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Public Citizen staff delivers 2+ million petition signatures in support of constitutional amendment to regulate dark money. Daily Kos has a box full.
Daily Kos figures prominently in delivery of 2+ million signatures in support of the constitutional amendment to limit the impact of outside money in politics.

The two Senate leaders, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell made a rare joint appearance Tuesday, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on a proposed constitutional amendment to reimpose spending limits by outside groups in political campaigns. They were, of course, on opposite sides of the debate over whether or not it's okay for the Koch brothers to buy themselves a government.

Reid argued [pdf] that "the flood of dark money into our nation’s political system poses the greatest threat to our democracy that I have witnessed during my time in public service." The system the Supreme Court has left the nation with is one in which "one side’s billionaires are pitted against the other side’s billionaires."

So we sit here today faced with a simple choice: We can keep the status quo and argue all day about whose billionaires are right—or, we can work together to change the system, to get this shady money out of our democracy and restore the basic principle of one American, one vote.
He then pointed out that Sen. Mitch McConnell had his own constitutional amendment, back in 1987, to regulate unlimited campaign contributions. He quoted McConnell, who said in 1987: "We Republicans have put together a responsible and Constitutional campaign reform agenda. It would restrict the power of special interest PACS, stop the flow of all soft money, keep wealthy individuals from buying public office."

McConnell's tune has changed, not surprisingly, brushing away his former principles and standing behind the straw man of free speech, arguing that this constitutional amendment was nothing more than "stir[ring] up one party’s political base so they’ll show up in November," in an effort to "empower incumbent politicians in Congress and in the states to write the rules on who gets to speak and who doesn’t."

But that didn't blow out the hyperbole meter in the committee. No, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Koch Bros) managed that by fairly shrieking "If this amendment passes, Congress can say, you the citizens are no longer citizens, you're subjects. Because we've repealed the First Amendment and taken away your ability to speak." Also, too, Congress would then start banning books and movies. Because. Tyranny.

Amending the constitution to control dark money is going to be an uphill slog, but it's a fight that's worth it. The good news is that all the Koch's money seems not to be moving the needle much this cycle. But the bad news is the huge amounts of money being poured into the system discourages participation by many who don't have huge amounts of money, and prevents many qualified would-be candidates from stepping up. Our political system is absolutely broken, in large part thanks to the Supreme Court. It's good that the Senate, well, one side anyway, is at least talking about how to fix it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  post-CitizensUnited: money talks, democracy walks (13+ / 0-)
    Amending the constitution to control dark money is going to be an uphill slog, but it's a fight that's worth it. The good news is that all the Koch's money seems not to be moving the needle much this cycle. But the bad news is the huge amounts of money being poured into the system discourages participation by many who don't have huge amounts of money, prevents many qualified would-be candidates from stepping up. Our political system is absolutely broken, in large part thanks to the Supreme Court. It's good that the Senate, well, one side anyway, is at least talking about how to fix it.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:04:53 AM PDT

  •  HAHAHAHA Ted Cruz is such a.... (11+ / 0-)

    ....whore.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:07:06 AM PDT

  •  Free speech case: Make an ad and try to get it (9+ / 0-)

    on the air as often as a Koch ad.

    For nothing.

    Go to court because your free speech rights are being violated because you don't have the money to compete equally.

    The argument becomes who has more rights: The individual or the corporation, the billionaire, or the pauper.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:07:14 AM PDT

    •  The term "Free Speech" is an abbreviation of (5+ / 0-)

      "Freedom of Speech." It does not mean "No cost Speech."

      The constitution does not guarantee anyone funding to promote their speech.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:55:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If my political speech is equal to the Koch bros., (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, jimborino, dopeydiddledocks

        then my political speech should also get equal time.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 02:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have equal limits to political speech (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          in regards to government restrictions - that's how the First Amendment works.  There is no requirement for other people to pay taxes or subsidies to fund your purchase of TV time, web services, billboards, flyers, etc.

          Maybe there should be a dedicated Federal cable TV channel where all citizens get equal free access.  

          So over a year people would get random time slots to be fair.  As there are about 310 million people in the country and about 31 million seconds in a year - each person gets 1/10 of a second to cover any number of issues in whatever degree of detail the individual would like.  Maybe this could be expanded to 10 channels, so everyone would get a full second.

