Campaign Donation Rules Changed by Supreme Court

Hatton

Registered Member
#1
Well, it took them long enough to get to a big issue! Some of the portions of McCain-Feingold have been struck down by the Supreme Court. Personally, this is going to make the 2010 and 2012 elections VERY interesting to watch!

I plan on talking about this on my podcast on Sunday but wanted to see what folks here thought of the issue.

From http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/21/us/AP-US-Supreme-Court-Campaign-Finance.html?_r=1&emc=na

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on business efforts to influence federal campaigns.

By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said companies can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to produce and run their own campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

It leaves in place a prohibition on direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions.

Critics of the stricter limits have argued that they amount to an unconstitutional restraint of free speech, and the court majority agreed.

''The censorship we now confront is vast in its reach,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion, joined by his four more conservative colleagues.

Strongly disagreeing, Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissent, ''The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.''

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined Stevens' dissent, parts of which he read aloud in the courtroom.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.
For myself, I think the decision is accurate based on the language of the Constitution.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#2
I have always argued that McCain-Feingold was unconstitutional and glad to see portions of it struck down. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment, this decision has been a long time coming.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#3
I think it's a huge mistake that will send our country in entirely the wrong direction to give corporations the same basic rights as human beings. Corporations are not the same as people and should not be afforded the same rights.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#4
heh, I dont like it personally.

corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress
So now we enter a generation where without a doubt, the winner of the elections wont be who will be best for the nation...but who the corporations footed the biggest bill for.

Dont get me wrong, I realize people still vote. But lets be honest here... what percentage of the American Population is actually aware of what they're voting for? How many people voted for Bush because he was the recognizable name and Kerry was nothing more than a Flip Flop? How many people voted for Obama because he was Obama and had far better logos than McCain?

I hate to say it, but the Average American People dont know how politics works. Its not about who has the policies anymore, its about who gets the most face time with what areas. Sure some things happen where the people are seriously fed up, like what just happened in Mass. But those are cinderella story, few and far between situations.

Just think, the election of 1836, Martin Van Buren beat William H. Harrison by 216,000 +/- popular votes. The Presidential election of 1836 recorded 1,314,991 voters total. Just the difference in voters in the 2008 election was 10x that of the total voters for the Buren Harrison election. I have a hard time believing that the understanding of those voters are equivelant to those back in 1836.

Things have changed and they havent changed for the better of understanding. They've changed to the age of Marketing... and ugh, I just dont believe I'm happy when Elections are gonna be practically solely based on who gets the most money to market the most effectively.
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#5
I think it's a huge mistake that will send our country in entirely the wrong direction to give corporations the same basic rights as human beings. Corporations are not the same as people and should not be afforded the same rights.
Yet they're taxed and can be held liable and sued for producing something that harms society yet it's unconstitutional for a corporation to donate money to a candidate?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#6
Yet they're taxed and can be held liable and sued for producing something that harms society yet it's unconstitutional for a corporation to donate money to a candidate?
They also actually can produce something that harms society on a grand scale, whereas people generally can't. Corporations also never die, and thus can accumulate unlimited wealth.
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I have always argued that McCain-Feingold was unconstitutional and glad to see portions of it struck down. It's a clear violation of the First Amendment, this decision has been a long time coming.
I don't understand how the Constitution applies to a corporation. The preamble reads "We the People"
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#7
They also actually can produce something that harms society on a grand scale, whereas people generally can't. Corporations also never die, and thus can accumulate unlimited wealth.
So? Because they never die Congress has the power to abridge whatever rights they want?

If we're going to use the "they're not people" standard then let's eliminate all corporate taxes and let's eliminate every single lawsuit filed against then and completely absolve them of all civil liability. After all they're not human so how can they pay taxes and be sued like humans?

The point is if I want to sell every single asset I have, my house, my truck, my investments, everything and donate it to a politician who is running for office because it's my belief that is the right thing to do and is best for the country what law, statute, ordinace, clause in the Constitution gives Congress the power to prevent me from doing that? How is that any different for a corporation? Is there any language in "Congress shall pass no law.... abridging the freedom of speech" that says "except when it comes to corporations?" Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. I object to all abridgments of freedom of speech whether it be a corporation or Joe Blow down the street.
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in order to form a perfect union....meaning "we're creating this union", not "this only applies to humans".

And so again, IF it only applies to humans let's do away with having to legally file articles of incorporation, let's do away with all corporate taxes, and let's eliminate every lawsuit filed against them.
 
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Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#8
So? Because they never die Congress has the power to abridge whatever rights they want?
No Congress cannot abridge the rights of the people

If we're going to use the "they're not people" standard then let's eliminate all corporate taxes and let's eliminate every single lawsuit filed against then and completely absolve them of all civil liability. After all they're not human so how can they pay taxes and be sued like humans?

The point is if I want to sell every single asset I have, my house, my truck, my investments, everything and donate it to a politician who is running for office because it's my belief that is the right thing to do and is best for the country what law, statute, ordinace, clause in the Constitution gives Congress the power to prevent me from doing that? How is that any different for a corporation? Is there any language in "Congress shall pass no law.... abridging the freedom of speech" that says "except when it comes to corporations?" Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. I object to all abridgments of freedom of speech whether it be a corporation or Joe Blow down the street.
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Corporations do not act in the best interest of the country. They act in the best interest of their shareholders and profit margins.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#9
No Congress cannot abridge the rights of the people
Congress can't adridge rights, period. Freedom of speech is a right unumerated. Since corporations have the right to hire, fire, purchase property, invest, buy, sell, pay taxes, sue, be sued, etc...I don't see how they don't have the right to donate to whomever they want.

Corporations do not act in the best interest of the country. They act in the best interest of their shareholders and profit margins.
That's a very broad statement. People act in their own self interest also, that doesn't change anything.
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heh, I dont like it personally.

So now we enter a generation where without a doubt, the winner of the elections wont be who will be best for the nation...but who the corporations footed the biggest bill for.

Dont get me wrong, I realize people still vote. But lets be honest here... what percentage of the American Population is actually aware of what they're voting for? How many people voted for Bush because he was the recognizable name and Kerry was nothing more than a Flip Flop? How many people voted for Obama because he was Obama and had far better logos than McCain?

I hate to say it, but the Average American People dont know how politics works. Its not about who has the policies anymore, its about who gets the most face time with what areas. Sure some things happen where the people are seriously fed up, like what just happened in Mass. But those are cinderella story, few and far between situations.

Just think, the election of 1836, Martin Van Buren beat William H. Harrison by 216,000 +/- popular votes. The Presidential election of 1836 recorded 1,314,991 voters total. Just the difference in voters in the 2008 election was 10x that of the total voters for the Buren Harrison election. I have a hard time believing that the understanding of those voters are equivelant to those back in 1836.

Things have changed and they havent changed for the better of understanding. They've changed to the age of Marketing... and ugh, I just dont believe I'm happy when Elections are gonna be practically solely based on who gets the most money to market the most effectively.
I think this is a very good point in that elections would be different. However, it's not Congress' job to ensure everyone has the chance to donate the same amount of money to a campaign. They have the right to ensure there is no discrimination based on race, sex, religion, ethnicity, etc but have no business legislating who has money to donate to whom. It sucks, I agree, but I prefer that over an abridgment of free speech.
 
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Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#10
I agree with what icegoat said. Seems like this will only strengthen the stranglehold that Republicans and Democrats have over the country. We're going in the wrong direction.