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(LA Times)   Obama has destroyed America so thoroughly that California lawmakers propose the first Constitutional Convention since 1787   (latimes.com) divider line 256
    More: Hero, Citizens United, California State Senate, U.S. Constitution, joint resolutions  
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4290 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Jun 2014 at 1:38 PM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



256 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-06-24 11:49:59 AM  
On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.
 
2014-06-24 12:13:08 PM  
and on the third hand, once a convention is convened. there is no way to stop the delegates from dumping the whole thing
 
2014-06-24 12:18:39 PM  
things that will never happen:  this.
 
2014-06-24 12:22:40 PM  
Citizen's United is Obama's fault? Here are the Supreme Court Justice votes on the matter:

For Citizen's United:
Kennedy (appointed by Reagan)
Roberts (appointed by Bush II)
Alito (appointed by Bush II)
Scalia (appointed by Reagan)
Thomas (appointed by Bush I)

Against Citizen's United:
Stevens (appointed by Ford)
Ginsburg (appointed by Clinton)
Breyer (appointed by Clinton)
Sotomayor (appointed by Obama)

And Constitutional Conventions can potentially be dangerous things - there's no way to limit the focus to a single issue, so once you start one up it could potentially become a monkey with a shotgun (eep...eep...BOOM...eep-eep-eep...BOOM...etc)
 
2014-06-24 12:33:18 PM  
Vermont too. Link
 
2014-06-24 01:02:28 PM  
FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision.  But the problem is broader than this one decision.  The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood.  Move to Amend has it right.  Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.
 
2014-06-24 01:03:05 PM  
Congress can barely agree on things like renaming post offices... I don't think a Constitutional Convention is going to fare much better in today's political climate.
 
2014-06-24 01:04:35 PM  
media.boingboing.net
 
2014-06-24 01:10:25 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Congress can barely agree on things like renaming post offices... I don't think a Constitutional Convention is going to fare much better in today's political climate.


Maybe they could reword the 2nd Amendment. Get the Republicans to go along by offering to name the new constitution after Ronald Reagan.


EngineerBoy: it could potentially become a monkey with a shotgun (eep...eep...BOOM...eep-eep-eep...BOOM...etc)


Totally stealing that.
 
2014-06-24 01:17:33 PM  

Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.


Money isn't speech. Curtailing your ability to buy an ad spot really isn't curtailing your right to an opinion, or your right to openly express that opinion. The right of speech is not a right of venue.
 
2014-06-24 01:42:51 PM  
Election finance reform could be the Great Uniter.

Unfortunately, when I hear "Constitutional Convention" it brings to mind a bunch of people brandishing weapons.
 
2014-06-24 01:44:36 PM  
I think that if the founding fathers would have been able to envision what corporations could turn into they would have put an article in the constitution to create the structure for them and limit their power in the same way that the government's is limited.

Unfortunately, it would get whittled away by some language here or there the same way the commerce clause did the constitution that we have.

Consolidation of power is a constant swing, and no document is going to stop it.
 
2014-06-24 01:45:31 PM  
Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.
 
2014-06-24 01:47:13 PM  
An amendment would still have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and that's pretty unlikely for pretty much anything at the moment.
 
2014-06-24 01:48:59 PM  
It's a bit like buying a new treadmill. We swear we'll use it all the time, and eventually it gathers dust and we pile crap on top of it. Then we call a charity to give it to someone else and swear we'll take up jogging.
 
2014-06-24 01:50:03 PM  

rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.


Why would a bunch of out-of-touch self-important elitists (namely Thomas) give shrift to any of that list?

Let them eat cake.
 
2014-06-24 01:52:29 PM  

EngineerBoy: Citizen's United is Obama's fault? Here are the Supreme Court Justice votes on the matter:

For Citizen's United:
Kennedy (appointed by Reagan)
Roberts (appointed by Bush II)
Alito (appointed by Bush II)
Scalia (appointed by Reagan)
Thomas (appointed by Bush I)

Against Citizen's United:
Stevens (appointed by Ford)
Ginsburg (appointed by Clinton)
Breyer (appointed by Clinton)
Sotomayor (appointed by Obama)

And Constitutional Conventions can potentially be dangerous things - there's no way to limit the focus to a single issue, so once you start one up it could potentially become a monkey with a shotgun (eep...eep...BOOM...eep-eep-eep...BOOM...etc)


Uh, I believe you might need your sarcasm-meter readjusted.

//not subby
 
2014-06-24 01:53:23 PM  
Publicly financed elections.  The end.
 
2014-06-24 01:54:29 PM  
I'm agin it. Our Constitution was deliberately made difficult to amend because the opportunity for mischief is too great. Hold a Constitutional Convention and we'll have resolutions to make Christianity the official state religion or outlawing abortion. Want to get rid of Citizen's United? Elect a Democrat in 2016, reelect her in 2020, wait for Scalia or Thomas to kick off (Scalia will be 84 in 2020) and replace him with a progressive, then shoot another lawsuit to the Supreme Court.

That's how things are done in this country.
 
2014-06-24 01:54:32 PM  
I think we should dump the entire Constitution as currently written, and start over.
 
2014-06-24 01:54:43 PM  

rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.



Mandatory ballot return.  If you don't return a ballot, you pay a $XX fine.  You don't have to vote in that ballot, but you must return it.
 
2014-06-24 01:55:09 PM  
How about a constitutional amendment to eliminate political donations?
 
2014-06-24 01:55:10 PM  
Free Beer Friday. Now's our chance!
 
2014-06-24 01:55:19 PM  
a large part of freeperville is mildly obsessed with this idea

the fly in the ointment is that so few have an understanding of what is IN the document or why and "constitutional scholars" are - well, you know - arugula eaters

it would be interesting right before the wheels came off and we were left standing by the side of the road holding a lug wrench and staring at just the one spare.
 
2014-06-24 01:56:28 PM  

Notabunny: Free Beer Friday. Now's our chance!


I will follow you to the Gates of Hell, good Sir.
 
2014-06-24 01:56:52 PM  

Gyrfalcon: I think we should dump the entire Constitution as currently written, and start over.


The trouble is that when countries do that, it turns into a war zone or a dictator gets installed.
 
2014-06-24 01:57:00 PM  

Gyrfalcon: I think we should dump the entire Constitution as currently written, and start over.


It'd be nice if every 40 years or so, the option to hold a Constitutional Convention were put on the presidential election ballot.  Giving people options is the best thing we can do, especially in politics.
 
2014-06-24 01:59:34 PM  
The funny thing here is that people actually think the rest of the country might follow California's lead.

Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard.
 
2014-06-24 01:59:58 PM  

wxboy: An amendment would still have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and that's pretty unlikely for pretty much anything at the moment.


Pass the Amendment and then put a 10 or 15 year sunset provision for ratification.  Read your history as it can be done.
 
2014-06-24 02:00:33 PM  
Only if they develop a special dance to go along with it: the ConCon can-can.

// and if Ann Coulter shows up to join in, it's...
 
2014-06-24 02:01:32 PM  

shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision.  But the problem is broader than this one decision.  The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood.  Move to Amend has it right.  Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.


So you are in favor of taking away first amendment rights to corporations completely?

You know, away from Warner Brothers Pictures, and CBS, and Valve, and the New York Times?  All of those are corporations.  You think the government should be able to censor the New York Times because it's a corporation and not a single individual?

Plus, the main real issue with Citizen's United isn't corporate donations, it's unlimited donations by very rich individuals (like Sheldon Anderson).

Of course, I think Citizen's United was decided correctly (I'm a big pro-First Amendment guy; the First Amendment should protect speech strongly, even paid political speech).
 
2014-06-24 02:01:53 PM  

nmrsnr: Curtailing your ability to buy an ad spot really isn't curtailing your right to an opinion, or your right to openly express that opinion. The right of speech is not a right of venue.


Indeed, Citizen - you totally have a right to an opinion!

Of course you may not spread that opinion anywhere by the use or expenditure of resources without an official Government Sponsored Venue License.  Such a license costs $1,000 and you must agree only to support officially sanctioned viewpoints.  Upon board approval, you will be allowed to disseminate your opinion utilizing the various Approved Venue options:

1) Paper and pencil - $500
2) Printed Pamphlets - $100/page
3) Signs - $10,000/Sign
4) The Internet - $500 per minute for the first 10 minutes, $100/minute thereafter

Thank you for your compliance and remember, no matter how many barriers we place on disseminating your expression, you still have full and absolute rights to your own opinions.  Thank God for the First Amendment.
 
2014-06-24 02:02:03 PM  

dwrash: The funny thing here is that people actually think the rest of the country might follow California's lead.

Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard.


It very well might. The Tea Party is still well-organized, at least financially.
 
2014-06-24 02:02:13 PM  
If we have a constitutional convention, the US will explicitly be declared a Christian nation in about 5 minutes.
 
2014-06-24 02:02:32 PM  
Isn't the constitution supposed to be a living document updated on a regular basis to meet the needs of the country?

A mature conversation about where we want to go as a nation is overdue.

/wont happen though since we cannot even agree that people should have reasonably priced health care,
 
2014-06-24 02:02:53 PM  
Sheldon Adelson, not Anderson.  Whoops.
 
2014-06-24 02:03:32 PM  

nmrsnr: Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.

Money isn't speech. Curtailing your ability to buy an ad spot really isn't curtailing your right to an opinion, or your right to openly express that opinion. The right of speech is not a right of venue.


Printing presses, ink, computers and the like aren't speech either, but we wouldn't restrict them.

I'm very uncomfortable with this sort of thing, though I have to admit that the large amounts of money are a problem.
 
2014-06-24 02:03:38 PM  
MrBallou:EngineerBoy: it could potentially become a monkey with a shotgun (eep...eep...BOOM...eep-eep-eep...BOOM...etc)

Totally stealing that.



The shotgun?
 
2014-06-24 02:04:04 PM  

AlgaeRancher: Isn't the constitution supposed to be a living document updated on a regular basis to meet the needs of the country?

A mature conversation about where we want to go as a nation is overdue.

/wont happen though since we cannot even agree that people should have reasonably priced health care,


Politicians are lawyers... the more amendments that are passed put their fellow lawyers out of business... hence we haven't had an amendment in decades.
 
2014-06-24 02:04:47 PM  
So let's set aside how wrong they are about this pet issue of theirs, which would of course be much more easily changed via an amendment.

If they actually succeeded in getting a convention, they would probably really hate the results.

But if we're going to do it, let's go to a completely at-large parliamentary system where if a person gets enough vote to win two (or more) seats, they get to appoint the other people.
 
2014-06-24 02:04:52 PM  

JavierLobo: rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.


Mandatory ballot return.  If you don't return a ballot, you pay a $XX fine.  You don't have to vote in that ballot, but you must return it.


That's not entirely fair to people who moved and registered to vote in their new precinct. I mention this because I sent a copy of my new voter registration to the appropriate authorities in my former precinct, and they continue to send mail-in ballots to my parents, who are listed as my former address. I think a fine is supremely unfair, since I did everything I was supposed to.
 
2014-06-24 02:05:17 PM  

shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.


So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through
 
2014-06-24 02:06:25 PM  

rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.


It's harder to "eliminate gerrymandering" then just saying it.

What would really change things is allow others to bring bills to the floor (maybe with like a minimum or so many signatures) instead of only the party in power. This would  cause congress to pass bi-partisan bills instead of just the bills the party in power wanted and get rid of obstructionist congresses.
 
2014-06-24 02:07:44 PM  
Sure, but the only changes that will be approved will be those sponsored by he who survives Thunderdome!
 
2014-06-24 02:08:26 PM  

Corvus: rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.

It's harder to "eliminate gerrymandering" then just saying it.

What would really change things is allow others to bring bills to the floor (maybe with like a minimum or so many signatures) instead of only the party in power. This would  cause congress to pass bi-partisan bills instead of just the bills the party in power wanted and get rid of obstructionist congresses.


I agree.  This doesn't require a constitutional convention - it requires Congress mustering up the will and character to change its own rules.

Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS.  I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.
 
2014-06-24 02:08:38 PM  

Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through


Do you have a proposed solution? Or is the (brand-new) status quo the best system?
 
2014-06-24 02:09:13 PM  

AlgaeRancher: Isn't the constitution supposed to be a living document updated on a regular basis to meet the needs of the country?

A mature conversation about where we want to go as a nation is overdue.

/wont happen though since we cannot even agree that people should have reasonably priced health care,


No, there is no having a mature conversation in this current political climate. Our two parties are so fractured and divided that such a Convention probably ends the US in its current incarnation.
 
2014-06-24 02:09:28 PM  

wxboy: An amendment would still have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and that's pretty unlikely for pretty much anything at the moment.


Speaking of attacks against the first amendment, you might get an anti-flag burning amendment out of a constitutional convention passed by 3/4 of the states.
 
2014-06-24 02:09:42 PM  

Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.


Well, since this isn't limiting free speech, it shouldn't be a problem.
 
2014-06-24 02:10:48 PM  
A Con Con?
 
2014-06-24 02:10:55 PM  

Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through


Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.
 
2014-06-24 02:11:52 PM  

SauronWasFramed: and on the third hand, once a convention is convened. there is no way to stop the delegates from dumping the whole thing


So? That's what our ancestors did with the Articles of Confederation. They were solely tasked to come up with amendments to that document, and they said "Fark this shiat" before writing an entirely new document.
 
2014-06-24 02:12:50 PM  
AlgaeRancher:A mature conversation about where we want to go as a nation is overdue.

/wont happen though since we cannot even agree that people should have reasonably priced health care,


The problem is not a lack of conversation about where we want to go as a nation. The problem is that nobody seems to have the same destination in mind and where we are now seems about as good a compromise as any. You seem to be equating "mature conversation" with people need to be more liberal.
 
2014-06-24 02:12:57 PM  

Mikey1969: Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.

Well, since this isn't limiting free speech, it shouldn't be a problem.


There already are limitations for free speech. For example, you can't falsely yell "Bomb!" on an airplane.
 
2014-06-24 02:15:06 PM  

clambam: I'm agin it. Our Constitution was deliberately made difficult to amend because the opportunity for mischief is too great. Hold a Constitutional Convention and we'll have resolutions to make Christianity the official state religion or outlawing abortion. Want to get rid of Citizen's United? Elect a Democrat in 2016, reelect her in 2020, wait for Scalia or Thomas to kick off (Scalia will be 84 in 2020) and replace him with a progressive, then shoot another lawsuit to the Supreme Court.

That's how things are done in this country.


There's definitely a balance to be struck.  I think that the Constitution as it currently exists is too difficult to amend (see: the Equal Rights Amendment), but I don't want to make it so easy to amend that e.g. a popular vote can allow a charismatic politician to become dictator-for-life (see: Venezuela).
 
2014-06-24 02:15:30 PM  

Tomahawk513: Gyrfalcon: I think we should dump the entire Constitution as currently written, and start over.

It'd be nice if every 40 years or so, the option to hold a Constitutional Convention were put on the presidential election ballot.  Giving people options is the best thing we can do, especially in politics.


It would be nice if we still taught civics in school
It isn't always a good idea to give very powerful political options to ill-informed paranoiacs who distrust government and dislike many Americans
 
2014-06-24 02:15:48 PM  

Gary-L: wxboy: An amendment would still have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and that's pretty unlikely for pretty much anything at the moment.

Pass the Amendment and then put a 10 or 15 year sunset provision for ratification.  Read your history as it can be done.


Sure, it can be done, but the types of things that seem to be "most desired" are too politically charged to have any chance.

