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(Washington Post) NewsFlash US Supreme Court: The Constitution created a plutocracy, duh   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 815
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18201 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2014 at 12:07 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»


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2014-04-02 12:36:47 PM

AliceBToklasLives: But it is insane to claim that there is some kind of equivalence between the $1,000 I could spend to express my free speech and the $50,000,000 that George Soros

  could spend to express his free speech.


So it's more of an "it's not faaaaaaaaaaair" argument.
.
 
2014-04-02 12:36:48 PM
media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com
 
2014-04-02 12:36:50 PM
The court has ruled, in its infinite wisdom, that the rich and poor alike are free to donate 3.6 million to political candidates.
 
2014-04-02 12:37:16 PM
Should be noted:

The decision did not affect the limit an individual may contribute to a specific candidate, currently $2,600.

You still can't contribute more than $2600 directly to a single candidate, this just means that you can give $2600 to as many separate candidates as you want. Still not cool, but not quite the "buy a politician" line people are acting like.
 
2014-04-02 12:37:21 PM

keylock71: Absolutely disgusting... But not surprising. We've been a Plutocracy with a thin façade of Democracy for a long time now.


That's why the "Founders" set up a republic.  Most of them hated democracy, hated the demos.  But of course we venerate them like ancient lawgivers, so we can't talk about that.
 
2014-04-02 12:37:31 PM
Biggest spenders in the country? Teacher's unions. Support Democrats. Why no outrage there, libs?

FL recent election? Dems outspent the pub by what, 5 times over? Why no outrage there?

Hippiecrits, all it is.
 
2014-04-02 12:37:47 PM

SilentStrider: And yet people laugh at Occupy for being pissed off about the politic system.


Just the idiots and partisans.  Everyone else seems to have a basic understanding that only movement politics is capable of producing systemic change in this country.
 
2014-04-02 12:38:11 PM

AliceBToklasLives: Dancin_In_Anson: Teiritzamna: Unfortunately the most liberal justice in the history of the court held 30 years ago that that is not a legitimate interest of the government trumping the first amendment.

Forget it, man. No one is listening.

No dude, we get that spending money in pursuance of free speech is part of that free speech.  But it is insane to claim that there is some kind of equivalence between the $1,000 I could spend to express my free speech and the $50,000,000 that one of the Koch brothers could spend to express his free speech.


Is there a constitutional requirement for speech to be equal?  I hate the way this stuff is going too, and wish we could address it in an amendment, but logically I'm not sure they are wrong here.  As far is if this is a result that will help or hurt most people, I think that is rather clear, but the court isn't really supposed to judge based on anticipated results.
 
2014-04-02 12:38:20 PM

qorkfiend: Miss Alexandra: I think what needs to be done--and yeah, I know, it's a pipe dream--everyone who's registered to vote should vote for anyone EXCEPT Republicans and Democrats.  Write someone's name in if you want, so long as the person meets the qualifications for the office in question.  The objective here is to get the current crop of Congress critters out of office.  (Say that rapidly a few times.)

Why are we lumping all current members of Congress into the same boat, regardless of their actual positions and actions, and why are we assuming that their replacements will be superior in any way? Without changing the underlying incentives, Congress would attract the exact same kinds of people as it currently does.


You have a point there.

Thing is our current representatives in general do not represent We the People.  You have Congress critters who tell you what their stand is on a given issue, but their voting record says the opposite.  It's not so much what they say but what they do (or how they vote).

It would be nice if we could get a new batch in, so to speak--and this time hold their feet to the fire.  You don't do the will of your constituents?  You're outta here!  And people need to educate themselves instead of being so blasted apathetic.

Part of the problem does lie with We the People.  We need to be more vigilant.  "Hey, Congressman So-and-So...you said your position was this, why are you voting the complete opposite?"  And we need to go back to paper ballots--and voters can watch the ballots being counted.  I for one do not trust those electronic ballots.  There's a saying, it's not the votes that count, but he who counts the votes.

As it stands, we have a Republican/Democrat duopoly.  And with not a dime's worth of difference between them, at least not at the national level, and probably not at the state level.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-02 12:38:32 PM

Mikey1969: Should be noted:

The decision did not affect the limit an individual may contribute to a specific candidate, currently $2,600.

