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View Diary: SCOTUS Overturns Millionaire's Amendment (171 comments)

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  •  The Golden Rule is similar... (6+ / 0-)

    He who has the gold makes the rules.  We're now a nation by, for and of the millionaires.  So, America, as a concept, has one election left to see if we can survive, or whether we'll be an plutocracy.

    •  Perfect, now the Republican millionaire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Powered Grace, MikeTheLiberal

        running against Gillibrand NY15 House, will be able to blow out his accounts at will.  Great, so instead of having in imperfect moderate/conservative Democrat trying to hold on in a heavily Republican district, we'll have what we had before Gillibrand.  A Republican tool.  What a choice for us lucky NY 15ers. Of course, i will vote for Gillibrand.  If a progressive Dem. beats her in a primary, that candidate will have a helluva time trying to beat the Repub. millionaire (forgot his name- dont want to acknowledge him anyway)  grrr. need more caffeine.

    •  The amendment is misnamed, it should have been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      called the Billionaires amendment.

      Free political speech now is the exclusive province of the very wealthy, and certified to be so by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

      The Dean/Obama method of public financing which enlists the small donations of millions of Americans now has the risk of being swamped by mega funders, who will now retain the power to buy elections and our politicians.

      For quite some time, money has been equated by the SCOTUS as speech, and this ruling only reinforces that view, we will soon see Republicans further pushing that boundary in this election, knowing full well that no potential penalty can come to either donor or recipient prior to the November election, and potentially never if the Republicans are elected this year.

      This is definitely a game changing rule just months before the election.  We liberals and progressives must draw the line and say that we will not be spent into submission in this election.  We need to set a goal of 5 million small donors and adapt tactics that expose the flanks of the mass funders who will now emerge from the shadows.

      This Supreme Court has demonstrated again and again that it is no friend of the First Amendment, and will continue to do so until America speaks loudly and clearly to this court that they have oversteped their own boundaries.  This pendulum has swung too far, and we must redirect its motion.

      •  Great... (0+ / 0-)

        ... Now I need to find benevolent billionaires to speak for me.

        This Supreme Court has demonstrated again and again that it is no friend of the First Amendment, and will continue to do so until America speaks loudly and clearly to this court that they have oversteped their own boundaries.

        Is there any way to impeach the justices?  I mean, ignoring the First Amendment should be just cause for a so-called Constitutional court.

        "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

        by MikeTheLiberal on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 10:58:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  help me out here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MikeTheLiberal

          Whose speech is being suppressed?

          •  Mine (0+ / 0-)

            Just try to get someone to speak for me in Congress.

            God forbid I try to actually campaign for Congress!

            "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

            by MikeTheLiberal on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:17:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yours and mine. (0+ / 0-)

            Assume that you support a candidate for the US Senate in your state.  Assume that I support the same candidate.  Say that last four senate races in our state had expenditures of on average, $10 M per candidate.

            Consider that the candidate opposite your party's has a personal fortune of $800 million, and that this individual won his/her primary handily and will face the candidate we support in the fall.  Based upon history, our candidate knows he/she will need to raise $10-12 M to be competitive.

            The opposition candiate to whom $10-12 M is a meaningless number compared to the personal assets available decides to self-fund his/her campaign, and makes a determination that he will not be outspent under any circumstances, and in fact commits $25 M to the campaign and holds another $25 M in reserve, and if it is close is even willing to spend another $25 M.

            If our candidate really does well and raises $12.5 M by legal means, and his/her donors are completely tapped out with no chance of finding any more funds, then each dollar you or I donate to our candidate is already swamped to the extent that for each of our dollars of speech, our opponent has two dollars, and has in reserve as much as six dollars of political speech for every dollar of our speech.  Your political speech has not been suppressed, but it has been swamped.  Is there a difference?

            Do you think that this is the political system the founders and the framers of the Constitution intended when they risked their lives and fortune to found America?

            Since, according to the SCOTUS, money = speech, do you want one candidate to have unlimited speech when the other realistically can have 1/6 or 1/10 or even 1/25 of the amount of political speech as you do?  At some point swamping another's political speech becomes suppressing the other's.  If, by making attacks early in a campaign that must be defended against, whether the attack is true or not, and the campaign with limited resources runs out of money before the election, the campaign with effectively unlimited resources has all the speech it needs, and the other candidate no longer enjoys the ability to project his/her own political speech, i.e., it is suppressed, and if that is the candidate you support, your voice also winds up being suppressed.

            •  But here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

              Most self-funding millionare candidates lose.  Blair Hull lost.  Michael Huffington lost.  Ned Lamont lost.  Al Checchi, Katherine Harris, Richard Tarrant, Jim Pedersen, Pete Ricketts lost. Take a look.

              •  Sometimes they win (0+ / 0-)

                Bloomberg is Mayor of NYC.  Romney was Gov of Massachusetts.

                Suppose this gaping loophole is seen by the gasping McCain campaign as a means to $300 or $400 M in campaign funding by picking Romney or Bloomberg for VP and they chuck their massive personal fortunes into their own VP campaigns?  What is there to stop them from doing that, SCOTUS?

                Suppose the Republicans decide that they are toast if McCain is the presidential candidate, and some Romney or Bloomberg supporters stage a revolt in the R Party, force McCain out and put Romney and Bloomberg on the R ticket together, and they use the self-funding apporach, say one chucks in $600 M, and the other $400 M.  With $1B to spend on their own campaign, and Obama, despite the millions of small donors cannot raise more than $1 B, plus the 527 swiftboaters on the R side, who's to say that the R's couldn't win under those circumstances.

                I am on record here in Kos that nothing will keep the Republicans from doing ANYTHING to keep their hands on the purse strings of the $25 Trillion that will be spent in the Federal budget in the next 8 years.  Is there any reason to think that something like this scenario might not play out.  If a Republican sees an advantage, he will take it.

      •  Money is overated. (0+ / 0-)

        If you've got an original message, it'll go viral. Lowbudget candidates can't afford to run on the cookiecutter Party message.

        Obama still gets my vote, but my bumper belongs to Privacy '08.

        by ben masel on Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 11:59:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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