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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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18205 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2014 at 12:07 PM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»


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2014-04-02 01:34:20 PM  

DeaH: Contrabulous Flabtraption: DeaH: Contrabulous Flabtraption: DeaH: Contrabulous Flabtraption: I hate this ruling but it is technically correct (the best kind of correct.jpg). Our system isn't perfect and this is one of its baked-in flaws. But it IS what is right according to the Constitution.

Please point me to the exact place in the Constitution that says money is speech.

Show me where it says it is not.

So everything not mentioned is speech? Do you really want to go with that?

That's what the court is for. I'm just saying this is how the system was designed. It's not perfect by any stretch.

So, the court decided that money was speech, not the Constitution. If there had been one more Democrat-appointed justice on the bench, this decision would not be made. What is happening here is not a fault of the Constitution. It is the fault of a party. And removing that party from power is our only hope now for maintaining of a semblance of our nation.


... and the sooner we get the Democrats out of power, the better ... right?
 
2014-04-02 01:34:34 PM  

Road Rash: Regardless of how much money is spent in politics, money won't actually, literally buy votes unless the electorate decides to let their vote be bought. George Soros could spend 2 billion dollars over the next two years, and he probably will, but it won't mean a thing if people decide they don't want to vote what he stands for.


Never underestimate the gullibility of the public to mass marketing campaigns.  We are like 5 year olds seeing adds for cerial/branded toys.
 
2014-04-02 01:34:52 PM  
sendtodave:
How will people with no money or power change the world?  Other than following someone with money and power, I mean?

By voting.
 
2014-04-02 01:35:19 PM  
I would argue that an ignorant electorate is the actual problem here, not the amount of money spent.  We're still the ones voting these people into office.  We do it for various reasons: because of advertising, to prevent the 'other guy' from winning, or being genuinely fooled into thinking that the mainstream candidate represents us and our best interests.

In the last election, there were several candidates on the ballot who would never get into the national spotlight because of lack of funding, but I took an hour or two before voting to read up on each, and decide which one I would most like to represent me.

Leveling the playing field would be great, but so long as people aren't willing to put even this minimal effort into deciding who to vote for, it won't make a bit of difference.
 
2014-04-02 01:35:21 PM  
This plutocracy brought to you by Goerge W Bush and the GOP
 
2014-04-02 01:35:39 PM  
There is a perverse part of me that wishes the Supreme Court sided with Thomas' interpretation, just because of the alternative we have now with or without this ruling. In 2012 SuperPACs were responsible for over half a billion dollars in campaigning. There is no campaign cap for these groups, and they get the bonus that if they ever go too far in sliming their preferred candidate's opponent there is no "I am ______________ and I approve this message" disclaimer needed and your candidate can distance themselves. These groups can't coordinate, but the safeguards against doing it are so paper thin that it would be nigh-impossible to get caught if you knew the law. Sure the corruption involved in these gigantic campaign spending exercises wouldn't be improved by it, but it's not like there is the political will to put the toothpaste back in the tube as far as these groups are concerned. At least make it so the candidates have an equal footing with those groups going forward.
 
2014-04-02 01:36:15 PM  
The filthy rich are only allowed to cast just one vote. That's it. No matter how many bazillions you have in offshore accounts, it's just one vote. Period.

So long as that law still applies, they are allowed to live.

Once they start trying to pull some "one million dollars per vote" sh*t, out come the torches and guillotines.
 
2014-04-02 01:36:52 PM  

Saiga410: Road Rash: Regardless of how much money is spent in politics, money won't actually, literally buy votes unless the electorate decides to let their vote be bought. George Soros could spend 2 billion dollars over the next two years, and he probably will, but it won't mean a thing if people decide they don't want to vote what he stands for.

Never underestimate the gullibility of the public to mass marketing campaigns.  We are like 5 year olds seeing adds for cerial/branded toys.


not to mention that assertion rests on the idea that it is all D v R things.  There are plenty of issues both sides are happy to fark common people on for the rich donors.  There are also many rich donors that gives to both sides.  They don't give a shiat if a R or D wins, they just want whoever wins to look out for their issues.
 
