Not one Republican Senator voted for campaign finance reform


#1

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#2

Why would you expect a Republican Senator to vote for something that limits everybody’s right to free speech?


#3

Not that it really mattered that much in the grand scheme of things. This bill had a snowball’s chance in hell of even getting to the floor of the House. You’re asking Republicans to vote against their primary campaign doners. That’s the very definition of not going to happen. You might as well have them vote against gerrymandering while they’re at it.


#4

Yes, the current system is completely fair in that it allows both the Koch Brothers and people below the poverty line to donate 5 million dollars to a campaign.


#5

I might just me being petulant since I find the modern GOP so disastrous to begin with, but I can’t help but see this as a denial of states’ rights, as well, another hypocrisy to heap onto the pile.


#6

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
Upton Sinclair


#7

I was astonished by this result. Surely both parties stand for honesty, openness and transparency, right?


#8

Of course not. This has been party doctrine for years. Next you’ll be telling me not one senator voted for a tax increase. Bonus points if they voted to simultaneously increase spending for military and prisons.


#9

From the oral arguments of Citizens United

JUSTICE ALITO: Do you think the
Constitution required Congress to draw the line where it
did, limiting this to broadcast and cable and so forth?
What’s your answer to Mr. Olson’s point that there isn’t
any constitutional difference between the distribution
of this movie on video demand and providing access on
the Internet, providing DVDs, either through a
commercial service or maybe in a public library,
providing the same thing in a book? Would the
Constitution permit the restriction of all of those as
well?

MR. STEWART [Deputy Solictor General of the United States]:
I think the – the Constitution would have permitted Congress to apply the
electioneering communication restrictions to the extent
that they were otherwise constitutional under Wisconsin
Right to Life. Those could have been applied to
additional media as well. And it’s worth remembering
that the preexisting Federal Election Campaign Act
restrictions on corporate electioneering which have been
limited by this Court’s decisions to express advocacy.

JUSTICE ALITO: That’s pretty incredible.
You think that if – if a book was published, a campaign
biography that was the functional equivalent of express
advocacy, that could be banned?

MR. STEWART: I’m not saying it could be
banned. I’m saying that Congress could prohibit the use
of corporate treasury funds and could require a
corporation to publish it using its –

JUSTICE ALITO: Well, most publishers are
corporations. And a publisher that is a corporation
could be prohibited from selling a book?

MR. STEWART: Well, of course the statute
contains its own media exemption or media –
JUSTICE ALITO: I’m not asking what the
statute says. The government’s position is that the
First Amendment allows the banning of a book if it’s
published by a corporation?

MR. STEWART: Because the First Amendment
refers both to freedom of speech and of the press, there
would be a potential argument that media corporations,
the institutional press, would have a greater First
Amendment right. That question is obviously not
presented here. But the other two things –

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Well, suppose it were an
advocacy organization that had a book. Your position is
that under the Constitution, the advertising for this
book or the sale for the book itself could be prohibited
within the 60 – 90-day period – the 60 – the 30-day
period?

MR. STEWART: If the book contained the
functional equivalent of express advocacy.

The Deputy SG is arguing that the First Amendment of the Constitution does not protect publishing books. Udall’s amendment is a shameful attempt to repeal the First Amendment, which protects the rights of all citizens to publish their views


#10

No, that’s very expressly not what Stewart was saying. Alito was trying to trick him into saying it, but it’s not true and he didn’t take the bait.


#11

I don’t think this could be clearer or more explicit


#12

In other words, if the book was being published immediately before an election for the purpose of getting around the law that prohibits campaigning in front of a polling place. Or do you consider that to be a denial of free speech too?


#13

No need to get into the purpose, the stated position is that any publishing of ‘express advocacy’ could be prohibited. Read the whole transcript, later on he says that even if there were 1 page in a 500 page book with a candidates name it could be prohibited.

I consider it a violation of the freedom of the press, why wouldn’t you?

[EDIT]: And this isn’t about polling places, this is publishing through mass media. Which could easily include the internet if Congress had so defined


#15

You need to read the actual text of the proposed Amendment. It’s a swindle - it would allow Congress to legislate whatever they wanted in the way of speech and finance rules, no matter what everyone thinks the intent of the Amendment is. Also check the paragraph near the end, that basically strips the First Amendment right of political free speech from individuals, while preserving it for the “press”, whatever that would be construed to be - I’m betting it would not include bloggers, citizen journalists, and independent journalists. I’m actually surprised some of the Republicans didn’t go along with the scam; most of them don’t seem to be smart enough to recognize it for what it is.


#16

Um, I had read it – takes all of 30 seconds…

article —

SECTION 1.To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.

SECTION 2.Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections.

SECTION 3.Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

I guess that you are reading the text through some different colored glasses…
All section 3 is doing is making sure that corporate spending laws aren’t used to control the press.
As @jandrese stated


#17

It looks like Stewart was trying to say that it could be published, but the funds couldn’t come out of corporate treasury.

MR. STEWART: I'm not saying it could be banned. I'm saying that Congress could prohibit the use of corporate treasury funds and could require a corporation to publish it using its --
Alito cut him off there and he never got back to finishing his point.

#18

Good points!


#19

If you want to get the money out of politics forbid campaign spending in mass media, make all political ads
arrive via the postal service.

The media would no longer have a stake in the campaigns and might get back to being the fourth estate, it might also bail out the USPS.


#20

No, Section 3 is saying Congress and the states, through this Amendment, can control everybody else but the press. It does not say “Nothing…power to abridge the freedom of the People or the press”. Sections 1 & 2 give Congress and the states the power to do pretty much whatever they want, and it allows, but does not require, prohibiting non-natural persons from dumping money into elections. The whole thing is written too loosely, leaving the courts plenty of wiggle room to interpret it whatever way the current political winds are blowing.


#21

Minor note in the stock photo follies dept: Rather than Air Force one, this is illustrated with one of the 747s that was modified to carry the space shuttle., which seems a somewhat odd choice.