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View Diary: Bernie Sanders Introduces The "Corporations are not People" Amendment (193 comments)

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  •  How does this stop the corporations? (2+ / 0-)

    This seems to prohibit spending for a candidate in an election. The counter argument is simply that Exxon ran a TV commercial about an issue they support or oppose which just happened to mention a candidate but was not a commercial related to an election.  How does this prevent such expenditures.  Does it do anything about superPACs or their funding which is the other end around "We just give to organizations which promote good government". At least they'd have to say which not who.

    •  It not only prohibits campaign contributions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Regina in a Sears Kit House

      but prohibits expenditures in any election. It also specifically gives Congress and the States the right to regulate their activity.

      The amendment would have to pass in order for Congress and/or the States to then be able to then establish ground rules. This amendment is the starting point because it would bar them from claiming constitutional protection.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:14:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could get nasty. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri, Setsuna Mudo

        Section 4 says "all" contributions and expenditures.

        Suppose Congress sets the limit at $5000/person.

        This website is worth more than that. Can they shut Kos down?

        •  I'm not sure why you (5+ / 0-)

          would think they could.  Section 4 relates specifically to election contributions and expenditures.

          Section 2 makes it clear that any regulations established must be "consistent with the powers of Congress and the
          States and

          do not limit the freedom of the press

          Is there something else about it that seems problematic?

          48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

          by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:47:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Isn't it self contradictory to (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo, Siri, Wham Bam, VClib

            not limit freedom of the press but say that freedom of the press doesn't apply to corporations, many of which own news outlets?

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 03:18:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Freedom of press" = "freedom to write." (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri, AaronInSanDiego, Wham Bam, VClib

            It doesn't refer to the institution of the media.  Whoever wrote this amendment doesn't appear to be the brightest bulb.

          •  Section 4 says (5+ / 0-)
            "Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures..."

            It does not refer back to Section 2's freedom of press protections.

            If a rich man buys a printing press (or a chain of newspapers) should he be allowed to print millions of papers supporting his favorite candidate?

            Does this amendment give Congress the ability to limit this?

            Do we even want to limit it?

            I think we need to settle for stripping out the rights of Corporations and killing corporate personhood. Capping spending by wealthy individuals is another discussion.

            If Section 4 had existed in 1992, Congress could have set the limit at (for instance) $2 million per person. This would have made it impossible for Ross Perot to run -- he spent about $100 million of his own money. Without Perot, Clinton would have likely lost the election.

          •  Given that press companies would not be able to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, AaronInSanDiego

            access the courts since they would not be "people" and would not have the constitutional right to sue it seems that the prohibition on regulations that limit freedom of the press would be unenforceable - no one could sue to prevent them.

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