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Old 02-26-2002, 07:33 PM   #1
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Bush should VETO campaign finance re-forms.

Bush will soon have to decide whether to veto the Shays-Meehan Bill, the so-called campaign finance reform bill.

I say "so-called" because it merely changes the state of things (re-forming campaign finance) rather than actually improving things, bringing about true reform.

Bush should veto it.

He should veto it because he did more-or-less promise to do so - and he should veto it because it is CLEARLY unconstitutional. The bill would make it illegal to mention a politician's NAME in an advertisement months before an election, thus making political speech more regulated than pornography (to paraphrase an editorial that I can recall).

And I'm not alone in my calls to veto the bill - and my fears that Bush will instead listen to those who think it politically savvy to sign a bill he KNOWS to be unconstitutional, hoping the Supreme Court will overturn the decision.

Other voices of dissent? Well, there's Rush Limbaugh and the good people at National Review Online:

Shays-Meehan Ad Nauseam

Veto It

Courting Disaster

Bush's Broken Promise

Ashcroft's Unconstitutional Problem

Conscience and the Constitution

Veto Finance Reform?

"A Betrayal"

NR Editor Rich Lowry is leading the charge on this, but conservatism's two most powerful voices - Rush and NR's own Bill Buckley - agree that signing the bill is a MASSIVE mistake.

(I particularly recommend his "Veto It", and the editors' "A Betrayal" highlighted above.)

I mention this issue for two main reasons:

1) It's DEFINITELY worth discussing.

2) Liberals claim that conservatives fall in line behind every decision Republican leaders make, despite the fact that the current President has been criticized from the right on domestic issues and even withholding Enron-related documents - all within his first year of office and in the midst of a war.

With this post, I believe I have FULLY demonstrated the independent conscience of conservatism.
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Old 02-26-2002, 07:47 PM   #2
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Ah Yes. Bubba.. I was truly Waiting for someone to post a Campaign Finance "ReforM" Thread.

If you've been reading the threads on this forum, I have been the First to mention this issue and point out that Conservatives do not fall in line over every issue... Here in FYM at least,

At the moment I disagree with the Statements of President Bush and his current intent to sign this bill if it were to reach his desk.

Partisan Hack?... Hahaha.. I just think that my interspersed references to this issue were just purposely overlooked.

Well Written Bubba...

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And just my opinion on this whole CFR issue.. I don't think any reform is needed, All that I would like to see would be a list of every contributor next to a Senator/Congressman/Executive.. And when they place a vote, we all know who gave them what, and how much they were given.. That's all, and then If there were any sort of Kickbacks given, favors returned, et al... by result of the vote or stance.. We'd All Know.

[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 02-26-2002).]
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Old 02-26-2002, 08:17 PM   #3
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http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0010315-7.html

A Letter from Bush to Trent Lott...

Outlining his Principles for CFR.. Principles which the Shays Meehan Bill Violates.. Every one of them.

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President Bush Outlines Campaign Reform Principles

March 15, 2001

The Honorable Trent Lott
Senate Majority Leader
S-230, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510


Dear Senator Lott:

As the Senate prepares to consider campaign finance reform legislation, I wanted to highlight my principles for reform. I am committed to working with the Congress to ensure that fair and balanced campaign reform legislation is enacted.

These principles represent my framework for assessing campaign finance reform legislation. I remain open to other ideas to meet shared goals.

I am hopeful that, working together, we can achieve responsible campaign finance reforms.

Sincerely,

George W. Bush

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Campaign Finance Reform


President Bush's Reform Principles


Protect Rights of Individuals to Participate in Democracy: President Bush believes democracy is first and foremost about the rights of individuals to express their views. He supports strengthening the role of individuals in the political process by: 1) updating the limits established more than two decades ago on individual giving to candidates and national parties; and 2) protecting the rights of citizen groups to engage in issue advocacy.

Maintain Strong Political Parties: President Bush believes political parties play an essential role in making America's democratic system operate. He wants to maintain the strength of parties, and not to weaken them. Any reform should help political parties more fully engage citizens in the political process and encourage them to express their views and to vote.

Ban Corporate and Union Soft Money: Corporations and labor unions spend millions of dollars every election cycle in unregulated 'soft? money to influence federal elections. President Bush supports a ban on unregulated corporate and union contributions of soft money to political parties.

