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Campaign fund/spending limits have been lifted, Is this good or bad?
*batman*
post Jan 22 2010, 02:47 PM
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bitterly divided Supreme Court vastly increased the power of big business and unions to influence government decisions Thursday by freeing them to spend their millions directly to sway elections for president and Congress.

The ruling reversed a century-long trend to limit the political muscle of corporations, organized labor and their massive war chests. It also recast the political landscape just as crucial midterm election campaigns are getting under way.

More at NY Times


In one perspective, I fear that without a fund limit, business will over power better judgement, sort of purchasing our future leaders with lucrative campaigns, possibly rendering other candidates incapable of running. In another perspective, this may be something that can benefit the economy (in terms of money into 'government', hopefully returning money out to the public.)

A good point
QUOTE
The opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy made a vigorous argument based on the Constitution for the right of the public to be exposed to a multitude of ideas and against the ability of government to limit political speech, even in the interest of fighting corruption.


A probable reality
QUOTE
Strongly dissenting, Justice John Paul Stevens said, 'The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.'


For now, my stance is against it. I just have a feeling that this ruling was a horrible mistake.

How do you feel about this?
 
Uronacid
post Jan 22 2010, 03:12 PM
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I think it's a terrible ruling. It will lead to the "purchasing" so-to-speak of politicians. Elections will become less about what people want.
 
AngryBaby
post Jan 25 2010, 11:53 PM
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its absolutely terrifying.

this basically renders our votes completely useless. democracy has pretty much been, ripped to shreds. we are now a corporate country.
 
Uronacid
post Jan 26 2010, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE(AngryBaby @ Jan 25 2010, 11:53 PM) *
its absolutely terrifying.

this basically renders our votes completely useless. democracy has pretty much been, ripped to shreds. we are now a corporate country.


Actually,

I take back what I was saying. Throughout history corporations have not shown favoritism to any party. I really don't think an election will be purchased by one corporate entity or another.
 
mipadi
post Jan 26 2010, 04:12 PM
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QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 26 2010, 03:28 PM) *
Actually,

I take back what I was saying. Throughout history corporations have not shown favoritism to any party. I really don't think an election will be purchased by one corporate entity or another.


Yeah, they don't show favoritism because they just buy either candidate. Most corporations will donate money to both parties (or both candidates in an election), thus ensuring that no matter who wins, that candidate will be in their pocket.
 
mipadi
post Jan 29 2010, 10:39 AM
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Incidentally, Obama called out those old rich guys who sit on the Supreme Court:

 
Uronacid
post Jan 29 2010, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE(mipadi @ Jan 26 2010, 04:12 PM) *
Yeah, they don't show favoritism because they just buy either candidate. Most corporations will donate money to both parties (or both candidates in an election), thus ensuring that no matter who wins, that candidate will be in their pocket.


And Unions don't already to this to the democrats? The Unions have the dems in the palm of their hand. Just look at the health care bill...

http://www.businessinsider.com/healthcare-...retirees-2009-8

QUOTE(mipadi @ Jan 29 2010, 10:39 AM) *
Incidentally, Obama called out those old rich guys who sit on the Supreme Court:



And Incidentally, Obama was wrong about what he was saying. The supreme court didn't even amend the law he was referring to. It is still against the law for foreign corporations to make contributions to political parties before elections. Obama was acting like a child when he called out the supreme court on this issue.
 
mipadi
post Jan 29 2010, 01:40 PM
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QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 01:35 PM) *
And Unions don't already to this to the democrats?


Did I say that anywhere? Did I say that only Republicans were corrupted by money? You're too quick to jump to partisanship.

QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 01:35 PM) *
And Incidentally, Obama was wrong about what he was saying. The supreme court didn't even amend the law he was referring to. It is still against the law for foreign corporations to make contributions to political parties before elections.


He didn't say anything about amending the law. He said the Supreme Court reversed law that could open the "floodgates" for campaign finance issues. And he is almost certainly right, since the ruling will most likely invalidate a number of existing laws.
 
Uronacid
post Jan 29 2010, 01:55 PM
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QUOTE(mipadi @ Jan 29 2010, 01:40 PM) *
Did I say that anywhere? Did I say that only Republicans were corrupted by money? You're too quick to jump to partisanship.
He didn't say anything about amending the law. He said the Supreme Court reversed law that could open the "floodgates" for campaign finance issues. And he is almost certainly right, since the ruling will most likely invalidate a number of existing laws.


1. I believe one reason the law was reversed because the the only thing worse than a two party government is a single party government. Unfortunately partisanship does come into play.

2. He's wrong, they didn't reverse the law he was referring to.
 
mipadi
post Jan 29 2010, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 01:55 PM) *
1. I believe one reason the law was reversed because the the only thing worse than a two party government is a single party government. Unfortunately partisanship does come into play.


I don't follow. Where does a one-party government play into this?

QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 01:55 PM) *
2. He's wrong, they didn't reverse the law he was referring to.


To what specific law was he referring? I was under the impression that he meant campaign finance law in the general sense.
 
Uronacid
post Jan 29 2010, 02:16 PM
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QUOTE(mipadi @ Jan 29 2010, 02:06 PM) *
I don't follow. Where does a one-party government play into this?
To what specific law was he referring? I was under the impression that he meant campaign finance law in the general sense.


The Republicans are running out of money to fund successful campaigns. They're essentialy at the mercy of the people. Where as the democrats are recieving pleanty of funding from unions and other none profit organizations that they cater to. In a nut shell, giving corporations the ability to donate money will keep democrats from buying seats in the House and Senate. I susspect this is one of the major reasons democrats are so aggrevated by the supreme court ruling.

Obama said, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities." He was heavily stressing the fact that they'd allowed foreign corporations to make contributions to political parties which was simply not true.