Abolish the Electoral College?  That's a favorite of whatever party it would most benefit at the time, which nearly always means they don't control 2/3 or either house of Congress and also don't control 3/4 of state legislatures, making it a non-starter.

Campaign finance reform/overturn CU?  If enough people in power were seriously interested in that to get an amendment through, it would already have happened.  The people with the power to initiate such a thing are the same people whom it would most negatively affect.
 
2014-06-24 02:16:22 PM  

shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision.  But the problem is broader than this one decision.  The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood.  Move to Amend has it right.  Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.


No, the problem doesn't take care of itself.

The problem is wildly disproportionate access to media and politicians due wildly disproportionate wealth/income.

Limiting corporations/groups ability to spend simply places MORE power in the hands of the wealthy because groups of less wealthy individuals are now MORE RESTRICTED in their ability to combine their voices and support.

Citizens United was the right decision for free speech - it's just that the wealth inequality in this nation makes free speech - like pretty much everything else - more the domain of the wealthy.
 
2014-06-24 02:16:46 PM  

qorkfiend: Do you have a proposed solution? Or is the (brand-new) status quo the best system?


1) STRONG disclosure requirements making it clear who is paying for things

2) let the system right itself - Cantor's loss is a good example of how money doesn't = victory.  Beyond that, we are beginning to see what Justice Brandeis suggested - If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence (Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)) -i.e. backlashes against carpetbagging money.  I hope to see more ads that look like: Candidate X says he is a man of the people, but 60% of his money comes from [insert bad industry here], much of which comes from [rival state]! Vote for Candidate Y.

3) and my pipe dream: a Court that understands the actual harms of large money donations, and a more expansive reading of the government's compelling interest in reducing said harms.

/4) my pipe-iest of pipe dreams - a more educated electorate - but i am not holding my breath on that one.
 
2014-06-24 02:16:49 PM  

Bith Set Me Up: Mikey1969: Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.

Well, since this isn't limiting free speech, it shouldn't be a problem.

There already are limitations for free speech. For example, you can't falsely yell "Bomb!" on an airplane.


I think the better example would be shouting "Let's go round up all the ni-BONGs at that store there and lynch them right now!"
 
2014-06-24 02:17:15 PM  
Here's an idea:

Elect electable representatives who will enact legislation you want.

But NOOO let's waste time on some obscure Consitutional mechanism to make up for our overall pattern of apathy.

Good idea. Who needs a beer?
 
2014-06-24 02:17:27 PM  

SauronWasFramed: and on the third hand, once a convention is convened. there is no way to stop the delegates from dumping the whole thing


or proposing/summary passing a balanced budget amendment... Sounds good and lots of red states will be all for it until they succeed and realize oh shiat we've ether just forced the federal government to hike taxes or cut all of the programs that help our constituents. To anyone unfamiliar with how Macro Economies work, a balanced budget amendment is only logical, its just sad that they have no idea just how much of our economy would collapse if the federal budget was taken to slaughtered overnight
 
2014-06-24 02:17:44 PM  

Nabb1: AlgaeRancher: Isn't the constitution supposed to be a living document updated on a regular basis to meet the needs of the country?

A mature conversation about where we want to go as a nation is overdue.

/wont happen though since we cannot even agree that people should have reasonably priced health care,

No, there is no having a mature conversation in this current political climate. Our two parties are so fractured and divided that such a Convention probably ends the US in its current incarnation.


So did the last two, and I think most people would argue the country is better off because of them (Anti-Federalists and romantics aside).

If they agreed they'd only be AMENDING, not REWRITING, I'd be comfortable with the idea (of course this was IIRC the focus of the first one in 1787, which they called off before everyone showed up so that they could call a second one that WOULD be able to write a new Constitution from scratch. The Anti-Federalists used this circumstance ["Not everyone showed up! Not everyone agreed to a rewrite!"] to argue against adopting the Constitution).

But coming up with a package of 5 or 10 new Amendments for the states to consider? I can dig it.
 
2014-06-24 02:17:54 PM  

EngineerBoy: Citizen's United is Obama's fault? Here are the Supreme Court Justice votes on the matter:

For Citizen's United:
Kennedy (appointed by Reagan)
Roberts (appointed by Bush II)
Alito (appointed by Bush II)
Scalia (appointed by Reagan)
Thomas (appointed by Bush I)

Against Citizen's United:
Stevens (appointed by Ford)
Ginsburg (appointed by Clinton)
Breyer (appointed by Clinton)
Sotomayor (appointed by Obama)

And Constitutional Conventions can potentially be dangerous things - there's no way to limit the focus to a single issue, so once you start one up it could potentially become a monkey with a shotgun (eep...eep...BOOM...eep-eep-eep...BOOM...etc)


Plus, there is the little fact that the Constitution can be amended making a Constitutional Convention unnecessary. A simple amendment that clarifies that corporations are not people and do not have the same rights as people would help. It could also clarify that money is not speech.
 
2014-06-24 02:19:55 PM  
So... one state calls for a CC, and we lose our minds? Come on, this is just pandering.

There's 33 others to go. Good luck with that- in the history of the country there's never been a Constitutional Convention called by the states, and there's not a shred of reason to think that there ever will be.
 
2014-06-24 02:20:40 PM  

shroom: I said end corporate personhood.


Corporate personhood is a term that means something - it means the ability for companies to act as independent entities, mainly by owning property and suing/being sued.  By saying that you wanted to end that, well that is what you said.  What you meant was, at the time of my response, somewhat harder to glean.
 
2014-06-24 02:20:52 PM  

shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.


How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?
 
2014-06-24 02:21:28 PM  
After a 10 year oil war in Iraq, we have just sent troops back into Iraq. To protect oil refineries in the north.

Citizens United will never be gotten rid of. Else how is Big Oil supposed to make money off the Middle East and its environs.
 
2014-06-24 02:22:18 PM  

wxboy: Gary-L: wxboy: An amendment would still have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and that's pretty unlikely for pretty much anything at the moment.

Pass the Amendment and then put a 10 or 15 year sunset provision for ratification.  Read your history as it can be done.

Sure, it can be done, but the types of things that seem to be "most desired" are too politically charged to have any chance.

Abolish the Electoral College?That's a favorite of whatever party it would most benefit at the time, which nearly always means they don't control 2/3 or either house of Congress and also don't control 3/4 of state legislatures, making it a non-starter.

Campaign finance reform/overturn CU?  If enough people in power were seriously interested in that to get an amendment through, it would already have happened.  The people with the power to initiate such a thing are the same people whom it would most negatively affect.


I disagree that abolishing the Electoral College is a non-starter. I think it should be near the top of things we change to the Constitution. That method was designed for an era when states had wildly disparate rates of voter eligibility. We don't have that issue anymore; the rate of franchisement is pretty much even across the states, and the largest group of people without a constitutional guarantee of the ability to vote is people under 18 years old. Chesterton's fence doesn't apply anymore. Now, the arguments that James Madison made during the Constitutional Convention largely make more sense. A national popular vote better resembles the general interest of the country than the Electoral College which really now only resembles the interest of a small group of voters in swing states.
 
2014-06-24 02:22:47 PM  
I've got a rider--

i1279.photobucket.com
 
2014-06-24 02:24:08 PM  

Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?


Individual donation limits to candidates have been repeatedly ruled legal by the courts.
 
2014-06-24 02:24:10 PM  

Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?


And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?
 
2014-06-24 02:24:57 PM  

Bith Set Me Up: Mikey1969: Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.

Well, since this isn't limiting free speech, it shouldn't be a problem.

There already are limitations for free speech. For example, you can't falsely yell "Bomb!" on an airplane.


I can if they're showing Gigli...
 
2014-06-24 02:26:10 PM  

shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision.  But the problem is broader than this one decision.  The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood.  Move to Amend has it right.  Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.


BINGO.  The idea that this is about free speech is a red herring. This is about the fact that a fantasy construct--which is what a corporation is--has more power than a flesh and blood one.
 
2014-06-24 02:26:59 PM  

DeaH: . A simple amendment that clarifies that corporations are not people and do not have the same rights as people would help.


This would of course be exceptionally tricky, as if the definition is too narrow (only publicly traded corporations), folks will just make a new form of corp to do it, if it is too broad, well then news companies alone are farked, let alone NGOs, unions, advocacy groups, non-profits, etc.

DeaH: It could also clarify that money is not speech.


This would end all protections for all expression other than what can be made physically with your own body.
 
2014-06-24 02:27:34 PM  

shroom: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

Individual donation limits to candidates have been repeatedly ruled legal by the courts.


I didn't say candidates.  I said political causes; IE, buying a billion dollars in TV ads saying "Vote for Fred" yourself as opposed to giving that billion dollars to Fred to do so.  Citizens' United legalizes this as well.
 
2014-06-24 02:27:37 PM  

Deneb81: And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?


Our elected representatives are supposed to BE our advocacy groups!

That's why they exist!
 
2014-06-24 02:28:09 PM  

Deneb81: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?


Pass the amendment.  Then you can write a law allowing PACs to exist, but with (for example) a $1000 donation limit by any individual, and whatever disclosure rules you want.  Allow Congress to enact the will of the people.
 
2014-06-24 02:28:24 PM  

Geotpf: Citizens' United legalizes this as well.


Well to be fair, that is all that CU regarded.
 
2014-06-24 02:29:17 PM  

IvyLady: Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS.  I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.


It has come before SCOTUS in the form of recess appointments.  The Supreme Court has long recognized that Congress has the ability to write it's own rules.
 
2014-06-24 02:30:05 PM  

shroom: Pass the amendment. Then you can write a law allowing PACs to exist, but with (for example) a $1000 donation limit by any individual, and whatever disclosure rules you want. Allow Congress to enact the will of the people.


So we get rid of a limitation on government and say, government - go ahead and draft some limits for yourselves!  We the voters who are so scared of our own idiocy that we want restrictions on what people can say to us, will keep you in line with votes and stuff.
 
2014-06-24 02:30:25 PM  

worlddan: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision.  But the problem is broader than this one decision.  The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood.  Move to Amend has it right.  Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

BINGO.  The idea that this is about free speech is a red herring. This is about the fact that a fantasy construct--which is what a corporation is--has more power than a flesh and blood one.


It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.
 
2014-06-24 02:31:03 PM  

Teiritzamna: DeaH: . A simple amendment that clarifies that corporations are not people and do not have the same rights as people would help.


This would of course be exceptionally tricky, as if the definition is too narrow (only publicly traded corporations), folks will just make a new form of corp to do it, if it is too broad, well then news companies alone are farked, let alone NGOs, unions, advocacy groups, non-profits, etc.


Why can't the law treat news companies differently from NGOs which are treated differently from unions which are treated differently from PACs and on and on?
 
2014-06-24 02:31:42 PM  

shroom: Deneb81: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

Pass the amendment.  Then you can write a law allowing PACs to exist, but with (for example) a $1000 donation limit by any individual, and whatever disclosure rules you want.  Allow Congress to enact the will of the people.


So now Adelson and the Kochs just form 1,000 PACs each and we're right back where we started.
 
2014-06-24 02:32:29 PM  

Teiritzamna: shroom: Pass the amendment. Then you can write a law allowing PACs to exist, but with (for example) a $1000 donation limit by any individual, and whatever disclosure rules you want. Allow Congress to enact the will of the people.

So we get rid of a limitation on government and say, government - go ahead and draft some limits for yourselves!  We the voters who are so scared of our own idiocy that we want restrictions on what people can say to us, will keep you in line with votes and stuff.


The people are too stupid.  But the ideal is that the people rule themselves.

The leaders are too selfish.  But the ideal is that they represent the people first.
 
2014-06-24 02:32:40 PM  
The real problem with gerrymandering is that it is like porn:

1) You know it when you see it, but people can't agree on a definition.
2) When it's your gerrymandering, you love it, but when it's somebody else's, it's pretty disgusting.

There are several simple ways to kill gerrymandering, but they all argue about what kind of districting is appropriate.

Should you group similar people together?  As in everyone in the same city/neighborhood?   Even if that means that district is 90% one political party and the 3 surrounding ones are 55% the other party?

Should you maximize competitive districts?   Even it that means that if the state is 51% one party, that party wins ALL the districts?

Should you instead manage them so that if the state is X% one party, that party should have an advantage in X% of the districts, and a disadvantage in 100-X% of the districts?

Should you guarantee safe districts for minorities?

Should you just grid it out, regardless of other political or physical boundaries - so that the farmers who want the water are in the same district as the city that they fight with over the water?

 I personally think that the current system is the worst of all possible worlds.  Without any rules at all, people abuse them.    A simple rule such as no single district may be more than 15% different from any district it touches, could solve a lot of the worst abuses.
 
2014-06-24 02:33:14 PM  

Serious Black: I disagree that abolishing the Electoral College is a non-starter. I think it should be near the top of things we change to the Constitution. That method was designed for an era when states had wildly disparate rates of voter eligibility. We don't have that issue anymore; the rate of franchisement is pretty much even across the states, and the largest group of people without a constitutional guarantee of the ability to vote is people under 18 years old. Chesterton's fence doesn't apply anymore. Now, the arguments that James Madison made during the Constitutional Convention largely make more sense. A national popular vote better resembles the general interest of the country than the Electoral College which really now only resembles the interest of a small group of voters in swing states.


I'm not arguing that the Electoral College shouldn't be abolished (it should be), just that the mechanism for doing so (other than the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or other indirect methods) makes it highly unlikely that it will happen any time soon, and the same goes for most any other proposal that has been floated recently.
 
2014-06-24 02:33:57 PM  

Serious Black: Why can't the law treat news companies differently from NGOs which are treated differently from unions which are treated differently from PACs and on and on?


Oh it can, but such a law would be subject to the whim of congress - and given the world we live in do we really think small grass roots NGOs and media companies will get the same or better treatment than large monied interests?

Because my gut is that under such a system, if you have the cash, you will get lots of free speech, and if you dont, somehow the law will not be on your side.  You know, the system now, but even more institutionalized and legal.
 
2014-06-24 02:34:43 PM  

IvyLady: Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS. I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.


The Constitution is pretty explicit that each house of Congress has the power to set its own rules.  The Senate could have a 99-vote filibuster rule if it so chooses to enact it.    The Senate could just as easily vote to get rid of the filibuster today if they wanted to.  The only thing stopping them is that Harry Reid is a spineless bowl of jelly who's so afraid of his own shadow that he'd rather hide behind the rules than make any real attempt to pass legislation.  But that's another thread.
 
2014-06-24 02:35:35 PM  

sendtodave: The people are too stupid. But the ideal is that the people rule themselves.

The leaders are too selfish. But the ideal is that they represent the people first.


Oh agreed - but the whole point of this amendment/CC idea is that the people are too stupid to handle TV ads, and thus we must protect them from themselves.
 
2014-06-24 02:36:15 PM  

Deneb81: shroom: Deneb81: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

Pass the amendment.  Then you can write a law allowing PACs to exist, but with (for example) a $1000 donation limit by any individual, and whatever disclosure rules you want.  Allow Congress to enact the will of the people.

So now Adelson and the Kochs just form 1,000 PACs each and we're right back where we started.


Not to mention they just run 'issue ads' on their own dimes that align with with a particular candidate's platform. Seeing as how that speech is still 100% legal - and pretty much the entire point of first amendment political speech protections.

At some point you have to realize that the issue is how much unequal the means are. The problem ISN'T that a person can put their money where their mouth is. The PROBLEM is that some people have so much more money than other people that they can drown out most everyone else the same way a monopoly tries to limit competition.
 