          Jon Stewart has much more powerful projection of his speech than I do, as does Kos, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. Chairman of the NY Times, as does Brian Roberts (CEO of Comcast - owner of NBC), as does Ralf Nader, as does every elected official or any one of the Kardashians.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:20:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Money is NOT speech, McTurtle. (8+ / 0-)

    So says John Paul Stevens:

    Dick Cheney was completely wrong about Iraq, and we are still struggling with the aftermath of what Dick Cheney and his crew thought was the right policy: To go in and start a war of choice for the wrong reasons. -- John Kerry

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:39:51 AM PDT

  •  If money equals speech, then speech equals money (7+ / 0-)

    So I should be able to walk into the bank and offer a speech in lieu of money for payment of my next credit card bill. I wonder how the bank would react to that?

  •  money speech (5+ / 0-)

    To be Resolved by
    The House of Representatives
    in Congress Assembled
    ARTICLES of IMPEACHMENT
    against
    C.J. ROBERTS
    A.J. KENNEDY
    A.J. SCALIA
    A.J. THOMAS
    and
    A.J. ALITO
    in violation of Stare Decisis
    Per: Northern Securities Co. v. United States, 193 U.S. 197 (1904) 5-4

     A corporation, while by fiction of law
     recognized for some purposes as a person
    and for purposes of jurisdiction as a citizen,
     IS NOT ENDOWED
    WITH THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF A NATURAL PERSON,
     but it is an artificial person,
    created and existing only
     for the convenient transaction of business
    Justice Brewer concurring opinion
    with the Majority

    in a republican government nothing
    can be more impolitic
     than to give to wealth superior encouragement,
     and facility in obtaining office.
    Story, Joseph A.  Familiar Exposition of the Constitution
    A.J. of the SUPREME COURT W/ C.J. Marshall

  •  Now THAT is a fine an kick-ass image!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Hogarth, Joan McCarter

    Now THAT is a fine an kick-ass image!!

  •  Wow, cool to see the virtual become real (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Hogarth, OregonWetDog

    Wow, cool to see the virtual become real

    •  Isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jason Libsch

      I like the product placement there, too.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 12:17:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  money speech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Amber6541

    it would be better if congress was working on an amendment prohibiting gerrymandering
    and increasing the size of the house
    which has not changed since 1911 with a pop of 91 million
    today 312 million
    the Senate has increased by 8 members since 1911
    meaning 4 states have joined the Union but no additional members of the house

    •  I agree with this right here an awful lot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joseph Westfall, cjtjc

      The whole concept of The House was that it was supposed to scale up based on the population growth, so each representative had a small pool size of constituents, and they would be accessible for petitioning.

      The fact that concept was kicked in the nuts just because it would cost a lot to achieve, it disappointing to say the least.

      Imagine if the number of reps had remained at the same 1:30,000 ratio as it was on day 1 of the United States....

      10,500 representatives would be in The House!  Holy smokes!  Costly, sure, add not at all realistic.  But, I'd bet we'd get much better representation.

      •  money speech (0+ / 0-)

        thank you I did the same math
         in 1920, the Republicans removed the Democrats from power

         taking the presidency and both houses of Congress.

         Due to increased immigration
        and a large rural-to-urban shift in population
         from 1910 to 1920,

        the new Republican Congress refused to reapportion
         the House of Representatives with the traditional contiguous, single-member districts stipulations because such a reapportionment

         would have redistricted many House members out of their districts.

        A reapportionment in 1921 in the
        traditional fashion would have increased the size of the House to 483 seats,

        bit no reapportionment happened until 1929

      •  Absolutely yes to these two points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jimborino

        The only thing that I would add is this.  While the total population figures themselves are illustrative, it's even worse when you think about how relatively "close to the voters" today's House members are. Consider today that we have universal suffrage for all men and women above the age of 18.  (For simplicity's sake, we'll toss to the side issues like disenfranchised convicts, or how it was easier to get full rights as a citizen in 1800, so that we didn't have a huge pool of non-voting eligible immigrants.)

        When the Constitution passed, voting was largely restricted to white, land-owning adult males.  So if you were campaigning for the House, how many voters did you have to convince?  Well, if Wikiepedia is accurate, in New York somewhere between 600 and 2500 votes made you a US Representative.  Link.  Today's massive media campaigns and huge districts would be incomprehensible to the founding fathers.

