View Poll Results: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

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Thread: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

  1. #411
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    I would completely support an ammedment like this. However I can think of a couple issues american citizens would have with it.

    *Reduces political power* Americans like to believe they can have an effect on the system. By making a donation to a candidate it lets you know you are having an impact on the election. One of the last things we need right now is for people to feel like their opinion does not matter. A large part of the population does not vote and doing somehting like this may give a very cynical attitude towards for americans.

    *May reduce parties vying for smaller states* Political parties always tend to go for the bigger states for more votes int he electoral college, this would be almost exclusive if this were to pass as with such limited spending they would want to make their voice heard by the states with the biggest population and not try to teach out more to the smaller ones.

    Keep in mind I do support the idea however if that is any consolation. I believe electoral candidates should have a set limit on their spending to stop corporate america and lobbyists from completely buying out a candidate. While I believe in capitalism and in the idea that your earn what is given to you I do not think they should have an overextended amount of power simply because their wallets run deeper than the average citizen.
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  2. #412
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    I thought just a few posts ago we agreed to use the dictionary definition of lobbying rather than your special definition because you didn't provide another word that describes the activity under discussion and because the dictionary definition is often a reasonable definition to use.
    We did. And my comment is consistent with that.

    This would be one of those good times for you to provide some additional information. Like some sort of a citation which elaborates and confirms your assertion. Because, that money is getting into the revenue stream somehow. Just because it has to jump through hoops or be funneled into another entity on its way or w/e doesn't really negate its practical impact.
    So, if you can, please provide some educational information in this area.
    The Taft-Hartley Act banned all corporate and union financing of campaigns. Period.

    Subsequent laws gave unions and corporations the right to form political action committees to use voluntarily-collected funds (not from their treasuries) for donations, but the money can't come from corporate or union treasuries.

    Money can be spent on speech (Citizens United case) but not donated to candidates. That's a source of confusion.

    A source: Appendix 4: Brief History

    As I have been pointing out, this is insufficient. The costs of securing this information effectively renders it secluded and obscured to the general public.
    There is very little cost in securing this information. Furthermore, there would always be a cost - a cost in time and attention that a person would have to pay, compared to the enormous amounts of other data competing for attention. People simply don't have time to care about little things like this. Of course, a lobbyist does....

    Of course you do. And rather than work on a way to involve the electorate and improve the country, you'd rather continue a system which benefits your profession at the expense of the electorate and the nation.
    It's not like I haven't heard the circumstantial ad hominem before.

    All my lobbying work has been in the service of the average person, against corporate interests. You may have even sent money to a group that paid my salary. You should thank me for my service to the country.

    Now that that's out of the way, I'll tell you that lobbyists spend a great deal of time desperately trying to get the electorate's attention about issues. That's what grassroots campaigns are all about. Lobbyists spend alot of time and money trying to inform the people about something, and tell them exactly how to act on it.

    The majority don't even respond.

    Go for it. You can start with the example most recently listed of the Fanjul family. What lobbying group is specifically against that agenda and why are they failing?
    See my response in a following post.

    Your response to the charge that my influence as a citizen is less than the influence of a lobbyist is to suggest things which are less effective than what lobbyists do. It's obvious that these things are less effective, or else lobbyists wouldn't have to do the other things that they do. That doesn't actually seem like much of a rebuttal--more of a chiming in.
    That's illogical. Lobbyists still have influence, even if it's less than you thought.
    Last edited by misterman; 11-29-11 at 11:18 AM.
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  3. #413
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that his answer to your question is actually contained in the snippet you quoted. Just a guess. Check the quote you used and see.
    You'll need to be more explicit. Which snippet? Don't be coy.
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  4. #414
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Okay, responding to the question about lobbyists working for the common person. I presume you wanted me to find a group that is working to end sugar subsidies, correct?

    I quickly found several.

    National Taxpayers Union - Taxpayer Group Proposes Cures for Congress's Sugar-Subsidy "Sweet Tooth"

    This article mentions an alliance of the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, the Foundation for Democracy in Africa, and Oxfam America, all working specifically to end sugar subsidies as the "Sugar Reform Alliance."

    And these groups work on much more than just sugar subsidies, so a consumer who supported them would get alot more out of them for their small donation or membership dues.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  5. #415
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Incumbents keep getting more votes. Why is that?
    Here's a couple reasons:

    "Incumbency financial advantage

    One of the main reasons incumbents seem to have such a complete advantage over challengers is because of their significantly better financed campaigns. In the 1990s the typical incumbent in a contested election had somewhere between 83 to 93 percent of what was spent by all the candidates in the district, and these incumbents typically captured about 64 to 67 percent of the vote. [9]

    The figures should be used with discretion, however, as half the incumbents dominated spending in their area to an even greater extent. If anything, this analysis may even understate how great the incumbency campaign finance advantage predetermines the election outcome, as the analysis examines only contested elections. For instance, in the 2000 election cycle, 64 incumbents ran for reelection unchallenged because the opposition party did not even mount a nominal challenge. [10]

    Specifically for the 2000 election, incumbents spent 92.8 percent of total money and received 67.3 percent of the vote. [11] In the elections from 1992 to 2000, there were 1,643 contested House seats in which there was a challenged incumbent. In 905 of these (55 percent of the total), the incumbents spent 84% or more of the total spending. These elections resulted in 904 victories for the incumbents, and one loss."

