Wednesday, April 02, 2014

What the hell are they thinking?

F---ing Roberts.

Dave sums it up best with this comment:
"I don't even have $2600 to give to a single candidate much less $1 million to toss around to dozens of candidates. All I have is a measly vote, which seems to count for less and less these days."

Although A.P. was pretty spot on, too:
"One nation, under the dollar."

Puarau said:
"Free Speech has become an oxymoron. Without millions in my bank account, who is going to listen to me?"


B. E. Busby said...

Well, put on your law-studies hat for a moment and consider that, reduced to very minimal terms, the SCOTUS has construed the 1st amendment to read something along the lines of, "Congress shall make no law ...telling certain people to STFU."

Why not change the law to require any publicly available outlet (radio/tv/print) to charge nothing for any political advertising they accept. The equal access rules would apply, but the incentive for massive spending of union dues and Sheldon's bucks would be for nowt.

AFAIK, the equal access rules remain unchallenged... everybody wins!

Christie said...

B. E. - Even with that hat on I don't buy the money is speech argument anymore than I buy the corporations are people argument.

The corrupting influence money has on our political system, and the need to protect that system for the good of all peoples, should outweigh one guy's "right" to spend his money as "speech" or, rather, to buy an election. Let him use his one vote.

Good luck getting politicians to agree on your suggested change to the law. They won't like it because it levels the playing field, and they all appear to be looking for whatever advantage they can get.

B. E. Busby said...

I guess the gist of my argument is that SCOTUS is not judging the source of speech (as the dissent would suggest), because it's inherently contrary to the 1st A. What would be swell is for the Supremes to propose legislation to have the effect that Congress sought, but in a way that is consistent with the "framers' intent" as the right wing likes to say. That ain't gwine happen, 'cuz it ain't their place.

I'm not sure I get how you figure SCOTUS blesses the corrupting power of money... my take away is that they're saying that Congress can otherwise mandate a level playing field (my suggestion one of myriad ways of doing so); rather, in their dry way, they're just saying you can't tell anybody (short of the famed "fire" in a crowded theater) to STFU.

I guess I don't see the role of the SCOTUS to "protect that system for the good of all peoples [sic]" (the [sic] applying to what looks like a worldwide "peoples" reference)... rather, they protect the fundament and leave to congress the biznez of making sausage.

Personal summary:
- Do I like people and corporations "buying" politicians: NO
- Do I like most politicians: NO
- Do I think this will influence the midterms that has everybody itchy: YES

sorry -- that was a bit rambly, but you get that just before retiring for the evening (or, in this case, early AM)

Christie said...

The remaining principle left intact after the (disastrous) Citizens United ruling was the idea that limiting campaign contributions was still constitutional to avoid quid-pro-quo corruption or the appearance of it.

A person donating millions in one campaign cycle sure has the appearance of being corrupt. As Kagan put it, "You get a very, very special place at the table."

$3.5 million may not seem like much to Scalia, but as Verilli explained, a campaign costing $1.5 billion could be financed by less than 500 people.

"Peoples" as typo, although I now read it as referencing the rich, middle class, and poor peoples of our nation. (Plural of a singular, right?)

B. E. Busby said...

So, in a "simular" (in the Midwest sense) vein, this is our angst in SF:

And interestingly, the thing that ties this response to the posting: