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comment by thenewgreen
thenewgreen  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's business that really rules us now

Government in the US has long been bought and paid for but never to the extent it is now, at least not so openly. Corporate interests are "people" after all and therefore should be able to buy and sell our politicians at will. The Supreme Court has even upheld that it should be as such.

It's a joke.





AdSeriatim  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Precedent actually started with Buckley v. Valeo when the Supreme Court found some aspects of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 unconstitutional, and ruled that we have a constitutional right to spend money in the political process because money equals speech (although here the court acknowledged that too much money could lead to corruption, so they upheld a limit on individual contributions to a candidate). The court also set the foundations for Citizens United by striking down limits on any interdependent entity to spend money to influence and election. As long as the efforts are not coordinated with a campaign, the speech is constitutionally protected as political and cannot be limited. Btw, Political speech here defined as speech that says "vote for," "dont vote for," "elect," "deny," any call to action. This is different from 'Issue Ads', or ads that say "Obama is a terrible person." I think this last bit is one of the more important issues since these ads are completely outside of the regulations that Citizens United was challenging.

rob05c  ·  3106 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I feel like SCOTUS has been upholding theory, without regard to practice. Spherical chickens in a vacuum.

Money does equal speech. And in theory, Free Speech should be complete and universal. But in practice, speech = votes. This means the rich candidate has an advantage over the poor candidate. IMO that's logically absurd and morally decrepit.

Again, the Theory of Free Speech is great. But at some point, the real-life practical implications take precedence over the grand theory.

mk  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Precedent actually started with Buckley v. Valeo when the Supreme Court found some aspects of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 unconstitutional, and ruled that we have a constitutional right to spend money in the political process because money equals speech (although here the court acknowledged that too much money could lead to corruption, so they upheld a limit on individual contributions to a candidate).

I wonder if someone asked whether or not too much speech could lead to corruption.

It's so strange to me that money could be equated with speech. Of course money can be used to promote a certain viewpoint, but money is not the viewpoint itself.

Well, now it is.

Still, not all speech is protected anyway. Even if money were speech, it doesn't follow that it should be protected speech.

AdSeriatim  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is where I get a little sketchy in my info, but I believe a lot of the reasoning for this money = speech stuff comes out of cases involving the NAACP and unions that we're fighting for the rights of the people they represented. These poor people didn't have a big say at the time and a lot of them didn't understand the political process, so most pooled their money together in order to promote a common interest. The first PACs were born, I believe, in order to help these poor workers. And money was seen as speech in order to help them achieve their goal. Obviously corporations and private interests have now taken advantage of this, but at least lawmakers intended to do good. And I mostly agree, money as speech just doesn't work. Actually, a intresting precedent that came out if Velao is that the court, in reasoning why they kept the limitations on personal contributions, said their is a desire to not only limit corruption, but the appearance of corruption even if it does not exist. So I would imagine that the court would scrutinize any campaign finance laws way more since there is this important interest, but it doesn't look like that is/will happen. And sorry if I messed up any of the spelling - I'm on my phone and can't type worth shit haha

Stutenandi  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, it's interesting, that Britain is moving into the US direction with this as well.

Edit: Rather sad/enraging than interesting, I might add.

thenewgreen  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

As you may be aware of, here in the states we had the #occupywallstreet movement that spawned similar movements worldwide. It was my hope that they would have made campaign finance reform central to their cause and the eradication of corporate interests being able to legally sway policy makers etc. How to do this? I'm not exactly sure. Easier said than done, but hopefully in 2014 the OWS movement or another movement can be more deliberate in their cause and get $ out of politics. -Idealistic? Yes. But with the advent of the Internet, mobilizing people is easier than ever. I remain hopeful.

Stutenandi  ·  3109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's a vicious circle in my eyes. There is no incentive for the politicians to change anything, they will get elected anyways (with they I mean the whole group of politicians, not necessarily the individual). And to get elected in the first place, one needs to have huge funds to pay for the campaign, etc.

This onion article is hilarious, but there is some scary truth to it: http://www.theonion.com/articles/american-people-hire-highpo.../