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  •  False analogy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, Randall Sherman

    Money is not speech.  Besides, isn't the ACLU on the "money is speech" side in these matters.

    If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

    by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 10:36:58 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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

        That was my point.  So what?  They're wrong on this one by naively confusing money with speech.

        If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

        by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 10:40:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Janus, Drgrishka1, zhimbo, Randall Sherman

          October 2008.  A habeas bill is before the Senate.  You're saying that the ACLU can't encourage people to call their Senators (by name) to support the bill?

          •  Not if they're facing election that November (0+ / 0-)

            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 10:54:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why? Wouldn't it make more sense (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Janus

              to target Senators who are more open to persuasion precisely because of their impending reelection?!

              •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                That's a matter of opinion.  It doesn't mean that the law is unconstitutional.

                If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:15:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is precisely what it means (5+ / 0-)

                  The very foundation for the First Amendment is the ability of people to lobby and change their representavies' views (or, failing that, change representatives).  By restricting political speech, the very basis for the First Amendment is eviscerated.

                  •  when corporations can have (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Rebecca, redfox1, Janus, zhimbo

                    abortions and colds... I'll consider it a "people" regardless of the standing precedents.

                    The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

                    by MotleyPatriot on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:22:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Money is not speech (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    phenry, Janus

                    Congress is seeking to even the playing field, as it were.  No one is restricting anyone's right of speech.  What is restricted is the medium where it is exercised, and the imbalance between those with money and those without.

                    If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                    by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:23:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Speech without money is (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Janus

                      useless.  If you can't disseminate your speech, it is useless.  

                      •  Money (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        phenry

                        So those with money have a greater right to participate and influence the electoral process than those without?  That is an inequity congress sought to correct by this legislation.  

                        If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                        by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:33:28 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Those with money ALWAYS have more opportunity (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Adam B, Janus

                          to change public opinion.  That's life.  If I am wealthy, I can take a year off to campaign, while you not be able to do so?  Should that be stopped?  If I am wealthy I could buy a newspaper and print stories favorable to my candidate and unfavorable to another one.  Should that be stopped?  If I am wealthy, I could buy a billboard in Times Square.  If I am wealthy, I could buy ABCNews and install a super-conservative (or liberal) anchor who would at the end of World News Tonight give his "editorial" views that would be in line with my views.  Etc.

                          •  Inequity (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            phenry

                            The disparity is an inequity congress sought to correct, or at least lessen.  It is not obligated to go around correcting every inequity in wealth in order for the legislation in question to be constitutional.

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:45:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The point is that the argument (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Janus

                            "wealthier people cannot have more free speech than poorer people" doesn't hold water.

                            People are entitled to as much speech as they can produce.

                          •  Hold water (0+ / 0-)

                            What do you mean by "hold water."  That it's not constitutional?  Poor public policy?  Contrary to the natural order?  What do you mean?

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:55:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is illogical. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Janus

                            It is also unconstitutional to restrict people's ability to speak simply because someone else can't speak to the same extent.

                          •  Illogical (0+ / 0-)

                            Being illogical (which it is not) does not make unconstitutional.

                            To reiterate:  money is not speech.  The airways are publicly owned; there is no unfettered right of free speech on them.  Therefore, no one is taking away anyone's right of free speech, only placing a content restriction in a medium where such a restiction is not only permissible but commonplace.  Congress has sought to alleviate what it views as a corruption of the electoral procees, as it has a right to do.

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:02:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That these are public airways (0+ / 0-)

                            does not matter.  Streets are public property too.  That does not mean that government can ban protest marches on public streets.

                          •  Streets (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            phenry

                            No, but they can regulate them in terms of time, place and manner.  Precisely what is being done in this matter.

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:08:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No court would ever uphold a law (0+ / 0-)

                            that said "no protest marches 60 days before an election."  

                            The law at hand completely forecloses the airways for 60 days.  That is not a reasonable "time place and manner" regulation.

                          •  Ban versus regulation (0+ / 0-)

                            You're confusing an outright ban with regulation.

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:14:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is an outright ban on ads 60 days (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Janus

                            prior to an election.

                            Just take this law and substitute TV for public street.  And then consider if a court would uphold something like that.

                          •  Not a ban (0+ / 0-)

                            It is not a ban on issue advocacy ads.  It is a ban on backdoor campaign ads disguised as issue ads.  And the street analogy only goes so far.  When it comes to impacting an election, a street protest and ads on radio and TV is an apples and oranges proposition.

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:22:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That street protests may be less effective (0+ / 0-)

                            does not detract from the analogy.  If anything, it suggests that governemnt should be able to ban street protests more easily, since the impact on promulgation of speech wouldn't be great.

                          •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                            That doesn't make sense.  And it has nothing to do with "effectiveness," but rather ability to communicate.

                            You persist in ignoring the reality that the broadcast medium is a separate animal.  Not only it's ability to communicate to millions of people at one time, but the fact that a myriad of restrictions are, and have been, imposed on the communications transmitted on that medium.

                            If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

                            by Paleo on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:41:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't acceot the notion that it is a (0+ / 0-)

                            separate animal.  For the first amendment purposes it is no less a public forum than a street.