        •  My Usual Rant (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Necrothus, thanatokephaloides

          We have a system designed for
          information moving at the speed of Horse
          serving about 0.1% of the present population
          we need more feedback channels for informed opinion

          the IRS could make a big dent in the money problem by using a more realistic definition of social welfare organization
          revoking the fake non-profit status of all the political organizations
          tax em at 50%, use to proceeds to fund air time for challengers...

          Congress could of course pass a bill or 2 along the same lines

      •  Or more interesting gridlock... (0+ / 0-)

        ?

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 01:00:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your proposals decrease the power of members (0+ / 0-)

      They will not vote to decrease their own individual power.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:50:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's mostly Ronnie Reagan's fault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raspberryberet

    We're in the position we're in right now.  Saint Ronnie eliminated the "Fairness Doctrine" which gave rise to the lying Faux Nooz and all the greedy money trying to buy elections.  Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and many of the electioneering atrocities will disappear because the Koch Billionaires will have to fund the other side of their argument, too.

    •  Just imagine how much DKos would improve if it (0+ / 0-)

      had a Fairness Doctrine!  

      /snark

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:13:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's just wrong. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, MPociask, VClib

      The Fairness Doctrine has nothing whatsoever to do with Fox News.  The Fairness Doctrine only applied to broadcast networks -- over the air stuff, using the federal airways.  The only justification for the Fairness doctrine was that, because of the limits on the federal airways -- there could not be an unlimited number of broadcast networks -- the federal government had a right to put some limitations on the speech of entities that used those limited federal airways.   That was the basis for finding it constitutional -- "spectrum scarcity."  Without that "scarcity," such regulation of speech would have been patently unconstitutional.  

      The Fairness Doctrine did not -- and could not, under the First Amendment -- apply to cable or satellite networks like Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC because (1) the government does not provide the means to get the speech out (like the federal airways); and (2) there's not that "spectrum scarcity."  

    •  pete - the Fairness Doctrine applied only to (0+ / 0-)

      broadcasters who were using the public airwaves, AM & FM radio and broadcast television. It never could apply to cable or satellite because those broadcasters operate on private channels. Therefore it would have never applied to the cable channel, Fox News. Many doubt that the Fairness Doctrine could survive a constitutional challenge with today's media landscape with hundreds of radio, TV and Internet channels available to anyone with a high speed Internet connection.

      I was in broadcasting when the old FD was in place, and it put a chill on political speech.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 06:14:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's been a long road (0+ / 0-)

    from when the colonist fought a war in part sparked by favoritism being shown in passing law (Tea Act) to support the East India Tea Company to now, as we have elected representatives fighting tooth and nail to preserve the "rights" of corporations over individuals.

    "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

    by newfie on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:07:43 AM PDT

  •  My Simple (simplistic?) Amendment. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smokey545, cjtjc, raspberryberet

    It seems to me that campaign donations should only be allowed:
    1. From individual citizens of voting age.
    2. For candidates for an office that will represent that individual.

    So I can donate to my local city and county candidates, my own district state assembly and senate races, my congressperson and senators, and the presidential race.

    Candidates in New York or Oklahoma should not be raising money from me in California.  Only from individual, voting-age human beings that they will represent.  Period.

    No PACS. No party money.  No corporations. No foreign interests.

    It would also make sense to put dollar limits on donations depending on the office.

    There.  That should bring the government back to the voters.

    If humans fought wars like cats, the troops would stop every 30 seconds to lick themselves. This would make for very interesting news footage.

    by paironoids on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:12:27 AM PDT

    •  Thought experiment (0+ / 0-)

      Even though Rush Holt is retiring, isn't it conceivable that a scientist in some other state or district would see the benefits of keeping a working Ph.D. scientist in Congress?

      And I'm sure there are many more affiliations of this nature. Since I can't guarantee that my congressperson is a scientist and a community activist and an economist and a college professor and ...

    •  And require a PHOTO ID for all campaign (0+ / 0-)

      contributions to prove every contributor is a voting resident of the district representative being donated to.

      Fighting Liberal at
      “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

      by smokey545 on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:40:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Would you block political speech by: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      1 - Unions and others organizing to have people donate their time?

      2 - People donating their time if (typical pay or min wage) times hours donated exceeded campaign funding limits?

