Campaign finance rules are now a joke

Discussion in 'Congress' started by MaggieMae, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Passing the Disclose Act
    would shed some light on stealth campaign spending

    Thursday, September 23, 2010; A26

    THE PROSPECT of secret money flooding into federal elections has progressed from disturbing theory to full-fledged reality. Groups with anodyne names like Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Job Security and Crossroads GPS are, with no legal requirement that they reveal the names of their donors, spending millions of dollars on television advertising and other activities designed to support favored congressional candidates.

    Tax laws permit a certain degree of political activity by nonprofit advocacy groups and trade associations without requiring reports on the source of the spending. Corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals that want to influence elections without revealing their involvement can use such entities to do so. But the Supreme Court invited even more of this activity with its decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums to target particular lawmakers for election or defeat. In advance of the November election, especially on the Republican side, that opportunity is being taken up with vigor.

    This development is unhealthy for democracy. As the Supreme Court itself explained in the portion of its Citizens United ruling rejecting a challenge to existing reporting requirements, "The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages." The current disclosure void threatens that balance, with an electorate clueless about the interests trying to influence their votes.

    The Senate has before it a measure, known as the Disclose Act, that would fix this mess; the House has already passed its version. Unfortunately, it has not been able to attract any Republican support and therefore is short of the necessary 60 votes. In its current form, the measure would go beyond expanding disclosure requirements to prohibit certain kinds of corporations -- for example, government contractors -- from seeking to influence federal elections. But supporters are said to be willing to strip out all but the disclosure portions of the legislation and to delay its effective date until after the upcoming election.

    That should be enough to pry loose a Republican vote or two; the most obvious candidates are Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe. It should be enough -- but it hasn't been so far. If that remains true when the Senate votes on the measure Thursday, we hope that they or others will reconsider after the election and take the necessary steps to turn off the secret-money spigot.


    Passing the Disclose Act would shed some light on stealth campaign spending
     
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  2. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Yep, a major first step toward a corperatist state.
     
  3. Sheldon
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    Sheldon Senior Member

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    Why are Congressional Republicans against this? :confused:
     
  4. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    We have the best government that money can buy.
     
  5. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Because they'll have to reveal who the doners are to these storefront organizations.
     
  6. Charles_Main
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    Charles_Main AR15 Owner

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    Yes, It must suck now that the Unions are not the only ones who can make unlimited donations eh. Real bummer.

    That said. I have always thought the entire campaign, and campaign Finance system was flawed beyond repair.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  7. Sheldon
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    Sheldon Senior Member

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    Funny. I seem to remember Republicans getting on Obama's case about a lack of transparency in his administration. Or maybe I'm just imagining things.
     
  8. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    IMHO outside of state money should not be used for US senators or Representatives or for any other state elected office.
    States should be sovergn entities that should not be interferred with from another state.

    National elections as for president are different though.
     
  9. uptownlivin90
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    uptownlivin90 Rebelious Youngin

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    What's a joke is the idea that enforcing "transperancy" is going to wake up the ignorant American electoral.

    It truly doesn't matter whether or not those who pour money into campaigns reveal who they are to the American public. The American public cares about as much about who's funding campaigns as they do who won the Cricket World Cup last year. They don't, and those that do are probably already politically aware and principled enough to already know who they're going to vote for.

    Seriously, if your main source of political savvy is political campaign commercials and nifty slogans, your in deep shit. Unfortunetly, thats 80% of the electorate right there left and right. That same 80% is the 80% that was "outraged" about corporations being allowed to use their own money to fund campaigns. What they should be outraged about is that they themselves allow themselves to be bought every election cycle, not that people are willing to buy them off. Hell, I would too if I had that kind of money.

    My point, if the electorate is "clueless" about who is funding their congresspeople's campaigns they should put their hands to work and find out what their candidates REALLY stand for instead of just seeing a few nice flashing lights on the TV that look convincing and saying "yee-haaa I'll vote for that guy".
     
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  10. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    At least we know when it IS the unions. :lol:
     

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