2014-04-02 01:37:04 PM  

DeaH: So, the court decided that money was speech, not the Constitution. If there had been one more Democrat-appointed justice on the bench, this decision would not be made. What is happening here is not a fault of the Constitution. It is the fault of a party. And removing that party from power is our only hope now for maintaining of a semblance of our nation.


As far as I recall, all nine justices in Buckley held that the expenditure of money was generally protected under the first amendment.  Whether the government could regulate that under the many tangled exceptions/tests of first amendment jurisprudence was the question.
 
2014-04-02 01:37:12 PM  

Teiritzamna: The First Amendment is a negative right - a restriction against government meddling in speech. Thus it could be (and has been) argued that the first amendment doesn't mandate any fairness with regard to the effectiveness of expression. We are not all made to talk as softly as the quietest man, nor dance as poorly as the most uncoordinated. Instead, the First Amendment is generally viewed to prevent only the government from farking with the game.


I understand your argument, and I understand what the court decided in Citizens.  But you and they missing the broader picture that has been carefully explained in decisions for the last century.  Courts have held for generations that limiting the funding of political activity is a compelling governmental interest for the preservation of the fundamental nature of republicanism.  This Court has radically expanded corporate rights and Buckley, and wholly disavowed the long-held finding that on its face, the application of money to politics threatens to distort the equality of governance.

You also need to extrapolate your argument to anonymous political speech. This leads to the the crux of why your and their arguments are constitutionally invalid.  Under the precedents laid down to today and Citizen's, they have effectively raised the bar so high for what they would consider a compelling governmental interest to regulate political spending, that disclosure requirements writ large, are doomed. If the government cannot regulate speech as you have explained and the court has decided, then it may not interfere with anonymous political speech either, for the same reasons cited.  It would be impossible to preserve the constitutional nature of government under such a system.  You are essentially arguing that preserving the money as speech protections awarded by this court are more important than preserving the character of the carefully structured government itself.  It's a silly argument that only a lawyer can make with a straight face, and one that was routinely rejected by courts across the land for the hundred years before this one.
 
2014-04-02 01:37:33 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]


That's how much was donated to each candidate, not how much was spent. Direct anti-candidate campaigning is the name of the game these days, and the Koch's run Americans For Prosperity and are the primary financial backer of the group. Here is what was spent in direct campaigning in 2012, which quickly brings up the number of Republican groups in the top brackets.
 
2014-04-02 01:38:51 PM  

DeaH: Except this is not about printing. It is not about broadcasting. It is about giving politicians unlimited amounts of money. So, not at all the same. And there is a compelling interest to prevent just such a thing for the preservation of a representative democracy and republic.


Which is why the individual caps remain in place, because the Court has already found (and no one but Thomas, who is unsane, is questioning) that precluding direct unlimited donations is a compelling government intrest.
 
2014-04-02 01:39:17 PM  

taurusowner: qorkfiend: MattStafford: qorkfiend: While there are certain areas where the parties find themselves in broad agreement, to say that there are no differences between the two parties, especially when it comes to domestic policy, is simply incorrect. Fiscal and tax policy is an obvious one. So are the different approaches to social services. And education. And health care. And voting rights. And gay rights. And labor and worker's rights. And religion. And on, and on.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 317x159]

There may be differences, but the differences are essentially so small that they are inconsequential.  Sure, relatively speaking, Democrat's priorities may line up more with you than the Republican's priority, but don't think for a minute that means the Democrats have your back.

Actually, I didn't say "the Democrats have [my] back". What I did say, for those of us lacking in reading comprehension skills, was, "there are vast differences between Republicans and Democrats on many policy issues".

You honestly believe that the differences between the Republicans and the Democrats on fiscal policy are "so small that they are inconsequential"? You honestly believe that the differences between the Republicans and the Democrats on education policy are "so small that they are inconsequential"? You honestly believe the differences between Republicans and Democrats on social services are "so small that they are inconsequential"?