Eliminate Involuntary Contributions: President Bush believes no one should be forced to support a candidate or cause against his or her will. He therefore supports two parallel reforms: 1) legislation to prohibit corporations from using treasury funds for political activity without the permission of shareholders; and 2) legislation to require unions to obtain authorization from each dues-paying worker before spending those dues on activities unrelated to collective bargaining.

Require Full and Prompt Disclosure: President Bush also believes that in an open society, the best safeguard against abuse is full disclosure. He supports full, prompt and constitutionally permissible disclosure of contributions and expenditures designed to influence the outcome of federal elections, so voters will have complete and timely information on which to make informed decisions.

Promote Fair, Balanced, Constitutional Approach: President Bush believes reform should not favor any one party over another or incumbents over challengers. Both corporations and unions should be prohibited from giving soft money to political parties, and both corporations and unions should have to obtain permission from their stockholders or dues-paying workers before spending treasury funds or dues on politics. President Bush supports including a non-severability provision, so if any provision of the bill is found unconstitutional, the entire bill is sent back to Congress for further adjustments and deliberations. This provision will ensure fair and balanced campaign finance reform.


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Old 02-26-2002, 08:43 PM   #4
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I think it should be illegal to mention a politicians name in a paid advertisement months before the election. The whole process and time of electing a US president needs to be cut in half or by 2/3s. The president of a corporation should have no more influence over the election of a US president than the guy selling hotdogs on the street outside a nightclub. Equal airtime for candidates with money not to influence anything, or to ever be a factor in electing a US president ever again.
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Old 02-26-2002, 10:08 PM   #5
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Well, let's hope it is vetoed. If passed, Republicans would have an advantage. They raise more hard money and liberal interest groups wouldn't be able to sway elections. On top of it, I'm also counting on all the union contributions to kick the GOP's ass. A good Republican is a defeated Republican.

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Old 02-26-2002, 10:13 PM   #6
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Bubba:

Two things from me.

- I bet the constitutionality would be upheld. Besides, we've passed even more atrociously unconstitutional stuff before. I just love all those Ten Commandments monuments on government property.

- Your credibility is lost on quoting all from the "National Review." The least you could do is quote from more than one source.

It is an interesting subject; I will give you that. However, I have a feeling this subject will turn into another "Enron" argument.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-26-2002, 11:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
A good Republican is a defeated Republican.

Melon

Hahaha... I know you're completely serious with this statement, but writing it in a joking manner, however, It is statements like these that start 'enron' arguments, as you so eloquently put it.. But on to the issue at hand..

I agree that it would give the Republicans the advantage, However, For different Reasons from you, I am opposed to it... for the unconstitutional implications of it, and the loss of our first ammendment rights that it would bring.

L.Unplugged

Extra Article Links.. http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/op...ists/39124.htm
http://www.thehill.com/022002/circumvent.shtm
http://www.usatoday.com/news/comment.../12/ncoppf.htm

I'm sure ya'll won't read any of these.. They're just to point out that the NAtional Review isn't the only thing picking this up... Restoring Bubba's Credibility that was... apparently lost?.. Anyways, this article is a very good One I think and worth the read...
http://www.heritage.org/library/legalmemo/lm5.html



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Old 02-26-2002, 11:58 PM   #8
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Why don't you pick up a few more conservative sources, Lemonite? For someone who professes "objectivity" himself, you certainly know how to pick from the right-wing.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-27-2002, 12:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Why don't you pick up a few more conservative sources, Lemonite? For someone who professes "objectivity" himself, you certainly know how to pick from the right-wing.

Melon

Geezus.. Does everything have to be a fight with you.. I was just citing articles that referenced what Bubba was talking about.

(Posts like these of yours are what start these 'Enron' Arguments that you kindly refer to.. This is the second one in this thread.. Spawning Off Topic Pissing Contests you are so Infamous for)

There are other articles out there.. ones about the Dems having the votes to get it passed, and others on various forms of that issue... but I have yet to find many articles even on why this 'ReforM' is good, or constitutional...

If you would be inclined to post them, And ones from your Liberal sources, I'm sure we would all be obliged and masturbatorily excited to read them.


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Old 02-27-2002, 01:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Bubba:

Two things from me.

