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Old 12-11-2003, 08:36 PM   #1
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While we have been debating the F-Word Your 1st Amendment Was Attacked

The Supreme Court Ruled in Favor of Campain Finance Reform!!!!!!


Start doing some research......This is worse than the PATRIOT ACT in my book. The Patriot Act has to be renewed. This does not.

A little bit of the constitution was destroyed. I am saddened that McCain was a part of it. I am saddened that Bush signed it. They are both deserving of a vote out of office over this.
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:16 PM   #2
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Justice Scalia's Dissenting Highlights:

[Q]This is a sad day for the freedom of speech. Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restrictions upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child pornography, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U. S. 234 (2002), tobacco advertising, Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 U. S. 525 (2001), dissemination of illegally intercepted communications, Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U. S. 514 (2001), and sexually explicit cable programming, United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U. S. 803 (2000), would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government. For that is what the most offensive provisions of this legislation are all about. We are governed by Congress, and this legislation prohibits the criticism of Members of Congress by those entities most capable of giving such criticism loud voice: national political parties and corporations, both of the commercial and the not-for-profit sort. It forbids pre-election criticism of incumbents by corporations, even not-for-profit corporations, by use of their general funds; and forbids national-party use of "soft" money to fund "issue ads" that incumbents find so offensive.

To be sure, the legislation is evenhanded: It similarly prohibits criticism of the candidates who oppose Members of Congress in their reelection bids. But as everyone knows, this is an area in which evenhandedness is not fairness. If all electioneering were evenhandedly prohibited, incumbents would have an enormous advantage. Likewise, if incumbents and challengers are limited to the same quantity of electioneering, incumbents are favored. In other words, any restriction upon a type of campaign speech that is equally available to challengers and incumbents tends to favor incumbents.

Beyond that, however, the present legislation targets for prohibition certain categories of campaign speech that are particularly harmful to incumbents. Is it accidental, do you think, that incumbents raise about three times as much "hard money" the sort of funding generally not restricted by this legislation as do their challengers? See FEC, 1999-2000 Financial Activity of All Senate and House Campaigns (Jan. 1, 1999-Dec. 31, 2000) (last modified on May 15, 2001), http://www.fec.gov/press/ 051501congfinact/tables/allcong2000.xls (all Internet materials as visited Dec. 4, 2003, and available in Clerk of Court's case file). Or that lobbyists (who seek the favor of incumbents) give 92 percent of their money in "hard" contributions? See U. S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), The Lobbyist's Last Laugh: How K Street Lobbyists Would Benefit from the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Bill 3 (July 5, 2001), http://www.pirg.org/democracy/democracy.asp?id2=5068. Is it an oversight, do you suppose, that the so-called "millionaire provisions" raise the contribution limit for a candidate running against an individual who devotes to the campaign (as challengers often do) great personal wealth, but do not raise the limit for a candidate running against an individual who devotes to the campaign (as incumbents often do) a massive election "war chest"? See BCRA 304, 316, and 319. And is it mere happenstance, do you estimate, that national-party funding, which is severely limited by the Act, is more likely to assist cash-strapped challengers than flush-with-hard-money incumbents?[/Q]

[Q]Which brings me back to where I began: This litigation is about preventing criticism of the government. I cannot say for certain that many, or some, or even any, of the Members of Congress who voted for this legislation did so not to produce "fairer" campaigns, but to mute criticism of their records and facilitate reelection. Indeed, I will stipulate that all those who voted for the Act believed they were acting for the good of the country. There remains the problem of the Charlie Wilson Phenomenon, named after Charles Wilson, former president of General Motors, who is supposed to have said during the Senate hearing on his nomination as Secretary of Defense that "what's good for General Motors is good for the country."* Those in power, even giving them the benefit of the greatest good will, are inclined to believe that what is good for them is good for the country. Whether in prescient recognition of the Charlie Wilson Phenomenon, or out of fear of good old-fashioned, malicious, self-interested manipulation, "[t]he fundamental approach of the First Amendment . . . was to assume the worst, and to rule the regulation of political speech 'for fairness' sake' simply out of bounds." Austin, 494 U. S., at 693 (SCALIA, J., dissenting). Having abandoned that approach to a limited extent in Buckley, we abandon it much further today.

We will unquestionably be called upon to abandon it further still in the future. The most frightening passage in the lengthy floor debates on this legislation is the following assurance given by one of the cosponsoring Senators to his colleagues:

"This is a modest step, it is a first step, it is an essential step, but it does not even begin to address, in some ways, the fundamental problems that exist with the hard money aspect of the system." 148 Cong. Rec. S2101 (Mar. 20, 2002) (statement of Sen. Feingold).
The system indeed. The first instinct of power is the retention of power, and, under a Constitution that requires periodic elections, that is best achieved by the suppression of election time speech. We have witnessed merely the second scene of Act I of what promises to be a lengthy tragedy. In scene 3 the Court, having abandoned most of the First Amendment weaponry that Buckley left intact, will be even less equipped to resist the incumbents' writing of the rules of political debate. The federal election campaign laws, which are already (as today's opinions show) so voluminous, so detailed, so complex, that no ordinary citizen dare run for office, or even contribute a significant sum, without hiring an expert advisor in the field, can be expected to grow more voluminous, more detailed, and more complex in the years to come and always, always, with the objective of reducing the excessive amount of speech. [/Q]
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:54 PM   #3
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I don't think they went far enough. If you feel a need to spend more than X amount of dollars on the candidate of your choosing, you are buying policy. That's the plain truth.

This law will only limit the "speech" of the top money-makers in the country, so it's for the greater good of the country. I'd love to donate a trillion dollars to the Ralph Nader campaign; should he run, but it's not possible for me to do anything but donate time and a little money. That's the reality of the capitalistic system. By placing limits on contributions we are evening out the playing field for equality concerning free speech. Now the poorer of our society will have a louder voice in relation to the wealthy, thus increasing their freedom of democracy and speech, while restraining without robbing the rich of those same freedoms of opinion.
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:59 PM   #4
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Damn. I'm confused about this because I support certain aspects of campaign finance reform. I think there is too much $$ in politics. My father, a fervent liberal, thinks the old ways were best: the candidates were chosen in convention, campaigns did not last two years, involve insane amounts of money, burn the average voter out on politics by Election Day............see what I mean? God forbid any limits on criticizing the government. I used to practically live at demonstrations protesting government policies, and last year I hit a few more. Now I don't really think anything about modern campaigns can be changed; there's probably always going to be obscene amounts of $$ in political campaigns. This is terribly depressing for me. I suppose you can blame the idiot box, the almighty TV, for screwing up presidential politics, making the whole election dependent on silly thirty-second sound bites on the evening news and in ads. Let me just do this............


I understand the inconsistency of that protest.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:14 PM   #5
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I'm with Dano. Special interest groups and the top 1% should not get such a huge say in dictating policy to the bottom 99%. It's disproportionate. Governments should not be bought by corporations. And yes, I love Nader too.

But hey, Dread, if you wanna not vote for Bush over this, power to ya, buddy.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:34 PM   #6
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I think you are missing the Justice's point!

It benefits the incumbents.

Dano....it does not limit the spending of the TOP money makers.....It actually benfits them. I will provide an article to show how in another post.

Re-read the BOLD.

It limits ADVERTISING......ADVANTAGE incumbent......NAME Recognition

IT allows HARD money.....Incumbents statistically RAISE 3 TIMES the amount of HARD money as Challengers.


92% of $$$ given by Lobbyists is Hard money....this increases LOBBYING power not VOTER POWER = Incumbent POWER.

Limits PERSONAL WEALTH of Candidate NO limits on WAR Chest? War Chest = Incumbent Carry over from election to election = ADVANTAGE INCUMBENT.


LIMITS party funding to assist challengers? Hello? How are Democrats or the Green Party or any Third party ever to stand a chance at regaining ANY seat if the PARTY itself is not allowed to help use money for political ADVERTISEMENTS for the Candidate?

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

Yes, as Scalia concedes they may be well intentioned. This did nothing, nothing, but solidify the power of the people in power..... It was sold to each and every one of us as reform.....when in fact......it hurt any chance at change.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Damn. I'm confused about this because I support certain aspects of campaign finance reform. I think there is too much $$ in politics. My father, a fervent liberal, thinks the old ways were best: the candidates were chosen in convention, campaigns did not last two years, involve insane amounts of money, burn the average voter out on politics by Election Day............
Your father has it right!

And I think 100% that our Senators should not be Chosen by the Voters but by the Representatives of the State Legislature...which is the way it was worded in the constitution if I am not mistaken. This too would eliminate some of the .
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:50 PM   #8
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[Q]With court ruling, campaign power shifts toward independent groups

By JULIA MALONE
COX NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court's decision to uphold nearly all of the sweeping new federal campaign finance law has profound consequences for the 2004 presidential election and for political parties far beyond, activists and legal experts said.

Among the most immediate effects, the ruling intensifies a new kind of dash for campaign cash.

Now that the court has affirmed the ban on "soft money," the unlimited donations that corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals once gave the national political parties, Democrats and Republicans said they would be turning more to independent groups that are free from many of the new fund-raising limits.

"There's no longer any reason for donors to hold back," said Michael Lux, a Democratic consultant and fund-raiser who advises some of the party's major benefactors.


With the court clearly ruling out soft money donations to the parties, he said, he plans to urge donors to open their checkbooks for some of the burgeoning independent groups that are planning voter mobilization programs and ad campaigns on behalf of Democrats.

Republican strategist Frank Donatelli said the court ruling means that "it's no longer a question" that independent, tax-exempt groups are going to be "major players in the 2004 elections."

Republicans are concerned that rich liberal activists such as billionaire George Soros will use the new organizations to dump millions of dollars in soft money into the presidential and congressional campaigns, thus negating the GOP's historic dominance in fund raising. Democrats say that the Republican Party leaders who control the White House and Congress will set up their own political groups and employ the power of incumbency to ensure their advantage.

"Conservatives and Republicans need to avail themselves of the full opportunities as Democrats are already doing," said Donatelli, who is a counsel for Americans for a Better Country, a Republican-leaning group that is still in its formative stages.

The court ruling solidifies the clear Republican advantage inside the parties and campaigns in collecting "hard money," the limited and tightly regulated dollars that campaigns and parties can still collect.



The confirmation of the soft money ban "clearly means that individual and political action committee contributions are even more important," said David Magleby, dean of the School of Social Sciences at Brigham Young University.

President Bush and the Republican National Committee have long excelled at raising "hard money," and they have benefited by the new law, which doubles the limit on individual giving from $1,000 to $2,000. Bush's re-election campaign has already raised a record amount of more than $100 million, from its extensive donor base of small givers and from its large list of $2,000 donors.


"What we don't know is how well the Democrats will adapt," said Magleby. So far, the Democratic National Committee and its candidates have lagged far behind the Republicans, he said, adding that the small-donor fund-raising prowess of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has revealed that "there is a large untapped pool of individual donors that the party has to turn to."

Opponents lamented that the law will reduce the influence of the parties and give more power to narrowly focused outside groups. The 5-4 Supreme Court decision "has unfortunately allowed Congress to diminish the ability of political parties and citizens groups to speak in the days before an election," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who led the lawsuit against the statute, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

The new law "will not remove one dime from politics," McConnell said, adding, "Soft money is not gone -- it has just changed its address."

Supporters of the law counter that it removes the direct influence of big-dollar, special-interest donors.

"It cuts the toxic link between people who write six-figure checks and people in power in the highest level of our government," said Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, a non-partisan group that fought for the law for a decade.

"The important thing is that you cannot hand over (unlimited soft) money to the national political parties who then give it to someone who's running for political office," she said. "The court opinion uses the word 'indebtedness' -- that big money can indeed create actual or apparent indebtedness on the part of federal office holders. That's what concerns us."

"Yes, there's always going to be this money," Boyle added. "But we're glad that direct link has been cut."[/Q]

The one thing I got from both sides of this issue is that NOT ONE cent has been taken out of this election process. Unlimited amounts can be given to these other groups now, and indirectly given to the candidates. So we now have a middle person.

Big deal. No difference.....except....what Scalia has pointed out.....the elimination of soft money .......

Which GIVES the Incumbents a HUGE ELECTION ADVANTAGE.......
I wonder how they got the votes to pass this??????
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:06 PM   #9
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I'm still with Dano, they should have done more. Obviously this version still leaves loopholes for so-called independent groups. This culture of indirectly buying policy is undemocratic. For a country which prides itself in promoting democracy in far off places, it's at least a tad surprising it would allow businesses to run the government by-proxy. Still loving Nader.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:24 PM   #10
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I am not saying they should not have done more. I am saying they did NOTHING.

They sold us that they did SOMETHING......

WHat they did was STREGNTHEN their own POWER while telling us they are giving it back to us....when people on both sides are saying not a cent has been removed from the process....it is just being shuffeled to a middle group now.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:33 PM   #11
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Dreadsox,
I don't have the time at the moment to read the article and post, but I wanted you to know that I agree with what you said in the follow-up post. In a perfect world there would be no contributions exceeding one penny, and each candidate with a significant support base would simply debate the other candidates on a national scale. That's all that matters, right? Where they stand on the issues? All the advertising is manipulation and symbols for the symbol-minded

I'll get back to you.

Dano
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:35 PM   #12
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If I may add more to the ruling.....

[Q]And it said the Constitution's guarantee of free speech doesn't preclude Congress from banning the use of corporate and union money to air election-season ads that purport to be about political issues, but really are intended to promote or attack candidates for federal office.[/Q]

OK....I am a teacher. I do not make big $$$$$. I know plenty of other people who do not make big $$$$$. We now are no longer able to run ADS paid for by the UNION in support of Candidates that are supportive of our cause?

What is up with that? Why? This is not just the teacher's unions...this is ANY union.




http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...ign-usat_x.htm
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Danospano
Dreadsox,
I don't have the time at the moment to read the article and post, but I wanted you to know that I agree with what you said in the follow-up post. In a perfect world there would be no contributions exceeding one penny, and each candidate with a significant support base would simply debate the other candidates on a national scale. That's all that matters, right? Where they stand on the issues? All the advertising is manipulation and symbols for the symbol-minded

I'll get back to you.

Dano
Peace.....I am very fired up tonight...I hate when I feel like the Constitution is being shredded.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:39 PM   #14
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I should keep quiet....LOL

never mind....You all cheer for your campain finance bill:

[Q]The adjustment is hardest for the Democrats. They had relied on big contributions from organized labor, Hollywood and trial lawyers to partly offset a long-standing Republican advantage in small-dollar fundraising through the mail. In the two-year election period, soft money made up 53% of Democrats' income, 36% for the GOP.[/Q]

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...ign-usat_x.htm
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:43 PM   #15
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And here is the biggest loophole of them all from Wayne LaPeirre:

[Q]The NRA is exploring the possibility of buying television stations and other media outlets, he said.[/Q]
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