Upon what do you base this belief?

The only difference is which liberties each party is willing to take from us in order to stay in power. Some want to take our gun rights, our right to practice and teach our religion to our children, etc. Some want to tell us which plants we can grow, or who you can designate as your legal partner. They both want to devalue our money. They both want to keep us dependent on handouts, either corporate or personal. If you really believe one side or the other is really fighting the good fight, you need to pay more ...


Oh, FFS. What is it with you people and not reading what you're responding to?

I didn't say "one side is fighting the good fight". What I said was "there are differences between Republican and Democratic policies on many issues", which is quite obvious to anyone actually paying attention.
 
2014-04-02 01:39:30 PM  
UGH just Ugh.    one of the worst rulings ever.

One thing has been clear to me for a while the GOP has likely been doing all they can to make sure none of the conservative members of the SCOTUS  retires while Obama is in office so they do not lose their majority.

Now obviously i have no insights to any who might be considering retiring from the court but its clear the GOP would not want any more liberal judges on the bench.
 
2014-04-02 01:40:12 PM  

jcooli09: This plutocracy brought to you by Goerge W Bush Soros and the GOP union-funded Democrats


FTFY

/typo yours
 
2014-04-02 01:40:47 PM  
It is amazing that in the same week you have GOP Presidential candidates all traveling to Las Vegas to bow and kiss the ring of a mega-donor in a rather sickening display of groveling, the USSC can make this decision. Pretty insane.
 
2014-04-02 01:42:06 PM  
I can honestly say, I have never been happier to be living in Canada.  In the short time since I have been here, the US has completely gone off the goddamn rails.  At this point, I may yet renounce my citizenship, just so I'll never be associated with a plutocratic pseudo-theocracy based on the premise of anti-intellectualism and just generally being an asshole on the world stage.

God damn, I'm ashamed to call myself American any more.
 
2014-04-02 01:42:34 PM  

Miss Alexandra: qorkfiend: MattStafford: qorkfiend: While there are certain areas where the parties find themselves in broad agreement, to say that there are no differences between the two parties, especially when it comes to domestic policy, is simply incorrect. Fiscal and tax policy is an obvious one. So are the different approaches to social services. And education. And health care. And voting rights. And gay rights. And labor and worker's rights. And religion. And on, and on.

[encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com image 317x159]

There may be differences, but the differences are essentially so small that they are inconsequential.  Sure, relatively speaking, Democrat's priorities may line up more with you than the Republican's priority, but don't think for a minute that means the Democrats have your back.

Actually, I didn't say "the Democrats have [my] back". What I did say, for those of us lacking in reading comprehension skills, was, "there are vast differences between Republicans and Democrats on many policy issues".

The platforms of the two major parties may differ, but again--look at each individual's voting record.  Don't assume that just because the candidate you like is of a certain party, that they will vote in agreement with that party's platform.

Look at their actions, never mind their words.


Right, I guess that's why you see Democrats lining up to vote for Paul Ryan's budget, because there's no differences between the parties when you get down to actual votes. It's probably why we saw lots of Republicans voting with the Democrats on health care and tax policy back when Democrats had the House, too. No differences whatsoever.
 
2014-04-02 01:43:39 PM  
s7e3a.scene7.com

Ha Ha!
 
2014-04-02 01:43:45 PM  

qorkfiend: Right, I guess that's why you see Democrats lining up to vote for Paul Ryan's budget, because there's no differences between the parties when you get down to actual votes. It's probably why we saw lots of Republicans voting with the Democrats on health care and tax policy back when Democrats had the House, too. No differences whatsoever.


I think the argument is the converse - that when the GOP gets power, they actually won't implement Ryan's budget. And there's some truth there, in that the GOP really doesn't give a shiat about being small government. They truly, truly don't.
 
2014-04-02 01:44:52 PM  
So when is FARK going to just consolidate the Business and the Politics tabs?
 
