of those who benefit from citizens united.  Duh.

Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.

Can you put that in the form of a Facebook status that I can "share" or an email that I can forward to everyone in my contact list? I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get this done, as long as "whatever it takes" is me clicking a button on my computer.


Supporting efforts like this would help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHTZVKKQCDo   Yeah, it takes a little more than doing a like or even an e-signature, but let's get it done.
 
2013-11-26 11:03:03 AM  
I am fine with corporation not being able to contribute as long it is all groups.

No Unions, No Moveon.org, no Greenpeace, etc.
 
2013-11-26 11:03:36 AM  

pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."


Because no one actually wants corporations stripped of their rights.  What some people want is to have corporations that they don't like stripped of their rights.

I seriously doubt that most of the people who claim to support such an amendment have thought through the potential consequences of stripping every corporation, LLC, and partnership (both for profit and non-profit) of their constitutionally protected rights.  What happens when the government subsequently passes a law making it a federal crime for corporations to speak or address political issues?  I doubt most people actually want for it to be constitutional to prohibit the ACLU (or the NAACP, or NFIB, or NOW, or AI, or whatever other non profit corporation you are sympathetic to) from criticizing the government, but that's what such an amendment would allow.

See also:  https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-and-citizens-united
 
2013-11-26 11:05:19 AM  

pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."


Because we'd be just as likely to get a Constitutional Amendment establishing that Jesus rode dinosaurs, that's why.
 
2013-11-26 11:09:49 AM  
Steve Stockman, LLC.


that has a nice ring to it.
 
2013-11-26 11:10:28 AM  
b-b-bb--bb---bbb-bbbut-but Demakrasy!!
 
2013-11-26 11:23:06 AM  

TheManMythLegend: I am fine with corporation not being able to contribute as long it is all groups.

No Unions, No Moveon.org, no Greenpeace, etc.


Special interests are fine as long as they are our special interests.
 
2013-11-26 11:25:12 AM  

Talondel: pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."

Because no one actually wants corporations stripped of their rights.  What some people want is to have corporations that they don't like stripped of their rights.

I seriously doubt that most of the people who claim to support such an amendment have thought through the potential consequences of stripping every corporation, LLC, and partnership (both for profit and non-profit) of their constitutionally protected rights.  What happens when the government subsequently passes a law making it a federal crime for corporations to speak or address political issues?  I doubt most people actually want for it to be constitutional to prohibit the ACLU (or the NAACP, or NFIB, or NOW, or AI, or whatever other non profit corporation you are sympathetic to) from criticizing the government, but that's what such an amendment would allow.

See also:  https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-and-citizens-united


Not if you frame corporate rights as only being inherent when the corporation having those rights does not cause a conflict with the rights of the constituents of that corporation. Or alternately, corporations have rights when they magnify constituents' rights.
 
2013-11-26 11:29:20 AM  

pdee: Subby either link to an article that has some reference to citizens united or read up on the decision.

While Im sure Steve Stockman is a colossal douche bag his salary from a fictitious corp has nothing to do with Citizens United.

BTW Im more comfortable with corporations buying advocacy advertizing for a candidate's reelection than corporations directly contributing to a candidate.  In the latter case the candidate can keep the money and pocket it after retiring.


Campaign funds do not work that way!

There are some things that a candidate can do with campaign funds while they are running that bleed heavily into personal use (luxury accomidations, fine foods, wine, and song all purchased in the name of campaigning) and a politician can use a large unspent warchest to exert influence in politics after they are ostensibly retired (transfering fund to other politicians or their primary opponents.) However, you can't just cash out, nor can you use funds for explicit personal use.

The problem with third party groups is that unlike with candidates there is no cap on individual donations to 527 groups (since ostensibly they are only involved in issue advocacy so there is less of a direct influence on potential candidates when you're just making commercials about gun control policies or enviromental regulations.) Now in the post-"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" era 527's are essentially "shadow campaigns" for different candidates, and with "Citizens United" the restrictions on corporate groups funding 527s is gone, leading to a situation where a lawyer can file incorporation paperwork for a client they are representing, the corporation can make a massive donation to a 527, and the corporation can dissolve itself before filing quarterly paperwork identifying their income/revenues/etc.
 