2014-06-24 02:36:56 PM  

Deneb81: shroom: Deneb81: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

Pass the amendment.  Then you can write a law allowing PACs to exist, but with (for example) a $1000 donation limit by any individual, and whatever disclosure rules you want.  Allow Congress to enact the will of the people.

So now Adelson and the Kochs just form 1,000 PACs each and we're right back where we started.


So let them.  Congress would be free to pass laws against them coordinating or pooling their money together for media purchases.  The point is to stop the multi-million dollar secret donations from billionaires.  Remember Koch's ~$400 million war chest is estimated to mainly come from a few dozen individual donors.
 
2014-06-24 02:37:12 PM  

Deneb81: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?


See, that's the thing.

Corporations have a war chest for their "free speech," ordinary citizens don't have that advantage.

The process should be subsidized so that anyone can get their message across with the same effectiveness a billion dollar corporation does. It's the only way without repealing CU.
 
2014-06-24 02:37:12 PM  

tarkin1: The real problem with gerrymandering is that it is like porn:

1) You know it when you see it, but people can't agree on a definition.
2) When it's your gerrymandering, you love it, but when it's somebody else's, it's pretty disgusting.

There are several simple ways to kill gerrymandering, but they all argue about what kind of districting is appropriate.

Should you group similar people together?  As in everyone in the same city/neighborhood?   Even if that means that district is 90% one political party and the 3 surrounding ones are 55% the other party?

Should you maximize competitive districts?   Even it that means that if the state is 51% one party, that party wins ALL the districts?

Should you instead manage them so that if the state is X% one party, that party should have an advantage in X% of the districts, and a disadvantage in 100-X% of the districts?

Should you guarantee safe districts for minorities?

Should you just grid it out, regardless of other political or physical boundaries - so that the farmers who want the water are in the same district as the city that they fight with over the water?

 I personally think that the current system is the worst of all possible worlds.  Without any rules at all, people abuse them.    A simple rule such as no single district may be more than 15% different from any district it touches, could solve a lot of the worst abuses.



I like this proposal: use a computer algorithm that draws districts which are as compact as possible. It's a neutral criterion that can't be gamed whatsoever with arguments about communities of interest or adhering to natural landmarks. Here are some candidate results from the algorithm:

img.washingtonpost.com

img.washingtonpost.com
 
2014-06-24 02:37:57 PM  
As people have mentioned corporations are not given all the rights human people have so why not just pass law that puts restrictions specifically on what a corporation can spend and do within the political realm.
 
2014-06-24 02:38:11 PM  
Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.
 
2014-06-24 02:38:13 PM  

Deneb81: Not to mention they just run 'issue ads' on their own dimes that align with with a particular candidate's platform. Seeing as how that speech is still 100% legal - and pretty much the entire point of first amendment political speech protections.

At some point you have to realize that the issue is how much unequal the means are. The problem ISN'T that a person can put their money where their mouth is. The PROBLEM is that some people have so much more money than other people that they can drown out most everyone else the same way a monopoly tries to limit competition.


Exactly - the analysis we want is less inequality overall + a return to the principle that regulating election contributions (but not ads) is well within the compelling interest of government.  Not throwing the First Amendment out with the bath water.
 
2014-06-24 02:38:37 PM  

whidbey: Unfortunately, when I hear "Constitutional Convention" it brings to mind a bunch of people brandishing weapons.


The teatards brandish them anyway.
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-06-24 02:39:07 PM  

Teiritzamna: Serious Black: Why can't the law treat news companies differently from NGOs which are treated differently from unions which are treated differently from PACs and on and on?

Oh it can, but such a law would be subject to the whim of congress - and given the world we live in do we really think small grass roots NGOs and media companies will get the same or better treatment than large monied interests?

Because my gut is that under such a system, if you have the cash, you will get lots of free speech, and if you dont, somehow the law will not be on your side.  You know, the system now, but even more institutionalized and legal.


The system we already have now is institutionalized and legal. Exhibit A: Scott Walker and the massive collaboration between his campaign and outside groups that will almost certainly result in zero criminal or civil charges.
 
2014-06-24 02:39:12 PM  

Headso: As people have mentioned corporations are not given all the rights human people have so why not just pass law that puts restrictions specifically on what a corporation can spend and do within the political realm.


You must not be following the Roberts court too closely.
 
2014-06-24 02:39:25 PM  

Teiritzamna: sendtodave: The people are too stupid. But the ideal is that the people rule themselves.

The leaders are too selfish. But the ideal is that they represent the people first.

Oh agreed - but the whole point of this amendment/CC idea is that the people are too stupid to handle TV ads, and thus we must protect them from themselves.


Yeah, I know.  In this thread, the people are children who are too easily led.

In the next, they'll be the only possible hope against a corrupt, self-serving government.

"Power lies in the proles."

No, not really.
 
2014-06-24 02:39:29 PM  

Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.


Step 1: Get it through everyone's thick skull: MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.

Everything else should fall into place.
 
2014-06-24 02:41:26 PM  

Headso: As people have mentioned corporations are not given all the rights human people have so why not just pass law that puts restrictions specifically on what a corporation can spend and do within the political realm.


because people dont lose their rights in the aggregate - Bill, you can spend money on a political advert.  Alice?  Same deal.  Bill and Alice working together? You can no longer spend money.

Oh you arent billionaires and joining together was the only way you could fight the messages of those who are?  tough titties.
 
2014-06-24 02:42:12 PM  
A while back I wrote a letter to my local paper saying that the biggest problem in politics is that no matter how low Congress approvial ratings go they still get reelected. My idea is to have a election six months before election day to determine if members of Congress shall be eligible for the upcoming election. If the voters say no then they can not run and are ineligible for federal office for ten years. This would cause members of Congress to work together to make things better because we will have a bigger voice.
 
2014-06-24 02:42:30 PM  

Teiritzamna: Such a license costs $1,000 and you must agree only to support officially sanctioned viewpoints.


Yeah, see, that right there is curtailing your right to express an opinion.

JammerJim: Printing presses, ink, computers and the like aren't speech either, but we wouldn't restrict them.


That is correct. But printing presses, ink, and computers aren't government regulated entities, either. The government owns the airwaves and leases them to private organizations, saying that you can't buy an ad spot on the public airwaves is a far, far cry from saying you can't buy a printer, or Teiritzamna's suggestion that government requiring a license for paper and pencil.

In short:

www.visi.com
 
2014-06-24 02:42:31 PM  

IlGreven: MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.


He said, using money to expand the reach of his expression on the internet, as protected by the First Amendment.
 
2014-06-24 02:42:36 PM  

keldaria: To anyone unfamiliar with how Macro Economies work, a balanced budget amendment is only logical, its just sad that they have no idea just how much of our economy would collapse if the federal budget was taken to slaughtered overnight


So it is instead a better idea to just keep printing money to infinity and eventually arrive at a collapse when things are out of our control?  I'd prefer to prepare for things in advance by making choices now instead of having forced choices later.
 
2014-06-24 02:43:13 PM  

JavierLobo: rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.


Mandatory ballot return.  If you don't return a ballot, you pay a $XX fine.  You don't have to vote in that ballot, but you must return it.


...and then wonder why so many black people have been fined.

/No to compulsory voting.
 
2014-06-24 02:44:03 PM  

Teiritzamna: Deneb81: Not to mention they just run 'issue ads' on their own dimes that align with with a particular candidate's platform. Seeing as how that speech is still 100% legal - and pretty much the entire point of first amendment political speech protections.

At some point you have to realize that the issue is how much unequal the means are. The problem ISN'T that a person can put their money where their mouth is. The PROBLEM is that some people have so much more money than other people that they can drown out most everyone else the same way a monopoly tries to limit competition.

Exactly - the analysis we want is less inequality overall + a return to the principle that regulating election contributions (but not ads) is well within the compelling interest of government.  Not throwing the First Amendment out with the bath water.


The real issue for me is that if you pass reforms that reduce (not eliminate - this isn't a bit for communism) the economic inequality then all of this arbitrary line drawing over what KIND of donation or speech is allowed becomes moot.

You enhance competition for ears and add voices to the discourse by ensuring more people have a the means to share their voice.
 
2014-06-24 02:44:16 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: As people have mentioned corporations are not given all the rights human people have so why not just pass law that puts restrictions specifically on what a corporation can spend and do within the political realm.

because people dont lose their rights in the aggregate - Bill, you can spend money on a political advert.  Alice?  Same deal.  Bill and Alice working together? You can no longer spend money.

Oh you arent billionaires and joining together was the only way you could fight the messages of those who are?  tough titties.


If the only options are A) let billionaires spend a bunch of money on elections while barring the little folk from spending and B) let everyone spend as much money as they want on elections, I vote for C) mercy nuke the country to death.
 
2014-06-24 02:44:27 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: As people have mentioned corporations are not given all the rights human people have so why not just pass law that puts restrictions specifically on what a corporation can spend and do within the political realm.

because people dont lose their rights in the aggregate - Bill, you can spend money on a political advert.  Alice?  Same deal.  Bill and Alice working together? You can no longer spend money.

Oh you arent billionaires and joining together was the only way you could fight the messages of those who are?  tough titties.


And if it worked that way, I'd agree with you.  But in reality, Bill and Alice don't work together; the billionaires do.
 
2014-06-24 02:45:15 PM  
A constitutional convention, with this congress? Ah, ha ha ha ha, no thanks. Take away corporate "personhood" instead. Corporations are NOT people until you can put one in prison, and I'm looking at YOU Comcast.
 
2014-06-24 02:45:31 PM  

worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.


Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.
 
2014-06-24 02:47:05 PM  
His plan all along...

swordattheready.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-06-24 02:47:09 PM  

Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.


Budweiser can theoretically declare itself bankrupt and then, through the magic of limited liability, not have to pay out anything for you getting run over by one of their trucks.
 
2014-06-24 02:47:18 PM  

Teiritzamna: IlGreven: MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.

He said, using money to expand the reach of his expression on the internet, as protected by the First Amendment.


So, his speech is equal to all other Farkers.

Wouldn't you say that those with more money have more of a microphone?
 
2014-06-24 02:47:33 PM  
2014-06-24 02:12:50 PM
AlgaeRancher:A mature conversation about where we want to go as a nation is overdue.
/wont happen though since we cannot even agree that people should have reasonably priced health care,


The problem is not a lack of conversation about where we want to go as a nation. The problem is that nobody seems to have the same destination in mind and where we are now seems about as good a compromise as any. You seem to be equating "mature conversation" with people need to be more liberal

People can decide for themselves what they want to "be", that is their business. We are the United States of America. Our strength comes from working together. Society is getting along with people you don't necessarily like or agree with. Fighting opponents until everyone thinks the same way is Tyranny, that is un-American and goes against the founding principals of our great nation.

Mature conversation goes beyond opinions or ideals and looks at the facts and what people need. Don't think anybody has all the answers because they don't. But maybe if we work together we can come up with better defined questions and actually take steps to make this nation a better place.

/or just go back to throwing partisan crap around, like a bunch of monkeys.
 
2014-06-24 02:47:53 PM  

Teiritzamna: IlGreven: MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.

He said, using money to expand the reach of his expression on the internet, as protected by the First Amendment.


Money may buy you a bullhorn, but it doesn't buy what you say through it.

/Again, MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.
 
2014-06-24 02:48:03 PM  

red5ish: A constitutional convention, with this congress? Ah, ha ha ha ha, no thanks. Take away corporate "personhood" instead. Corporations are NOT people until you can put one in prison, and I'm looking at YOU Comcast.


Corporations often provide limitation of civil liability, but corporate officers and employees cannot hide behind corporate structures for criminal liability. Many of the corporate officers responsible for ENRON went to prison. How are you going to imprison a whole corporation? Jail everyone who works for it? From the boardroom to the mailroom? Maybe the shareholders, too. Even those teachers whose union added the stock to the pension portfolio. Please explain what you mean by putting a whole corporation in prison.
 
2014-06-24 02:48:25 PM  

IvyLady: Corvus: rogue49: Not Obama, SCOTUS

They need to do a whole Voter's Bill of Rights.
- Transparency
- Limitations
- Eliminate gerrymandering
- Easier voter privs  (national ID, like expand SSN and put a damn pic on it.)
- Make voting day a federal holiday.
- Make voting day through the weekend and that holiday.
- Control some announcements/speculation on media.  (can't state/project winners until end of time)
- And put in some incentive to vote.


And so on...we have so many things skewing and corrupting our votes, it's scary.

It's harder to "eliminate gerrymandering" then just saying it.

What would really change things is allow others to bring bills to the floor (maybe with like a minimum or so many signatures) instead of only the party in power. This would  cause congress to pass bi-partisan bills instead of just the bills the party in power wanted and get rid of obstructionist congresses.

I agree.  This doesn't require a constitutional convention - it requires Congress mustering up the will and character to change its own rules.

Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS.  I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.


They pretty explicitly get to make up their own rules for how the House and Senate are run.
 
2014-06-24 02:48:47 PM  
So, will the Super Pacs raise money/ spend money to support or defeat this issue? Who has bets of Soros/ Huffington/Brock will be for it or against it?
 
2014-06-24 02:49:00 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: As people have mentioned corporations are not given all the rights human people have so why not just pass law that puts restrictions specifically on what a corporation can spend and do within the political realm.

because people dont lose their rights in the aggregate - Bill, you can spend money on a political advert.  Alice?  Same deal.  Bill and Alice working together? You can no longer spend money.

Oh you arent billionaires and joining together was the only way you could fight the messages of those who are?  tough titties.


I don't think passing law that specifically limits the ability of corporations to sway elections has anything to do with individuals pooling money for political purposes.
 
2014-06-24 02:49:27 PM  

Serious Black: Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.

Budweiser can theoretically declare itself bankrupt and then, through the magic of limited liability, not have to pay out anything for you getting run over by one of their trucks.


You think Budweiser is going to declare bankruptcy over one tort claim? Do you think a bankruptcy judge is going to allow that? How is Budweiser going to avoid that? People can declare bankruptcy, too. Like that Budweiser truck driver if you sue him and can't get to Budweiser.
 
2014-06-24 02:50:46 PM  

nmrsnr: Yeah, see, that right there is curtailing your right to express an opinion.


No - it is curtailing your right to use money to expand that opinion.  If the expenditure of money to expand the reach of your expression is not protected, if, to use the facile construction "money is not speech"  then you have no such right.  If you have no such right, then there is nothing to infringe by putting limits on how you spend money ion the expression of ideas:  You can still have your opinion, but the Government could but barriers to how you get that opinion out in the world.

As to your argument that this is a slippery slope fallacy, the general principle is not - what you call "money is speech" is legally the principle that the expenditure of resources to further expression is just as protected as the original expression itself.

Now, i agree that my post was a tongue in cheek parade of horribles, but if you actually decouple the expenditure of resources in furtherance of expression from original oral expression then there is no natural limit to what the government could preclude.

Also if you want to see how purported slippery slopes are not always fallacies, especially in the context of rights, I would recommend Volokh
 
2014-06-24 02:52:52 PM  

IlGreven: And if it worked that way, I'd agree with you. But in reality, Bill and Alice don't work together; the billionaires do.


which is a problem with Bill and Alice and we should be working to fix that rather than reducing everyone's rights.

IlGreven: Money may buy you a bullhorn, but it doesn't buy what you say through it.

/Again, MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.


So if the Government banned all political speech over the internet tomorrow, you would think it was kosher because, hey it was just the bullhorn, i can totally still have my opinions?
 
