Re: OT: Well, today we lost the first amendment in the US

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They just said "Money" is not speech. Why should we keep selling our government to the highest bidder?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

No, what they said is that if a candidate makes a statement, or even worse, doesn't, regarding a position, you are not allowed to pool your resources with others in your community 60 days before an election to dispute that viewpoint and point out that an alternative exists in another candidate. What this ruling has done is prevent the ability of groups who may be concerned about a candidate's position on a certain issue from presenting that concern to the public via radio or television ads prior to the election. The rationale for this is that the public may be too @#$% stupid to make up their own mind regarding the validity of the viewpoints presented -- in direct contravention of what the founders intended, assuming that the electorate should be able to engage in free discourse regarding issues relevant to political speech. However, the existing media is free to present whatever viewpoint it cares to during that time period, and the candidate can buy ad time to present his viewpoints -- seems like a clear violation of "congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ... "
This has nothing to do with selling anything to the highest bidder, this is preventing anyone other than an incumbent, a challenger, or the existing press from expressing a viewpoint.
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This has nothing to do with a few neighbors passing the hat to buy a TV spot, unless your neighbors are all millionaires. This is all about very rich people sending huge untraceable bribes to political parties.
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Greg wrote:

Nonsense. This is about whether or not your right to express/support your political views (a freedom _affirmed_ by the 1st Amendment, NOT _granted_ by it) is equally available to rich and poor people alike. Today, the Supremes decided that rich people have _fewer_ rights than everyone else and decided to enforce this horror my infringing upon the freedoms of _everyone_ ... a truly sad day for Liberty in America.
We are never overcome by Tyranny ... we march to it willingly.
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<snip>
Sorry, no, but they *didn't*. What the court affirmed is that:
"...contribution limits 'entai[l] only a marginal restriction upon the contributor's ability to engage in free communication...". (p.3 of the decision)
Later in the decision the court restates a previous ruling that "The quantity of communication by the contributor does not increase perceptibly with the size of the contribution, since the expression rests solely on the undifferentiated, symbolic act of contributing." (p. 43).
The decision did also say that contribution limits impose restrictions on free speech *only* when they are so low as to prevent candidates from "...amassing the resources necessary for effective advocacy", and that "...the 'overall effect' of dollar limits on contributions is 'merely to require candidates and political committees to raise funds from a greater number of persons.'"
I have a really hard time seeing how not being able to give tons and tons of money to a party (remember--this affects soft contributions directed toward a party, not an individual candidate) restricts free speech rights. Hey...what ever happened to a party energizing their followers to get out and go door to door, or mount a phone campaign, or send letters?
I found the full decision here:
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/03pdf/02-1674.pdf
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The law also only affects soft money contributions in excess of $25,000 per donor to a party or $2,000 to each candidate. I think that is out of the range of anyone here.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote in message

Typically the effects of a USSC ruling extend beyond the specific case (and law) being considered.
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FF

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PC Gameplayer wrote:
<SNIP>

And I have a really hard time seeing how it is the government's business how and where any citizen chooses to spend their own money so long as doing so does not involve fraud, force, or threat. This decision does nothing more than futher enfranchise the power of government over the free activities of the citizenry while hiding behind "corruption" control. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com PGP Key: http://www.tundraware.com/PGP /
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Hi Tim:

I'll have to agree with you on this. But the last part of your sentence, IMHO, reinforces the reason why the SC made the decision it did. Another poster made the point that the contributions the SC concerned themselves with are probably outside the range of what most of us here can (or would) contribute. And from looking at the decision...well, I wouldn't say they concerned themselves with "fraud, force, or threat", but there was definitely an overriding concern of undue influence on the part of "deep pockets" contributors.
This decision

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here. Again, since the contribution limits are set above $25K per party/$2000 per candidate, I think that's mostly outside the range of what "the citizenry" would give.
And it's like having a teenager complain about the fact that, since they don't have a car, they can't go to the mall. Hey...they can walk, they can take a bus, they can call a friend, they can ride a bike, etc. If you did have more than $2000 laying around to give to a candidate, you can't--but you can still exercise your free speech rights to support the candidate or party of your choice in any other way (door to door, calling, etc.).
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

When, for example, the Nat'l Assoc. of Manufacturers opposes or backs a bill with TV ads purporting to be from "Concerned Citizens for ...", I call that fraud. And I'm not picking on the NAM, I could just as easily said the NEA, the AFL-CIO, Tyson Farms, etc..
And the whole issue could be mostly solved by just banning political ads from everything but the newspapers. Not only that, you'd have to be able to read to know who to vote for - Awwwwww.
Come to think of it, you could ban ads there as well. Then a politician would have to say something newsworthy to get in print :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

