View Poll Results: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

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  • Yes

    29 38.16%
  • No

    43 56.58%
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    4 5.26%
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Thread: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

  1. #11
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Spending money is an economic transaction. The act of communicating a message is speaking. You have the right to communicate a message. Buying something is not communicating a message, and regardless of what method you choose to use to communicate it, you're still communicating it. Even if certain methods are unavailable to you (like they are to every last one of us), other methods are available. Spending money is a wholly different thing than speaking.

    In a nutshell, NO!
    Sorry, this makes absolutely no sense. "Buying something is not communicating a message, and regardless of what method you choose to use to communicate it, you're still communicating it."

    I think you need to try that again.

    1) I suspect your position is driven by the bad press earned by your politicians.

    2) You MAY want to express your opinions to your bought-and-paid-for politicians. You can get their phone number or email on any of the political advertising that was bought by people who wished to express their opinion by sending money to your candidate.

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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    We know what the USSC says. But do you believe spending money is speech?
    Sure it is.

    When I buy a product I'm expressing some kind of opinion regarding that product. There's a reason that, for example, I'll buy Campbell's soup instead of the store brand. It's not always that I value one product over another in the grand scheme of things but, at the moment I made the transaction, I valued that product more. The same goes for when I contribute to a political campaign. I stopped giving money to the GOP a couple of years ago and started giving directly to candidates. That was a definite statement on my part.

  3. #13
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    I buy organic when I can. It's an expression of my beliefs.

  4. #14
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    We know what the USSC says. But do you believe spending money is speech?
    Directly it is not speech. However indirectly it can be and is. Lets say I exercise my freedom of assembly and get together with like minded people. I then exercise my right to speech amongst ourselves as they do with me. We decide we would like to purchase airtime to promote our beliefs. We each pitch in a certain percentage of the cost. We then hire an advertising agency to put our message out. Who then crafts it to our liking and then arranges for its broadcast. While money is only ancillary to my speech it does allow me to speak as I wish to especially if I get together with like minded individuals. Hence if I cannot spend my money as I see fit in furtherance of my speech it is in fact a restriction of my speech and that is what campaign finance reform is a restriction of speech. By giving my money to a candidate I am indirectly stating my support and further I agree with his message, and wish to further that message. Essentially the candidate is exercising my right to speech in my absence.
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Quick question. If I have more $$$ to spend on ****, does that mean I have more "speech"? If I can only buy one car but then someone else can purchase 3 cars and 4 houses what does that mean?
    In a way yes. If a bunch a like minded people pool their resources they too will have a lot a speech too.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by GBFAN View Post
    Sorry, this makes absolutely no sense. "Buying something is not communicating a message, and regardless of what method you choose to use to communicate it, you're still communicating it."

    I think you need to try that again.

    1) I suspect your position is driven by the bad press earned by your politicians.

    2) You MAY want to express your opinions to your bought-and-paid-for politicians. You can get their phone number or email on any of the political advertising that was bought by people who wished to express their opinion by sending money to your candidate.
    My position is driven primarily from the definitions of what is or is not a statement in hearsay rules in evidence.

    In evidence, a statement is an act with the sole purpose of communicating something to someone else. Opening your umbrella, for example, is, without further evidence of its use as a prearranged signal, not communicating to someone that it is going to rain. It is simply opening the umbrella to get out of the rain. The person with the umbrella is NOT MAKING A STATEMENT. She is not speaking. Her action is not speech and is thus not protected by the first amendment. Of course, no one is suggesting that she doesn't have the right to use her umbrella. It's just that free speech isn't what protects her umbrella. Free speech only protects her right to intentionally inform others about the rain.

    Even if others can infer something about you from your action, it does not mean you are speaking. From my opening my umbrella, you can infer that I think it's going to rain, or you can infer that I simply happen to like umbrellas, or you can infer that I am witch who will melt if I get wet. By opening my umbrella, I have communicated none of this to you. Opening my umbrella is not speech. It's just protecting myself from the rain.

