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It's time to get the money out of politics [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : It's time to get the money out of politics


DVD Guy ATL
12-04-11, 10:01 AM
Let's move beyond the bought-and-paid-for model of Federal government:
http://www.getmoneyout.com/

And a related rant from Dylan Ratigan:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gIcqb9hHQ3E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Sean O'Hara
12-04-11, 10:43 AM
So here's their proposed amendment:

No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office.

So they only want rich people to run for office? No, actually, their gloss of the amendment says that this would include "self-funders," which pretty much makes it impossible to run for office. I suppose someone who's popular on Twitter could do it, if SCOTUS allows that it doesn't constitute an indirect donation, which would limit us to Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah.

Great fucking plan.

DVD Guy ATL
12-04-11, 10:49 AM
That is not the final proposed amendment; it is one of several alternate drafts. The others are less restrictive (ex., one disallows corporate donations but allows individual contributions up to $100). There is lots of internal debate about draft specifics among supporters, with many folks sharing your view:

http://www.getmoneyout.com/comments_on_amendment_drafts

Th0r S1mpson
12-04-11, 10:57 AM
People will still get money out of it if you get the money out of it.

Sean O'Hara
12-04-11, 11:01 AM
That is not the final proposed amendment; it is one of several alternate drafts.

That's the draft being put forth by the group you linked to. And being a draft doesn't excuse idiocy.

I'm all about getting corporate dollars out of federal politics.

That sounds all well and good until you realize that corporations are groups of people who pool their money for common cause. Consider the following scenarios:

1) I buy an ad in the New York Times urging people not to vote for any candidate who is deeply religious.

2) CRM114 and I pool our money to buy an ad in the New York Times urging people not to vote for any candidate who is deeply religious.

3) CRM114 and I form a corporation to buy an ad in the New York Times urging people not to vote for any candidate who is deeply religious.

Why is (3) any different from the other examples?

For that matter, The New York Times is a corporation, so when their editorial board endorses a candidate, they're injecting their own money into politics.

DVD Guy ATL
12-04-11, 11:20 AM
Example three above is entirely different from a multi-billion dollar corporation using its funds to buy a political candidate. But you already knew that. And why would you need to create a corporation specifically to buy an ad?

Sean O'Hara
12-04-11, 12:49 PM
Example three above is entirely different from a multi-billion dollar corporation using its funds to buy a political candidate. But you already knew that.

No, actually I don't. None of the amendments you linked to make any such distinction, so they would apply to my hypothetical corporation as equally as Monsanto. How do you propose distinguishing which corporations are allowed speech and which are not?

And why would you need to create a corporation specifically to buy an ad?

Why shouldn't we? Maybe we want to start a massive campaign to promote atheism and the ad is just the first step?

Note that my third example is pretty much what Citizens United (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission) was about in the first place.

DVD Polizei
12-04-11, 01:03 PM
Politicians really must have nothing to do, except for appearing on a cable news network blabbermouth show.

How about this idea.

Politicians winning an office would be required to actually work 8hrs a week, at a job that pays the standard wage. They would have to deal with the public, and any laws they would pass, well, the public would know where to find them on a particular day.

DVD Guy ATL
12-04-11, 01:25 PM
No, actually I don't. None of the amendments you linked to make any such distinction, so they would apply to my hypothetical corporation as equally as Monsanto. How do you propose distinguishing which corporations are allowed speech and which are not?

The proposed amendments would indeed apply to all corporations, as should be the case. I was just pointing out that your example purposely ignores the primary catalyst behind this effort -- unchecked corporate influence in federal politics.

You seem to believe that corporations should be treated under the law as if they were individual citizens, and furthermore that corporate influence over the political process is a free speech issue. I disagree with both assertions.

DVD Guy ATL
12-04-11, 01:26 PM
How about this idea.

Politicians winning an office would be required to actually work 8hrs a week, at a job that pays the standard wage. They would have to deal with the public, and any laws they would pass, well, the public would know where to find them on a particular day.

I am 100% on board with this!

Sean O'Hara
12-04-11, 01:41 PM
The proposed amendments would indeed apply to all corporations, as should be the case. I was just pointing out that your example purposely ignores the primary catalyst behind this effort -- unchecked corporate influence in federal politics.

I don't care what the catalyst is; what matters is the outcome.

You seem to believe that corporations should be treated under the law as if they were individual citizens, and furthermore that corporate influence over the political process is a free speech issue. I disagree with both assertions.

No, I believe they should be treated for what they are -- groups of people pooling resources, which is something covered under the First Amendment. If corporations do not have the right to speech, then there is no freedom of the press -- the New York Times, Paramount Pictures and the Huffington Post could not exist in such a situation.

X
12-04-11, 01:43 PM
Is a PAC a "business entity"? Is a union?