You still can't contribute more than $2600 directly to a single candidate, this just means that you can give $2600 to as many separate candidates as you want. Still not cool, but not quite the "buy a politician" line people are acting like.


If you can't see why donating $2600 to several hundred candidates isn't a problem I don't know what to tell you.

Again, why should one be allowed to donate to candidates one can't vote for?
 
2014-04-02 12:38:42 PM
img.fark.net
 
2014-04-02 12:40:06 PM
How is this a step in the right direction? Bunch of savage farking baboons.
 
2014-04-02 12:40:24 PM
Meh, bribery is for the little people.  Once you get into the millions it counts as free speech.
 
2014-04-02 12:40:26 PM

Stile4aly: The court has ruled, in its infinite wisdom, that the rich and poor alike are free to donate 3.6 million to political candidates.


Hmm.

It costs X to buy power.  You can pool resources, or pay for it yourself.

So, really, it's basically giving large numbers of poor people the same amount of political power as a small number of rich people.

That sounds a lot like House of Lords and the House of Commons, or how our Congress and Senate were conceived.
 
2014-04-02 12:40:40 PM
Awforchrissakes! Revolution is just around the corner. Heads on pikes. Bodies in the bay. It's coming, baby.
 
2014-04-02 12:40:46 PM
Coconut Approved Solution

Campaigning for president/congress can start a maximum of 18 months prior to the election date.  The government allots 1 billion dollars to a presidential campaign, 5 million for a senate campaign, and 1 million for a representative campaign.  At the start of each month, the government distributes 1/18th of the fund * their percent of likely voters to each candidate.

For example:  Obama is polling at 45% of likely voters, Romney is polling at 43%, Gary Johnson at 5%, Jill Stein at 3%.  Obama would get 25 million to spend that month, Romney would get about 24 million, Gary about 2.7 million, and Jill about 1.8 million.  The remaining money is distributed evenly, and hell, everyone on the ballot gets an extra five million too.

No additional money may be spent on the campaign, and every campaign advertisement must be accounted for.  Prohibit third party attack ads.

Constitutionally, I agree with the SCOTUS, but we do need to fix it.  We need an amendment.
 
2014-04-02 12:40:54 PM

Teiritzamna: Serious Black: Fortunately, if SCOTUS issues a wrong opinion, they can change their mind later and overturn that opinion in a later case.

Oh sure - I am just saying if the lion of supreme court liberalism was on the side of Roberts and Thomas, its gonna be an uphill slog to do so.


Except that same liberal justice would have laughed at the reasoning of Citizen's United and would never have considered the idea of corporations having a free speech right. Accordingly, he may just have changed his ruling with that consideration (unlike our current idiot brigade).
 
2014-04-02 12:41:12 PM
I'm not quite sure what the conservative position on this is.

1) Rich people ought to have more of an influence on politics than poor people.

2) All people should have an equal influence on politics, but the price to make that happen is too high.

3) People actually do have an equal influence on politics, and these restrictions are therefore unnecessary.

It's supposed to be #2, right?
 
2014-04-02 12:41:14 PM
So, if money is political speech, rich guys have a lot more political speech than you do.

Top Romney and Obama donors, from Politico.
 
2014-04-02 12:41:34 PM

Delta1212: Well shiat

/on reflection and further reading, this is less dire than I originally thought
//Still, well shiat


That is just because people haven't come up with creative ideas to exploit it yet.  Look forward to groups with common interests that expressly donate together.  1 dude donating the max won't make someone flip their vote.  When a group donates to a large number and their issues comes up, saying 'hey we have 10,000 donors that will either donate to you or your next opponent.  Why don't you sit the fark down and listen to what we'd like you to do for a second' goes a long long way.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-02 12:41:54 PM

DamnYankees: I'm not quite sure what the conservative position on this is.

1) Rich people ought to have more of an influence on politics than poor people.

2) All people should have an equal influence on politics, but the price to make that happen is too high.

3) People actually do have an equal influence on politics, and these restrictions are therefore unnecessary.

It's supposed to be #2, right?


The current GOP position is #1, but make it look like #2.
 
2014-04-02 12:42:40 PM

SphericalTime: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?

/Koch suckers

I presume.  I only see 4 on the opinion, but there has to be one more.


Thomas concurred with some inane Thomas theory about property rights.
 