With all due respect, I find this response just chilling. The right to express oneself individually or collectively on political matters is fundamental to maintaining a free society. That's why it says, "Congress shall make _NO_ law ..." in the First Amendment.
This whole business about Big Bad Evil Money corrupting the system is ridiculous on its face anyway. The US Federal budget is in the neighborhood of $2 Trillion last I looked. About half of it ($1 Trillion) is in entitlements (mostly Medicare, Medicade, and Social Security with a good measure of various do-gooding thrown in for fun). That is, $1 Trillion is being spent to give the voters "free" stuff. That far exceeds any influence the very richest people could ever hope to buy. No, it is the various flavor of moochers that do the most corrupting damage to the system.
Sure, there are people that game the system. Crime and corruption are a part of the human experience. But just because we cannot make it perfect does not mean we should throw out our civil liberties in some vain attempt to "clean things up". This law will do nothing to stop political corruption in much the same way that gun control legislation does nothing to stop crime. You _cannot_ stop evil by attacking its tools, only by going after the _persons_ doing the evil. What these kinds of laws _do_ enable, is the further empowering of the ruling class and a dimunition of personal freedom thereby. As others here have noted, CFR is no such thing - it is a way to further entrench the established parties in the face of increasing public dissatisfaction with them.
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On Thu, 11 Dec 2003 16:17:55 -0800, Larry Blanchard

Sacre bleu! Everything in print now is _newsworthy_? Society has fallen further than I had ever imagined.
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OK, I stand corrected :-).
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Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (PC Gameplayer) wrote in message

That is to say you are free to use less effective means to communicate your opinion. I don't find that acceptable.
But will the law stop the wealthy from running political ads independently from the parties and candidates? How much does it cast a newpaper to print and distribute their endorsements?
If, 30 days before the election I want to spend 20,000 on advertising that says 'These candidates stink, vote for Pat Paulsen for President' can I?
--

FF

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@hotmail.com says...

So you don't see a major problem here? When the first amendment says, "Congress shall make NO law ..." it's OK for the court that is supposed to uphold and defend that constitution to say "only a marginal restriction upon ... " is OK? What you going to say when they start deciding that some of the things you think are freedoms granted to you should be subject to some "marginal" restrictions?
Take a look at the dissenting opinions.
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Wait a minute, limits on campaign contributions have been held constitutional for some time, and the soft money angle was nothing more than an angle for politicians to accept bribes, plain and simple. Individual candidates would get financial support from the major parties, and not spend funds they raised individually. Betcha didn't know when a congressman or senator retires, and they have a balance in their campaign fund, they get to keep the money!! Bribery, pure and simple. Get over it. If you want to express your opinion, go stand on a street corner on a box and have at it. Saying soft money is an expression of political speech by proxy is functionally equal to avoiding the draft by paying someone else to take your place. If you feel you have a duty to exercise your first amendment rights, then do it.
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Mutt wrote:

That was wrong as well.

Yes, I did know.

I won't be able to 60 days inside a window of an election - at least I won't be able to if I want to pool my resources along with others who share my views and call it a "politcal party" or "special interest group" or what have you.
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@aol.com says...

.. and how do I do that in today's society? The medium of choice to get a message out is through the mass media, specifically television if I want to reach the most people. That costs money. If I want to make a political statement that such and such a candidate holds a view that I don't agree with, guess what, I can't do that 60 days before an election -- (I'm not sure that even a private VERY WEALTHY -- which is just he opposite of what you are trying to achieve -- person can legally take out an issue ad with his own money if he's going to mention a federal candidate), and I certainly can't pool my money with others' money to take out such an ad.
What this act does is essentially help protect a) the current two- party system, and b) even more importantly protects incumbents.
If you're worried about corruption, there are already laws against corruption and influence pedaling (as pointed out by Scalia, Souder, and Kennedy). The idea that this is a first step is even more frightening, this is something like the third step, trying to close down secondary and tertiary behaviors when the primary behaviors were banned by original campaign finance reform laws.
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Plessey v. Ferguson established that racial discrimination was perfectly lawful and constitutional from 1896 until 1954 (Brown V. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas).
So, by ". . . for some time", do you claim that a ruling is automatically correct?
If so, there are probably some descendants of former slave owners who would like to claim the "property" that was confiscated from them. Where can they contact you for remuneration?
Kevin
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Seen another way, this is about political parties (read, the Democrats & Republicans) accepting huge untraceable 'bribes' and then doing the bidding of the very rich people.
Vote Libertarian,
Dave

spot,
people
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