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Thread: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    you have to have a very compelling reason to limit free speech.... especially political speech.

    sorry , but " omg omg omg the corporations are taking over" is not a compelling argument.
    There is a compelling reason. The Court has said that contributions can be limited if they create even the appearance of corruption. And then they insanely concluded that there is no appearance of corruption created by $100 million contributions from a single individual! Is anyone in his right mind not at least suspicious that there will be quid pro quo for such massive contributions?
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Two points to make: First of all, Citizens United vs. FEC is one of the clearest examples of judicial activism ever issued from the Supreme Court. First of all, the case overturned several precedents. Some, like Burroughs vs. US, had been established law since the 1930s. Relevant cases that weren't overturned were misread or misapplied, such as Buckley v. Valeo. Overturning long-standing precedents flies in the face of Stare Decisis. While there may be times when it is necessary, it is still intrinsically an activist move. The court also ruled on issues not in front of the bench. Neither side in Citizens United was arguing that restrictions on corporate spending should be removed. The case was a fairly narrow one on the issue of selling videos before an election. The Roberts Court decided to issue this ruling, even though it wasn't what they were being asked to rule on. That is another thing I consider to be "judicial activism." This is the most activist court in living memory. Which is ironic, given how the majority on Citizens United have all rambled on about "judicial restraint," and that Republicans always levy the charge at their opponents.
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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Second point: I'm going to walk through a few basic ideas here.

    There is a clear, if not absolute, correlation between spending and election results. Candidates who are vastly outspent almost never win. Does anyone really doubt that if Bob McHobo donated 50 million dollars to the Libertarian Party that they could double their vote margin many times over? You can argue whether or not people have a herd instinct, but point is that money helps win elections.

    Second, politicians want to get reelected. They know that they need money to get reelected. For a lot of smaller races, fundraising is the main thing a candidate does. Money is the lifeblood of politics, and the politicians need it.

    Third, politicians will act in office in such a way to get reelected, or get elected to their next office. Since this means they need money, they will act in whatever way makes sure they get the money when they need it. This, to some extent, extends past the particular candidate. Even someone who is retiring knows that their actions affect their party as a whole.

    If someone donates a considerable sum to a politician(or spends the money on the candidate's behalf in a SuperPac), then the politician will act in such a way to keep the donor donating. The more a donor spends, the more the politician will enact policies that help the donor.

    Does anyone disagree with any of the steps my logic took? Because if you connect the dots, it says that politicians need money to win elections so they will let their policies be influenced by those that give them the most money. That, my friends, is corruption, and isn't how America should work.
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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    The unions don't have near enough money to counter unliminted corporate donations.
    Really? Here are some facts for you to take in:



    * The largest corporate contributor since 89' is AT&T, who's responsible for just under $49 million in political funding, 55% of which went to republicans and 43% went to the democrats.

    * On the union side, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees has contributed a nearly equal amount, to the tune of over $48 million. For every $1,000 of that money contributed to republicans, $92,000 would be contributed to democrats.

    * Of the top 20 political contributors since 1989, 12 are labor unions, 4 are trade organizations, 3 are private corporations and 1 is a democratic PAC.

    * The 12 labor unions account for more than half ($410 million) of the nearly $800 millon raised by the top 20 political contributors since 89', with less than 3% of those union's contributions going to republicans.

    * The 3 corporate contributors in the top 20 (AT&T, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup) were only responsible for $118 million, or 15% of the total, which was divided almost equally between democrats (48.5%) and republicans (47.9%).

    * The 4 trade organizations in the top 20 that contributed were responsible for $136 million, or 17% of the total, in which 53% went to democrats and 43% went to republicans.

    * The largest single source of political cash comes from ActBlue, a democratic PAC that in just 8 short years, has funneled more than $134 million in political contributions, exclusively for democrats and democratic candidates.


    You were saying?
    Last edited by Grim17; 06-27-12 at 10:00 PM.

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    And here I foolishly had hope that the court would fix their mistake. What a silly thing to think...
    Looks like you're another liberal who hasn't realized that corporations are people.

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17 View Post
    Really? Here are some facts for you to take in:



    * The largest corporate contributor since 89' is AT&T, who's responsible for just under $49 million in political funding, 55% of which went to republicans and 43% went to the democrats.