2013-11-26 11:30:53 AM  

Talondel: pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."

Because no one actually wants corporations stripped of their rights.  What some people want is to have corporations that they don't like stripped of their rights.

I seriously doubt that most of the people who claim to support such an amendment have thought through the potential consequences of stripping every corporation, LLC, and partnership (both for profit and non-profit) of their constitutionally protected rights.  What happens when the government subsequently passes a law making it a federal crime for corporations to speak or address political issues?  I doubt most people actually want for it to be constitutional to prohibit the ACLU (or the NAACP, or NFIB, or NOW, or AI, or whatever other non profit corporation you are sympathetic to) from criticizing the government, but that's what such an amendment would allow.

See also:  https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/aclu-and-citizens-united



Ok - you're not understanding the problem here.  The problem was that federal campaign finance / electioneering laws were already pretty weak, and did far too little to limit campaign spending.  Citizens United made the problem infinitely worse by invalidating those campaign finance/electioneering laws, based the majority's insanely preposterous conclusion that allowing superPACs to spend unlimited amounts, so long as they don't "directly" coordinate with a candidate's campaign (a limitation that is impossible to enforce), won't have a corrupting influence on politicians.

If you are actually going to argue that allowing unlimited campaign spending does not have a corrupting influence on our politics, then you need to get your head examined.  The problem is that by equating money to speech, the Supreme Court essentially endorsed the idea that the rich should speak with the loudest voice when it comes to politics.  And now we have an entire cottage industry propped up by absurd amounts of campaign spending, which constantly bombards the public with half-truths and political propaganda.  Nobody in their right mind can look at the current state of our politics and conclude that it is healthy.
 
2013-11-26 11:34:21 AM  

TheManMythLegend: I am fine with corporation not being able to contribute as long it is all groups.

No Unions, No Moveon.org, no Greenpeace, etc.


Sounds good to me.  Let's get money out of politics as much as possible.
 
2013-11-26 11:35:51 AM  

Sgt Otter: ikanreed: Wow, it sounds like here's a case of a politician genuinely participating in unambiguous mail fraud that would get you a dime in the real world.  With the party-first attitude of the republicans, we'll be lucky if he faces censure.

Sounds like he was one of the dudes who makes those "The Secret to ROCK HARD ABS that SCARES Nancy Pelosi to DEATH!" ads you see on WND.

http://www.thebaffler.com/past/the_long_con/


Actually he is just helping them promote some book on impeaching Obama at the moment, I'm not sure if that is better or worse than you imagined though.
 
2013-11-26 11:42:37 AM  
Another unintended consquence of stupidly equating money = free speech.
 
2013-11-26 11:51:47 AM  
Look, he probably just did some freelancing for a company that had a contract with a company that supplies services to a charitable organization.

Charities have expenses too, you know. Getting good, talented people takes money.

Prosecuting this fine, upstanding, altruistuc man just because he works for a charity would be like prosecuting charity itself! Why do fark libs hate charity so much?

// granted, the charity was probably Steve Stockman's Charity for Scaring Old People into Giving us Money.com, and the company was probably Steve Stockman's Direct Mailing to Nursing Homes, LLC, and the services were probably "consulting". But really, if you have a problem with this, you have a problem with America.
 
2013-11-26 11:54:03 AM  
Imagine that; unlimited money corrupting the process. Color me shocked.
 
DGS [TotalFark]
2013-11-26 12:02:03 PM  
I am incredibly surprised. It is shocking. Stunning, event. Outrageous. I am flabbergasted.
 
2013-11-26 12:06:45 PM  

HeartBurnKid: TheManMythLegend: I am fine with corporation not being able to contribute as long it is all groups.

No Unions, No Moveon.org, no Greenpeace, etc.

Sounds good to me.  Let's get money out of politics as much as possible.



There is a HUGE difference between groups advocating specific policy reform, and groups whose sole purpose is to spend massive sums of money every election cycle to get their donors' preferred candidates elected.  The former is focused on substantive policy, whereas the latter is focused on electioneering.

And on top of this, Citizens United caused a huge disclosure problem.  Currently, all sorts of shady nonprofits have been set up (like Karl Rove's), that refuse to disclose their donor lists.  Federal law doesn't require full disclosure of the donors, because Congressional republicans are so drunk on campaign cash that they killed the DISCLOSE Act (which itself is extremely insufficient as far as reigning in citizens united, but better than nothing).