2014-04-02 12:42:51 PM

Latinwolf: SphericalTime: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?

/Koch suckers

I presume.  I only see 4 on the opinion, but there has to be one more.

FTA:
Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined Roberts. Justice Clarence Thomas provided the crucial fifth vote for overturning the limits, but said the others should have gone further to strike all contribution limits.

I see 5.


I was reading the summary of the opinion, which divides it up into 3 different sections, with Thomas listed separately.  Yes, overall, it has to have been 5.
 
2014-04-02 12:42:53 PM

Marcus Aurelius: John Roberts just said that money doesn't corrupt politics.

He sounds utterly corrupt.


No, he said that First Amendment concerns override safeguards against corruption in politics. You can't stop Sheldon Adelson maxing out contributions to two thirds of Congress right before they vote on gambling regulations, but hey: if you can prove quid pro quo beyond a reasonable doubt you can convict them of corruption.

I absolutely disagree with the ruling and think it's ridiculous, but Roberts does concede that money does corrupt politics. He just argues that there is nothing you can do to prevent such influence beyond contribution caps on individual races (and Clarence Thomas claims even those are unconstitutional.)
 
2014-04-02 12:42:54 PM

AliceBToklasLives: Dancin_In_Anson: Teiritzamna: Unfortunately the most liberal justice in the history of the court held 30 years ago that that is not a legitimate interest of the government trumping the first amendment.

Forget it, man. No one is listening.

No dude, we get that spending money in pursuance of free speech is part of that free speech.  But it is insane to claim that there is some kind of equivalence between the $1,000 I could spend to express my free speech and the $50,000,000 that one of the Koch brothers could spend to express his free speech.


In this particular instance, the Koch brothers couldn't spend that much on contributions to individual candidates and the party national committees if they wanted to. This was purely about the aggregate limit to individual candidates. PAC money is a whole different issue than what was before the Court. If some rich guy wants to contribute the individual maximum to a candidate for every seat in the House, Senate (well, one third, since those are all that are up in any two year cycle) and President (every other go around), that's not going to add up to $50 million for the two of them.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-02 12:43:02 PM

JungleBoogie: So, if money is political speech, rich guys have a lot more political speech than you do.

Top Romney and Obama donors, from Politico.


I think that's precisely the flaw in the argument... and why the "money = speech" argument is such tortured logic.
 
2014-04-02 12:43:08 PM

NickelP: Is there a constitutional requirement for speech to be equal?


Ooooh.

No.  It doesn't say that.  It doesn't say that everyone has an equal right to be heard.

Only that congress can't make laws that abridge speech.

And limiting campaign contributions can be seen as doing just that, I guess.
 
Jha
2014-04-02 12:43:11 PM
Putting a limit on campaign contributions is anti-freedom.

So many freedom haters on Fark, which is the status-quo.
 
2014-04-02 12:43:47 PM

MattStafford: At the start of each month, the government distributes 1/18th of the fund * their percent of likely voters to each candidate.


Whoa whoa whoa. Why are we giving the people in the lead an advantage?
 
2014-04-02 12:43:50 PM
So about ridding ourselves of "campaign contributions" (aka bribery) altogether in favor of publicly funded elections...
 
2014-04-02 12:43:55 PM
When Leona Helmsley said "We don't pay taxes, only the little people pay taxes." in the 80s, she was immediately taken down. If she said this today, she'd get a standing ovation at CPAC.
 
2014-04-02 12:44:13 PM
Revolution: Part 2
 
2014-04-02 12:44:15 PM
Still think there's no difference who's elected president? President's from what party appointed the justices voted for this? Justices from which party voted against this?
 
2014-04-02 12:44:30 PM

d23: JungleBoogie: So, if money is political speech, rich guys have a lot more political speech than you do.

Top Romney and Obama donors, from Politico.

I think that's precisely the flaw in the argument... and why the "money = speech" argument is such tortured logic.


Money is a tool. Using it to be heard is protected.
 
2014-04-02 12:45:19 PM

bglove25: Except that same liberal justice would have laughed at the reasoning of Citizen's United and would never have considered the idea of corporations having a free speech right. Accordingly, he may just have changed his ruling with that consideration (unlike our current idiot brigade).


I am honestly not sure about Brennan's reaction to CU, as his position was almost always the expansion of rights and CU is heavily based on Buckley as well. 

