"money absolutely can be speech." Ted Cruz stated when being asked about campaign donations. So does that mean that one persons donation can rise over party and PAC's when deciding issues and candidates?
RH, I really how much money these jokers have the integrity of our political system is not for sale. The only weak link in the right's plan to buy elections is in the hand of John q citizen exercising his right to vote.
Oh my... do you really want to lay the "buy the election" plan on the "Right" only?
Of course I may be misunderstanding your comment. It looks like you left out a word or two in your first sentence; "I really - (wonder, know, think, ?????), how much money these jokers have the integrity of our political system is not for sale.
Can you clear up what you meant?
But if your point is that it is only "the Right" that uses money to "buy" elections, and that only "the Right's" political integrity is for sale - then you must have broken the martini breast rule.
I have trouble working with the I-pad sometimes...
let me clarify by providing an excerpt from Justice Breyer, as part of his dissenting opinion on the Citizens United Court decision, regarding an individuals campaign donation limits.
Criticizing the majority he said:
"the decision was one that substitutes judges' understandings of how the political process works for the understanding of Congress;
that fails to recognize the difference between influence resting upon public opinion and influence bought by money alone;
(THE ABOVE IS VERY IMPORTANT)
that overturns key precedent; that creates huge loopholes in the law; and that undermines, perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform"
a recent study of large donors defined as those who gave at least $200 tone or more congressional candidates- found the affluent, men, whites and people engaged in high status occupations make up a far higher portion of the large donor group than of society as a whole . Through their contributions, these large donors can have a greater impact on the outcome of the election than small donors and non-donors. Do you think that the high rollers are giving this money away so that it does not have an effect on the election or the integrity of the senator or representative?
Would it not be obvious that those that have this advantage would be overwhelmingly GOP in its party affiliation.
The majority ruling in favor of the unlimited donations came from the right wing of the court. The decision which was criticized by in public by the President, soon after.
Yes, it is not just the 'right' but it is mostly them, though
I have never blamed the buying of votes solely on the right. Ted Cruz just happened to say it out loud. Over 3 billion dollars a year is spent on lobbying Congress to affect the votes that free up bills and policies for what the money was intended. GA you are a smart guy what could you think the donors intent is when they hand over such large sums of money? Is it for the good of their constituency? They have only one constituency, their shareholders.
Over 2 billion in lobbying money was spent. Both parties bellied up to the bar to collect their share.
RH, I know that both sides are involved, but it is the conservative groups that are most resistant to making the correct adjustment to the problem.
(GA you are a smart guy what could you think the donors intent is when they hand over such large sums of money? Is it for the good of their constituency? They have only one constituency, their shareholders.)
This is a good question!
I don't think there are enough on either side to claim any high ground in changing the way things are done on the hill. If there were it would have already had some impact. I've said it before that with a 14% to 16% approval rating how did 92% of Congress get elected? This statistic is not by accident. The problem is not with the worst offenders but that anybody tolerates it at that level.
"(GA you are a smart guy what could you think the donors intent is when they hand over such large sums of money? Is it for the good of their constituency? They have only one constituency, their shareholders.)
This is a good question!"
I thought with such an obvious answer that it was a rhetorical question.
Of course I know the intended purpose of those large donations - to buy favor and influence.
Here is a real rhetorical question; "Do you think there is any semi-intelligent person that does not agree with the above answer?"
But to another of your points; No I do not think the GOP has such a large edge over the Dems in accepting large campaign donations. I think you think so because of the GOP's public pro-business, anti-regulation standings, but BIG MONEY is going to grease what ever wheel needs greasing to get the job done.
The GOP might have a slight edge, but I would call it close enough to be a near match.
Here is a thought that might veer from an unwary assumption of my position too... I don't think the attempt to buy influence, (or effect outcomes), is nearly as bad as the politicians that succumb, (or clamber to succumb), to being bought and influenced.
Citizens United decision was a dreadful mistake. Justice Stevens's dissent does a good job of explaining why:
"A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold."
"Essentially, five Justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law."
"The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution."
"It might also be added that corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their “personhood” often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established. These basic points help explain why corporate electioneering is not only more likely to impair compelling governmental interests, but also why restrictions on that electioneering are less likely to encroach upon First Amendment freedoms."
"At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics."
- Dissenting Opinion of Justice Stevens, Supreme Court of the United States.
With this kind of logic being floated out there with the other Justices it is amazing not to think that placing unbiased judges in such a good idea. Judges should be impartial yet Congress vets them on their political liberal or conservative tendencies rather than just and fair decision making abilities.
He who pays the piper calls the tune.
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