We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, June 5. 2014
At Maggie's Farm, we believe that politics has become too important in life because government has become too large and powerful. Perhaps it has always seemed thus to regular people, through all history.
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It used to be inconceivable that someone would try to amend the Bill of Rights. There were different interpretations of some of those amendments - e.g. the Second Amendment, but there were never any serious attempts to amend or repeal it.
Now Demoncrats are attempting to amend (repeal) the First Amendment. The one that has been traditionally thought of as the most important of them all.
It should be clear to anybody now that those (and many other) Demoncrats are not in any way supportive of what our Constitution stands for and disdainful of our liberty. But sadly, there are no riots, demonstrations, or expressions of outrage from those in the media.
Get ready for Bowe Burgdaul to move to Marin County and run for the Senate.
its good thing to find a way to limit the speech of entities to buy elections, where speech = money.
Right, Frigate! We certainly want Congress in charge of who says what about a politician! And we certainly don't want incumbents to be overly nuisanced those pesky upstarts!
Summary of the House version:
Constitutional Amendment - States that the First Amendment to the Constitution does not apply to the political speech of any corporation, partnership, business trust, association, or other business organization with respect to the making of contributions, expenditures, or other disbursements of funds in connection with public elections.
Grants Congress the power to set limits on the amounts of contributions and expenditures with respect to candidates in a federal election.
Grants states the power to set limits on the amounts of contributions and expenditures with respect to candidates in a state or local election.
If the First Amendment does not apply to corporations, does that mean that newspapers would have to shut down their opinion page? Not be able to endorse a candidate? What about the NAACP, unions, etc.? What about movie production companies? Would they be able to release movies with a political theme? Are we going to shut down Michael Moore? My guess is probably not. It all depends on who tries to release the movie. After all, this got started when a conservative company tried to release a movie about Hilary Clinton that was not favorable to her.). Moore is a world class jerk and a liar, but I would defend his right to produce his stupid movies.
Does that mean that I won't be able to join an organization that was incorporated so that my voice could be added to other like minded citizens?
How would all this be enforced?
Yeah, this looks like a great idea (especially if you're an incumbent)!
I've read the article, the proposed amendment, legislative intent, etc.
you as an individual citizen have virtually no voice in politics because typically, if you call your congressman/representative/county zoning board guy/whatever, the service you get is directly related to how much you contribute to the reelection fund. that's what the first amendment means: both Local 666 and Consolidated BS get to outspend you and therefore, congressman's chief of staff will return their phone calls before an intern gets around to returning yours.
and if you think you as a shareholder have some say in how a corporation spends political money, guess again, courts routinely give deference to the decisions of management or the directorate, so all that influence is concentrated into the hands of a few men and women who, if they're directors, are also likely to be sitting on the boards of other companies.
if further dilution of what's left of what it means to be a citizen is your bag, its not mine.
notice in #2 I said, "where speech = money".
I'd happily deny all business entities -- corporations for profit, not for profit, LLCs, LPs, GPs, trusts, JVs, narcotics gangs -- the right to make any cash campaign contributions.
you're being told this is some horrendous infringement on sacred rights but in fact you're k00gasming over the right of an entity to out shout you.
Thanks Frigate, but none of that relates to the proposed amendment (at least the House's version).
You did not respond to how newspapers and movies would be regulated. As it stands now, Many of those corporations have been diluting what's left of what it means to be a citizen (your words). What is my recourse? Should I call the opinion desk of the New York Times? Should I call the Michael Moore and tell him to stop making movies that are lies? Or maybe I should buy a ticket to a movie that might inform me where others won't? Well, we can't have that! At least not till the Supreme Court said I could. They were "out shouting me" and now you want to shut down the ability of somebody to shout for me.
I notice you also didn't venture a plan on how to enforce this amendment...
I can't advise you on your quixotic quest to influence the NYT or Moore.
but I'll state, one more time, I'd deny business entities of all kind the right to make money contributions to campaigns. this doesn't seem particularly difficult to enforce. the FEC can do it. I bet I could define "in kind" and include that as well.
I'm not convinced you understand this. under the proposal, the NYT or Totally Bitchin' Gun 'n Ammo can editorialize all they want in the exercise of their First Amendment rights without any but the usual restrictions on speech content, but can't contribute $ to any campaign.
and, by the way, you do know that no constitutionally guaranteed right is absolute.