- I bet the constitutionality would be upheld. Besides, we've passed even more atrociously unconstitutional stuff before. I just love all those Ten Commandments monuments on government property.

- Your credibility is lost on quoting all from the "National Review." The least you could do is quote from more than one source.

It is an interesting subject; I will give you that. However, I have a feeling this subject will turn into another "Enron" argument.

Melon

And I'm sure the "more atrociously" unconstitutional bills were written, signed, and upheld by a GOP Congress, President, and Judiciary.

In the specific instance you give, I'm simply at a loss. What "Ten Commandments monuments on government property"? And what Congressional law created these strange wonders?

A strict Constitutionalist reads Amendment I as it says: "CONGRESS shall make no law...". In such a case, the "Ten Commandments monuments" probably don't qualify EVEN IF they actually exist. In the case of campaign finance re-form, we have Congress actually making a law that would abridge freedom of speech - a violation that is far more clearly and directly unconstitutional.

Beyond that, whether the court actually upholds the atrocious bill is beside the point. The President swears an oath constitutionally REQUIRED of him (the only such oath) to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution (Article II, 1), NOT to defend or defer to the Supreme Court's decision. Signing this bill breaks that oath.


Moving to your second observation, I honestly don't think my credibility is in any danger.

Why?

First, what I was trying to prove is that conservatives aren't brainwashed followers of Republican politicians. I was attempting to prove my point by counterexample: proof by contradiction. In doing so, all I NEED is JUST ONE credible example.

Second, I DID mentioned more than just National Review, if you cared to notice: I also mentioned Rush Limbaugh, though I was unable to find his latest observations on CFR (since I don't *think* his site archives quite as well as NRO).

Third, while I did cite only one site, those articles were from more than one conservative writer, specifically:

* Robert A. Levy, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute.

* Rich Lowry, NR Editor

* Ramesh Ponnuru, NR Senior Editor

* William F. Buckley, Jr., NR Editor at Large - and THE voice of conservatism in the 20th Century.

Finally, I didn't merely cite a source of conservative thought, I cited THE source of conservative thought. If I wanted to demonstrate that some conservatives believe X (or in this case, that they're not blind followers of the GOP), National Review is more than sufficient proof.

My argument is in fact similar to my case that war is sometimes justified. To prove THAT assertion, I mentioned - time and again - World War II. I did this not because it was the only just war, but because it was the BIGGEST and most clear-cut example.

If you do not understand the importance of National Review to conservatism (as I understand the importance of The New Republic to liberals), it's not my fault. You should "know thy enemy."

(Also, as an aside, in your post where you so non-partisanly decreed that a "good Republican is a defeated Republican", you mention that the bill should be defeated because it helps the GOP. Shouldn't its encroachment on freedoms protected by the Constitution factor into your reasoning just a *little*?)
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Old 02-27-2002, 02:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
I think it should be illegal to mention a politicians name in a paid advertisement months before the election. The whole process and time of electing a US president needs to be cut in half or by 2/3s. The president of a corporation should have no more influence over the election of a US president than the guy selling hotdogs on the street outside a nightclub. Equal airtime for candidates with money not to influence anything, or to ever be a factor in electing a US president ever again.
Can I assume you're joking?
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Old 02-27-2002, 09:18 AM   #12
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Here Ya Go Bubba:

I only post these for Bubba cuz he was saying he couldn't find anything from Rush lately.. I'm off to class..

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EIB:

You know, there's more to this campaign finance reform debate than just the cut-and-dried constitutional aspects. What's on the table here, fundamentally, is what separates this nation from the rest of the world, what separates the free from the oppressed. Sometimes we get into arguments on my show about which of our freedoms is the most important. Many people think freedom of speech is it. Others think that it's the right to private property.



You can make arguments for both, but certainly the right to free speech - particularly within the political realm - has to rank in the top two. After all: it's not the First Amendment by accident. Remember, the Founding Fathers had a brilliant understanding of the human spirit to be free in all aspects. It is how we are created. It's how we're born. They understood that, and they wrote a Constitution that, in essence, codified it.
Freedoms and rights do not come from other men. They do not come from government. They are "endowed by our creator." We are born with them. As we are witnessing, the only limitations on freedom result from the actions of men. The nature of our creation is the yearning for unbridled freedom. We discuss laws to properly limit our yearning for freedom and where to properly place those limits, but the proper placement of these limits has just been overstepped by a huge margin by a bunch of men and women for the sole purpose of protecting their own electability.