      3 - Working for free for a candidate that you cannot vote for?

      4 - Political speech supporting or opposing candidates in publications, movies, websites, etc. where the financing includes funds from those who cannot vote for the candidate?

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:45:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a very bad amendment. (7+ / 0-)

    I understand the desire to get money out of politics, but the Udall Amendment is a very very bad idea.  You can read it for yourself here.  Here's the federal part.  

    ‘‘SECTION 1. To advance the fundamental principle
    of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity  of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal selections, including through setting limits on—
     ‘‘(1) the amount of contributions to candidates
     for nomination for election to, or for election to,
     Federal office; and
     ‘‘(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by,
     in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.
    I understand the sentiment that people want to limit corporate and special interest money, but this amendment is much broader than that.  It gives incumbents in Congress basically unfettered ability to regulate ALL contributions and ALL campaign spending.  
    It is a very very bad idea to give incumbents the power to drastically limit the contributions to, and spending of, their own re-election campaign.

    Some examples.  Incumbents almost always have much better name recognition and a natural platform for getting a message out (their office).  Limiting spending in a campaign gives a serious advantage to incumbents. What do you think Congress will do with this?  

    Also, this is ALL contributions and ALL spending -- there's no carve out for individual giving or for spending by the campaign itself or by the political party.  Congress can say, no campaign for Senator starting with 2016 can spend more than $100,000.  

    I do NOT want to give incumbents in Congress the power to regulate ALL donations -- to any entity, even the political party or the candidate him/herself -- and to regulate ALL spending -- even by political parties and candidates themselves.  I do not understand how anyone other than an incumbent would want to give incumbents the power to regulate how much is spent against them in their re-election campaign.  

    And that's just a start with the kind of havoc this can bring.  Notice, there's no limits on Congressional discretion -- can a Republican congress severely limit (maybe to $0?) donations to any political party, to any candidate, or to any PAC by Unions?  Under this Amendment, they can.  Under this amendment, there is no limit on what Congress can do. It can pick and choose which entities can raise money, how much they can raise, and how much they can donate.  There's no requirement that they treat all entities the same.  

    This does EXACTLY what the First Amendment was designed to protect against.  It allows Congress to decide who can raise money and who can spend money trying to help people get elected.  It's NOT just a limitation on how much money can be spent.  It gives complete regulatory power to Congress, with basically no limitations on what Congress can regulate -- it can regulate ANYTHING having to do with money and elections, even if it wants to base that regulation on the identity of the "speaker."  It could set different spending limits for different kinds of groups.  It could say, (as an extreme example) a for-profit corporation can spend $100 million in any Presidential election, but a nonprofit can only spend $1 million.  

    I cannot imagine that anyone who actually reads this amendment would support it.  Unless you have complete faith that Congress will never do anything stupid, or at least never do anything in their own self-interest.  

    •  Thanks... (4+ / 0-)

      As written, it's a broad sword that is too vague. When you consider the declining intellect and emotional hyperbole of Congress, this could be used to choke money selectively, while selectively increasing money from existing limits.
      Good catch.

    •  It is a terrible change to Political Speech rights (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smokey545, MPociask, VClib, raspberryberet

      This could even provide the basis for banning sites like DKos that advocate for or oppose political candidates as it would come under in-kind equivalents.

      Pushing this can become a political loser for Democrats this year with charges that Democrats want to gut Freedom of Speech beyond shouting on a street corner.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:32:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  bad Amendment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial

      I could not get past the first words without calling A FAIL!!!!!!

      A BILL
      Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United
      States relating to contributions and expenditures in-
      tended to affect elections.

      Be it enacted (???????_FAIL Resolved)
      by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

      THIS IS HOW to WRITE an AMENDMENT

      The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their
      adopting the Constitution expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction
      or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive
      clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of
      public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends
      of its institution—
      RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring,
      That the following articles be proposed to the legislatures of the United States,
      several states, as amendments to the constitution of the United States,
      all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said
      legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said
      Constitution, viz.:
      ARTICLES in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the
      United States of America, proposed by Congress and ratified by the
      Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth article of the
      original Constitution.