Whatever. That does not address the actual proposed amendment that invalidates the First Amendment for corporations. You can go on all you want about money, but the reality is that it is worth money to a candidate to get endorsements or movies that support his case and it cost money to publish opinions.
Again. How do you enforce (or rather deny) the First Amendment right of newspapers, movie studios, unions, and other "rights" corporations?
Whatevah! You're not getting it. Amend the constitution to deny the right of any business entity to give money to political parties, candidates, incumbents. No one is proposing muzzling the NYT or the right of your favorite union to endorse or order its members to vote D or do anything but give money to a campaign. I'm harping on money because that's what the amendment proposes.
Political campaign contributions are routinely reported to the FEC or state equivalents, its been that way since the 1960s. What are you not understanding here? "If thou art a business entity, thou shalt not give money to a candidate or thy company shall be fined excessively and thy board of directors jailed".
Why are you so worried about the right of Toyota to buy a couple of senators?
Ok. I'm seeing better. What I didn't get is that you are not (or don't seem to be) in favor of THIS amendment.
But what you don't get is that companies don't have to pass money. They only need to advocate (or deride). If Michael Moore's corporation releases a hit-job movie about the Pubbie candidate two months before the general election. Is that a monetary contribution? When a newspaper endorses a candidate, is that a monetary contribution? What about if a company responds critically to a policy statement of one of the candidates - for example: "X Corp. will have to move it's operations overseas if Senator Bozo's tax and regulation policy is implemented". All those things can work exactly like a monetary contribution - and some could be much more effective. Are you ok with them?
only business entities giving money should be barred because cash has a disproportionate, insidious effect, more than any other kind of campaign assistance ("money is the mother's milk of politics" - Jesse Unruh).
everything else is protected speech, whether Moore's or Moore's production company's blather or a company's threat to move or a newspaper endorsement.
Here's a parable. I'm a county commissioner / Harry Reid and Land Development Inc. has been generously contributing bags of cash to my campaigns for years and my office gets a call asking for assistance on obtaining a conditional use permit to establish a smoke shop / approval of a major land swap to develop a subdivision worth a billion dollars. You're a homeowner who had to look up my name to see who to talk to about opposing that CUP / subdivision. who do you think I'm going to work for? do you think I care that you're going to upload a video / Michael Moore is going to write a movie attacking my ethics? there are probably a dozen there already. the Daily Planet is selling a brand to people who people who self-identify with its politics anyway, its endorsement for or against me isn't going to change anyone's mind because everyone already either hates me or love-hates me. With Land Development Inc's. kickbacks campaign contributions paying for radio / TV / social media ads and an army of college interns manning phone banks and pimping door to door, I'm going to stay in office until I want to upgrade / die.
Why should I allow the New York Times to outshout me with money they spend on publishing an editorial or opinion page? Hell with that. Shut 'em all up.
Frigate, I think you just miss the point. You either protect everyone's speech, or you are protecting no one. Money isn't necessarily more corrupting than any other kind of trade in-kind for influence or propaganda. I know it's common to say so, but I think that's a lie people tell themselves to make them concentrate on something quantifiable. Every POTUS administration would kill for favorable media coverage ... more than for a campaign contribution.
as you know, the first amendment is not absolute and content regulation is permitted if the regulations meet constitutional standards. which is why child porn and defamation are not protected speech, and why the law can impose limits on my personal right to be heard (where being heard = giving money), e.g., the FEC swears I can't give more than $2,600 per election to a federal candidate or the candidate's campaign committee, $5,000 per calendar year to a PAC, $10,000 per calendar year to a state or local party committee, $32,400 per calendar year to a national party committee, $100 in cash to any political committee.
outrageous. my speech content right is infringed, my personal right to be heard is stunted. but all apparently constitutional.
I also see the FEC believes that whole categories of persons are totally denied their speech rights (where speech = giving money): foreign nationals (excluding LPRs), federal government contractors.
so let's not pretend the first amendment guarantees every person a right to be heard (where being heard = giving money).
the NYT's editorializing blather is core first amendment protected political speech, don't conflate that with restrictions on campaign contributions. no one is trying to muzzle the Times in that sense.
given the above-examples of why we don't in fact, have to equally protect everyone's or no one's first amendment rights, can you give me a coherent policy reason why Toyota should have a louder voice in Kentucky elections than Kentuckians?
and then we should also limit the rights of people to criticise the government.