2014-04-02 01:45:07 PM  

AliceBToklasLives: Citizens United


What's your take on the an arm of the government saying  when someone could broadcast their opinion and what the subject matter could contain?
 
2014-04-02 01:45:51 PM  

pjbreeze: Why don't the just legalize bribery?


That is a whole different game. What you are looking for is lobbying, not election contributions.
 
2014-04-02 01:48:00 PM  

DamnYankees: MattStafford: DamnYankees: Whoa whoa whoa. Why are we giving the people in the lead an advantage?

How else would you suggest we handle it?  Everyone polling over X gets an equal share?  Everyone on the ballot gets an equal share?  If you set the bar too low, you will get lots of extreme fringe candidates getting money that shouldn't be.  If you set the bar too high, it just reinforces the status quo.  I'm open to suggestions, however, and just made that solution up about 10 minutes ago.

I would probably make a rule saying something like "if you're polling above X% within 12 months of the election, you get Y dollars, and then if you're polling above Z% within 4 months of the election, you get another Y dollars." Something like that.


Why use polling? Who's polls are you going to trust? Why not treat it like a petition? If someone gets say, 100k signatures, they are in with equal funding.
 
2014-04-02 01:48:26 PM  

Karma Curmudgeon: I understand your argument, and I understand what the court decided in Citizens. But you and they missing the broader picture that has been carefully explained in decisions for the last century. Courts have held for generations that limiting the funding of political activity is a compelling governmental interest for the preservation of the fundamental nature of republicanism. This Court has radically expanded corporate rights and Buckley, and wholly disavowed the long-held finding that on its face, the application of money to politics threatens to distort the equality of governance.


Oh i'm not, as i agree with those positions generally.  As was pointed out above thread, i think Brennan's argument in Austin is about spot on.  I am however trying to explain the legal argument for the other side, because its much more complicated and nuanced than the general characterization of it i have seen here.  As to the equalitarian thrust of Buckley . . . i honestly am not entirely convinced, in part because the holding is such a shiatshow.  Thats what the court used it for for about 20 years as a limitation on the first amendment, but it is also the lynchpin of the modern expansion of it.

Karma Curmudgeon: You also need to extrapolate your argument to anonymous political speech. This leads to the the crux of why your and their arguments are constitutionally invalid. Under the precedents laid down to today and Citizen's, they have effectively raised the bar so high for what they would consider a compelling governmental interest to regulate political spending, that disclosure requirements writ large, are doomed. If the government cannot regulate speech as you have explained and the court has decided, then it may not interfere with anonymous political speech either, for the same reasons cited.


Dude i am so with you on anonymity.  If you haven't seen it in other threads, prohibitions on anonymity are the only way out from CU that i can think of that dont require a drastic reduction of speech rights generally.

Karma Curmudgeon: You are essentially arguing that preserving the money as speech protections awarded by this court are more important than preserving the character of the carefully structured government itself. It's a silly argument that only a lawyer can make with a straight face, and one that was routinely rejected by courts across the land for the hundred years before this one.


Actually what I am arguing is that the First Amendment has an inherent flaw that allows this sort of monkey business, as long as the Court holds the view that egalitarian principals are not enough to trump it.  The problem i have though is that egalitarian principles tend to, once established as a trump card to rights, swallow those rights whole.  See, e.g., the Fourth Amendment which is a whisper of what it was merely 50 years ago, in major part because the public good of stopping crimes was viewed as a generally sufficient check on many of its provisions.

So i am a liberal in a quandary on these cases.
 
2014-04-02 01:50:10 PM  

EatenTheSun: Why use polling? Who's polls are you going to trust? Why not treat it like a petition? If someone gets say, 100k signatures, they are in with equal funding.


Because it takes money to get 100K signatures.

The question of "who's polls" is a valid one. Need to chew on it.
 
2014-04-02 01:51:11 PM  

Nabb1: somedude210: ....

well then, I can't wait to see just how expensive 2014 is going to be then....

