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View Diary: Outrageous! A CEO's attempted hostile takeover of WV (139 comments)

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  •  not too sure what can be done about this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magorn, WV Democrat, dennisl, whl

    The only thing that really seems possible would be to nab him if he really is coordinating with campaigns, despite saying he isn't.  If he really isn't coordinating with them, there's not much that can be done, either now or in the future.

    The Supreme Court has made pretty clear that donations can be regulated, but that people paying for their own publishing can't be regulated, since that would be a restriction on the right of an individual to publish whatever they wish, so long as they pay for it themselves.

    "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

    by Delirium on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 09:55:04 AM PDT

    •  ANd as a supporter of free speech (12+ / 0-)

      I totally see and agree with them.  The only problem is, of course, that that leads us to the massive loophole that Blankenship is ruthlessly exploiting.

      The only solution I can see that doesn't offend my love of the Constitution is to create public financing for campaigns that includes a "deep pockets protection" clause that kicks in extra cash to a candidate when a cetain threshold of spending by wealthy individuals on behalf of their  opponent or against them is reached.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 10:02:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The public financing is essentially dead (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magorn, dennisl, whl

        There may not even be enough money for the 2008 presidential race.  Where are all these "public campaign" money going to come from, especially if they funds have to match private expenditures?!

        •  Call me old fashioned (16+ / 0-)

          But I feel like if we can afford to simply "misplace" 9 billion or so in Iraq, we can afford to scrape up an odd billion to ensure our goverment isn't bought and paid fopr by wealthy interests

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 10:23:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Given the fact that monied candidates (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Magorn

            lose as often as they win, I do not concede that our government is bought and paid for by the wealthy.

            Examples of losing rich (or otherwise monied)candidates:

            Phil Gramm
            Howard Dean
            Michael Huffington
            John Connally
            Mark Warner (Senate race against John Warner)
            Katherine Harris (will lose in Nov)
            Jeb Bush (Gov race in 94)
            Al Chechi (lost primary for Gov of CA after spending $40M)
            Nelson Rockefeller
            Tom Golisano (perennial candidate for Gov of New York)
            Ross Perot
            Guy Millner (several state-wide defeats in Ga)
            Jay Rockefeller (lost WV Gov race in 72 after spending $1M)

            The list can go on and on.  

            •  This comment is a total non sequitur. (5+ / 0-)

              The issue is not how much money the candidate has, but how much money is spent on the candidate's behalf by monied interests.  I would argue first that it is the self-funded rich candidate who is less likely to be beholden to monied interests.  Second, while you listed a number of rich candidates who lost, nowhere to you provide any information about how much money they spent, or was spent on their behalf or against them in the campaigns they lost.  

              Example-while Ross Perot was self-funded, did he spend even close to what Clinton, Bush & Dole spent on their campaigns or what was paid on their behalf by independent groups?  The answer is no.

              Not to mention the fact that you don't say anything about the opponents these candidates lost to who may have also been rich.

              I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

              by GTPinNJ on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 11:52:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This list is nonsense (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Magorn, rockhound

              Phil Gramm - left office, not voted out
              Howard Dean - forced out by an evil media campaign
              Michael Huffington - outed, and put down by his wife
              Katherine Harris - wackjob (need I elaborate?)
              Jeb Bush - won after gaining name recognition
              Al Chechi - a crook who everyone found out about
              Ross Perot - pie (charts)

              Over 50% of your list had nothing to do with your point.  While not sophisticated, this does tend toward sophistry.

              Today, the movement that nominated Barry Goldwater controls both Congress and the White House. -- Paul Krugman

              by baba durag on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 01:08:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  We're not talking about monied candidates. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Magorn

              We're talking about monied interests.  A working class candidate -- Tom DeLay, for example -- can still be the candidate of monied interests.

              And monied interests very seldom lose.

      •  Supporting free speech doesn't have to mean.. (6+ / 0-)

        ...supporting unlimted advertising spending by rich individuals on candidates for public office.

        I make a distinction between advertising and other forms of speech.

        •  As does the Supreme Court (6+ / 0-)

          The court has repeatedly classed Commerical speech as "low value" speech. (above obscenity and Fighting words, which they've determined fall outside the 1st amendment, but below other forms of expressive speech).  On the other hand, they've classified poltical speech as "high value" speech, and indeed held that its protection is one of the very things the founders had in mind when they passed the amendment.