Republicans in Congress think this is a safe vote, and probably some Democrats do too, because they figure the Supreme Court will overturn this bill or the president will veto it. They're only voting for this to be able to say they "did something" about Enron and about this media-loved but people-ignored issue. They're all going along with this stupid slogan to "get the money out of politics," instead of explaining that we spend more on diaper ads than campaign ads, and asking, "Do we ban all ads if we ban these? Is every ad corrupt?"

The sole purpose of this bill is ostensibly to take the money out of politics, which supposedly leads to corruption. But as President Bush himself has proven, you need dignity, honesty, and character in office, and you will not have corruption regardless of the system. It's not the system that's corrupt. It's corrupt people within the system that corrupt it by taking the money in exchange for deeds. You're not going to get the money out of it. Money is the mother's milk of politics, no matter what you do, unless you just tear up the Constitution. And a page of it, in effect, has been torn up by this bill.

People across the political spectrum are starting to wake up to this startling reality. I played a clip by a woman caller to C-SPAN's "independent line" who couldn't believe the facts of this bill were just as chilling as I described them. She illustrated why Tom Daschle is hell bent on ramming this thing through without a conference report, without any further debate. He just wants this thing voted on and passed now. He wants to send it up to the president, the president to sign it, because he knows that the longer this thing is out there the more people are going to catch on to what it really is.

This C-SPAN call is indicative of exactly why the Senate, particularly Daschle, is so eager to get this thing put to bed, because they sense the public seeing what this is really all about - and they ought to, for crying out loud. These people ought not be able to sleep given what they've done. They have amended the Constitution in wanton violation of the legal mechanism and method, and done so to their benefit! It really is outrageous when you stop to think of it - and more people are stopping to think about it every day.

____________________-

Liberal Loopholes

Read this headline from Wednesday's The Hill, a political junkie publication in Washington, D.C. of very high reputation: "House Democrats Make Plans to Circumvent Campaign Finance Reform." The very people who have created this unconstitutional bill to rob your right to speak out on the issues you care about, are making plans to get around it for themselves! All those of you who think that this bill is going to be harmful to the Democrats and Republicans equally and, therefore, we should support it, need to give me a couple minutes to show you the truth.



This story is being completely and totally ignored by the mainstream media, so I want you to read this article - or listen to me read it if you live in Rio Linda - because it demonstrates what I've always said about money: it's like water. It finds somewhere to go. Dick Gephardt is going to raise money for so-called "non-partisan" groups like the NAACP, though you can't find a single Republican they'll support or have supported. They're totally partisan, yet they'll manage to work their way - just as groups on the GOP side will, don't misunderstand - around this bill.

Another brilliant piece exposing the CFR "non-partisan" hypocrisy comes from Fred Barnes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Barnes focuses mainly on the hard money issue, saying that Republicans have always had an advantage in raising hard money through individual contributions, whereas the Democrats have come to rely more on soft money through corporate and special interest cash.

He also touches on this attitude, which I saw displayed by almost everyone on Sunday in the talk shows, that the free speech part of the bill is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court will throw it out. Isn't that a little cavalier when you're talking about the First Amendment? What guarantee do you have that the court will rule against the bill? None! Oh sure, Marty Meehan said last week on the House floor that this bill doesn't stop issue ads from airing 60 days before a general election, but that's all it does. He's saying that because he knows, as Senator Mitch McConnell has said, that most people in Congress haven't even bothered to read these bills.

This bill makes independent groups follow the same hard money cap that candidates must abide by. That's a deceitful argument, because these independent groups of citizens are not political parties or candidates. Limiting how much they can say is unconstitutional, as ruled in Buckley v. Valeo. Congress does not have the authority to decide when We the People may speak or how we may speak about candidates - including incumbents. It's right there in the First Amendment, and you can't change it by a simple majority vote!

Gephardt and the so-called reformers have basically come up with a plan that skirts their limit on soft money. Soft money becomes illegal, yet they're already working on a substitute for it. The substitute is found in a new rule that allows members of Congress to raise funds in $20,000 increments for tax-exempt organizations that claim to be "non-partisan." That's where the loophole starts, but you can bet members of Congress will widen that hole until they're sucking millions of dollars in that cash they claim to hate so much through it.