2014-06-24 02:53:10 PM  
Relevant, from yesterday's thread:

The core problem with our democracy today is that we have outsourced the funding of campaigns to the tiniest fraction of the 1 percent.

no, the core problem with our democracy today is that people are by and large farking mongloid idiots who will vote for someone their name was mentioned enough on tv commercials or roadside signs



Ugh . . . stupid Fark formatting . . . you know what I mean.
 
2014-06-24 02:53:11 PM  

IlGreven: Teiritzamna: IlGreven: MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.

He said, using money to expand the reach of his expression on the internet, as protected by the First Amendment.

Money may buy you a bullhorn, but it doesn't buy what you say through it.

/Again, MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.


You know that kinda crazy guy that talks to himself on the train?  No one listens to him.

Is that speech?
 
2014-06-24 02:53:15 PM  

Nabb1: ut corporate officers and employees cannot hide behind corporate structures for criminal liability


I know remember all those people from hsbc that went to jail for money laundering
 
2014-06-24 02:54:08 PM  

The Name: the core problem with our democracy today is that people are by and large farking mongloid idiots who will vote for someone their name was mentioned enough on tv commercials or roadside signs


So, uh, the core problem with democracy is the democracy part of it?
 
2014-06-24 02:54:16 PM  

Headso: I don't think passing law that specifically limits the ability of corporations to sway elections has anything to do with individuals pooling money for political purposes.


What the heck do you think corporations are, magic entities from outer vega?

They are, alomst by definition, made up of individuals pooling their money for a purpose.
 
2014-06-24 02:55:31 PM  
I can't buy food with my freedom of speech.
 
2014-06-24 02:55:35 PM  

Nabb1: Serious Black: Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.

Budweiser can theoretically declare itself bankrupt and then, through the magic of limited liability, not have to pay out anything for you getting run over by one of their trucks.

You think Budweiser is going to declare bankruptcy over one tort claim? Do you think a bankruptcy judge is going to allow that? How is Budweiser going to avoid that? People can declare bankruptcy, too. Like that Budweiser truck driver if you sue him and can't get to Budweiser.


I didn't say they would do it. I just said they theoretically could. And if the claim were large enough, yes, I think just about any corporation would choose to go bankrupt.
 
2014-06-24 02:57:24 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: I don't think passing law that specifically limits the ability of corporations to sway elections has anything to do with individuals pooling money for political purposes.

What the heck do you think corporations are, magic entities from outer vega?

They are, alomst by definition, made up of individuals pooling their money for a purpose.


Well, as it stands, they're pooling their money to make more money, typically.  So, the corporation, speaking for the individuals, would say "Change the rules so that I may acquire more money!  Society be damned!"

Problem is, people live in society.

People prefer making money to caring about society, I've noticed.
 
2014-06-24 02:57:36 PM  

Serious Black: I like this proposal: use a computer algorithm that draws districts which are as compact as possible. It's a neutral criterion that can't be gamed whatsoever with arguments about communities of interest or adhering to natural landmarks. Here are some candidate results from the algorithm:

img.washingtonpost.com


It can be gamed by the people who develop the algorithm (complicated, but possible, especially if there is regular "maintenance" to the algorithm or the system[s] on which it lives).

Also, by the look of the MD map, someone decided that a line between Silver Spring and Rockville was a good idea (as well as separating out downtown Silver Spring into the Southern MD district). I get that districts don't need to be shaped down to the foot, but at least put the lines away from major population centers, and try not to divide up contiguous (though unincorporated) areas.

// I like the idea of putting the district borders along major thoroughfares (wide roads, train tracks), even bodies of water
 
2014-06-24 02:57:50 PM  

Serious Black: I didn't say they would do it. I just said they theoretically could. And if the claim were large enough, yes, I think just about any corporation would choose to go bankrupt.


So would any person if their liabilities so outweigh their assets and income that payment would be impossible. And only certain classes of debts are discharged altogether. Most bankruptcy proceedings are reorganization to pay off the debts.
 
2014-06-24 02:58:06 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: I don't think passing law that specifically limits the ability of corporations to sway elections has anything to do with individuals pooling money for political purposes.

What the heck do you think corporations are, magic entities from outer vega?

They are, alomst by definition, made up of individuals pooling their money for a purpose.


Ok, still not seeing what that has to do with limiting their ability to participate in the political process has to do with individuals participating in the political process.
 
2014-06-24 02:58:13 PM  
"Amendment 28:  No black guys.

Can we go home now?"
 
2014-06-24 03:00:03 PM  

Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.


Okay, let's talk about Budweiser.  Let's say Budweiser decided they wanted to challenge restrictions on TV advertising for alcohol during children's programs.  Of course it would be a PR disaster, but for the sake of argument, let's say they went to court on First Amendment grounds.  Given recent opinions, how do you think the Roberts court would rule?
 
2014-06-24 03:04:34 PM  

shroom: Okay, let's talk about Budweiser. Let's say Budweiser decided they wanted to challenge restrictions on TV advertising for alcohol during children's programs. Of course it would be a PR disaster, but for the sake of argument, let's say they went to court on First Amendment grounds. Given recent opinions, how do you think the Roberts court would rule?


Why should the speech issue be any different if it's a corporation like Budweiser or some really wealthy guy who wants to see Zima commercials during "My Little Pony"? (Also, that's a commercial speech issue, and they'll probably lose, even with the Roberts Court.)
 
2014-06-24 03:06:50 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: I like this proposal: use a computer algorithm that draws districts which are as compact as possible. It's a neutral criterion that can't be gamed whatsoever with arguments about communities of interest or adhering to natural landmarks. Here are some candidate results from the algorithm:

img.washingtonpost.com

It can be gamed by the people who develop the algorithm (complicated, but possible, especially if there is regular "maintenance" to the algorithm or the system[s] on which it lives).

Also, by the look of the MD map, someone decided that a line between Silver Spring and Rockville was a good idea (as well as separating out downtown Silver Spring into the Southern MD district). I get that districts don't need to be shaped down to the foot, but at least put the lines away from major population centers, and try not to divide up contiguous (though unincorporated) areas.

// I like the idea of putting the district borders along major thoroughfares (wide roads, train tracks), even bodies of water


Here's a link that discusses this specific algorithm. For those who don't want to follow, it draws districts by grouping census blocks, the smallest geographic units used by the Census Bureau, together in such a manner that no other grouping results in the residents of the state having a lower average distance to the center of their district. I don't think this system can really be gamed unless you somehow get a bunch of people to infiltrate the Census Bureau and redraw the blocks in a manner that will benefit you. That seems quite unlikely.
 
2014-06-24 03:11:33 PM  

Nabb1: shroom: Okay, let's talk about Budweiser. Let's say Budweiser decided they wanted to challenge restrictions on TV advertising for alcohol during children's programs. Of course it would be a PR disaster, but for the sake of argument, let's say they went to court on First Amendment grounds. Given recent opinions, how do you think the Roberts court would rule?

Why should the speech issue be any different if it's a corporation like Budweiser or some really wealthy guy who wants to see Zima commercials during "My Little Pony"? (Also, that's a commercial speech issue, and they'll probably lose, even with the Roberts Court.)


Advertising is a different class of speech than political speech, under the first Amendment.   Also, the difference between Budweiser suing and some guy suing is that the First Amendment protects the speaker, not the listener.  

But whatever, the Roberts court would say the first Amendment protects Budweiser's right to have a cartoon mouse tell kids over public airwaves hat beer will make their mom love them more.  Then Roberts would offer blow the CEO to apologize for Congress making Budweiser go through the trouble of getting said opinion
 
2014-06-24 03:11:57 PM  

Teiritzamna: No - it is curtailing your right to use money to expand that opinion.


No, forcing you to agree to certain limits on your speech before being given a grant to speak is curtailing your right to express yourself, but let's not get caught up on your absurd hypothetical.

Teiritzamna: If the expenditure of money to expand the reach of your expression is not protected, if, to use the facile construction "money is not speech" then you have no such right.


This is akin to saying that since the government has laws that state that you can't own a bazooka, you have no right to bear arms. That ANY restriction or ruling saying that money is not equivalent to speech means that ALL restrictions on the use of money to enable the expression of an opinion are forbidden. To maintain this argument you'd have to agree that explicit bribery is acceptable, since that is merely expenditure of money to express how important a decision is to you. Which is equally as ridiculous a position the other direction.

Teiritzamna: what you call "money is speech" is legally the principle that the expenditure of resources to further expression is just as protected as the original expression itself.


Which is also a ridiculous standard. Imagine I hijacked a tv feed to make my message, since that's illegal you are curtailing all venues for me to state my opinion. By your logic, since there is one venue by which I have been barred in making my speech, the government is now welcome to bar an and all venues by which I might address the public, since if one is not protected, all are not protected. The principal that "any means by which you can get your opinion expressed" is not protected does not impinge on the freedom to express an idea. The logical underpinning of your argument just isn't true.
 
2014-06-24 03:12:03 PM  

Nabb1: shroom: Okay, let's talk about Budweiser. Let's say Budweiser decided they wanted to challenge restrictions on TV advertising for alcohol during children's programs. Of course it would be a PR disaster, but for the sake of argument, let's say they went to court on First Amendment grounds. Given recent opinions, how do you think the Roberts court would rule?

Why should the speech issue be any different if it's a corporation like Budweiser or some really wealthy guy who wants to see Zima commercials during "My Little Pony"? (Also, that's a commercial speech issue, and they'll probably lose, even with the Roberts Court.)


Because corporations are not people, and they should have no inalienable rights.
 
2014-06-24 03:13:58 PM  

wxboy: Gary-L: wxboy: An amendment would still have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states, and that's pretty unlikely for pretty much anything at the moment.

Pass the Amendment and then put a 10 or 15 year sunset provision for ratification.  Read your history as it can be done.

Sure, it can be done, but the types of things that seem to be "most desired" are too politically charged to have any chance.

Abolish the Electoral College?  That's a favorite of whatever party it would most benefit at the time, which nearly always means they don't control 2/3 or either house of Congress and also don't control 3/4 of state legislatures, making it a non-starter.

Campaign finance reform/overturn CU?  If enough people in power were seriously interested in that to get an amendment through, it would already have happened.  The people with the power to initiate such a thing are the same people whom it would most negatively affect.



Abolition of the Electoral College is as stupid as allowing for the direct election of Senators.
 
2014-06-24 03:14:16 PM  

Headso: Ok, still not seeing what that has to do with limiting their ability to participate in the political process has to do with individuals participating in the political process.


You cannot have a rational interpretation of the First Amendment that protects Alice and Bob in expressing themselves on their own as individuals, but that does not protect Alice and Bob when expressing themselves together.

The very fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they lose their First Amendment rights.
 
2014-06-24 03:16:55 PM  

shroom: Nabb1: shroom: Okay, let's talk about Budweiser. Let's say Budweiser decided they wanted to challenge restrictions on TV advertising for alcohol during children's programs. Of course it would be a PR disaster, but for the sake of argument, let's say they went to court on First Amendment grounds. Given recent opinions, how do you think the Roberts court would rule?

Why should the speech issue be any different if it's a corporation like Budweiser or some really wealthy guy who wants to see Zima commercials during "My Little Pony"? (Also, that's a commercial speech issue, and they'll probably lose, even with the Roberts Court.)

Because corporations are not people, and they should have no inalienable rights.


The First Amendment doesn't grant rights. It limits the authority of the State to restrict speech. There is a difference. The "press" is not a person, either. How shall we treat MSNBC? Is it press? Is it a subdivision of a corporation?
 
2014-06-24 03:17:32 PM  

Gary-L: Abolition of the Electoral College is as stupid as allowing for the direct election of Senators.


Is the direct election of the governor of [insert your state here] stupid? What about your state legislators? Or your mayor? Or your city councilmen? Or your school board members?
 
2014-06-24 03:18:04 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: Ok, still not seeing what that has to do with limiting their ability to participate in the political process has to do with individuals participating in the political process.

You cannot have a rational interpretation of the First Amendment that protects Alice and Bob in expressing themselves on their own as individuals, but that does not protect Alice and Bob when expressing themselves together.

The very fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they lose their First Amendment rights.


Nothing prevents them from teaming up.    Nothing requires you to form a corporation to team up with another person.  However, if Alice and Bob form a corporation to make Widgets that has no effect on their rights as citizens and as human beings.  It does not create a new person and here's the big thing: It should not confer additional rights on them.  The person that forms a corporation should not have twice the voice of the person who does not.  As it stands, if a corporation has the same rights as its owner  - independent of its owner - people who can afford to control corporations get additional voices.  That's some crazy shiat right there.
 
2014-06-24 03:18:35 PM  

Teiritzamna: The very fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they lose their First Amendment rights.


It should not give them enhanced First Amendment rights, either.
 
2014-06-24 03:19:45 PM  

Jairzinho: whidbey: Unfortunately, when I hear "Constitutional Convention" it brings to mind a bunch of people brandishing weapons.

The teatards brandish them anyway.
[4.bp.blogspot.com image 800x600]


Indeed, a reasonable person has a fearful reaction to the idea of changing the Constitution by the explicitly proscribed method.
 
2014-06-24 03:21:11 PM  
Nabb1:
Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable?
Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.


Ah yes, the parade of horribles. The problem is that there is nothing in Move to Amend amendment that deals with these issues nor do they in any way naturally or logically flow from such an amendment. The amendment simply deals with restoring Congressional power to regulate corporations. It does not imply or dictate any specific law, rule, or regulation--those are for Congress to decide.  It is about a transfer of power, nothing more and nothing less.
 
2014-06-24 03:22:13 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: Ok, still not seeing what that has to do with limiting their ability to participate in the political process has to do with individuals participating in the political process.

You cannot have a rational interpretation of the First Amendment that protects Alice and Bob in expressing themselves on their own as individuals, but that does not protect Alice and Bob when expressing themselves together.

The very fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they lose their First Amendment rights.


luckily they don't have to form a corporation to team up as individuals.
 
2014-06-24 03:25:49 PM  

nmrsnr: No, forcing you to agree to certain limits on your speech before being given a grant to speak is curtailing your right to express yourself, but let's not get caught up on your absurd hypothetical.


You really aren't paying close attention here. You still can talk.  You would just need to get prior approval to spend money in spreading your opinion.  All we are discussing is allowing the government to put limitations on your use of resources to expand the reach of your opinions.  You can still shout on a street corner, or talk to a group or wherever else you want, as long as you dont spend resources to do it.

nmrsnr: This is akin to saying that since the government has laws that state that you can't own a bazooka, you have no right to bear arms. That ANY restriction or ruling saying that money is not equivalent to speech means that ALL restrictions on the use of money to enable the expression of an opinion are forbidden. To maintain this argument you'd have to agree that explicit bribery is acceptable, since that is merely expenditure of money to express how important a decision is to you. Which is equally as ridiculous a position the other direction.


Nope, because i understand how laws work and know that "the freedom of speech" is neither absolute nor without exception.  Bribery, fraud, fighting words, obscenity, defamation have all long been held to bot be within the ambit of the freedom of speech.

nmrsnr: Which is also a ridiculous standard.


It is also the legal one.

nmrsnr:  Imagine I hijacked a tv feed to make my message, since that's illegal you are curtailing all venues for me to state my opinion. By your logic, since there is one venue by which I have been barred in making my speech, the government is now welcome to bar an and all venues by which I might address the public, since if one is not protected, all are not protected. The principal that "any means by which you can get your opinion expressed" is not protected does not impinge on the freedom to express an idea. The logical underpinning of your argument just isn't true.