The supreme court did not reverse 2 U.S.C. Section 441e which prohibits foreign corporations from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party and making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication." That law still holds. Obama made a fool of himself. Worse yet, the dems thrive off special intrest groups.

You could say I'm being picky about what Obama said. I don't think I am. This speach was written before he gave it. I think he lied, and I think he was acting like a child for calling out the supreme court for doing their job. He would have been better off not doing it in the first place. The fact that even you didn't know it was falsified information is scarey to me because I consider you to be an fairly intellegent person. Imagine how many others simpley take his word for it.
 
mipadi
post Feb 5 2010, 03:50 PM
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QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 02:16 PM) *
The Republicans are running out of money to fund successful campaigns. They're essentialy at the mercy of the people. Where as the democrats are recieving pleanty of funding from unions and other none profit organizations that they cater to. In a nut shell, giving corporations the ability to donate money will keep democrats from buying seats in the House and Senate. I susspect this is one of the major reasons democrats are so aggrevated by the supreme court ruling.


First of all, I'll ignore for a moment the obvious point that elections being unfair for both major parties do not make elections fair, nor do they eliminate the corrupting influence of corporate bribery from politics.

Instead, for the time being, I'll point out that you have the situation backwards. The Democrats (or any politician from any party) aren't the ones "buying seats"; corporations are buying politicians. I know what you're trying to say, that because the Democrats have been more successful at raising money, they've "bought" seats, but the situation is the reverse: because the Democrats have been successful at winning elections and are thus the majority party, corporations are funneling more money to the Democrats since they actually have power. Look at this graph I made, based on donations since since 2000, and Congressional seats since 1999:



As you can see, while the Republicans were in power, they were more successful at raising money; once 2006 rolled around and Democrats began gaining seats in Congress, they started raising more money. What does this say? It says -- clearly -- that corporations (and unions, etc.) simply donate money to whoever has power. Democrats didn't "buy" the election, they simply got more corporate donations once they gained power.

Secondly, you imply that donations from unions didn't follow the same rules as corporations under the old law, but that's simply not true. Unions were subject to same controls as well. This most recent decision applies equally to unions and corporations.

Even so, I think we can separate donations from unions, non-profits, etc., from corporate donations. When an individual gives money to a union or a non-profit, he does so in the hope that the union or non-profit will act in his own self-interest. In a way, the individual is speaking with his wallet. But corporate investments are different: people invest in corporations with the goal that the corporation will return more money to them, and not with the hopes that the corporation will exercise political pressure. This is especially true of people who have 401(k) plans and the like, since they rarely even manage the exact corporations that they donate to, and they're only trying to make money for retirement, not further a political goal. So while a union that uses money in a political way is doing so on behalf of an individual, a corporation is taking money meant for another purpose and using it to further its own political goals.

That said, I'm not against prohibiting unions, etc., from engaging in electioneering communications; I just think it's important to note the difference between the two groups.

Finally, I'll go back to my earlier point: an electoral system that allows both Democrats and Republicans to be bought equally easily is still not a fair electoral system. Equal corruption in both parties is still corruption. Such an electoral system is about as fair and balanced as Fox News.

QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 02:16 PM) *
Obama said, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities." He was heavily stressing the fact that they'd allowed foreign corporations to make contributions to political parties which was simply not true.

The supreme court did not reverse 2 U.S.C. Section 441e which prohibits foreign corporations from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party and making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication." That law still holds. Obama made a fool of himself. Worse yet, the dems thrive off special intrest groups.


There are several points that apply here:
  1. I think you're placing too much emphasis on one part of his phrase. You claim he "heavily stressed" the issue of foreign corporations, but I think he merely mentioned it.
  2. I don't think the full ramifications of the decision can be anticipated just yet. Yeah, maybe Obama was being a bit hyperbolic, I don't know. Or maybe he's right, and this decision will ripple out to other laws related to campaign financing. (For what it's worth, I think he was being a bit hyperbolic, but that doesn't make what he said a complete lie.)
  3. I believe U.S.C. Section 441e applies to individuals, not corporations. I'm not a lawyer so I could be wrong, but the law makes references specifically to individuals. Maybe it thinks of a corporation as an individual, I don't know (as I said, I'm not a lawyer). But...
  4. When you're dealing with multinational corporations, it's hard to define a "foreign corporation". What constitutes a "foreign corporation" when a corporation operates across international boundaries?
  5. U.S.C. Section 441e deals with direct contributions to political parties and committees; it says nothing about funding the "electioneering communications" with which the recent Supreme Court decision deals.

Anyway, those are points to ponder, but I think they're mostly off-topic because, unlike you, I don't think that Obama was placing emphasis on the issue of foreign corporations being involved in politics.

QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 02:16 PM) *
I think he lied, and I think he was acting like a child for calling out the supreme court for doing their job.


If "legislating from the bench" is the Supreme Court jobs, then you're right, they performed their jobs masterfully. But the job of the Supreme Court is to decide the constitutionality of laws, not investigate and alter law on its own. As noted here: "Justice Stevens also noted that in making this ruling, the court was both overstepping its bounds in ruling on constitutional issues it did not need to directly address in order to rule on this specific case, and overriding a century of legal precedent regarding government's ability to regulate corporations, including two previous Supreme Court cases" (emphasis mine).

QUOTE(Uronacid @ Jan 29 2010, 02:16 PM) *
The fact that even you didn't know it was falsified information is scarey to me because I consider you to be an fairly intellegent person. Imagine how many others simpley take his word for it.


You haven't established that what he said was an outright falsehood.
 
kryogenix
post Feb 9 2010, 02:26 AM
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Probably the most level headed analysis of the situation I've seen so far. Plus, Freebird at the end.

I'll read this thread later. Maybe.
 

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