    This is completely settled law. There are no serious competing theories of law. It's been this way for a long time. Spending money, like opening an umbrella, is an action calculated to achieve some effect. It is buying something. Either a product, a service, or someone's loyalty. It is NOT SPEAKING. For example:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    When I buy a product I'm expressing some kind of opinion regarding that product.
    No! You aren't! Buying something is just buying it. Walking down one street instead of another is just picking a route. Shopping at one store rather than another doesn't say anything about that store. You have to communicate a message. Your purpose has to be to communicate a message. Your purpose is to buy a product. Incidental ideas that other people can glean from your action do not mean that you were speaking. Just that you were buying.

    In already established parts of law (evidence law), what speech is and isn't is already defined. Without overruling those sections of evidence law, the idea that spending money is speech is in contradiction with standing law and cannot be true. Sending someone money is sending someone money. It's not speech. Speaking is speech. Writing is speech. Communicating is speech. Giving something to someone, taking something from them, hitting them, healing them, kissing them, stabbing them, hugging them, building a building, demolishing a building, buying something, selling something... NONE OF THESE ARE SPEECH. They are their own things. And thus not protected by the first amendment. They're protected by lots of other things, but those protections aren't as strong the first amendment's.

    Quote Originally Posted by newpublius View Post
    Ok, so then the government can stop the NY Times from spending money on ink.


    Um... I suppose it could... with a compelling reason. But I can't imagine their being such a reason and in the face of its true purpose of keeping the NY Times from publishing, that would be unconstitutional interference. If your objecting is that separating money from speech will lead to massive censorship... well then you're just making up nonsense. Even if something isn't protected as speech, it's protected in many other ways, including by the 14th amendment and article 4 (the privileges and communities clause) of the constitution.

    Bottom line is thank god you guys aren't on the Supreme Court. If the government imposes regulation on the instrumentalities of the press, which by the way is broadly defined, with a censorial motive, it violates the law. I have every right to spend money to access the internet to publish what I want to publish, I have every right to buy cameras to engage in photography, ink for printers and paper too. Because the I Amendment is not a right to go into a corner and be heard by those within earshot.


    You don't EVERY right. But you probably have the right to do all that if not prohibited to you (or anyone else) by a statute that satisfies strict scrutiny. Preventing blatant corruption by getting private money out of elections would, in my informed view, be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest and do so in the least restrictive means. That the pro-corporate 5 justices in the current court have elected to engage in cognitive dissonance that boggles the mind means that we'll probably have to rely on something like Bernie Sanders' constitutional amendment to deal with this problem.

    If you thank god that we aren't in power to do what we want to do, then you don't seem to understand either the severity of the problem we face, or the means we would use to solve it.
    Last edited by Paschendale; 09-14-14 at 06:26 AM.
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    We know what the USSC says. But do you believe spending money is speech?
    I don't believe that spending money is, in and of itself, speech. But exercising your right to free speech often costs money.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    We know what the USSC says. But do you believe spending money is speech?
    Spending money is a form of speech, just as not spending money is a form of speech. Just look at the Chick-fil-a (whatever that restaurant is called) when there was a protest about something the owner did/said. Some people expressed their support for him by patronizing his restaurants and others protested by not patronizing them.

    If you want to limit speech to something oral only, then an awful lot of speech that goes on your country would be in trouble.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

  9. #19
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    You can call a pile of feces lots of things - some of them even sound useful like GARDEN MANURE. But it is still what it is in the end. And this entire "money is speech" is crap designed to squash the less well heeled and drown them out. That in itself is anti-free speech.
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  10. #20
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    Re: Do You Personally Believe Spending Money is Speech?

    If I spend part of my money to help promote specific political or social goals I think it certainly falls under the rather large freedom of expression umbrella.
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

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