_________________________

Little Dick's Greatest Day

On Wednesday night, over two hundred members of Congress violated their oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" by voting for a law that abridges the First Amendment. What did House Minority Leader Richard "Dick" Gephardt think of this dark day? He described it as the most important in his 25 years of service in the House. Well, if this is the most important day he's ever had, it tells us a lot.
Gephardt's most important day in the House should have been when the Congress came together at a joint session last September to hear the president of the United States give one of the most important speeches in recent American history. As you know, Bush assured a shaken nation that he would avenge the worst mass murder of citizens in our history in that speech. He declared war on terrorism, called the nation to arms, and united us like rarely before.

For most Americans, that was the most important day in the House in 25 years, not this silly, stupid, deceptively named campaign finance reform bill. But I can understand what Gephardt is saying, ladies and gentlemen. To him, job one is securing, maintaining and exercising power.

To him, Tom Daschle, other liberals in the Democratic - and, sadly, some in the Republican - Party, the Constitution is an obstacle to their designs on this country and on their role in it.

To them, the Constitution of the United States is an impediment to bigger government, and parts of it have to be swept aside so that government can grow, so that more power can be amassed in Washington, D.C. What's shocking is that these people know that they're shredding the First Amendment. They know they are amending the Constitution - something you can't do by a simple majority vote.






I proved Gephardt knew what he was doing on Friday's show by citing testimony he gave before the a subcommittee hearing on the Constitution, free speech and campaign finance reform. On February 27th, 1997, Gephardt said that the Supreme Court had ruled that, when it comes to elections, money equals speech. As a result of their decisions, only by allowing unlimited spending in campaigns can we protect the cherished right of free speech. He admitted that this put the following "two important values in direct conflict."

"Free speech, promoted through billions of dollars in 30-second negative ads," Gephardt said, "and our desires for healthy campaigns and a healthy democracy." But, Gephardt said, as the Supreme Court "has framed it, you can't have both." He then said, "That's why Barney Frank and I have proposed to change the excessive spending campaign system that the Buckley decision has put in place by proposing that an amendment to the Constitution to give Congress significant and explicit authority to regulate campaigns and campaign spending."

He said it five years ago, and proposed it by going through the proper mechanism for amending the Constitution. But now it's come to pass by a simple majority. Gephardt wants Congress in charge of elections, with the power to regulate campaigns and campaign spending. Stop and think about that. I shouldn't even have to analyze it.





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Old 02-27-2002, 10:00 AM   #13
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I am definitely against passing the campaign finance reform bill, for exactly the reasons cited by you, Achtung.

By the way Melon, how are any so-called Ten Commandment monuments a violation of the Constitution?

Amendment 1 reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

melon, that simply means that there will be no "national religion", as recognized by the government. Britain, at the time, had a "national religion", and that's one of the two main reasons we split from them.

How does placing the Ten Commandments in the halls of Congress (I assume that's the case you're speaking of) send the message "Judeo/Christianity is the religion of the USA"?
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Old 02-27-2002, 11:24 AM   #14
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Posting the Ten Commandments on government property means that the government is "establishing" a preferred religion. I would give the same opposition if non-Christian religions tried to erect monuments of religious documents on government property. Thomas Jefferson supported this model and wrote "separation of church and state" with the same meaning we interpret today. Our Founding Fathers were not devout Christians. A revival in the 1830s, I believe, made us a devoutly Christian nation.

However, going back to the idea of campaign reform, the "unconstitutionality" is on the basis of court-ruled common law. The Constitution, nor any of the amendments, guarantee a right to campaign funds specifically. Likewise, court-ruled common law has been very negative to Ten Commandments postings generally, usually the exceptions being a personally biased judge. Of course, like the Ten Commandments issue, the campaign funds common law could easily be overturned, so I would not be so hasty as to say that campaign finance reform to this degree will automatically be declared unconstitutional.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-27-2002, 11:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonite:
On Wednesday night, over two hundred members of Congress violated their oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" by voting for a law that abridges the First Amendment.
This article coming from the same people who probably support an anti-flag burning amendment, which would abridge the First Amendment. Their concern is not about the preservation of the First Amendment, but the ability of Republican presidential candidates to amass a ridiculous amount of campaign funds (see our current President) over the Democratic opposition.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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