Mitch McConnell actually stood up and argued, with a straight face, that the DISCLOSE Act would result in innocent rich people and corporations being "demonized" for nothing more than the purely innocent act of funneling millions of dollars into shady political organizations to influence elections and get their preferred candidates elected.  Really?

In other words, he's saying - with his eyes full of crocodile tears - that these wealthy donors (who already have massive undue influence over our politicians and legislative process), should not only be allowed to spend as much as they want to buy their politician of choice, but shouldn't have to disclose that fact, because doing so it might cause them to get bad PR?  Seriously?  That truly reaches new heights of absurdity, and illustrates how ridiculously corrupt our system already is.

Seriously - McConnell basically argued that anti-bribery laws are bad because they infringe on a person's right to bribe politicians (after all, money = speech), and then took it one step further by saying that the police shouldn't even be entitled to investigate who provided the bribe money, because that would lead to the public unfairly "demonizing" that person.

That, my friends, is the current GOP's view of how our government should work. They're a pay-to-play party, plain and simple. And the dems aren't much better (I'll at least give them credit for not shamelessly fellating their wealthy donors like the republicans do).  If you need any insight as to why our system is so incredibly broken and dysfunctional, just follow the political cash.
 
2013-11-26 12:14:33 PM  
This is just a witch hunt because he supports the Tea Party.  We all know that Teabaggers need protected class status, to prevent this kind of undue persecution.
 
2013-11-26 12:26:36 PM  

DGS: I am incredibly surprised. It is shocking. Stunning, event. Outrageous. I am flabbergasted.


did they ever ban you from commenting on his facebook? We had some good ones on there. I owe you for that :D
 
2013-11-26 12:26:54 PM  
Has anyone pointed out this has absolutely nothing to do with Citizens United?
 
2013-11-26 12:27:20 PM  

Chummer45: Ok - you're not understanding the problem here.  The problem was that federal campaign finance / electioneering laws were already pretty weak, and did far too little to limit campaign spending.  Citizens United made the problem infinitely worse by invalidating those campaign finance/electioneering laws, based the majority's insanely preposterous conclusion that allowing superPACs to spend unlimited amounts, so long as they don't "directly" coordinate with a candidate's campaign (a limitation that is impossible to enforce), won't have a corrupting influence on politicians.

If you are actually going to argue that allowing unlimited campaign spending does not have a corrupting influence on our politics, then you need to get your head examined.  The problem is that by equating money to speech, the Supreme Court essentially endorsed the idea that the rich should speak with the loudest voice when it comes to politics.  And now we have an entire cottage industry propped up by absurd amounts of campaign spending, which constantly bombards the public with half-truths and political propaganda.  Nobody in their right mind can look at the current state of our politics and conclude that it is healthy.


No, you're not understanding (or reading) the post I'm responding to.  The post I responded to clearly stated that the problem was that the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional rights of corporations:

"no, corporations are not people"

There are a large number of people, including many in this thread, that seem to think the solution is a constitutional amendment that makes it clear that the Bill of Rights applies only to individuals.  Such an amendment would be disastrous, for the reasons already posted.

Your complaint is different, and is not one that I addressed.  However, it is addressed in the ACLU page I linked to.  I will summarize your complaint as the "money is not speech" argument.  This problem has virtually nothing to do with the "corporations should not have rights" argument addressed above.  For example, Charles Koch doesn't need to use a corporation to influence elections, because he has billions of his own money he can use as an individual.

The problem with the "money is not speech" problem is that there is no solution to that problem that is not some combination of being completely useless or a clear violation of the 1st Amendment.  It's easy to restrict how much money you can give to a candidate.  There are plenty of laws like this, and they are routinely upheld as constitutional.  The problem is they're also useless because they're trivial to circumvent.  Instead of giving money to a Candidate X to pay for a billboard.  I can just go out and buy a bill board that says "Vote for Candidate X."  If you try to ban expenditures that directly support or oppose a particular candidate, you start to run into Constitutional problems, and you still haven't fixed the problem.  Instead of a "Vote for Candidate X" billboard I can put up a "Candidate X Loves Kittens. Candidate Y Punches Kittens.  Vote to protect Kittens."  Now, how do you ban that billboard, without banning any and all commentary about political issues?  By the time you craft a law broad enough to stop me from spending money to support the candidate I want, you've also banned books about that candidate or issues they support, etc.  (or, you know is could suddenly become a federal crime to make a documentary filmcriticizing a potential presidential candidate).
 
