Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he thinks teachers unions should be banned from making political contributions because union leaders often negotiate contracts with Democratic politicians they’ve helped elect, a situation he called “an extraordinary conflict of interest.”
“I think we’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns,” he said. “It’s the wrong way for us to go. We have got to separate that.”
Romney’s argument against political donations by teachers unions appears to be at odds with the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark Citizens United ruling, in which the court found that corporations and unions have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns.
So what do you all think?
How is it different -- or is it -- to have teachers unions donating money vs. corporations or industry groups donating money?
My reaction to the above:
Nobody other than individual voters should be allowed to fund campaigns, that alone may mean that politicians were forced to consider the people rather than vested interests.
I could have won the last UK election if I had raise $50m to contest it, that's how stupid it has become.
If you can buy the spin doctors and ad campaigns, afford videos and call centre call ups, and bribe block voters, you can buy the election, and if you can buy the position of POTUS, big corporations and other power brokers will buy you to get you in position.
30 years ago a group of business folk wanted me to stand for government, "which party" I asked...
"Either party you want" they replied "We want people in both parties to further our case"
They said that they would donate $1m to the party of my choice, and I would get a 'safe seat' (i.e. one that even a donkey could win)
Cheap at half the price, and the very thing that is holding the 99% in slavery to the 1%.
I have never voted again.
Unions and businesses should not be allowed to donate to any political campaign.That way the money only comes form the voters. That should be a system that appeals to the left since they claim they get the majority of donations from the public, way more than Republicans.
But there is an underlying problem to unions, not just teachers unions, and that is there will be a time in the near future when unions will reveal that there retirement and benefits fund is in trouble. Where do you think these tens of millions of dollars they spend comes from? If you believe it is from the monthly dues, I have a bridge I am selling and will give you a great deal on it.
There is exactly zero difference between a union making political expenditures and a corporation or industry group doing the same.
If you let one do it, you've got to let the others do it. If you stop one from doing it, you've got to stop them all from doing it.
The dog in this fight is the rights of organizations pooling their resouces to influence lawmakers to vote their way. The recent Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to contribute to a candidate of their choice is result of this policy of campaign contributions for favor. None of it should be legal and can only confound logic when applied to an election.
Publicly Financed Campaigns
This is our only hope to fix this broke system.
I agree w/ Aquasilver. Neither corporations nor labor unions should be involved in campaign funding. Campaign contributions should go into a neutral fund that is equally shared by all. Perhaps that would be a step to eliminating special interest fraud and to leveling the field for all party candidates.
Seems that both "sides" here are in agreement.
So who here is actively working to overturn Citizens United?
Without even knowing the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
involved, it is beyond dismaying (disgusting) how much money is put into buying elections.
If even half of that money was put into ______________________ (job creation, education, feeding the hungry, healthcare, infrastructure, veterans' welfare -- pick your cause) imagine how much better off our country would be.
I'm not faulting one side or the other on this. It's obscene how much money it takes to win elections now. Even more obscene to think of the control that money buys.
IF a corporation or union that donates to a party also gets to negotiate with the government, then yes, it is a conflict of interest.
I honestly don't know all of the details and implications of Citizen's United, so I dunno there.
Not necessarily just negotiate with. Influence.
For (a very real and concrete) example, a corporation in a specific energy production field fighting emissions controls.
Or for another, trial lawyers not wanting their livelihood diminished by caps on (for example) medical malpractice suits.
Way too much outside influence in Washington that has limited or no benefit to the citizens.
What bunch of blatant crooks Romney and his cronies are!
They think that they can have the corporations buying elections and writing laws, but the unions can't make political contributions. Part of union benefits is the ability to influence lawmakers, just as the corporations and the wealthy do. It is pay to play politics these days.
The only alternative is to run the extremists out of government, to make sure that Romney loses, and to restructure laws that cover lobbying and undue influence. We need a government that carries out the will of the people, not the will of the corporations.
By the way...where are the jobs?
“Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.”
We are waiting for them to become "shovel ready"!
I guess we will never know as the congress blocked just about anything Obama tried to do. They may get their wish and run him out of office but the same bunch of thieves and slimebags will be in charge and it will be business as usual as they say.
Any entity should be able to fund campaigns equally.
Personally I would put them all on a matched budget and stop all the back door influence entirely. But if that ain't gonna happen, unions should get to play.
It's always helpful to see how the cookie crumbles. Take a look at current election spending, donations, and disclosures:
Thanks for that link, it was very informative. Notice Obama's number 4 and 5 donors, Harvard and the US government. Wonder what those students paying those college loans with interest would think when money they are paying for education is going to Obama and not the school? Wonder how he will explain with all the money Obama is getting donated to him, with all the money he has in the bank, and with our countries national debt now over 16 trillion dollars?
One key item not reflected in these numbers is the free travel for Obama and accommodation for him on the campaign trail. I know, all past presidents did it, I did not agree with it then either. I believe a current president running or re-election should reimburse the people rather than letting the taxpayers foot that bill. Perhaps if that would be the case, Obama might not travel around so much and have time for those elusive Intelligence reports he keeps missing.
If we had a non-partisan policy on campaign contributions where politicians couldn't be bought by special interst groups, just THINK of the multi-millions that would be freed up in public sector unions to use where REALLY needed. Perhaps states wouldn't have to face the threat of bankruptcy due to unsustainable pensions.
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