Jason
12-04-11, 06:32 PM
That sounds all well and good until you realize that corporations are groups of people who pool their money for common cause.

:lol:

That sounds wonderful. A flowery world of rainbows and puppy dogs where those kind hearted corporations are only interested in what's good for us.

Now let me tell you how it works in the real world.

Corporate campaign contributions are decided on by top level management to buy politicians who will do what they want, which is solely for the benefit the top level management.

Sean O'Hara
12-04-11, 10:03 PM
:lol:

That sounds wonderful. A flowery world of rainbows and puppy dogs where those kind hearted corporations are only interested in what's good for us.

Now let me tell you how it works in the real world.

Corporate campaign contributions are decided on by top level management to buy politicians who will do what they want, which is solely for the benefit the top level management.

No, they make decisions to benefit the shareholders, to whom they are answerable.

Moreover, 501(c)s are corporations as well -- do you think Planned Parenthood or the Electronic Frontier Foundation should be banned from political speech? How about LLCs, which would likely fall within the scope of these proposed amendments?

Jason
12-04-11, 10:28 PM
No, they make decisions to benefit the shareholders, to whom they are answerable.

Moreover, 501(c)s are corporations as well -- do you think Planned Parenthood or the Electronic Frontier Foundation should be banned from political speech? How about LLCs, which would likely fall within the scope of these proposed amendments?

Planned Parenthood and EFF are non-profit corporations.

Sean O'Hara
12-04-11, 10:42 PM
Planned Parenthood and EFF are non-profit corporations.

Yes, that's what 501(c) means. What does that have to do with the discussion?

Jason
12-04-11, 11:07 PM
Yes, that's what 501(c) means. What does that have to do with the discussion?

Misinterpreted. Sue me.

The non-profit corporation was designed partially to distinguish advocacy groups from profit chasing businesses. Sort of a conflict of interest thing. Manipulating the government to increase your business isn't the same as working for a common cause.

I know you're not going to like it or agree with it, but there's a clear difference between the two activities. Pick one or the other.

Sean O'Hara
12-05-11, 12:11 AM
Misinterpreted. Sue me.

The non-profit corporation was designed partially to distinguish advocacy groups from profit chasing businesses. Sort of a conflict of interest thing. Manipulating the government to increase your business isn't the same as working for a common cause.

I know you're not going to like it or agree with it, but there's a clear difference between the two activities. Pick one or the other.

And yet the proposed amendments DVD Guy ATL linked to in the first post don't make any such distinction. The first one bans all money in campaigns, period, so advocacy groups are out. The second limits contributions to $100 per citizen of the United States. The third says:

People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

So, again, 501(c)s are included, along with LLCs.

kvrdave
12-05-11, 01:53 AM
I think this is just much ado about nothing. You won't ever get a president and congress to put forth a constitutional amendment that restrains their power. Just won't happen. Makes for an interesting discussion, I suppose, but it is like day dreaming about winning the lottery.

DVD Guy ATL
12-05-11, 11:28 AM
And yet the proposed amendments DVD Guy ATL linked to in the first post don't make any such distinction. [...] So, again, 501(c)s are included, along with LLCs.
I have no issues with this... special interests come in many different forms.

Bandoman
12-05-11, 11:46 AM
I think this is just much ado about nothing. You won't ever get a president and congress to put forth a constitutional amendment that restrains their power. Just won't happen. Makes for an interesting discussion, I suppose, but it is like day dreaming about winning the lottery.

I always wait for the Powerball jackpot to get big enough so that, if I won, I could buy my own Congressman, or maybe even a Senator.

Dr Mabuse
12-05-11, 11:53 AM
I think this is just much ado about nothing. You won't ever get a president and congress to put forth a constitutional amendment that restrains their power. Just won't happen. Makes for an interesting discussion, I suppose, but it is like day dreaming about winning the lottery.

The states could do it without the assistance of the federal powers.

That won't happen either of course, I'm just sayin...

kvrdave
12-05-11, 12:08 PM
The states could do it without the assistance of the federal powers.

That won't happen either of course, I'm just sayin...

Exactly. Much ado about nothing.

RoyalTea
12-15-11, 07:07 AM
I think it's obvious that we need some sort of committee to differentiate between "good" corporations that should be allowed to spend money to achieve a political end, and "bad" corporations that should not be allowed to spend money to achieve a political end.

Nick Danger
12-15-11, 11:38 PM
I think it's obvious that we need some sort of committee to differentiate between "good" corporations that should be allowed to spend money to achieve a political end, and "bad" corporations that should not be allowed to spend money to achieve a political end.

The corporate lobbyists would surround your committee twelve deep. But on the bright side, the congressmen on the committee will be set for life on re-election funds.