    "Gerrymandering

    Gerrymandering is a widely used (and perfectly legal) tactic in the United States. [17] In the U.S., gerrymandering typically involves the "packing and cracking" method, but other tactics have also been used. However, there is little evidence that redistricting has had any substantial effect on increased congressional stagnation in the United States. [18] While some incumbents have had success in having district lines drawn to their liking, others have had the opposite experience. [19] The main argument against gerrymandering being a significant factor in electoral stagnation can be summed up by the statement that all incumbents were elected to serve for a Congressional district before the boundaries were redrawn, and that redrawing them does not make a great difference to any potential future outcome."

    Congressional stagnation in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  6. #416
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Here's a couple reasons:

    "Incumbency financial advantage
    But that just brings up the same basic question: the guy who has the most money keeps getting the most votes. Why is that?

    I'll cut to the chase - the voters are in charge. They are 100% responsible for election outcomes. They aren't forced to pick the guy who spends the most money. It's a choice.

    "Gerrymandering
    Ah, now you have finally found a legitimate complaint about the system that actually limits the choices of voters!
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  7. #417
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    The Taft-Hartley Act banned all corporate and union financing of campaigns. Period.
    Subsequent laws gave unions and corporations the right to form political action committees to use voluntarily-collected funds (not from their treasuries) for donations, but the money can't come from corporate or union treasuries.
    Money can be spent on speech (Citizens United case) but not donated to candidates. That's a source of confusion.
    A source: Appendix 4: Brief History
    So how do lobbyists get money to the political parties and candidates? And where to the job offers for Congressional aides and officials fit into the picture?
    Surely you're not trying to make the case that various donations etc from lobbying groups have no effect on influencing legislators et al, nor that these donations etc don't exist, are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    There is very little cost in securing this information. Furthermore, there would always be a cost - a cost in time and attention that a person would have to pay, compared to the enormous amounts of other data competing for attention. People simply don't have time to care about little things like this. Of course, a lobbyist does....
    I know. I have been saying that. That's somewhat core to the issue at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    That's illogical. Lobbyists still have influence, even if it's less than you thought.
    I'm not sure what you thought I said. But your response doesn't seem to fit afaict.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    You'll need to be more explicit. Which snippet? Don't be coy.
    The snippet which you quoted in post #408

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Okay, responding to the question about lobbyists working for the common person. I presume you wanted me to find a group that is working to end sugar subsidies, correct?
    Not so much. You offered and I accepted. I was more interested in the response to the following "And then you can explain the significance of the needing to hire even more lobbyists to effectively influence our public servants rather than have them be inherently more responsive to the needs of their constituents. Why should we prefer to have even more lobbyists rather than a more responsive govt?"
    I may be wrong.

  8. #418
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    So how do lobbyists get money to the political parties and candidates?
    PACs. I explained that.

    PAC money doesn't come from the union or the corporation. It comes from voluntary donations from individuals.

    And where to the job offers for Congressional aides and officials fit into the picture? Surely you're not trying to make the case that various donations etc from lobbying groups have no effect on influencing legislators et al, nor that these donations etc don't exist, are you?
    No.

    Not so much. You offered and I accepted. I was more interested in the response to the following "And then you can explain the significance of the needing to hire even more lobbyists to effectively influence our public servants rather than have them be inherently more responsive to the needs of their constituents. Why should we prefer to have even more lobbyists rather than a more responsive govt?"
    I explained that a long time ago. Thousands of people banding together and hiring a lobbyist allows them to pay attention to one specific small issue, such as sugar subsidies. Why would you oppose that?
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  9. #419
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    But that just brings up the same basic question: the guy who has the most money keeps getting the most votes. Why is that?

    I'll cut to the chase - the voters are in charge. They are 100% responsible for election outcomes. They aren't forced to pick the guy who spends the most money. It's a choice.
    Yeah, a choice between the candidates the wealthy decide should be the choices.


    Ah, now you have finally found a legitimate complaint about the system that actually limits the choices of voters!
    They are both legitimate complaints, as has been shown.
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  10. #420
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Yeah, a choice between the candidates the wealthy decide should be the choices.
    The voters decide who the choices are. Primary elections, remember? Anyone can get on the ballot for a primary.

    They are both legitimate complaints, as has been shown.
    Nope, because the voters are choosing the winners. They only legitimate complaint is lack of choice, and that has nothing to do with money. It has alot to do with districts though.
    Last edited by misterman; 11-30-11 at 07:29 PM.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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