After all, that could cause them to vote for the wrong people in the next elections, can't have that...
Only politicians who are not critical of the current government's line of policies and actions should be allowed to voice their opinion, and then only as long as that opinion does not conflict with those policies and actions.
That's the only way to safeguard freedom, in your (and the liberals') world view...
get up to speed on the issues and don't misrepresent my position.
if you want your individual voice heard, and it barely counts now, you need to limit the speech rights of entities where speech = $ to campaigns. there are only a half dozen examples in this thread.
unless its not important to you, and you can explain why a Japanese company should have more of a say in who the senators from Kentucky will be than individuals living there just because it can pour yen dollars into an election.
Under this amendment the only "individual" voices who will be heard are the mega rich. People who can pay for major media ad campaigns out of pocket.
Large groups of moderate income folks who want to pool there resources won't be able to, because they are also corporations.
Feb. 9, 2010
By MATTHEW MOSK
Just as Toyota was engaged in tense negotiations with federal officials over problems with sudden acceleration, the automaker's North American subsidiary donated more than $75,000 to two major political committees.
happy about that?
you'll always have rich guys giving lots of money. nothing is stopping you from lobbying 10 of your friends and raising money for whoever you want to buy.
Nothing is stopping me now, if this amendment is passed all manner of laws can be passed that will outlaw it.
Do you really not understand the Pandora's Box you are advocating?
We don't need the Constitution to protect the things people are happy about.
We need the Constitution to protect things people are unhappy about.
That can not be repeated enough.
I am not happy about Nazi or KKK marches, or Westboro hatemongers picketing funerals, nor are most people, and that is exactly why it needs protection.
re: Toyota buying politicians. explain again why you're supporting this. pretend you're trying to convince Madison or Hamilton at the constitutional convention why its a good thing that foreign corporations should be able to influence elections more than US citizens because $ = free speech.
re: pandora's box. I understand first amendment law as well as any other practicing attorney who handles first amendment cases once in a while.
what potential laws are you concerned about?
Re: westboro, nazis, klan. I'm not aware of these groups making substantial money contributions to campaigns. are you?
No point in trying to explain it to you again, maybe these guys can do a better job:
Saw them, I understand them.
And, unlike you, I'm not hiding behind someone else's opinion on a public debate forum.
I disagree with both of them, I explained why; you can't keep up. Suggest you lurk more.
Tell you what, if I give you my email will you send me your real name so I can make sure and never hire you if I need a lawyer?
no, its too late for personal slurs. you've already lost the debate.
besides, you can't afford my fees.
Cheer up the Democrats are just trying to validate the old saw; "Time wounds all heels".... November is near.
Not only is government too big; it is run by type A personalities who react to everything by thinking they have to do something. Magnify this by the instantaneous transmission of information across the country and there is no time to cool off, think things through, or let the crisis blow past.
Federal Government is way too big. The alphabet agencies breed faster than fruit flies. Moses had TEN rules. We now have thousands of new 'rules' being written by petty little administrators every day. Everything including the weather is political and politicians cannot tie their shoes let alone control the weather.
I think that any citizen should have the right to give or donate money to a politician or political effort without limit on the amount. The only restrictions should be it must be after tax money and it must be an individual action. That is not bundled or corporate or labor union money but an individual's money that they give with free choice. If a corporation, church or labor union (or any organization) want's to support a candidate or a legislative action then individuals within the group could do so but not corporate or bundled money and not because of organizational pressure.
This is basically another front on the left's blatently Orwellian attempt to eliminate dissent or rational discussion altogether.
Take a look here at what collegiate debate has turned into:
The ironic thing of course is by eliminating the ability to communicate and negotiate the only alternative is violence, which they profess to abhor.
re: "collegiate debate"
That was affirmative action at it's best. In The last clip the interviewer was ecstatic that this was the first all female all black debating team to win. The other team had no chance to win in less they had been the first all black, all female lesbian debate team.