/on the bright side, we have proven that money doesn't necessarily buy an election
//see 2012

Well, the cap on contributions to individual candidates is still in place. Same with the cap on contributions to the DNC and RNC. I suppose someone might contribute to one candidate in every House and Senate seat up for election in a given cycle, but that would seem like a real waste of money.


This ruling removes the cap you can donate to a political party, but leaves in the $2600 per candidate. So what you'll have is people donating gobs of money directly to the GOP/DNC, who will then turn around and make unlimited $2600 donations to all their candidates, and the "party" can run unlimited advertising for whichever candidate they want to support, easily skirting that pesky $2600 limit.

I love Ruth Ginsburg, and I support sharp old people, but she needs to take one for the team, so we're not completely shafted when Rand Paul gets elected.
 
2014-04-02 01:51:23 PM  

Teiritzamna: If you haven't seen it in other threads, prohibitions on anonymity are the only way out from CU that i can think of that dont require a drastic reduction of speech rights generally.


I don't see how this would do anything. Everyone who follows politics already know the names Koch and Adelson. Hasn't seemed to hurt them.
 
2014-04-02 01:51:31 PM  

grimlock1972: UGH just Ugh.    one of the worst rulings ever



um how about no....
 
2014-04-02 01:52:33 PM  

BunkyBrewman: sendtodave:
How will people with no money or power change the world?  Other than following someone with money and power, I mean?

By voting.


Voting for this rich powerful guy, or that rich powerful guy?
 
2014-04-02 01:52:59 PM  

EatenTheSun: Who's polls are you going to trust?


DamnYankees: The question of "who's polls" is a valid one. Need to chew on it.


Nate Silver would just control the purse strings - I thought we all understood that?
 
2014-04-02 01:53:28 PM  

sendtodave: Carn: Might as well repeal all the voting rights amendments and go back to the system where only the rich, land-owning white males get to tell everyone else what to do.

All in good time...

All in good time.


                              media.theweek.com
 
2014-04-02 01:53:47 PM  

DamnYankees: It is amazing that in the same week you have GOP Presidential candidates all traveling to Las Vegas to bow and kiss the ring of a mega-donor in a rather sickening display of groveling, the USSC can make this decision. Pretty insane.


To go a little off the beaten path, I always wonder what Jabba's wife thinks as he undresses to climb into bed at night?

unitedrepublic.org
 
2014-04-02 01:54:41 PM  

grimlock1972: UGH just Ugh.    one of the worst rulings ever.

One thing has been clear to me for a while the GOP has likely been doing all they can to make sure none of the conservative members of the SCOTUS  retires while Obama is in office so they do not lose their majority.

Now obviously i have no insights to any who might be considering retiring from the court but its clear the GOP would not want any more liberal judges on the bench.


Which is sad because, if they continue to go the "rule until you die/we get in power" theory, we're going to have 10 more years of this shiat before one of those conservatives keels over and dies, possibly during a ruling. And then Republicans will realize they still can't buy the White House (if they could, President Rmoney would be executive-ordering all kinds of anti-ACA stuff) and the Democratic president of that time will fill the bench with liberals/progressives. The short-term crippling of the country is being seen as a positive for the blind followers of derp, but the long-term solutions that being progressive and moderate can offer are far greater positives.

Good luck, Republicans. Can't wait to see what happens in 2016. Absolutely cannot farking wait.
 
2014-04-02 01:55:13 PM  

DamnYankees: Ok. I'm still confused how this gets us to having the right to give money to candidates.

There's a fundamental difference between "express your view, and use whatever resources you have access to to do it" and "bankroll someone's election campaign". I don't see them as being in the same category of thing.


Well this is laying the necessary predicate.  We now have the principle that expending money in the furtherance of an expressive act is part of that act.

Which is how we get to second order support of those expressive acts.  Bear with me.