    •  no need for an amendment to do that, Art 1 already (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fittobetied

      gives Congress the express textual commitment at Secs. 4 and 5 regulation of "manner". Otherwise you want a 5-4 Court doing Congress's job, under a weak self-appointed 1976 authorization from the first amendment. Even under Baker v. Carr the subject is a political question. Free speech is notoriously controlled and focused in public deliberations, like legislatures, jury trials, debates, voting, and as used to be, in election campaigns. Privatization of independent spending in campaigns is the privileged entry spot for corruption, which Roberts approved in McCutcheon. Whatever bill Congress comes up with is subject to political process. If the Court gets the last say on whether we're a democracy, as Lincoln said in reply to Dred Scott, then we're not a democracy.

      Legislation may be of constitutional importance like New Deal and VRA, but is not hard-wired like an amendment, rather endorsed electorally and can be changed if the electorate so chooses. A Court that has hard wired its encroachment on Art. 1 can switch in time or get excepted out of pretended appellate jurisdiction over Art 1 matters. See Prof. Bruce Ackerman, We the People series.  

    •  Incumbent power can be limited (0+ / 0-)

      through term limits.  I realize that there might be a problem with losing the expertise of long-time members, however, there are other ways those who have timed out of a position could still have influence, if not direct power.

      I don't know how we get to the point where people critically evaluate candidate's positions.  I don't think it can be done with the Americans we have voting today.  Perhaps if logic and rhetoric see a Renaissance within the common core there will be hope.

  •  A Call to Arms (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garthhh

    This could be a key issue for the Dem's, something they could all get behind and carry into the Nov elections and beyond.  Liberal voters don't turn out for the "half-believers" that keep one foot in the corporate trough and another in the progressive zone (only when it doesn't hurt).  That's what scares me about Hillary.  She's going to have to tune in to true progressive ideas or give way to Elizabeth Warren.

  •  The Party of Stupid Is Fading Away & Can Only (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leoluminary

    remain relevant by voter suppression, election fraud, unlimited anonymous campaign donations, changing their names to popular Democrats and running for public office  as Democrats, and any other dirty trick they can pull.

    More billionaires are rethugs because they are sociopaths and psychopaths.

  •  If there was any doubt ..., (0+ / 0-)

    we now know for sure who is running the country, and it ain't "we the people." If it was this amendment would sail through confirmation in no time.

  •  Free Speech (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leoluminary, Musial, cjtjc, fittobetied

    must also be equal speech and it is not. What politicians is going to listen to me when all I have to offer is my opinion and the other guy gives him a million dollars. That is anything but free speech what it is,  bribery our government for sale to the highest bidder thanks to conservative ideology

    Dogs and Philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards (Diogenes)

    by Out There on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 01:13:55 PM PDT

  •  Remember in November! Fire them ALL! (0+ / 0-)

    Remember in November!

    Fire them ALL!

  •  Corporations WILL be People... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimborino, tubaguy

    ...the Day Texas Executes one!

  •  Since when does taking dark money out of politics (0+ / 0-)

    even remotely affect the first amendment of the constitution. That is an argument that only a fool would present or a politician hell bent on placing oligarchy on the fast tract. Money is not free speech! Money is paid for controlled speech. You don't pay for something that is free.

  •  Ted Cruz has unwittlingly revealed a truth here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tubaguy

    The Supreme Court has affirmed that corporations are people and that money is constitutionally protected speech.

    Cruz's remark reveals that in his own mind, he's taken the logical next step:

    Only corporations are people, and only money is constitutionally protected speech.

  •  But would it matter even with 2 bil. signatures? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchingasfastasIcan

    The money behind the selection of John Roberts and Samuel Alito cares not who its opposition is. It only cares about there being five votes in their favor on the Supreme Court.

    "Corporations are people, my friend. People, however, are not."

    Anyone who thinks Citizens United was not discussed with Roberts and Alito prior to their selection by Cheney and Rove for nomination to the Court by Bush Lite is dreaming, in my opinion. Rove knew perfectly well that no Republican would win the Presidency in 2008. He wanted to ensure that the Democrat elected in 2008 was neutered within 2 years of taking office, and that whoever it was would be the last Democratic President in his lifetime. Citizens United was no spontaneous movement. It was planned years in advance with a timetable.

  •  Let's not forget... (0+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama probably got more soft money than either of his two opponents.