          So now the difficult question becomes, is a third party poltical advertisement, commercial or Poltical speech?  My legal gut tells me it's far more poltical than commercial and therefore more highly protected.

          Then too however, The Supreme Court Has allowed some restrictionon even the most protected forms of speech.  For example in upholding MCCain-Feingold the Court found that some limitations on Poltical speech CAN be justified by the compelling state interest of ensure free and fair elections.   A situation I think WV finds itself in now.

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 10:30:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Magorn

            And it's precisely our high value political speech that can publicize the hell out of what this guy is doing and reveal these Repugs to be his personal lackeys.  Want to know how to stop guys like Massey?  Pull aside the curtain.

        •  not sure I agree with that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          baskil
          Pamphleteers were basically the "advertisers" of early America---they printed up and distributed pamphlets arguing for or against some position or candidate.  And that was one of the things the First Amendment was designed to protect.

          I suppose you could draw a distinction between "stand-alone" publications like books, newspapers, and pamphlets, and material published by buying access to someone else's publication, like an ad in someone else's newspaper.  But that would have odd effects---if you're rich enough to own a newspaper yourself, you can publish whatever you want in it, but if you're less rich, you're not allowed to pay someone who has a newspaper to publish your stuff.

          "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

          by Delirium on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 11:56:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They could pass a law limiting... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftOverAmerica, whl

      ...what an individual can spend on TV and radio ads which mention a candidate for state office.

      •  No they cannot (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magorn, baskil, dennisl, whl

        That would be an unbelievable affront to the First Amendment.

        You are telling me that it would be OK to limit the very speech that is at the heart of First Amendment, i.e., political speech?!  The goal of the First Amendment was not to protect controversial artists or nude dancing (though the Amendment does protect it depending on the circumstances).  The goal of the First Amendment was to protect and foster a free-flowing political debate.  And you want to exclude electoral politics from the political debate?!

        •  The issue is where the money comes from. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Magorn, LeftOverAmerica, whl

          If someone sets up a PAC which can only accept $5,000 per person, that is one thing.

          But rich individuals shouldn't be able to drown out the rest of us by spending millions on campaign ads.

          •  It does not matter where money (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dennisl

            comes from.  If I have money I should be able to spend it to promote my idea of better government.

            Hell, some of our founding fathers despite being ridiculously rich died nearly destitute because they spent their fortunes promoting what they believed was a better form of government.

        •  In the circumstances being discussed here (5+ / 0-)

          it seems to me that only the wealthy have 'free' speech.

        •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

          because, recall in Pacifica the Supreme Court found that he FCC's regulation of the airwaves, though an obviuous infringment on free speech, was allowable given the fact that it was appropriate to have governmental regulation of a "limited public resource" to ensure that it was used for the Public's benefit.  

          It was that rationale that lead to the late and now lamented "fairness Doctrine" as well as other FCC limits on electioneering activites.   Threrefore, while I agree that they could not entirely limit expenditures on any for of poltical speech; they would be within thier rights to limit the amount of Tv and Radio time a single individual might buy.

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 10:34:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see how (0+ / 0-)

            Even if the fairness doctrine is brought back, all that would require is equal time for SOMEONE ELSE, (on the same financial terms) not limitation on what someone can buy.

          •  I agree with this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musicsleuth, Magorn, timberhoood

            there's only a limited amount of airtime. There's an UNLIMITED amount of print space. Publications can, and often do, add pages for advertising. Pick up any fashion magazine - there's WAY more ads than content. WAY more.

            But you can't add hours to the day. So the amount of advertising time per day is, due to the immutable laws of physics, a limited resource.

            I can see setting a limit on how much ANY advertiser can buy for a particular day. Not just political advertisers, ANY advertiser. That would keep a deep pockets advertiser from monopolizing the airwaves.

            It is conceivable (though not probable) that Microsoft could decide it wanted to blitz the nation with advertising, and buy up every primetime spot between now and the election. They have the money. Hell, Gates himself has the money.

            And there would be nothing anybody could do about it.

            If MS wanted to just buy ads in print publications, they wouldn't be able to block out all other ads, because they could print 10 pages in every paper in the world, and the papers would just add more pages.

            Big difference.

      •  see CA Prop 89 n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magorn, Yes on Prop 89

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