                          •  That's just not true (0+ / 0-)

                            Courts have upheld laws preventing protests on public streets within a certain time frame of a funeral. That hasn't made it's way to SCOTUS yet, but those laws are on the books in several states in response to Fred Phelps.

                            In the end I think those laws are also unconstitutional, but it's inaccurate to say that no court would uphold such a law.

                          •  60 days? (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, courts have upheld laws establishing a REASONABLE time regulation.  60 days is unreasonable.

                          •  How is 1 hour or 2 hours reasonable? (0+ / 0-)

                            If the intent is to protest a particular event, how is it reasonable to put a restrictive time frame such that there is no event going on during the time frame in which it is legal to protest?

                            I'm agreeing with you here. I agree with the majority. I also agree with the ACLU that these time frame laws are unconstitutional impingements on the exercise of free speech, because I don;t think even a plus or minus 1 or 2 hour window is reasonable.

                          •  Well, I can put forth an argument that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Janus

                            it is reasonable because the protest seeks to intrude on a private event.  So protestor's rights conflict with the 1st Amendment rights of the mourners not to be forced to listen to the speech.  Unlike TV that you can turn off, or street corner which you can avoid, you can't just leave the funeral.

                          •  There are other remedies for that (0+ / 0-)

                            i.e. they can't block the driveway, they can't come on private property, and they can't use bullhorns over a certain decibel level.

                            Beyond that, the best way to counter offensive speech is with more free speech, as the buys on Harleys with flags have done, and the kids (including me) in angel costumes before that.

                          •  Generally, I agree that the way to (0+ / 0-)

                            counter speech is with more speech.  But in terms of a funeral that presents a problem.  The family may not want ANY speech, pro or con whatever issue.  They may just want to bury their loved ones in peace.  They are a captive audience.  And because they are, they have a 1st Am. right not to listen to speech.

                          •  "That's life" (0+ / 0-)

                            Is that your answer to all questions of economic inequality?

                            John Edwards needs your help before June 30.

                            by phenry on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:11:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Speech without money is NOT USELESS. (0+ / 0-)

                        What a hideous attitude. Our founding fathers created a nation with words, not "issue advertisements" paid for by astroturf organizations.

                        If speech without money is useless, why the fuck are you wasting your time here? People just chime in all over Daily Kos whenever they feel like it, without depositing one thin dime. How useless!

                        John Edwards needs your help before June 30.

                        by phenry on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:40:20 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We don't spend money . . . (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Drgrishka1

                          . . . but if Markos didn't have advertisers, this site wouldn't exist.

                          And Thomas Paine's pamphlets didn't print themselves.

                          •  That's silly. (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, of course most people must ultimately spend money in order to do anything, including eat, clothe themselves, and sleep with roofs over their heads. Please, I beg you, make the effort to see the difference between that and astroturf organizations carpet-bombing the airwaves before an election.

                            John Edwards needs your help before June 30.

                            by phenry on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:46:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What is the difference?! (0+ / 0-)

                            Going back in time, would Paine be prohibited from printing too many pamphlets because they would "carpet-bomb" the TV-less, radio-less populace before an election?!  

                          •  You are willfully blind (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            phenry

                            If you cannot see the difference between WRTL and Thomas Paine.  Either that, or you are congenitally incapable of separating the world into 'apples' and 'oranges.'  

                            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

                            by Categorically Imperative on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:02:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  explain the difference (0+ / 0-)

                            (other than Paine-good, WRTL-bad).

                          •  Well, let's see (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            phenry

                            Paine was not involved in supporting or denouncing any particular candidate for office.  Paine did not serve as a shell corporation through which other corporations could funnel money designed to pay for attack ads thinly disguised as issue advocacy advertisements.  The most reasonable interpretation of Paine's message is that it is genuinely related to advancing a particular issue.  WRTL's message, viewed in context, is most reasonably interpreted as an effort to prevent Russ Feingold's reeleciton.

                            Look, WRTL is an astroturf organization with a long history of electioneering on behalf of GOP candidates and/or against Democrats.  Their so-called issue ads pop up almost exclusively around election day.  Thomas Paine, on the other hand, used his pamphlets to help rally people to the fight for American independence.  The only similarity between the two is that, at the highest possible level of abstraction, they are engaging in "speech."

                            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

                            by Categorically Imperative on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:18:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By supporting American independence (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vincent vega, Curufinwe

                            Thomas Paine also opposed those on the other side, specifically Crown's officials.  Supporting an "issue" invariably translates to supportin or opposing a public figure depending on his stand on that issue.  

                            Nor does it matter that the ads pop up around election day.  That is not surprising.  That's when people pay attention, and when they can do most about advancing a a particular issue, by making sure that their public officials come around to their views.

                            I find it rather scary that you would have some bureaucrat sit there and dissect my speech and determine whether I can or cannot say thing based on my history of voting, electoral activities, and "context" as he perceives it.