    * On the union side, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees has contributed a nearly equal amount, to the tune of over $48 million. For every $1,000 of that money contributed to republicans, $92,000 would be contributed to democrats....

    You were saying?
    Yes, I was saying that in this election cycle it appears that ONE MAN is going to contribute to Republicans more than DOUBLE what AFSCME has contributed to Democrats over the last 13 years.

    You were saying?

    See, unions actually could keep up before Citizens United. After Citizens United they can't remotely counter contributions by wealthy individuals and corporations. That's kind of the point.
    Last edited by AdamT; 06-27-12 at 11:23 PM.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by the makeout hobo View Post
    Second point: I'm going to walk through a few basic ideas here.

    There is a clear, if not absolute, correlation between spending and election results. Candidates who are vastly outspent almost never win. Does anyone really doubt that if Bob McHobo donated 50 million dollars to the Libertarian Party that they could double their vote margin many times over? You can argue whether or not people have a herd instinct, but point is that money helps win elections.

    Second, politicians want to get reelected. They know that they need money to get reelected. For a lot of smaller races, fundraising is the main thing a candidate does. Money is the lifeblood of politics, and the politicians need it.

    Third, politicians will act in office in such a way to get reelected, or get elected to their next office. Since this means they need money, they will act in whatever way makes sure they get the money when they need it. This, to some extent, extends past the particular candidate. Even someone who is retiring knows that their actions affect their party as a whole.

    If someone donates a considerable sum to a politician(or spends the money on the candidate's behalf in a SuperPac), then the politician will act in such a way to keep the donor donating. The more a donor spends, the more the politician will enact policies that help the donor.

    Does anyone disagree with any of the steps my logic took? Because if you connect the dots, it says that politicians need money to win elections so they will let their policies be influenced by those that give them the most money. That, my friends, is corruption, and isn't how America should work.

    Not bad logic, and I will presume that you would make the same argument about union donations in both money and people's time. You will also probably agree that the comic, who as an individual, not a corporation gave Obama $1 million. I am not sure who people get around the law we have on individuals but both the President and Romney attend dinners etc where people may pay 40K or 50K.

    You are correct about the person with the most money often winning. Obama swamped McCain in 2008, perhaps that had an impact, not sure.

    I also understand that most of the superpac money has been given by individuals, not corporations so it is not clear to me how citizens united impacted those donations. You sound like a lawyer, perhaps you know.

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    Yes, I was saying that in this election cycle it appears that ONE MAN is going to contribute to Republicans more than DOUBLE what AFSCME has contributed to Democrats over the last 13 years.

    You were saying?

    See, unions actually could keep up before Citizens United. After Citizens United they can't remotely counter contributions by wealthy individuals and corporations. That's kind of the point.
    So, basically, if your side has the funding advantage that is just and fair, however when the tables turn it is time for a new system. Let that hollywood crowd pony up some cash, that they are SO eager to ask others for. When the teleprompter in chief is calling for ever more federal spending and more "fair" taxation (meaning that the rich should pay WAY more) then some just may decide that they HOPE for a CHANGE. The 2010 congressional shift was just the warm-up for this year. The OWS loons got tired and took the summer off, but the TP is just getting its act together. The more voter ID laws we get, the less vote manufacturing that can be done and the more that each vote means. In 2008 the economy was in a mess and the incumbent got the boot, guess what will happen in 2012?
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-27-12 at 11:36 PM.
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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    There is a compelling reason. The Court has said that contributions can be limited if they create even the appearance of corruption. And then they insanely concluded that there is no appearance of corruption created by $100 million contributions from a single individual! Is anyone in his right mind not at least suspicious that there will be quid pro quo for such massive contributions?
    I 100% agree with you. States should be able to regulate the amount donated by individuals or groups for state and local elections and the congress should be able to decide for federal elections. Personally I'd like to see the same max allowed for any federal donation (to party or to candidate, by individual or group) - $50. That would make federal elections far more interesting. Maybe we'd have a better selection of goobers then.

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    Re: Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    So, basically, if your side has the funding advantage that is just and fair, however when the tables turn it is time for a new system.
    No, it's not fair either way. I have always advocated for 100% public funding of elections, with both sides getting an equal amount. Unlimited campaign contributions are nothing but legalized bribery.
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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