    I think this whole bit about a constitutional amendment is disingenuous.  I don't think the pols on either side of the aisle are interested in doing away with soft money, rather they would all just like to get a bigger piece of the pie.

    Constitutional amendments are nearly impossible to pass.  Don't you think both Reid and McConnell know that?

    The dirty little secret is that they could fix this mess with some finely crafted legislation, but they really don't want to do so.

    By advocating for the near impossible, the neolibs placate their progressive base without risking having to actually fix the problem.

    We're being hornswoggled yet again!

  •  Dream On (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tubaguy

    Sad to say not even one billion signatures would change the republiCONS minds on Citizens United.  What's needed are intelligent voters turning out to vote to take the House back AND a big change at the Supreme Court.  

  •  The Democrats ALSO take corporate money! (0+ / 0-)

    The Green Party DOESN'T accept corporate money; THEY get my votes.

    I'll start taking the Democrats seriously when they start calling for impeachment of the Fascist Five on the Supreme Court that have dealt a fatal blow to our (former) democracy.

  •  Reid , grow a spine. (0+ / 0-)

    This is typical of Senator Reid to compare the supreme courts Citizens United decision with pitting one side's billionaires against the other side's billionairs. He misses the shot by a wide mark. It's more like pitting one side's billionaires against the poor and the middle class who do not have any billionaire's resources.

  •  I recognize those (0+ / 0-)

    My signature should be in at least 4 of those boxes.

  •  Corporate Personhood (0+ / 0-)

    The one real problem I have with this amendment is that I think it is a rouse.  It is at best a band-aid, at worse a folly.  I agree that Citizens United needs to be reversed, and unlimited money in our elections needs to be ended -- but I feel this amendment fails to address the underlining issues.  I do not believe this amendment would stand up to judicial scrutiny (Example Prop 8).  The fact is the items ruled on in Citizens United were decided decades earlier- they were merely clarified.  Money as speech, the door was opened in the 1970s, and failing to address this issue would be a mistake.  Nor does it take on the bigger issue of Corporations (or artificial entities) being persons which was decided in 1886.  Also, SCOTUS is in the practice of expanding rights for groups not contracting rights - so as long as Corporation are considered to be persons under the 14th Amendment…I am hard pressed to believe they would allow the oppression of their rights under the constitution(Again Prop 8).   However, if it is a established in the constitution that the 14th Amendment only applied to human beings and that money is not speech--the amendment would be more successful.  I also think it is misleading that you use the photograph that states "Corporations are not People, My Friend", when this petition has nothing to do with ENDING CORPORATE ACCESS TO THE CONSTITUTION by being "People" or a "Person" as defined by the 14th Amendment.  Do you know how difficult it is for us to open a constitutional convention?  When we do so, it should be for something substantial -- I don't know about you, but I don't want to be ruled and controlled by rich people through their corporations, and in a world where the corporations have greater rights/power than we do.

  •  If I rig my gun to fire coins instead of bullets (0+ / 0-)

    Does it become a free-speech cannon?

  •  Sen Cruz said: (0+ / 0-)

    "If this amendment passes, Congress can say, you the citizens are no longer citizens, you're subjects. Because we've repealed the First Amendment and taken away your ability to speak."

    The vast majority of American's were made subjects when the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people! Our government is no longer a government of the people, by the people, for the people, it is a "GOVERNMENT BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE WEALTHY"

    Cruz and McConnell has proven what the Democrat's have been saying all the long... It is the GOP who are in the pockets of the wealthy, why else would you fight against the majority of Americans to keep CItizen's United.

  •  "who gets to speak and who doesn’t?" (0+ / 0-)

    That's EASY - EVERYBODY gets to speak.

    The REAL question is "What constitutes speech?"  Is money equivalent to speech?  When it comes to politics, billionaires answer that question with a resounding "HELL YES!"

    However, equivalence is bi-directional.  Therefore, if money is speech, then speech is money.  So can I go into Wal-Mart, fill up my grocery cart, and then chat with the employee at the checkout in lieu of payment?  Or, can I maybe dial up Rob Walton & talk to him for a while to settle my tab?  HELL NO, I CAN'T - because the SAME billionaire that will tell you that HIS money IS speech also knows for damn sure that MY speech is NOT money!

    If speech is not money, then money is not speech.  Q. E. freakin' D., Kossacks!

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 09:20:14 AM PDT

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