                          •  Give me a break (0+ / 0-)

                            BCRA does not prevent speech that, by taking a side on an issue, criticizes invididuals on the other side by implication.  Please stop setting up straw men against which to argue.  To wit, what "bureaucrat" is involved in "dissecting [your] speech" on the basis of your voting history?  That isn't remotely what this case was about.

                            As for the timing of the ads, the purported point of them was to have people "call Senators Feingold and Kohl."  I fail to see why that message would resonate more around election day.  Seems to me, if WRTL were actually passionate about the filibuster issue, they would have made an effort to keep the pressure on Feingold and Kohl after election day (given that the filibuster issue was still a live one at that time).  But no, "surprisingly" the ads coincided perfectly with the election.

                            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

                            by Categorically Imperative on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:29:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, someone would have to decide (0+ / 0-)

                            whether my speech is a "real" issue ad or a "fake" one.  That decision would be (was in fact) done by some pencil-pushers in FEC.  

                            That WRTL decided that election time is the most effective time to get their message across should not open them up to restrictions.

                          •  Look (0+ / 0-)

                            This isn't, or at least shouldn't be, that big a deal.  It's akin to piercing the corporate veil, in situations where that is necessary.  More colloqually, it's about having a decent BS detector.  Like obscenity, the Court will know fake issue ads when it sees them.

                            These are the kind of judgments that courts and "bureaucrats" make all the time.  

                            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

                            by Categorically Imperative on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 12:58:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Except that it chills speech a priori (0+ / 0-)

                            And therein lies the 1st Amendment problem.

                          •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

                            So you think the ability to ban obscenity consistent with the 1st Amendment is constitutionally infirm?  Aside from that, you don't feel that the high level of corruption and perceived corruption in government is a compelling interest that justifies hypothetical chilling of speech?

                            The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

                            by Categorically Imperative on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 01:27:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Given the fact that almost no speech (0+ / 0-)

                            has been found to be "obscene" in the last few decades, the chilling effect is merely hypothetical.  In any event, the fundamental difference between obscene speech and speech at hand is that obscene speech was never constitutionally protected, while political speech was always constitutionally protected.

                            As to "compelling interest," I do not find in necessary to answer that question, for even IF it is a compelling interest, the remedy is not narrowly tailored.

                        •  And is DK run without money? (0+ / 0-)

                          It costs nothing to host it, to run it, etc.?

                    •  Of course it is. (0+ / 0-)

                      And that's why an imbalance in money in a race means the guy with less money is at a disadvantage: he gets less 'speech' than the other guy.

                      However, the 'money=speech' is rapidly fading thanks to the growing power of bloggers and internet awareness. There candidates can get the word out for virtually no cost at all.

                      "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- JFK

                      by Tryptophan on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 02:18:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  That's an utterly unacceptable outcome (0+ / 0-)

              There is no permissible window during which it should be illegal to encourage people to call their Senators and tell them what they think of pending legislation.

              "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- JFK

              by Tryptophan on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 02:16:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  There is no "pro-speech side" here (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paleo, MJB, zhimbo, echatwa

        Money is not speech. Here's how you can tell the difference:

        This is money.

        And this is speech.

        The Supreme Court would have us believe that the two are not only equal, but equivalent. The Supreme Court is wrong.

        This is why we need a constitutional amendment clarifying that Congress and the states have the power to regulate campaign finance, and it is why such an amendment would abridge no rights legitimately granted by the First Amendment.

        John Edwards needs your help before June 30.

        by phenry on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 10:48:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Speech cannot be succesful without money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janus

      Teh whole point of speech is to make it heard.  If all you are limited to is shouting from your balcony, then we have no effective way to communicate our political beliefs to the public.

      •  Amazing how Lincoln ever got elected (0+ / 0-)

        without broadcasting a single radio advertisement.

        John Edwards needs your help before June 30.

        by phenry on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 11:32:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's like saying (0+ / 0-)

          "amazing how Horatio Nelson was able to win a Naval battle without a submarine."  You wouldn't suggest that we go back to building a Navy consisting solely of sail ships, would you?  Then what difference does it make that Lincoln won in an era before radio broadcasts?!

        •  Lincoln was elected (0+ / 0-)

          in a time when presidential campaigns were almost entirely handled by surrogates. In the modern era I don't see a lot of difference between surrogates buying ads on TV and surrogates financing whistle-stop train tours in the 1850s.

      •  of course (0+ / 0-)

        Of course, without realizing it and while arguing on the wrong side of this discussion, you've hit the nail on the head.

        In America, we've destroyed what the framer's intended as 'freedom of speech' by allowing a system to be created that only allows those with money to be heard.

        That was not true in the days when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were being written, debated and approved.  Then almost anyone could create pamphlets or a small newspaper and have a voice in a public discussion.  Or simply speaking from a balcony was indeed sufficient to be able to join a public discussion.

        The problem in the US is the creation of media systems that both blast out at such a volume that they drown out any other speach, and that which are setup in such a way that money determines who gets heard.

        The key is to resurrect and protect the notion that any citizen is entitled both to speak and to be heard, and to require that the communications systems in the country respect and honor that basic foundation stone of a democracy.

        "I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not support a speedy end to the war in Iraq." -votersforpeace.org

        by COBear on Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 01:11:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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