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View Diary: SCOTUS OKs Corporate Election(ish) Speech (241 comments)

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  •  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.

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