I dont even entirely know what you mean here, but let me parse this out for you:  You think that the courts of the land have declared that money is speech, that little dollar bills are the same as talking.  They have done no such thing.  What they have held is that the expenditure of resources in furtherance of expressive conduct is just as protected as talking or singing or any other physical expressive acts.  What you are asking for is to get rid of all of that. 

Here is Buckley v. Valeo on the subject:

"[V]irtually every means of communicating ideas in today's mass society requires the expenditure of money. The distribution of the humblest handbill or leaflet entails printing, paper, and circulation costs. Speeches and rallies generally necessitate hiring a hall and publicizing the event. The electorate's increasing dependence on television, radio, and other mass media for news and information has made these expensive modes of communication indispensable instruments of effective political speech."Buckley v. Valeo, 424 US 1, 19 (1976).
 
2014-06-24 03:26:25 PM  

qorkfiend: It should not give them enhanced First Amendment rights, either.


how are they enhanced?
 
2014-06-24 03:29:49 PM  

Headso: luckily they don't have to form a corporation to team up as individuals.


Sure - but sometimes they would be stupid not to.  I just dont see where in the First Amendment the freedom of speech is no longer in force if people happen to team up under a particular legal form.
 
2014-06-24 03:30:33 PM  

Teiritzamna: nmrsnr: This is akin to saying that since the government has laws that state that you can't own a bazooka, you have no right to bear arms. That ANY restriction or ruling saying that money is not equivalent to speech means that ALL restrictions on the use of money to enable the expression of an opinion are forbidden. To maintain this argument you'd have to agree that explicit bribery is acceptable, since that is merely expenditure of money to express how important a decision is to you. Which is equally as ridiculous a position the other direction.


Nope, because i understand how laws work and know that "the freedom of speech" is neither absolute nor without exception. Bribery, fraud, fighting words, obscenity, defamation have all long been held to bot be within the ambit of the freedom of speech.


The Supreme Court has defined corruption so narrowly that absent the revelation of a recording unequivocally showing person X handing a bag full of money to representative Y and telling representative Y "I'm giving you this $100,000 specifically so you will vote a certain way on resolution 257," representative Y won't get punished.
 
2014-06-24 03:31:39 PM  

Serious Black: The Supreme Court has defined corruption so narrowly that absent the revelation of a recording unequivocally showing person X handing a bag full of money to representative Y and telling representative Y "I'm giving you this $100,000 specifically so you will vote a certain way on resolution 257," representative Y won't get punished.


Could you elaborate on that?
 
2014-06-24 03:33:24 PM  

Serious Black: Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.

Budweiser can theoretically declare itself bankrupt and then, through the magic of limited liability, not have to pay out anything for you getting run over by one of their trucks.


I thought you couldn't bankrupt out of court judgements.
 
2014-06-24 03:33:56 PM  

Serious Black: Nabb1: Serious Black: Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.

Budweiser can theoretically declare itself bankrupt and then, through the magic of limited liability, not have to pay out anything for you getting run over by one of their trucks.

You think Budweiser is going to declare bankruptcy over one tort claim? Do you think a bankruptcy judge is going to allow that? How is Budweiser going to avoid that? People can declare bankruptcy, too. Like that Budweiser truck driver if you sue him and can't get to Budweiser.

I didn't say they would do it. I just said they theoretically could. And if the claim were large enough, yes, I think just about any corporation would choose to go bankrupt.


And their assets would be liquidated to pay their bills, which is a hell of a lot more money than you would get from the driver w/ your stupid alternative.
 
2014-06-24 03:36:44 PM  

Serious Black: The Supreme Court has defined corruption so narrowly that absent the revelation of a recording unequivocally showing person X handing a bag full of money to representative Y and telling representative Y "I'm giving you this $100,000 specifically so you will vote a certain way on resolution 257," representative Y won't get punished.


Which, if you note throughout this thread, i think is wrong.  That would, alas,  be one of the many points upon which I and the Supreme Court disagree.  Of course that is only in the context of political contributions, which has nothing to do with Citizen United (which is about spending money in parallel for political ads and films and the like).
 
2014-06-24 03:38:31 PM  

jst3p: Serious Black: Nabb1: worlddan: Nabb1:

It doesn't. A corporation is nothing but a bunch of people who agree to abide by what is on that piece of paper. And that piece of paper means it can sue and be sued, be bound by contracts, own and lease property. It can't vote. It can't adopt people. It doesn't have all the rights natural persons have.

That is a silly retort. The mere that that a corporation in some areas doesn't have the same power as a natural born person is no evidence that it doesn't have more power in other areas. In fact, when it comes to issues like liability, inheritance, perpetuity, and so on corporations do have more power than a natural born person.

Sure, it may have more raw economic power that most people. But if a Budweiser truck runs you over, do want liability limited to the driver or do you want Budweiser to be liable? Do you think the individual persons whose acts directly caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could satisfy $40 billion in claims? Corporations are bound by contracts when people sign them on their behalf. Should contractual obligations of a company be limited only to the person who signed it? I'm not even sure what you are talking about with regard to inheritance. You'll have to elaborate on that.

Budweiser can theoretically declare itself bankrupt and then, through the magic of limited liability, not have to pay out anything for you getting run over by one of their trucks.

I thought you couldn't bankrupt out of court judgements.


That depends on the nature of the judgment. Filing for bankruptcy often stays all pending suits as well.
 
2014-06-24 03:40:38 PM  

Nabb1: Could you elaborate on that?


Under a series of cases goiing back to Buckley, and most recently seen in McCutcheon, the only type of political donation that the Government has an interest in preventing is so called "quid pro quo" donations, i.e. direct exchange of an official act for money.

I.e. if it isn't rank bribery, the government has no a compelling interest in stopping it.

I.e. this is stupid.
 
2014-06-24 03:43:36 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: luckily they don't have to form a corporation to team up as individuals.

Sure - but sometimes they would be stupid not to.  I just dont see where in the First Amendment the freedom of speech is no longer in force if people happen to team up under a particular legal form.


corporations are advocating for policies that are bad for the humans that actually live in America, being they are not human and don't actually have to inhabit the world the policies they advocate for create it makes sense that they not have a voice in creating that world.
 
2014-06-24 03:44:01 PM  

Teiritzamna: Nope, because i understand how laws work and know that "the freedom of speech" is neither absolute nor without exception. Bribery, fraud, fighting words, obscenity, defamation have all long been held to bot be within the ambit of the freedom of speech.


Except your previous comment (hope that's not filtered) was that "If the expenditure of money to expand the reach of your expression is not protected, if, to use the facile construction "money is not speech" then you have no such right." that ANY curtailage denotes a complete abolition of a right. That's a false standard, equivalent to the bazooka restriction I stated earlier. Once you agree that there are exemptions and other possible, arbitrary, standards, then you must agree that we can enshrine "no money for political speech beyond X" as a potential exception (just as surely as obscenity, which is even more poorly defined) without opening the door to banning posting on the Internet. Once that slippery slope argument is gone you really have nothing but worrying. Saying that money does not equal speech does not automatically eliminate any possible protection that expenditure of money may conceivably grant.
 
2014-06-24 03:44:54 PM  
A constitutional convention is the way to go ...Cali and Vermont rock, keep up the good work. Everyone else, get on the train!

More of this, please.
 
2014-06-24 03:45:47 PM  

Nabb1: red5ish: A constitutional convention, with this congress? Ah, ha ha ha ha, no thanks. Take away corporate "personhood" instead. Corporations are NOT people until you can put one in prison, and I'm looking at YOU Comcast.

Corporations often provide limitation of civil liability, but corporate officers and employees cannot hide behind corporate structures for criminal liability. Many of the corporate officers responsible for ENRON went to prison. How are you going to imprison a whole corporation? Jail everyone who works for it? From the boardroom to the mailroom? Maybe the shareholders, too. Even those teachers whose union added the stock to the pension portfolio. Please explain what you mean by putting a whole corporation in prison.


facetious
fa·ce·tious
fəˈsēSHəs/
adjective
treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.

On a more serious note, while I wholly support the right of individuals to participate in the political conversation, I am not happy when corporations participate. It seems inevitable that people with interest in a corporation - such as those you have listed above - will be contributing money "corporately" which they would not individually choose to contribute, supporting causes they, individually, would choose to oppose. I think a case could be made that their first amendment rights are being violated.
 
2014-06-24 03:47:37 PM  

Serious Black: Here's a link that discusses this specific algorithm. For those who don't want to follow, it draws districts by grouping census blocks, the smallest geographic units used by the Census Bureau, together in such a manner that no other grouping results in the residents of the state having a lower average distance to the center of their district. I don't think this system can really be gamed unless you somehow get a bunch of people to infiltrate the Census Bureau and redraw the blocks in a manner that will benefit you. That seems quite unlikely.


You might even agree with the most handsomest of Farkers that such an effort to game the algorithm would be "complicated, but possible". :)

I'm also hesitant to think that any government would accept a computer-generated map as-is without making "improvements", even those that don't corral all the dark folks into one snakelike district. Things like moving a line away from the middle of a densely populated area (like Silver Spring in your MD example - it makes little sense to divide an area like that between districts).

So, given those maps as a starting point for state legislatures to work with (and assuming they can't just hack MD back into the mess it currently is), it's easy to see how the result gets "gamed", one way or the other. Ending "majority-minority" districts (or really, anything that takes into account partisanship. Think geography and general community guidelines, like trying to keep a single area together rather than diluting its political power by sectioning it off into other districts) is a good place to start.

// though I do like the hybrid approach - automate, but verify
 
2014-06-24 03:50:09 PM  

Nabb1: Serious Black: The Supreme Court has defined corruption so narrowly that absent the revelation of a recording unequivocally showing person X handing a bag full of money to representative Y and telling representative Y "I'm giving you this $100,000 specifically so you will vote a certain way on resolution 257," representative Y won't get punished.

Could you elaborate on that?


I'll give you a condensed version and suggest that you read Lawrence Lessig's Republic, Lost for a more complete detailing.

What I specifically described in my example is quid pro quo corruption. I give you some goods, and you give me some activity in response to my giving you those goods. In Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United v. FEC, and McCutcheon v. FEC, SCOTUS reiterated that it is constitutional to prohibit these kinds of activities even though they could arguably be seen as a form of speech. What the majority in none of these cases have accepted is an alternate form of corruption. Specifically, the form I'm talking about is what Lessig calls dependence corruption. Dependence corruption is a systemic problem where the elected members of a government are not faithfully representing the views of the constituents of that office. In our case, the elected members of Congress are more faithfully representing the views of the richest members of our society. When it comes to what bills are brought forward for up-and-down votes, what the content of those bills is, and how they vote, Congress consistenly fulfills the wishes of the absolute richest among us while only fulfilling the wishes of lower- and middle-class Americans except for when those wishes coincidentally match each other. That means they are not dependent on their constituents but on their funders.
 
2014-06-24 03:55:03 PM  

nmrsnr: Except your previous comment (hope that's not filtered) was that "If the expenditure of money to expand the reach of your expression is not protected, if, to use the facile construction "money is not speech" then you have no such right." that ANY curtailage denotes a complete abolition of a right. That's a false standard, equivalent to the bazooka restriction I stated earlier. Once you agree that there are exemptions and other possible, arbitrary, standards, then you must agree that we can enshrine "no money for political speech beyond X" as a potential exception (just as surely as obscenity, which is even more poorly defined) without opening the door to banning posting on the Internet. Once that slippery slope argument is gone you really have nothing but worrying. Saying that money does not equal speech does not automatically eliminate any possible protection that expenditure of money may conceivably grant.


Ah - i see the confusion.  I meant the following:

If the expenditure of resources to expand the reach of expression is not within the ambit of the First Amendment as you appear to be advocating, then there is no limitation on government curtailing such use of resources.

When i said "then you have no such right."i was referring to the right to expend resources in the furtherance of speech, not the right to speak at all.  Although i would argue that the bare right to make physical noises/gestures is a fairly limited one, and a construction where that is all the First Amendment protects within "the freedom of speech" is far too narrow.

Of course, i agree that just because the Government is not prevented from establishing limitations on speech by the First Amendment doesn't mean that the government must therefore impose such limitations.  But my experience writing briefs for the ACLU suggests that given that the government tends to try to restrict speech all the time "for good reasons", and the internet is often a major thorn in their side (see, e.g., Snowden), i would expect to see some major new regs on what can/can't be said online pretty quickly after an amendment freeing up the government to restrict the expenditure of resources in furtherance of expression.
 
2014-06-24 03:56:52 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Congress can barely agree on things like renaming post offices... I don't think a Constitutional Convention is going to fare much better in today's political climate.


i.imgur.com
 
2014-06-24 03:58:58 PM  

Somacandra: Eddie Adams from Torrance: Congress can barely agree on things like renaming post offices... I don't think a Constitutional Convention is going to fare much better in today's political climate.

[i.imgur.com image 594x403]


I think if we just drew by lots who should represent the states at the Constitutional Convention, you'd get a lot better result than if state legislatures and/or their Congressional delegations chose who should represent the states.
 
2014-06-24 04:00:48 PM  

Teiritzamna: What they have held is that the expenditure of resources in furtherance of expressive conduct is just as protected as talking or singing or any other physical expressive acts. What you are asking for is to get rid of all of that.


Sorry, I didn't respond to this. I'm actually not advocating that. What I am saying is that they are not equivalent and that curtailing one is not the same as restricting the other. They are not entirely independent, either, so that one can freely restrict one without an effect on the other, but money should not be given the SAME rights as speech because THEY ARE NOT THE SAME, the judges should absolutely consider what ramifications the expenditure might have on speech, in the same way they should consider the effects of voting laws on the ability to vote. You don't have a right to vote at 8am on a Tuesday, but if a district decided that it was only going to have voting hours between 11am and 1pm, the disenfranchising effect might raise it to an infringement on voting rights. That is, they are related, but not the same, since the district CAN legally decide that they want to close the polls at 9pm, and not midnight, without infringing. Same goes for money and speech: they are related, not the same.
 
2014-06-24 04:01:29 PM  

GoldSpider: Jairzinho: whidbey: Unfortunately, when I hear "Constitutional Convention" it brings to mind a bunch of people brandishing weapons.

The teatards brandish them anyway.
[4.bp.blogspot.com image 800x600]

Indeed, a reasonable person has a fearful reaction to the idea of changing the Constitution by the explicitly proscribed method.


When a bunch of gun nuts hog up the process with their Teatarded rhetoric, it's not fear, it's disgust.
 
2014-06-24 04:10:38 PM  

nmrsnr: Sorry, I didn't respond to this. I'm actually not advocating that. What I am saying is that they are not equivalent and that curtailing one is not the same as restricting the other. They are not entirely independent, either, so that one can freely restrict one without an effect on the other, but money should not be given the SAME rights as speech because THEY ARE NOT THE SAME, the judges should absolutely consider what ramifications the expenditure might have on speech, in the same way they should consider the effects of voting laws on the ability to vote. You don't have a right to vote at 8am on a Tuesday, but if a district decided that it was only going to have voting hours between 11am and 1pm, the disenfranchising effect might raise it to an infringement on voting rights. That is, they are related, but not the same, since the district CAN legally decide that they want to close the polls at 9pm, and not midnight, without infringing. Same goes for money and speech: they are related, not the same.