DGS [TotalFark]
2013-11-26 12:30:44 PM  

somedude210: DGS: I am incredibly surprised. It is shocking. Stunning, event. Outrageous. I am flabbergasted.

did they ever ban you from commenting on his facebook? We had some good ones on there. I owe you for that :D


Yep, I got banned from his page. I kept seeing people crying out IMPEACH and kept asking for the Congressman to answer the call from his constituents on when he would would impeach and specifically on what grounds.
 
2013-11-26 12:31:03 PM  

Serious Black: Not if you frame corporate rights as only being inherent when the corporation having those rights does not cause a conflict with the rights of the constituents of that corporation. Or alternately, corporations have rights when they magnify constituents' rights.


It will always be true that a corporation's rights will not conflict with the rights of the individuals in that corporation, because the individual always has the right to withdraw from the corporation.  If the ACLU takes a position I disagree with, I can cancel my membership in the ACLU.
 
2013-11-26 12:35:10 PM  

pueblonative: And why haven't we scheduled an Article V convention to fix this crap?  I know schedules are tight around Christmas and all, but having an Amendment that says to the five chucklefarks in black muumuuus, "no, corporations are not people, stop using a misquote of a previous SCOTUS decision to enshrine American aristocracy."


Are you KIDDING? The GOP wrecked our government over paying our bills. Do you honestly want them anywhere near influencing what would go into the CONSTITUTION?
 
2013-11-26 12:38:39 PM  

Talondel: Serious Black: Not if you frame corporate rights as only being inherent when the corporation having those rights does not cause a conflict with the rights of the constituents of that corporation. Or alternately, corporations have rights when they magnify constituents' rights.

It will always be true that a corporation's rights will not conflict with the rights of the individuals in that corporation, because the individual always has the right to withdraw from the corporation.  If the ACLU takes a position I disagree with, I can cancel my membership in the ACLU.


Oh, so if Boeing's leadership commits a massive fraud and decides to cover it up, their hundreds of thousands of employees can just up and quit their jobs all at once and let the board of directors exercise their 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves? Yeah, that seems real plausible.
 
2013-11-26 01:02:03 PM  

Serious Black: Oh, so if Boeing's leadership commits a massive fraud and decides to cover it up, their hundreds of thousands of employees can just up and quit their jobs all at once and let the board of directors exercise their 5th Amendment right to not incriminate themselves? Yeah, that seems real plausible.


There's nothing about that example that has a corporation exercising constitutionally protect rights.  Just individuals.  They would be able to exercise that right even if there was a 'corporations aren't people' amendment, because, well, they're people.

Also, even under the current version of the Constitution, directors and corporate officials may not use the 5th Amendment to prevent themselves from being forced to testify about crimes committed by the corporation.  The 5th amendment applies only to testimonial evidence against self incrimination.  See generally  Doe v. United States, 487 U.S. 201, 108 S. Ct. 2341 (1988).

There are numerous other problems with your hypo, but I've no time to explain the rest.
 
2013-11-26 04:21:34 PM  

The Larch: Look, he probably just did some freelancing for a company that had a contract with a company that supplies services to a charitable organization.

Charities have expenses too, you know. Getting good, talented people takes money.

Prosecuting this fine, upstanding, altruistuc man just because he works for a charity would be like prosecuting charity itself! Why do fark libs hate charity so much?

// granted, the charity was probably Steve Stockman's Charity for Scaring Old People into Giving us Money.com, and the company was probably Steve Stockman's Direct Mailing to Nursing Homes, LLC, and the services were probably "consulting". But really, if you have a problem with this, you have a problem with America.


This sounds pretty good for our economy! Getting people working again is bad somehow?
 
2013-11-26 05:37:02 PM  
Stockman may be a nutcase, but his followers are actually worse.
 
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