Imagine that John Johnson is running for the job of city comptroller.  You want to help bankroll his campaign which will require quite a few buttons and lawn signs (expressive).  So you offer $50 to buy those buttons, signs and so forth.  Now your gift of money has two expressive purposes.  It funds the expressive actions of the campaign (buying buttons, signs, airtime, etc.) AND it is also expressive in and of itself - it is a symbol saying "i support John Johnson!"  By giving to the campaign you are making a statement - just as how donating to the ACLU or the KKK or "the Girls Scouts but never the Boy Scouts" is often a political statement.

Thus campaign contributions are hyper political expression, in that they fund other expressive acts and act as a sign of affiliation with a group (which is why i favor major disclosure requirements).
 
2014-04-02 01:55:38 PM  

Teiritzamna: <smart things>


Goddammit, I'm pissed right now. DONT MAKE ME LIKE YOU!!
 
2014-04-02 01:56:02 PM  

JusticeandIndependence: grimlock1972: UGH just Ugh.    one of the worst rulings ever


um how about no....


it threw away my pic.

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-02 01:57:29 PM  

DamnYankees: I don't see how this would do anything. Everyone who follows politics already know the names Koch and Adelson. Hasn't seemed to hurt them.


Actually i think it does.  We on the left all know these names.  We all know that we hates anyone who is supported by these sperm turtles.  Thus the mere fact that they have donated to a candidate can act as a grass roots donation-spurring, vote-get-outing event.
 
2014-04-02 01:58:25 PM  
This is an issue the same as electronic voting machines. The same folks gnashing their teeth over this destroying America were crying about how electronic voting booths would mean rich Republicans connected to Diebold would win forever. That paranoid bedwetting lasted till 2006 when they took back the Congress.
 
2014-04-02 01:59:32 PM  

Stone Meadow: The only advice I can offer those cheering this decision is to be careful what you ask for, because sooner rather than later the Democrats are going to hold a nearly unassailable demographic majority, and then they will, as sure as the sun rises, use this decision to permanently bury the GOP. Karma's a biatch, baby.


Then they will take their majority as a mandate to go after guns, which will put the GOP right back in power. If Democrats really wanted an unassailable majority, they would stop shooting themselves in the foot.
 
2014-04-02 02:00:11 PM  

jcooli09: This plutocracy brought to you by Goerge W Bush and the GOP

Apparently you don't remember that both the Republicans and the Democrats each raised (and spent) about $1 billion dollars apiece in the 2012 election cycle. The Democrats actually raised about $40 million more than the Republicans.

// Citation here.
 
2014-04-02 02:00:30 PM  

Road Rash: jcooli09: This plutocracy brought to you by Goerge W Bush Soros and the GOP union-funded Democrats

FTFY

/typo yours


Was there any reasoning to that, or are you just spewing?
 
2014-04-02 02:00:35 PM  

Karma Curmudgeon: Goddammit, I'm pissed right now. DONT MAKE ME LIKE YOU!!


Hey now. I am a likable guy.  I come from the bluest state and moved to possibly the second bluest.  I like titties, but not in an offensive way.  A friendly, "Hey!  Titties!" kinda way.  What I am trying to say is that i like breasts.

However, i do hate bad arguments,* and feel a need to educate people against their will.  Its a major failing.

/*you however made good arguments.  Super good ones actually.
 
2014-04-02 02:02:20 PM  

Mrbogey: This is an issue the same as electronic voting machines. The same folks gnashing their teeth over this destroying America were crying about how electronic voting booths would mean rich Republicans connected to Diebold would win forever. That paranoid bedwetting lasted till 2006 when they took back the Congress.


A lot of folks still think that bullshiat Did influence a presidential election.
 
2014-04-02 02:03:17 PM  

Teiritzamna: DamnYankees: Ok. I'm still confused how this gets us to having the right to give money to candidates.

There's a fundamental difference between "express your view, and use whatever resources you have access to to do it" and "bankroll someone's election campaign". I don't see them as being in the same category of thing.

Well this is laying the necessary predicate.  We now have the principle that expending money in the furtherance of an expressive act is part of that act.

Which is how we get to second order support of those expressive acts.  Bear with me.