I must respectfully disagree.  What is protected under "the freedom of speech" is a broader set of activities than mere speech - it completely includes the expenditure of resources in furtherance of speech.  The Framers who drafted the amendments were more concerned with government curtailments on broadsheet publishers and handbills - the Internet and TV of the day - than they were with talking out loud, as it was the suppression of those very things that was the core of then British tyranny against "the freedom of speech."

It is not the same as merely an imposition on a right, such as a curfew on voting day, it would be the gutting of that same right - such as finding that the right to bear arms does not include the right to buy them.
 
2014-06-24 04:16:00 PM  

whidbey: Deneb81: Geotpf: shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.

How does that stop Sheldon Adelson, or the Kochs, or George Soros, or whoever from personally donating a billion dollars to political causes?

And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

See, that's the thing.

Corporations have a war chest for their "free speech," ordinary citizens don't have that advantage.

The process should be subsidized so that anyone can get their message across with the same effectiveness a billion dollar corporation does. It's the only way without repealing CU.


There are quite a few "ordinary citizens" who have a spare billion to spend on such.  In fact, corporate donations of this sort have been minimal since legalization in Citzens' United.
 
2014-06-24 04:16:34 PM  

Serious Black: tarkin1: The real problem with gerrymandering is that it is like porn:

1) You know it when you see it, but people can't agree on a definition.
2) When it's your gerrymandering, you love it, but when it's somebody else's, it's pretty disgusting.

There are several simple ways to kill gerrymandering, but they all argue about what kind of districting is appropriate.

Should you group similar people together?  As in everyone in the same city/neighborhood?   Even if that means that district is 90% one political party and the 3 surrounding ones are 55% the other party?

Should you maximize competitive districts?   Even it that means that if the state is 51% one party, that party wins ALL the districts?

Should you instead manage them so that if the state is X% one party, that party should have an advantage in X% of the districts, and a disadvantage in 100-X% of the districts?

Should you guarantee safe districts for minorities?

Should you just grid it out, regardless of other political or physical boundaries - so that the farmers who want the water are in the same district as the city that they fight with over the water?

 I personally think that the current system is the worst of all possible worlds.  Without any rules at all, people abuse them.    A simple rule such as no single district may be more than 15% different from any district it touches, could solve a lot of the worst abuses.


I like this proposal: use a computer algorithm that draws districts which are as compact as possible. It's a neutral criterion that can't be gamed whatsoever with arguments about communities of interest or adhering to natural landmarks. Here are some candidate results from the algorithm:

[img.washingtonpost.com image 600x786]

[img.washingtonpost.com image 600x636]


The problem is that there's no way to get this implemented because our government is so fundamentally broken that no legislative body would vote for it.
 
2014-06-24 04:17:52 PM  

IlGreven: Voiceofreason01: On the one hand there absolutely need to come up with better ways to finance elections, on the other we should be REALLY damned careful about how we limit free speech rights.

Step 1: Get it through everyone's thick skull: MONEY IS NOT SPEECH.

Everything else should fall into place.


But it requires money to pay for speech (beyond standing on a box in a downtown park).  Free speech is rarely free from monetary cost.
 
2014-06-24 04:20:54 PM  

Geotpf: And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

See, that's the thing.

Corporations have a war chest for their "free speech," ordinary citizens don't have that advantage.

The process should be subsidized so that anyone can get their message across with the same effectiveness a billion dollar corporation does. It's the only way without repealing CU.


There are quite a few "ordinary citizens" who have a spare billion to spend on such.  In fact, corporate donations of this sort have been minimal since legalization in Citzens' United.


So what? Exxon and Monsanto can still fart out propaganda at a moment's notice. Meanwhile 501(c)3's are still having bake sales.

The playing field is hardly level, and it's not "free speech" if it can be bought top dollar.

If CU is going to continue, then TV, radio and other common forms of communication should be provided free of charge.
 
2014-06-24 04:24:44 PM  

Teiritzamna: Nabb1: Could you elaborate on that?

Under a series of cases goiing back to Buckley, and most recently seen in McCutcheon, the only type of political donation that the Government has an interest in preventing is so called "quid pro quo" donations, i.e. direct exchange of an official act for money.

I.e. if it isn't rank bribery, the government has no a compelling interest in stopping it.

I.e. this is stupid.


Limits on direct campaign donations to any one candidate are still legal (and were, in fact, found specifically legal in McCutcheon).
 
2014-06-24 04:27:23 PM  

whidbey: Geotpf: And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

See, that's the thing.

Corporations have a war chest for their "free speech," ordinary citizens don't have that advantage.

The process should be subsidized so that anyone can get their message across with the same effectiveness a billion dollar corporation does. It's the only way without repealing CU.


There are quite a few "ordinary citizens" who have a spare billion to spend on such.  In fact, corporate donations of this sort have been minimal since legalization in Citzens' United.

So what? Exxon and Monsanto can still fart out propaganda at a moment's notice. Meanwhile 501(c)3's are still having bake sales.

The playing field is hardly level, and it's not "free speech" if it can be bought top dollar.

If CU is going to continue, then TV, radio and other common forms of communication should be provided free of charge.


Exxon and Monsanto (and almost all public corporations) have  never paid for "Vote for Sue" type ads, or even "Sue sucks because she didn't vote for Bill X" or "Tell Sue to vote yes on Bill X" type ads.
 
2014-06-24 04:28:03 PM  

Teiritzamna: it completely includes the expenditure of resources in furtherance of speech.


No it doesn't. My speech isn't protected if I want to expend my resources illegally, for instance (I can't graffiti someone else's billboard and have it be protected speech). Nor is my speech protected in certain places, where it would be legal elsewhere (electioneering is still prohibited outside polling places). We have made many, many restrictions on the use of influence and access on speech. Anti-Lobbying laws prohibit taking senators out to lunch, when that is a way of using your resources to get speech across.

Unless you think all of those are constitutionally protected, the "use of resources" is not completely protected as speech. You've just drawn a line somewhere I haven't.
 
2014-06-24 04:28:39 PM  

Geotpf: Teiritzamna: Nabb1: Could you elaborate on that?

Under a series of cases goiing back to Buckley, and most recently seen in McCutcheon, the only type of political donation that the Government has an interest in preventing is so called "quid pro quo" donations, i.e. direct exchange of an official act for money.

I.e. if it isn't rank bribery, the government has no a compelling interest in stopping it.

I.e. this is stupid.

Limits on direct campaign donations to any one candidate are still legal (and were, in fact, found specifically legal in McCutcheon).


I don't recall reading anything in the majority opinion that specifically said caps on direct donations to one candidate were constitutional. That would make sense because SCOTUS didn't have to say anything about the constitutionality of those caps to declare the aggregate caps unconstitutional.
 
2014-06-24 04:30:02 PM  

Geotpf: Limits on direct campaign donations to any one candidate are still legal (and were, in fact, found specifically legal in McCutcheon).


Indeed, never said they werent.  I do however, maintain that the McCutcheon majority's position that the only form of corruption that rises to the level of a compelling government interest is, as noted above, stupid.
 
2014-06-24 04:31:10 PM  
How is anyone surprised we're going the way of Rome?
 
2014-06-24 04:32:04 PM  

nmrsnr: JammerJim: Printing presses, ink, computers and the like aren't speech either, but we wouldn't restrict them.

That is correct. But printing presses, ink, and computers aren't government regulated entities, either. The government owns the airwaves and leases them to private organizations, saying that you can't buy an ad spot on the public airwaves is a far, far cry from saying you can't buy a printer, or Teiritzamna's suggestion that government requiring a license for paper and pencil.

In short:

[www.visi.com image 500x75]


I may be guilty of a fallacy, but I don't think it's that one.

I'm not suggesting that money restrictions would lead to printing press restrictions, but that money restrictions are like that in effect. Money, like a computer or printing press is means of getting your viewpoint out there.
 
2014-06-24 04:40:42 PM  

nmrsnr: No it doesn't. My speech isn't protected if I want to expend my resources illegally, for instance (I can't graffiti someone else's billboard and have it be protected speech). Nor is my speech protected in certain places, where it would be legal elsewhere (electioneering is still prohibited outside polling places). We have made many, many restrictions on the use of influence and access on speech. Anti-Lobbying laws prohibit taking senators out to lunch, when that is a way of using your resources to get speech across.


Wait what?  We were talking about substantive categories and now we are talking about free speech exception?

Ok. I shall take it very slowly:

1) The First Amendment prohibits the government from imposing limits on "the freedom of speech"
2) "The freedom of speech" includes many things, including the expenditure of resources for the furtherance of expression
3) however the freedom of speech also does not include things like obscenity, fighting words, incitement to imminent lawless action and so on
4) beyond that, even if an activity is found to be protected by the First Amendment, that is not the end of the analysis - one must assess what the government has done.  If it is a content based restriction on speech, then the government can still prevail with a limiting law, but it must show that the limitation is in furtherance of a compelling interest and that the limitation was narrowly tailored such that it was the least restrictive means of reaching the goal.  If it is not content based, the government has a lower bar to meet to show the limitation on speech is allowed.

You are talking about (4) when the discussion is about (2) - what is included within the freedom of speech.  Saying the expenditure of money is not speech is not akin to saying that a time place manner restriction is valid.  They are at different levels in the analysis.
 
2014-06-24 04:41:22 PM  

Geotpf: whidbey: Geotpf: And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

See, that's the thing.

Corporations have a war chest for their "free speech," ordinary citizens don't have that advantage.

The process should be subsidized so that anyone can get their message across with the same effectiveness a billion dollar corporation does. It's the only way without repealing CU.


There are quite a few "ordinary citizens" who have a spare billion to spend on such.  In fact, corporate donations of this sort have been minimal since legalization in Citzens' United.

So what? Exxon and Monsanto can still fart out propaganda at a moment's notice. Meanwhile 501(c)3's are still having bake sales.

The playing field is hardly level, and it's not "free speech" if it can be bought top dollar.

If CU is going to continue, then TV, radio and other common forms of communication should be provided free of charge.

Exxon and Monsanto (and almost all public corporations) have  never paid for "Vote for Sue" type ads, or even "Sue sucks because she didn't vote for Bill X" or "Tell Sue to vote yes on Bill X" type ads.


You are (perhaps deliberately) misunderstanding my point.

Once again, if corporations have that kind of power per Supreme Court decision, then so should the average citizen. Otherwise, CU is not equal protection. It gives a freakishly unfair advantage.
 
2014-06-24 04:46:38 PM  

whidbey: Once again, if corporations have that kind of power per Supreme Court decision, then so should the average citizen. Otherwise, CU is not equal protection. It gives a freakishly unfair advantage.


And where does CU indicate that they don't?
 
2014-06-24 04:47:05 PM  
Um, doesn't a Constitutional Convention put the entire US constitution up for grabs?  If there is a specific issue you think should be addressed at the constitutional level, a single amendment can be ratified without a convention.  In fact, this has been done 27 times.
 
2014-06-24 04:47:52 PM  

Teiritzamna: 1) The First Amendment prohibits the government from imposing limits on "the freedom of speech"
2) "The freedom of speech" includes many things, including the expenditure of resources for the furtherance of expression
3) however the freedom of speech also does not include things like obscenity, fighting words, incitement to imminent lawless action and so on
4) beyond that, even if an activity is found to be protected by the First Amendment, that is not the end of the analysis - one must assess what the government has done. If it is a content based restriction on speech, then the government can still prevail with a limiting law, but it must show that the limitation is in furtherance of a compelling interest and that the limitation was narrowly tailored such that it was the least restrictive means of reaching the goal. If it is not content based, the government has a lower bar to meet to show the limitation on speech is allowed.

You are talking about (4) when the discussion is about (2) - what is included within the freedom of speech.


And here is the crux of the disagreement, you claim that use of money is part of (2), I claim it's part of (4). Money IS NOT speech and therefore SHOULD NOT be protected as such. It therefore does not belong in the categorical protection category of 2. The fact that the Supreme Court placed it in that category I believe was a mistake, and that it properly belongs in category 4, where you CAN limit the expenditure through narrow, tailored legislation, just like you can say you speech isn't protected if you graffiti it on a wall.
 
2014-06-24 04:48:47 PM  

whidbey: Geotpf: whidbey: Geotpf: And how does it NOT stop normal 99%ers from forming advocacy groups?

See, that's the thing.

Corporations have a war chest for their "free speech," ordinary citizens don't have that advantage.

The process should be subsidized so that anyone can get their message across with the same effectiveness a billion dollar corporation does. It's the only way without repealing CU.


There are quite a few "ordinary citizens" who have a spare billion to spend on such.  In fact, corporate donations of this sort have been minimal since legalization in Citzens' United.

So what? Exxon and Monsanto can still fart out propaganda at a moment's notice. Meanwhile 501(c)3's are still having bake sales.

The playing field is hardly level, and it's not "free speech" if it can be bought top dollar.

If CU is going to continue, then TV, radio and other common forms of communication should be provided free of charge.

Exxon and Monsanto (and almost all public corporations) have  never paid for "Vote for Sue" type ads, or even "Sue sucks because she didn't vote for Bill X" or "Tell Sue to vote yes on Bill X" type ads.

You are (perhaps deliberately) misunderstanding my point.

Once again, if corporations have that kind of power per Supreme Court decision, then so should the average citizen. Otherwise, CU is not equal protection. It gives a freakishly unfair advantage.


So...the government should also buy everyone a church, a machine gun, and a brewery to go along with their printing press, right?
 
2014-06-24 04:50:39 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: Once again, if corporations have that kind of power per Supreme Court decision, then so should the average citizen. Otherwise, CU is not equal protection. It gives a freakishly unfair advantage.

And where does CU indicate that they don't?


Well, when it gives corporations more power by default, pretty sure that protections for the average citizen are lip service.
 
2014-06-24 04:51:30 PM  
Ditch the electoral college, create ranked ballot and vote by mail. Require ballot retention for 4 years.

Require broadcasters to provide equal free air to all qualified candidates. Require all issue and candidate advertisement funding open, regardless of IRS classification.

Now CU ruling is irrelevant. Maybe add in corporate personhood only applies toward contracts or something. Allow SEC to set and enforce rules that prevent any one person from being on more than one board and require every board to have a director assigned by labor.
 
2014-06-24 04:53:18 PM  

nmrsnr: And here is the crux of the disagreement, you claim that use of money is part of (2), I claim it's part of (4). Money IS NOT speech and therefore SHOULD NOT be protected as such. It therefore does not belong in the categorical protection category of 2. The fact that the Supreme Court placed it in that category I believe was a mistake, and that it properly belongs in category 4, where you CAN limit the expenditure through narrow, tailored legislation, just like you can say you speech isn't protected if you graffiti it on a wall.


Fair enough - although the idea that the framers did not include the ability to make a handbill, or pay for ink within the "freedom of speech" is pretty alien to me.  It makes the First Amendment far far too limited for my taste.  And pretty much every court to address the question would disagree with you.

But! As a major proponent of a strong First Amendment I totally respect your ability to think we are all wrong.

And as a farker, i love the debate, so cheers!
 
2014-06-24 04:55:08 PM  
Other than the ridiculously narrow definition of corruption, Citizens United basically got things right.  As long as we allow money to influence politics it's going to be very difficult to say who can spend that money and in what amounts.  We have to stop private financing of elections.  We can't do anything about lobbyists - that's a human being talking to another human being more or less but we can prohibit political advertising.  Do what the UK does - short election windows and everyone that gets enough signatures gets the same amount of airtime.  For state and local elections people will have to do things the old fashioned way.
 
