If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(LA Times)   Obama has destroyed America so thoroughly that California lawmakers propose the first Constitutional Convention since 1787   (latimes.com) divider line 54
    More: Hero, Citizens United, California State Senate, U.S. Constitution, joint resolutions  
•       •       •

4283 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Jun 2014 at 1:38 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-06-24 01:45:31 PM  
6 votes:
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 12:22:40 PM  
5 votes:
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 12:18:39 PM  
4 votes:
things that will never happen:  this.
2014-06-24 11:49:59 AM  
4 votes:
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 01:54:29 PM  
3 votes:
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 01:17:33 PM  
3 votes:

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 12:13:08 PM  
3 votes:
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 02:17:15 PM  
2 votes:
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 02:16:46 PM  
2 votes:

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 02:01:32 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:42:51 PM  
2 votes:
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 01:04:35 PM  
2 votes:
media.boingboing.net
2014-06-24 01:03:05 PM  
2 votes:
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.
2014-06-25 08:48:21 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2014-06-24 11:08:46 PM  
1 votes:
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.
2014-06-24 11:05:31 PM  
1 votes:

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 09:08:17 PM  
1 votes:

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 05:28:07 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:40:42 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:32:04 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:17:52 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:16:00 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:10:38 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:33:56 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:26:25 PM  
1 votes:

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


how are they enhanced?
2014-06-24 03:25:49 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:16:55 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:14:16 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:54:16 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:52:52 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:50:46 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:47:33 PM  
1 votes:
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 02:42:31 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:41:26 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:35:35 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:34:43 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:33:57 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:30:25 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:30:05 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:27:34 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:26:59 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:20:52 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:20:40 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:15:06 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:09:13 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:05:17 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:01:53 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:56:52 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:55:10 PM  
1 votes:
Free Beer Friday. Now's our chance!
2014-06-24 01:55:09 PM  
1 votes:
How about a constitutional amendment to eliminate political donations?
2014-06-24 01:54:43 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:54:32 PM  
1 votes:
I think we should dump the entire Constitution as currently written, and start over.
2014-06-24 01:44:36 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:02:28 PM  
1 votes:
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.
 
Displayed 54 of 54 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report