As to McCutcheon, I am glad Breyer actually got his shiat together for this dissent, it is a corker:

"What has this to do with corruption? It has everything to do with corruption. Corruption breaks the constitutionally necessary "chain of communication" between the people and their representatives. It derails the essential speech-to-government-action tie. Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard. Insofar as corruption cuts the link between political thought and political action, a free marketplace of political ideas loses its point." Slip Op. at 57 (J. Breyer, Dissent)
 
2014-04-02 12:45:26 PM
You know, I had a whole rant ready, and upon reflection, there really is only one response: this is just pants on head rucking fetarded...
 
2014-04-02 12:45:41 PM

chapman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?

/Koch suckers

Yes. Somebody needs to stop those Koch Bros from spending so much money, I mean just look at this list of top donors and how the Koch Bros insidiously don't even make the top 25:

[scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net image 514x480]


The list now covers 1989 through 2014.  It appears you didn't bother to read or comprehend the disclaimer and explanation from the Center for Responsive Politics / OpenSecrets about their "heavy hitters" (Highlights and [] below are mine...) :  https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

"This list includes the organizations that have historically qualified as "heavy hitters" - groups that lobby and spend big, with large sums sent to candidates, parties and leadership PACs. Individuals and organizations have been able to make extremely large donations to outside spending groups in the last few years. While contributions to outside groups like super PACs do not factor into an organization's designation as a "heavy hitter" (a listing of about 150 groups), those numbers are included for the roster below.

For example, this list does not include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife Miriam donated nearly $93 million in 2012 alone to conservative super PACs - enough to put him at No. 2 on this list [ygd: in one year even though the list covers 25 years of contributions...]. Similarly, the list excludes former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated more than $19 million in the past two years, largely to groups that support gun control. Neither Adelson nor Bloomberg - or the organizations they report as their employers - qualifies as a "heavy hitter" under our current definition. It's also important to note that we aren't including donations to politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers, or the liberal group Patriot Majority - because these groups hide their donors; see a list of top donors that we've been able to identify to such groups. We are working to revise this list to take into account the new realities of campaign finance created by the Citizens United decision, but as it currently stands, there are significant omissions.

It is also worth noting that certain organizations, such as ActBlue and Club for Growth, are included although they function for the most part as pass-through entities: individual donors give to them with the contributions earmarked for specific candidates."
 
2014-04-02 12:45:44 PM

Churchy LaFemme: SO now it's a giant money war where we all feel compelled to combat the other side's money with our own money.  Millions and billions thrown away in a political pissing match.

What an incredible economic waste...


All that money goes into the economy, so technically it's not "wasted". Advertisers, event managers, I don't know who else, all profit. This actually helps spread the wealth and stimulates the economy.

Fun to think that the Kochs' big spending on propaganda and real efforts to stymie the Recovery under Obama probably help speed it up.
 
2014-04-02 12:45:46 PM

Miss Alexandra: I think what needs to be done--and yeah, I know, it's a pipe dream--everyone who's registered to vote should vote for anyone EXCEPT Republicans and Democrats.  Write someone's name in if you want, so long as the person meets the qualifications for the office in question.  The objective here is to get the current crop of Congress critters out of office.  (Say that rapidly a few times.)


Wrong. That mentality is why we are in this mess. Votes for Nader beget Bush, which beget Roberts and Alito who shat this vile decision out of their asses.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-02 12:46:07 PM

R.A.Danny: d23: JungleBoogie: So, if money is political speech, rich guys have a lot more political speech than you do.

Top Romney and Obama donors, from Politico.

I think that's precisely the flaw in the argument... and why the "money = speech" argument is such tortured logic.

Money is a tool. Using it to be heard is protected.


Bullshiat.  The argument IMPLIES that the rich person should have more speech than you do.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:13 PM

R.A.Danny: Money is a tool.


Money is power.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:20 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?

/Koch suckers


Clarence Thomas would eagerly overturn the 13th Amendment if given a chance, and then sing a happy song as he's lead off in chains to work in Masshuh David Koch's plantations.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:22 PM

Nabb1: AliceBToklasLives: Dancin_In_Anson: Teiritzamna: Unfortunately the most liberal justice in the history of the court held 30 years ago that that is not a legitimate interest of the government trumping the first amendment.