2014-06-24 04:57:16 PM  

whidbey: Well, when it gives corporations more power by default, pretty sure that protections for the average citizen are lip service.


Fun fact: The First Amendment aims to limit government interference in the marketplace of ideas.  that's it.  It doesn't aim to make the marketplace fair.

/Making the game fair is our job as intelligent citizens.
 
2014-06-24 04:57:31 PM  
In any case, this is not going to happen.  There's not going to be a constitutional convention, or even a new amendment passed by normal means, during my lifetime.  To do either requires a very large supermajority to agree that such is needed.  Right now, you couldn't get a large supermajority to agree that pizza is yummy.
 
2014-06-24 04:57:49 PM  
Ooh, almost forgot.

Limit SCOTUS "lifetime" appointments to periods of no more than 20 years. No re-appointment unless to Chief, possibly.
 
2014-06-24 04:58:49 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: Well, when it gives corporations more power by default, pretty sure that protections for the average citizen are lip service.

Fun fact: The First Amendment aims to limit government interference in the marketplace of ideas.  that's it.  It doesn't aim to make the marketplace fair.

/Making the game fair is our job as intelligent citizens.


Like repealing an unfair law like CU.

Fun fact: I signed the petition to repeal it. So should you.
 
2014-06-24 04:59:07 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: Well, when it gives corporations more power by default, pretty sure that protections for the average citizen are lip service.

Fun fact: The First Amendment aims to limit government interference in the marketplace of ideas.  that's it.  It doesn't aim to make the marketplace fair.

/Making the game fair is our job as intelligent citizens.


On man.  If that's true we are completely boned

(I actually agree with you).
 
2014-06-24 04:59:47 PM  

whidbey: law


RULING. I know that's going to bring out the Sharks of Pedanticry
 
2014-06-24 05:01:55 PM  

whidbey: Sharks of Pedanticry


Lol
 
2014-06-24 05:02:01 PM  

whidbey: Fun fact: I signed the petition to repeal it. So should you.


Nah, I like my first amendment rights, thanks.  I spend most of my days writing documents to defend the same rights for other people, so it would be kinda silly to support gutting them in my off hours.
 
2014-06-24 05:02:39 PM  

whidbey: RULING. I know that's going to bring out the Sharks of Pedanticry


+1
 
2014-06-24 05:03:33 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: Fun fact: I signed the petition to repeal it. So should you.

Nah, I like my first amendment rights, thanks.  I spend most of my days writing documents to defend the same rights for other people, so it would be kinda silly to support gutting them in my off hours.


Unless you're willing to allow for an equal protection under the law, then you what really mean is

"nah, I want corporations to have more rights than the average citizen."
 
2014-06-24 05:04:26 PM  

dr_blasto: Ooh, almost forgot.

Limit SCOTUS "lifetime" appointments to periods of no more than 20 years. No re-appointment unless to Chief, possibly.


So one 2-term President should, on average, pick 44% of the court?

If you're going to fiddle with it, go to 11 justices on rolling 2-year terms.
 
2014-06-24 05:05:11 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: RULING. I know that's going to bring out the Sharks of Pedanticry

+1


Why thank you.

OK, then how about we agree with the point made earlier, that if we eliminate corporate personhood, then CU is irrelevant?
 
2014-06-24 05:05:26 PM  
Dear California Senate,

While is is an admirable goal, and I completely support the thinking behind it, your time might be better spent fixing our state constitution first.

Thank you,
Holfax - CA resident and voter
 
2014-06-24 05:07:39 PM  

BMFPitt: dr_blasto: Ooh, almost forgot.

Limit SCOTUS "lifetime" appointments to periods of no more than 20 years. No re-appointment unless to Chief, possibly.

So one 2-term President should, on average, pick 44% of the court?

If you're going to fiddle with it, go to 11 justices on rolling 2-year terms.


Nope. I expect them to use significant experience gained on the court.

I'm OK with one 2-term president appointing big chunks, even if he's a clown like Reagan.
 
2014-06-24 05:08:38 PM  
Well, while were having this constitutional convention anyway, why not expand the scope a bit.
Here'd s few to he the ball rolling.

Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress -- Total 12 years
--Power corrupts -- Absolute power corrupts alsolutly

Amendment to Establish Limits for Supreme Court Justices -- Total 12 years
--No fricken reason these people need to stick around for until they're 112 years old and sleeping through hearings.

Amendment to balance the budget.
--I do it, so why not the government.

Admenment to stop the power grab Obama is currently engaged in.
--Provide a means to have immediate hearing before the Supreme Court to insure the President abides by the law as written, not how he thinks it shoud be.
 
2014-06-24 05:08:58 PM  

BMFPitt: dr_blasto: Ooh, almost forgot.

Limit SCOTUS "lifetime" appointments to periods of no more than 20 years. No re-appointment unless to Chief, possibly.

So one 2-term President should, on average, pick 44% of the court?

If you're going to fiddle with it, go to 11 justices on rolling 2-year terms.


Why shouldn't they? It makes no sense to me that Nixon, who was president for five years, was able to name four Justices to the court while Jimmy Carter, who was president for four years, named nobody to the court.
 
2014-06-24 05:09:21 PM  

whidbey: Unless you're willing to allow for an equal protection under the law, then you what really mean is


You are confusing equal protection under the law and unequal ability to use a right protected under the law.

Guess what, sometimes the allocation of resources isn't fair.  I would like it to be more so.  But i dont think the way to address the problem is to ratchet back everyone's rights.

I would much rather spread around the resources. 

Some people are prettier than others or more eloquent - they dont "have more free speech," but you better believe that when they use their rights they definitely get more oomph.  This like complaining that a law that allows everyone to run on a municipal track is unfair because many of the runners are faster than you and thus they "get more running."

Instead of attempting to impose a low speed limit on the track so everyone is equal, perhaps we could work to make everyone faster?
 
2014-06-24 05:10:20 PM  

whidbey: Teiritzamna: whidbey: RULING. I know that's going to bring out the Sharks of Pedanticry

+1

Why thank you.

OK, then how about we agree with the point made earlier, that if we eliminate corporate personhood, then CU is irrelevant?


Mandating public records and openess for all issue organizations will help too. We allow all kinds of shiat to hide today under "social welfare" PACs being allowed to keep donors secret. fark that; make them 100% open.

If you throw in abolition of EC, ranked voting and vote by mail, those corporate dollars become background noise.
 
2014-06-24 05:11:46 PM  

whidbey: OK, then how about we agree with the point made earlier, that if we eliminate corporate personhood, then CU is irrelevant?


Not really because, as noted, (1) the ruling doesn't really rest on Corporate personhood, but upon the aggregation of individual rights and (2) it wouldnt addess the fact that billionaires are still out there.  Trust me the Adlesons and Kochs of the world would love the corporate prongs of CU to be lopped off, because grass roots super pacs and other such groups are the only way the 99% can actually band together to take them on.
 
2014-06-24 05:11:57 PM  

dr_blasto: BMFPitt: dr_blasto: Ooh, almost forgot.

Limit SCOTUS "lifetime" appointments to periods of no more than 20 years. No re-appointment unless to Chief, possibly.

So one 2-term President should, on average, pick 44% of the court?

If you're going to fiddle with it, go to 11 justices on rolling 2-year terms.

Nope. I expect them to use significant experience gained on the court.

I'm OK with one 2-term president appointing big chunks, even if he's a clown like Reagan.


I probably wrote that a bit ambiguously. One justice would serve 22 years, with a staggered appointment/retirement every 2 years.
 
2014-06-24 05:12:27 PM  

dr_blasto: Mandating public records and openess for all issue organizations will help too. We allow all kinds of shiat to hide today under "social welfare" PACs being allowed to keep donors secret. fark that; make them 100% open.


100% agreed
 
2014-06-24 05:14:18 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: Unless you're willing to allow for an equal protection under the law, then you what really mean is

You are confusing equal protection under the law and unequal ability to use a right protected under the law.

Guess what, sometimes the allocation of resources isn't fair.  I would like it to be more so.  But i dont think the way to address the problem is to ratchet back everyone's rights.

I would much rather spread around the resources.

Some people are prettier than others or more eloquent - they dont "have more free speech," but you better believe that when they use their rights they definitely get more oomph.  This like complaining that a law that allows everyone to run on a municipal track is unfair because many of the runners are faster than you and thus they "get more running."

Instead of attempting to impose a low speed limit on the track so everyone is equal, perhaps we could work to make everyone faster?


When the people who have the resources to get Congress to do their bidding use those resources to prevent others from getting ahold of their own resources, how can those without spread them around more?
 
2014-06-24 05:15:03 PM  

Brick-House: Admenment to stop the power grab Obama is currently engaged in.
--Provide a means to have immediate hearing before the Supreme Court to insure the President abides by the law as written, not how he thinks it shoud be


derp
 
2014-06-24 05:17:34 PM  

Serious Black: When the people who have the resources to get Congress to do their bidding use those resources to prevent others from getting ahold of their own resources, how can those without spread them around more?


votes
 
2014-06-24 05:18:08 PM  

Teiritzamna: although the idea that the framers did not include the ability to make a handbill, or pay for ink within the "freedom of speech" is pretty alien to me. It makes the First Amendment far far too limited for my taste. And pretty much every court to address the question would disagree with you.


Firstly, they treated handbills as separate, that's why they said "freedom of speech, or of the press" so even in my no money view, you still have all the handbills you want.

Secondly, while I am not a lawyer, I don't feel that this is the case, or else Citizen's United would not have been such a monumental decision. Like I said earlier, just because something is not explicitly a protected right doesn't mean that it isn't related to a protected right, and therefore is completely open to restriction. Restricting the ability to have a blog on the Internet, because you have to pay for Internet access, is clearly not a law designed to restrict money, but to restrict individual expression. It would therefor be entirely prudent for a judge to rule that the law is impermissibly damaging to free speech, and therefore unconstitutional, in the same way that restricting access to the polls is impermissibly damaging to the right to vote, without having to state that the right to spend money on speech is protected any more than the right to go to the polls at any particular time is protected.

But yes, sometimes there can be good discussions on Fark. Every now and then we can have nice things.
 
2014-06-24 05:23:15 PM  

Teiritzamna: whidbey: OK, then how about we agree with the point made earlier, that if we eliminate corporate personhood, then CU is irrelevant?

Not really because, as noted, (1) the ruling doesn't really rest on Corporate personhood, but upon the aggregation of individual rights and (2) it wouldnt addess the fact that billionaires are still out there.  Trust me the Adlesons and Kochs of the world would love the corporate prongs of CU to be lopped off, because grass roots super pacs and other such groups are the only way the 99% can actually band together to take them on.


Given the insane amounts of money they already donate, I honestly don't think that's much of a reason to not repeal it.
 
2014-06-24 05:26:41 PM  

Teiritzamna: Serious Black: When the people who have the resources to get Congress to do their bidding use those resources to prevent others from getting ahold of their own resources, how can those without spread them around more?

votes


I already "funnied" this post once, but I would do it more if I had any alts.
 
2014-06-24 05:28:07 PM  

Brick-House: Admenment to stop the power grab Obama is currently engaged in.


Have all your friends on Facebook blocked you? Get a hint.
 
2014-06-24 05:31:39 PM  

Serious Black: I already "funnied" this post once, but I would do it more if I had any alts.


Hey man, we all know expenditure of money in an election always wins, and the voters are basically irrelevant, which is why Eric Cantor is a lock for the Speaker of the House next term.
 
2014-06-24 05:39:55 PM  

Teiritzamna: Serious Black: I already "funnied" this post once, but I would do it more if I had any alts.

Hey man, we all know expenditure of money in an election always wins, and the voters are basically irrelevant, which is why Eric Cantor is a lock for the Speaker of the House next term.


The fact that Congress is on two-year terms means they spend almost 100% of their time fundraising. That's insane.

We should publicly fund their campaigns. Get 1k signatures or whatever and you're equal to the incumbent. Probably should also eliminate the cap on house members and go with some 250k to 400k or so constituents per rep. It would be a madhouse, but I think you'd get better representation overall. Plus there'd be a lot of non-D or -R people in the House, that would force coalitions. You'd be guaranteed some level of compromise and this whole distasteful monolithic majority party nonsense would be gone, gerrymandering along with it.
 
2014-06-24 05:42:13 PM  

dr_blasto: We should publicly fund their campaigns. Get 1k signatures or whatever and you're equal to the incumbent. Probably should also eliminate the cap on house members and go with some 250k to 400k or so constituents per rep. It would be a madhouse, but I think you'd get better representation overall. Plus there'd be a lot of non-D or -R people in the House, that would force coalitions. You'd be guaranteed some level of compromise and this whole distasteful monolithic majority party nonsense would be gone, gerrymandering along with it.


I am totally behind public funding.  It won't affect expenditures by third party groups, which already dwarf candidate spending in many markets, however.
 
2014-06-24 05:55:17 PM  

Teiritzamna: dr_blasto: We should publicly fund their campaigns. Get 1k signatures or whatever and you're equal to the incumbent. Probably should also eliminate the cap on house members and go with some 250k to 400k or so constituents per rep. It would be a madhouse, but I think you'd get better representation overall. Plus there'd be a lot of non-D or -R people in the House, that would force coalitions. You'd be guaranteed some level of compromise and this whole distasteful monolithic majority party nonsense would be gone, gerrymandering along with it.

I am totally behind public funding.  It won't affect expenditures by third party groups, which already dwarf candidate spending in many markets, however.


sure, those groups dump huge piles. But at least the representative will get to spend time representing instead of begging for cash.
 
2014-06-24 05:57:08 PM  

Teiritzamna: Serious Black: I already "funnied" this post once, but I would do it more if I had any alts.

Hey man, we all know expenditure of money in an election always wins, and the voters are basically irrelevant, which is why Eric Cantor is a lock for the Speaker of the House next term.


How many other people can you name who lost an election despite having ten times the funding of their opponents?
 
2014-06-24 07:01:40 PM  
Hero tag?? More like SCARY!

Letting republicans in to tinker with the Constitution is like letting Russian script kiddies in to tinker with your PC's BIOS.
 
2014-06-24 07:22:02 PM  
Do away with PACs and SUPERPACs and every political commercial must have at the end "This commercial was paid for by <insert corporate conglomerate>.
 
2014-06-24 08:08:05 PM  

shroom: Teiritzamna: shroom: FWIW, I think these groups are going about it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm against the Citizens United decision. But the problem is broader than this one decision. The more general issue that needs to be addressed is eliminating the whole idea of corporate personhood. Move to Amend has it right. Take away corporate personhood, and Citizens United takes care of itself.

So you want to take away the ability for companies to own property and sue/be sued so as to fix a perceieved problem that actually has little to nothing to do with with those previously mentioned abilities?  Because CU was predicated less on corporate personhood and more on good old fashioned first amendment jurisprudence - and removing corporate personhood would merely tactically nuke our economy, as every company basically becomes a full liability partnership, but the Koch Bros. can still bankroll as many ads as they want.

TLDR: Cunning plan/thinking/not all the way through

Where the hell did I say any of that?  I said end corporate personhood.  Corporations are artificial entities.  They should have the rights the people (by way of Congress) vote to allow them, and not have rights the people (by way of Congress) votes to not allow them.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I want hard limits on corporations donating to political campaigns, and I want the Supreme Court to stop telling me no.


Will you hold your breath until you get your way?

Have you considered foot stomping?
 
2014-06-24 08:08:25 PM  

nmrsnr: The right of speech is not a right of venue.


Mind your arguments here - what you just said could validly support the "free speech zones" idea being used in some more wacky places.
 