Imagine that John Johnson is running for the job of city comptroller.  You want to help bankroll his campaign which will require quite a few buttons and lawn signs (expressive).  So you offer $50 to buy those buttons, signs and so forth.  Now your gift of money has two expressive purposes.  It funds the expressive actions of the campaign (buying buttons, signs, airtime, etc.) AND it is also expressive in and of itself - it is a symbol saying "i support John Johnson!"  By giving to the campaign you are making a statement - just as how donating to the ACLU or the KKK or "the Girls Scouts but never the Boy Scouts" is often a political statement.

Thus campaign contributions are hyper political expression, in that they fund other expressive acts and act as a sign of affiliation with a group (which is why i favor major disclosure requirements).


So how about this idea?

1) All contributions to a candidate's campaign must be made through a secret donation booth, i.e. the candidate cannot find out who gave them money or what amount of money they gave to them.
2) Informing a candidate that you gave a non-zero sum of money to their campaign is a felony.
 
2014-04-02 02:03:36 PM  
Isn't it funny how we are all about exporting democracy, but we disdain the idea of wealth equality?

Even though equality of wealth would have quite a direct impact on power imbalances.

Maybe because democracy doesn't make people more equal so much as it makes them easier to manage.
 
2014-04-02 02:03:44 PM  

Teiritzamna: We now have the principle that expending money in the furtherance of an expressive act is part of that act.


This is true, but lets also keep in mind there are limits to it. You can't go around handing heroin to children as a way of advocating laxer drug laws, for example. This is not an absolute right.

Teiritzamna: Now your gift of money has two expressive purposes.  It funds the expressive actions of the campaign (buying buttons, signs, airtime, etc.) AND it is also expressive in and of itself - it is a symbol saying "i support John Johnson!"


I don't think I buy the latter. If I hand money to a campaign and it sits in a drawer, that's not an expressive act.

Teiritzamna: Thus campaign contributions are hyper political expression, in that they fund other expressive acts and act as a sign of affiliation with a group (which is why i favor major disclosure requirements).


You just made a leap though. "Funding other expressive acts" is not a political expression; at least, you haven't established it as such. We actually know that in the real world this is expressly NOT true; think of the amount of people who fund both sides of a race simply so the eventual winner will know that you're in the donor group. Same thing for "signs of affiliation". That might be an act of expression, or it might not. When I get a Costco card, that's a sign of affiliation, but its not speech.

This is not political expression. It's commerce. It's paying for access.
 
2014-04-02 02:04:06 PM  

NickelP: Delta1212: NickelP: Delta1212: NickelP: 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.

Yes, but isn't that basically called a SuperPAC?

No, they can't donate directly to candidates.  Its pretty helpful to have a superpac say 'hey we are going to run 100 mil in adds against your opponent'.  Its really farking helpful to have some group say 'you got a pen, you vote right on this you get a 100 mil check'

Still though, this seems like a smaller increment in the erosion of our democracy than the first one. The judges compared it to opening a floodgate after the first ruling opened a door, but I think they may have got that reversed.

This is more like opening a floodgate after the damn has already broken. Not helping, but we were already under water.

maybe.  I really don't know.  Honestly this probably needs a few years of people like Rove who run campaigns and political parties for a living to figure out how best to exploit it to figure out what it really means.  I don't really see it as being a step in the right direction though.  It also seemed to lay the ground work for removing the individual cap.


That would seem to be the largest obvious issue, yeah.
 
2014-04-02 02:04:49 PM  

jaybeezey: FlashHarry: republicans know they cannot win a fair fight. one man, one vote doesn't work if you're the one percent.

Yes, only the top 1% vote republican and George Soros, Hollywood Liberals and the unions don't spend any money on progressive campaigns and causes.

Whatever will poor progressives do in upcoming elections.

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cycle=Career&cid= N0 0000019


Ahh the "Two wrongs make a right" defense.  Well played.

Of course, liberals overwhelmingly want to curtail this behavior despite the fact that some among us are guilty of it.  See the difference?
 
2014-04-02 02:05:18 PM  
and the downfall of this great nation continues.
 
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