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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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4311 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Jun 2014 at 1:38 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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.
 
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