2014-06-24 08:09:14 PM  

Serious Black: Teiritzamna: Serious Black: I already "funnied" this post once, but I would do it more if I had any alts.

Hey man, we all know expenditure of money in an election always wins, and the voters are basically irrelevant, which is why Eric Cantor is a lock for the Speaker of the House next term.

How many other people can you name who lost an election despite having ten times the funding of their opponents?


Colorado recalls off the top of my head.
 
2014-06-24 09:08:17 PM  

IvyLady: Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS.  I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.


There's no basis to challenge it. The Constitution explicitly allows it to do this, if it wants.

Article 1, Section 5: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...
 
2014-06-24 10:12:49 PM  

sugar_fetus: IvyLady: Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS.  I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.

There's no basis to challenge it. The Constitution explicitly allows it to do this, if it wants.

Article 1, Section 5: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...


Yeah but seriously, if those "rules" favor an obstructionist minority using said rules to gain an advantage, they should be challenged.

There have been so many proposed Democratic Party ideas that could have passed with a simple majority instead of that 60 vote shiat.
 
2014-06-24 10:31:35 PM  

Teiritzamna: Headso: Ok, still not seeing what that has to do with limiting their ability to participate in the political process has to do with individuals participating in the political process.

You cannot have a rational interpretation of the First Amendment that protects Alice and Bob in expressing themselves on their own as individuals, but that does not protect Alice and Bob when expressing themselves together.

The very fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they lose their First Amendment rights.


The fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they get to create another person that can exercise 1stAm rights. Unless, of course, they teamed up 9 or more months ago...
 
2014-06-24 11:05:31 PM  

whidbey: sugar_fetus: IvyLady: Although....I"m kind of amazed that the Senate's 60 vote rule has never ended up in front of SCOTUS.  I keep wonder if it's because there's no mechanism for that kind of constitutional challenge.

There's no basis to challenge it. The Constitution explicitly allows it to do this, if it wants.

Article 1, Section 5: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...

Yeah but seriously, if those "rules" favor an obstructionist minority using said rules to gain an advantage, they should be challenged.

There have been so many proposed Democratic Party ideas that could have passed with a simple majority instead of that 60 vote shiat.


It doesn't matter if said rules are stupid; they are constitutional.  Note that the Senate sets it's rules each term and the party in the majority sets them; IE, if the Democrats wanted to eliminate the filibuster, they could do so.  The Democrats did weaken the filibuster rules recently, in fact.
 
2014-06-24 11:08:46 PM  
The danger of a Constitutional convention is it can't be limited to one subject.  Anything can be proposed and everything in our current Constitution could be a target.  So all the extremes would get bandied about, from outlawing abortion to banning private gun ownership, and everything in between.  Hell, even the 13th Amendment could be revoked.  You know there's some assholes just itching to do that.
 
2014-06-25 12:54:37 AM  

Gyrfalcon: I think we should dump the entire Constitution as currently written, and start over.


HEY!!!
 
2014-06-25 01:09:11 AM  
All right, I have NO IDEA why I was administered the oath to defend the constitution when I enrolled at the local college years ago, but I did take it.

It was the strangest goddamn thing that's ever happened to me in the relationship I have with society, but by gods I accepted the WTF why the hell not situation, raised my right hand and I swore to it.

Whoever tries to knock the Constitution down is gonna have to get through everyone else who's taken that oath, for far better and more logical reasons than I have, and at the very end, they're gonna find me, the completely barking-mad certifiable loony, standing in front of the case in the National Archive, with at least a fking Bowie knife in my teeth.
 
2014-06-25 01:18:30 AM  

Kittypie070: All right, I have NO IDEA why I was administered the oath to defend the constitution when I enrolled at the local college years ago, but I did take it.

It was the strangest goddamn thing that's ever happened to me in the relationship I have with society, but by gods I accepted the WTF why the hell not situation, raised my right hand and I swore to it.

Whoever tries to knock the Constitution down is gonna have to get through everyone else who's taken that oath, for far better and more logical reasons than I have, and at the very end, they're gonna find me, the completely barking-mad certifiable loony, standing in front of the case in the National Archive, with at least a fking Bowie knife in my teeth.


I less than 3 this post so much.

/Who's awesome?
//Kittypie070 is awesome.
///S'rsly.
 
2014-06-25 01:50:19 AM  
So I did some Googling and apparently a few months ago Michigan finally became the 34th state to call for a Constitutional Convention for a Balanced Budget Amendment (they first started this idea thirty-something years ago).  So pretty much its on if that counts.

Should a Constitutional Convention ever be called, I hope geographically speaking that I'm on the right side of the country when the whole thing goes to Hell.  No way this country stays in one piece.
 
2014-06-25 02:00:14 AM  

Kittypie070: a fking Bowie knife in my teeth.


Never hold a knife in your mouth - that's just asking for a bad cut.
img.fark.net
 
2014-06-25 02:10:19 AM  

Brick-House: Well, while were having this constitutional convention anyway, why not expand the scope a bit.
Here'd s few to he the ball rolling.

Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress -- Total 12 years
--Power corrupts -- Absolute power corrupts alsolutly

Amendment to Establish Limits for Supreme Court Justices -- Total 12 years
--No fricken reason these people need to stick around for until they're 112 years old and sleeping through hearings.

Amendment to balance the budget.
--I do it, so why not the government.

Admenment to stop the power grab Obama is currently engaged in.
--Provide a means to have immediate hearing before the Supreme Court to insure the President abides by the law as written, not how he thinks it shoud be.


And if we're going that route:

Amendment to hold all Federal officials legally accountable to any international laws and treaties
--"Um, Mr. Bush, there's some guys from The Hague here to take you away."
 
2014-06-25 08:44:09 AM  

Teiritzamna: You are confusing equal protection under the law and unequal ability to use a right protected under the law.


"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

I think it might at least be possible to try arguing that political contributions (including to 501(c) organizations engaging in political activity) by for-profit corporations can be regulated. Such contributions are intended to help the company make more money in commerce, or they aren't. To the extent contributions are intended to help the company make more money in commerce, they are commercial activity, and thus may be regulated by Congress. To the extent contributions are not intended to help the company make more money in commerce, they are a betrayal of the corporation's fiduciary duty to its stockholders... and thus may be regulated by Congress.

((P∨¬P)→Q), ∴Q

Of course, this does absolutely nothing about massive contributions from the Koch Brothers personally; and I'm skeptical whether the courts would buy this particular logic.
 
2014-06-25 08:48:21 AM  

rzrwiresunrise: The fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they get to create another person that can exercise 1stAm rights. Unless, of course, they teamed up 9 or more months ago...


why not?  Its not like they created strong AI, its not like a company actually can speak on its own.  You seem to be laboring under the belief that if Alice and Bob join together and file some paperwork they get 50% more speech somehow, that we now have A and B and AB Co. each capable of independent expression:

A - 1 speech unit
B - 1 speech unit
AB Co. - 1 speech unit

For a total of 3 speech units (if 1 speech unit = the amount of speech a person can undertake)

But this isn't the case at all.

AB Co. can only "speak" through human action.  Unless AB Co. is secretly Skynet, it is merely a vehicle for A and B's expression (Which is basically what Citizens United held).

So what we have is more like:

A - 0.75 speech units (assuming that some of A's time is spent speaking as AB Co.)
B - 0.75 Speech units (same)
AB Co. - 0.5 speech units

leading to a grand total of 2 - exactly as many people are involved in the company.   Companies dont get any extra speech they aggregate the speech of those who work for, run, and fund them. Just as we may say "the NY times said X" with the knowledge that a newspaper doesn't speak on its own, so too can we say "Ford said Y" without worring that Ford is somehow a magic self motivating entity.
 
2014-06-25 09:06:55 AM  

abb3w: I think it might at least be possible to try arguing that political contributions (including to 501(c) organizations engaging in political activity) by for-profit corporations can be regulated. Such contributions are intended to help the company make more money in commerce, or they aren't. To the extent contributions are intended to help the company make more money in commerce, they are commercial activity, and thus may be regulated by Congress. To the extent contributions are not intended to help the company make more money in commerce, they are a betrayal of the corporation's fiduciary duty to its stockholders... and thus may be regulated by Congress.


While i like the way the argument is crafted, as a later drafted amendment, the First Amendment trumps the Commerce Clause.

I personally just wish the court did not cling to such a narrow construction of corruption/compelling interest.
 
2014-06-25 09:44:38 AM  

Teiritzamna: rzrwiresunrise: The fact that Alice and Bob have teamed up should not mean they get to create another person that can exercise 1stAm rights. Unless, of course, they teamed up 9 or more months ago...

why not?  Its not like they created strong AI, its not like a company actually can speak on its own.  You seem to be laboring under the belief that if Alice and Bob join together and file some paperwork they get 50% more speech somehow, that we now have A and B and AB Co. each capable of independent expression:

A - 1 speech unit
B - 1 speech unit
AB Co. - 1 speech unit

For a total of 3 speech units (if 1 speech unit = the amount of speech a person can undertake)

But this isn't the case at all.

AB Co. can only "speak" through human action.  Unless AB Co. is secretly Skynet, it is merely a vehicle for A and B's expression (Which is basically what Citizens United held).

So what we have is more like:

A - 0.75 speech units (assuming that some of A's time is spent speaking as AB Co.)
B - 0.75 Speech units (same)
AB Co. - 0.5 speech units

leading to a grand total of 2 - exactly as many people are involved in the company.   Companies dont get any extra speech they aggregate the speech of those who work for, run, and fund them. Just as we may say "the NY times said X" with the knowledge that a newspaper doesn't speak on its own, so too can we say "Ford said Y" without worring that Ford is somehow a magic self motivating entity.


However in this case the company, which has hundreds of people, is using ti's influence in a way that only represents the shareholders of the company, not the individual employees. The employees speech units are being attributed to the overall company which may not represent their best interest.
 
2014-06-25 09:54:25 AM  

thehobbes: However in this case the company, which has hundreds of people, is using ti's influence in a way that only represents the shareholders of the company, not the individual employees. The employees speech units are being attributed to the overall company which may not represent their best interest.


At which point the shareholders can either A) bring a derivative action alleging that the company is improperly using their money of B) sell their shares and invest elsewhere.
 
2014-06-25 09:56:20 AM  

Teiritzamna: At which point the shareholders can either A) bring a derivative action alleging that the company is improperly using their money of B) sell their shares and invest elsewhere.


Wait sorry, got your point backwards.

If the employees dont like what the company is doing, they have a few unpleasant options - but that is, unfortunately, again not a First Amendment issue, more of a "fark you economy" issue.
 
2014-06-25 10:24:10 AM  

Teiritzamna: While i like the way the argument is crafted, as a later drafted amendment, the First Amendment trumps the Commerce Clause.


Well, in practice, not quite "trumps"; but Central Hudson Gas & Electric v Public Service Commission of NY seems to make it clear that state legislatures (much less the federal Congress) can't ban commercial speech outright. So, it would clearly need more work.

Clearly, political activity is lawful; contrariwise, "misleading" is commonplace -- but nohow, makes for a problematic threshold in speech. This in turns suggests another (silly) possibility. How about an argument that accurate information in politics is a substantial governmental and public interest; and that since it would be so dangerous for the government to determine the threshold of "misleading" in political speech, the narrowest possible regulation to advance the interest while avoiding the hazard would be the categorical ban of political speech/contributions by commercial entities?

Teiritzamna: At which point the shareholders can either A) bring a derivative action alleging that the company is improperly using their money


It looks like thehobbes was referring to employees, rather than shareholders.

However, that brings up another couple points. Might a private group effect the same ends by buying one share in every publicly traded company that does this, waiting one election cycle, and then filing a mass of such lawsuits?

And might a narrow federal ban be implemented on speech where the corporation specifically purports to represent the interest of its employees?
 
2014-06-25 10:41:15 AM  

abb3w: Well, in practice, not quite "trumps"; but Central Hudson Gas & Electric v Public Service Commission of NY seems to make it clear that state legislatures (much less the federal Congress) can't ban commercial speech outright. So, it would clearly need more work.


Yeah. Also it is highly unlikely that political advocacy, even if it was for candidates that one believed would be beneficial to later financial performance would be commercial speech.

abb3w: How about an argument that accurate information in politics is a substantial governmental and public interest; and that since it would be so dangerous for the government to determine the threshold of "misleading" in political speech, the narrowest possible regulation to advance the interest while avoiding the hazard would be the categorical ban of political speech/contributions by commercial entities?


Once again, i like its cleverness, but it is a fairly disingenuous argument, as there are already a series of federal agencies entirely predicated on determining whether advertisements are false or misleading and a long history of federal law distinguishing misleading, false and fraudulent speech from mere opinion or fact.  So to argue that all of that could not handle political advertising seems like it would be too cute to work. 

Also narrowness works the exact opposite way - it is not narrowness of action (ban everything) it is narrowness of impact.  The incredibly expensive and complex option that leaves the maximum amount of speech available is the narrowest under First Amendment scrutiny. 

abb3w: However, that brings up another couple points. Might a private group effect the same ends by buying one share in every publicly traded company that does this, waiting one election cycle, and then filing a mass of such lawsuits?


They could, i suppose, but as they would lose the vast majority of them (the standard for a derivative suit is not "you did something i didnt like, but you did something that hurt my investment) it would be far more expensive for the private group than it would be for the companies and they would crater under the weight of the filing costs alone. 

abb3w: And might a narrow federal ban be implemented on speech where the corporation specifically purports to represent the interest of its employees?


Likley not - again that would be the realm of contract or corporate law.  I.e. if your company said that it only takes political positions based on a vote of all employees, and then it donates to a candidate that 56% of the employees disagree with, that would be a matter for contract law - the company breached its agreement to its staff.  Now i suppose the federal government could draft a law creating a special right of action for such employees so they could get some sort of special damages or injunctions, but i would figure that if the law was onerous to actually have teeth, such companies would stop making such promises real fast.
 
2014-06-25 10:42:40 AM  

Teiritzamna: Once again, i like its cleverness, but it is a fairly disingenuous argument, as there are already a series of federal agencies entirely predicated on determining whether advertisements are false or misleading and a long history of federal law distinguishing misleading, false and fraudulent speech from mere opinion or fact. So to argue that all of that could not handle political advertising seems like it would be too cute to work.


Note, when i say it is disingenuous i was not suggesting that you were being disingenuous btw, more that i was talking like a lawyer without thinking for a sec there. 

/Wanted to make sure i wasn't coming off as insulting, as you always tend to bring the good arguments
 
2014-06-25 12:18:20 PM  

SauronWasFramed: and on the third hand, once a convention is convened. there is no way to stop the delegates from dumping the whole thing


And that still doesn't mean anything, since it still has to be submitted to the individual states for approval, like any amendment would.
 
2014-06-25 03:29:08 PM  

Serious Black: SauronWasFramed: and on the third hand, once a convention is convened. there is no way to stop the delegates from dumping the whole thing

So? That's what our ancestors did with the Articles of Confederation. They were solely tasked to come up with amendments to that document, and they said "Fark this shiat" before writing an entirely new document.


So?  Do you think you will have freedom of speech or assembly if those opposed to such frivilous concepts get through with it?  How about the police have the right to search you, your car, your home, your office, your computer without a warrant? 

There is a danger to a constitutional convention:  Say goodbye to the right to own a handgun, and others.
 
2014-06-25 09:25:13 PM  
How could California propose the first Constitutional Convention since 1787? California didn't become a state until 1850!
 
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