Forget it, man. No one is listening.

No dude, we get that spending money in pursuance of free speech is part of that free speech.  But it is insane to claim that there is some kind of equivalence between the $1,000 I could spend to express my free speech and the $50,000,000 that one of the Koch brothers could spend to express his free speech.

In this particular instance, the Koch brothers couldn't spend that much on contributions to individual candidates and the party national committees if they wanted to. This was purely about the aggregate limit to individual candidates. PAC money is a whole different issue than what was before the Court. If some rich guy wants to contribute the individual maximum to a candidate for every seat in the House, Senate (well, one third, since those are all that are up in any two year cycle) and President (every other go around), that's not going to add up to $50 million for the two of them.


Yes - the example I provided is more relevant to Citizens United, not this ruling.  But the basic principle is the same.  I can spend $1,000 on a political candidate, but for millions of folks even that much money is realistically beyond their means.  Do I deserve more of a voice than someone working a minimum-wage job?
 
2014-04-02 12:46:35 PM

d23: Mikey1969: Should be noted:

The decision did not affect the limit an individual may contribute to a specific candidate, currently $2,600.

You still can't contribute more than $2600 directly to a single candidate, this just means that you can give $2600 to as many separate candidates as you want. Still not cool, but not quite the "buy a politician" line people are acting like.

If you can't see why donating $2600 to several hundred candidates isn't a problem I don't know what to tell you.

Again, why should one be allowed to donate to candidates one can't vote for?


I'm always leery when someone replies to a post this quick. Usually means that they didn't actually read my post. I'm saying that the people who think this is removing contribution limits for single politicians are wrong. I highlighted, bolded, enlarged and underlined the part where I mentioned that this still isn't a cool decision.

Besides, the limit they removed was like $126,000 total anyway, that's a lot of politicians to begin with.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:43 PM
img3.wikia.nocookie.net

Plutocracy? I'm not taking anymore orders from a dog. Last time I did, I lost my job at the post office and some guy named Newman stole my mail bag.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:48 PM

NickelP: That is just because people haven't come up with creative ideas to exploit it yet.  Look forward to groups with common interests that expressly donate together.  1 dude donating the max won't make someone flip their vote.  When a group donates to a large number and their issues comes up, saying 'hey we have 10,000 donors that will either donate to you or your next opponent.  Why don't you sit the fark down and listen to what we'd like you to do for a second' goes a long long way.


Well, the point that was brought up by one of the dissenting opinions is that in effect, the aggregate effect of a bunch of rich guys being uncapped as to number of candidates is the same thing as uncapping as to individual candidates.  If enough guys get together and spread around enough money to get 8 million to each candidate.  How is that any different from donating 8 million to one candidate directly?  There is a grain of truth to that.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:53 PM
Unfortunately nothing will change, for you see people are cretins. They will protest if you get their food wrong, cancel their TV show, insult their sports team, but take away their liberties...no one cares.
 
2014-04-02 12:46:53 PM

Grungehamster: I absolutely disagree with the ruling and think it's ridiculous, but Roberts does concede that money does corrupt politics. He just argues that there is nothing you can do to prevent such influence beyond contribution caps on individual races (and Clarence Thomas claims even those are unconstitutional.)


Yup.

Also Jesus Thomas, outside of a few patent opinions, you are always the crazy guy in the corner.  Doesn't that bother you?
 
2014-04-02 12:46:55 PM
Campaign Finance Reform could be handled in one of two methods - perhaps both.

1.  Donations can only be accepted from registered voters.  If you haven't registered to vote you have elected to not have your voice heard.

2.  Donate as much as you'd like but all donations enter a single pool and all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, can apply for funding.  The amount you're eligible for will depend on the position (Governor, Senator, President, County Clerk, etc.) you're running for and your opposition will receive a like amount.

PAC's, Unions, SIG's, etc. are the biggest detriment we have to fair and equitable representation, spanning the divide between classes, promoting the poor and needy, balancing the budget and just about all other struggles we have.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-02 12:46:57 PM

MrBallou: All that money goes into the economy, so technically it's not "wasted". Advertisers, event managers, I don't know who else, all profit. This actually helps spread the wealth and stimulates the economy.


Yeah... ask that guy with the "will work for food" sign how that is working out for him.
 
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