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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/2 (277 comments)

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  •  SCOTUS strikes again (7+ / 0-)

    US Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on campaign contributions, leaves in place cap on donations to single candidate.

    •  5-4 Decision. FYI. (5+ / 0-)

      Guess who was on each side.

      •  And Roberts wrote the ruling n/t (5+ / 0-)
        •  I don't see this as earth-shaking on its own (14+ / 0-)

          Citizens United was earth-shaking.

          This ruling in McCutcheon is not.

          Had SCOTUS struck down the cap on donations to a single candidate, that would have been more earth-shattering than Citizens United and indeed would have rendered superpacs moot.  It would have meant Adelson or the Kochs can give $100 million or whatever they want to a candidate's own campaign.  Independent expenditure groups would shrivel.

          46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:47:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  SuperPACs allow that basically (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sulthernao, jj32, askew, wadingo

            As Stephen Colbert, showed they are basically unofficial arms of campaigns and can coordinate.

            So this basically removes whatever was left of campaign finance reform.

          •  SuperPACs would still have value (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh, wadingo

            in hiding the origins of the money. I assume that even if individual donation limits were lifted, the SCOTUS couldn't possibly justify removing FEC donation reporting requirements.

          •  I read in one article (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh

            only 650 people hit this limit last cycle.  So definitely not earth-shattering and probably wont make any difference whatsoever.  But I'm sure we both agree on principle that this is deeply saddening.  Seems like it's only a matter of time until they strike down limits altogether.  At least the one positive is that I may be part of amending our constitution, something I didn't really think would ever happen again.

            •  I skeptical (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Allen, gabjoh, redrelic17

              Of the idea that we'll even be able to amend the constitution over campaign financing. I mean, especially with the supreme court throwing out all the rules, I don't see how hard it is for the Kochs and there ilk to just keep 13 state legislatures bought. I think it would be much easier to just hold the White House and the Senate and restore a sane Supreme Court majority. I mean, most of these rulings have been 5-4, and Kennedy and Scalia are both almost 80.

              •  Here's my solution to the campaign finance problem (0+ / 0-)

                I mentioned a "solution" I keep thinking about. I put solution in the marks because I am not sure it's legal, but hey, that's why I am mentioning it now.

                We already do things like match contributions, but much in the same way that this practice would make a kid save more, I think it just makes politicians raise more. Maybe we can manage to give people a large enough sum so that they can compete in each race (in an ideal world, it'd be paired with non-gerrymandered districts and so on) but not large enough so that it's wasted.

                Even if we do that, though, people might still want to contribute. So how do we make sure politicians aren't being bought? My idea is to do some combination of taxing the shit out of contributions past a certain point and/or making the filing requirements a gigantic pain in the ass. Specifically, make it so that everything above, say, $2500 is taxed at a rate of 500 percent and every 10 cents of the amount over that needs to be filed on a separate form, filled out by hand, and then notarized--with all notaries for political contributions taxed at a similarly massive rate.

                I got this idea by seeing how Republicans decided to fuck with the unions in Wisconsin and get around the fact that they can't specifically outlaw abortion in Texas but can create an expensive legislative maze. So why cant we do that with this? If it can't be done at the federal level, why not at the state level?

                It almost seems too obvious, which makes me think it's not workable for any number of reasons. But legislatures can tax and regulate any number of things, so why can't they do that with this?

                "[Buffett] would much rather be idolized by porn stars and college students and prisoners [trying to turn around their lives] than by a bunch of rich businessmen [angry over his attacks on their plutocratic mentality]--The Snowball

                by bjssp on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:46:07 AM PDT

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            •  Can you link this article? (0+ / 0-)

              24 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

              by wwmiv on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:34:25 AM PDT

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              •  Shira Center tweeted it's actually 591 (3+ / 0-)

                She said 591 hit the aggregate limit in 2012.

                I suppose there could be other individuals who hit the limit in previous cycles but not in 2012, so the potential number of likelies is higher.

                But it really does affect a small number of people and adds up to a small amount of money in the big picture......unless this decision suddenly changes the donating culture to cause a huge class of donors to give a lot more money, when they weren't even approaching the legal max before.

                46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 12:57:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Honestly, I didn't even know there was an (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KingofSpades, jncca, bjssp

                  overall contribution cap. Pretty inconsequential in and of itself, IMO, but obviously symptomatic of some larger, messed up stuff.

                  "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

                  by gabjoh on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:40:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, it's a huge deal (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DCCyclone, bjssp, gabjoh

                    Arguably a bigger deal than the more familiar individual limits for campaigns (currently $5200). Without the overall limits random rich people can write unlimited numbers of checks to candidates. But the huge winners here are party committees, and there are many of them. DNC, DCCC, DSCC, all the state party committees with federal components (which will now proliferate). Each of these will now create separate legal entities for each candidate in their purview, and each billionaire will be able to max out to every one of them. One calculation I've seen shows that a single donor could give as much as $3.6 million for the benefit of A SINGLE CANDIDATE for federal office. And this would be to parties, who can coordinate and directly advocate for the election of the candidate, unlike SuperPACs, 501c4's, and 527's. Multiply that by several billionaires, and you can see the problem. The Court's decision is the fastest, easiest way to pure oligarchy.

                    •  Good point on party committees (0+ / 0-)

                      Yes, that's a big deal, I didn't consider that.

                      Somehow I feel like that's still a much more level playing field for our side than superpacs.

                      46, male, Indian-American, and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                      by DCCyclone on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:53:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Not a surprise (19+ / 0-)

      The activist 5 continue to operate in la la land where money = speech and politicians are never influenced by money.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:28:02 AM PDT

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    •  Heh (6+ / 0-)

      Now this just pisses me off.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:30:55 AM PDT

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    •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, bythesea

      This was totally expected, but I still don't get their logic.  The end game in all of this is why have any limits, at all?  This is the very definition of a slippery slope, and we're just about at the bottom of the hill.

    •  So (9+ / 0-)

      when does the SCOTUS strike down the ban on foreigners being able to contribute to campaigns?

      You know they'll do it because you know, rich Russian oligarchs in the pocket of Putin, Saudi oil billionaires and bankers in Europe have the right as much as every other American to donate to candidates of our choosing. #SCOTUSlogic

      The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

      by ehstronghold on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:04:45 AM PDT

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    •  Disgusting and depressing, but not unexpected (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, MetroGnome

      This codifies the idea that the wealthy and powerful can buy elections. Perhaps they need a suitable candidate first to win, but now they can flood elections with however much money they want.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Phew! (11+ / 0-)

      If there was one clear threat to justice in America, it's that people with lots of money did not have enough political influence.

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