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The Senate has failed to advance legislation that would require independent groups to disclose the names of contributors who give more than $10,000 for use in political campaigns.

The measure, known as the DISCLOSE Act, died in a 51 to 44 vote on a procedural motion. It needed 60 votes to move forward.


Abortion, tax rates, welfare... I get it; there's reasonable arguments for both sides of many issues. But this? Really? I mean I get why they are doing it; what I don't understand is why these Republican senators aren't being ousted by their constituencies for blocking this. My cynical response is of course that politics has become such a team sport that partisans will toe the party line regardless of how absurd the party line becomes. Please RSP Republicans, save my last shred of optimism and don't tell me you agree with this shit.

Quote:
Republicans say the measure could have a chilling affect on political giving, subjecting campaign donors to intimidation from their political opponents.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has given a series of speeches defending political giving as free speech, said the bill was an attempt by Democrats, who have realized they can’t “shut up their critics” to “go after the microphone instead, by trying to scare off the funders.”


Oh noes! How dare we try to scare the "funders", that's almost as bad as scaring the "job creators"! Fucking assholes.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/disclose-...
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According to Republicans, it is very important that people present identification to vote for candidates funded by people who cannot be identified no matter what.
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McConnell is a supreme hypocrite:

Quote:
Mitch McConnell believed in public disclosure related to campaign contributions in 1987. In a commentary published in the Herald-Leader, he lauded "post-Watergate disclosure laws" that help "flush out" politicians who "sacrifice duties or principles to get more money."

Kentucky's senior U.S. senator believed in disclosure in 1989 when he joined a Democratic colleague in introducing legislation that, among other things, would have required disclosure of independent groups or individuals who intended to spend more than $25,000 promoting or attacking a candidate.

By the way, there's an almost-too-good-to-be-true element to that particular episode. The current Senate minority leader's co-sponsor on the legislation was none other than current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

McConnell remained a true believer in disclosure as a candidate for re-election in 1990, when he pledged to introduce a bill that would require full disclosure of donors to multi-candidate political-action committees.

Running for re-election again in 1996, McConnell supported public disclosure of all election-related spending, including spending by independent groups and contributions to political parties.

In a commentary published by the Herald-Leader the following year, McConnell wrote, "Public disclosure of campaign contributions and spending should be expedited so voters can judge for themselves what is appropriate."

In 2007, in another commentary published by the Herald-Leader, McConnell showed his belief in disclosure was not limited to campaign spending by defending an amendment to an ethics bill because it "would require organizations filing complaints before the Senate Ethics Committee to disclose their donors so the public could have more transparency."

Given McConnell's 20-year devotion to the Holy Grail of disclosure, it may seem puzzling to hear him speak of it now as if it were the handiwork of Lucifer himself. But there's no puzzle to it. McConnell's apostasy on this issue is born of a Supreme Court decision that took his "money as free speech" argument to its ridiculous extreme.

Now that corporations are people, too, in the eyes of the court and free to spend at will on political causes, McConnell doesn't want his buddies in the nation's boardrooms pestered by any disclosure rules.

So, he's leading the filibuster that so far has blocked passage of a proposal to require corporations, unions and most other independent organizations to open up the books on their political spending.


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2010/08/01/1372068/mcconnells-hypocr...
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"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
-Some currently dead fella who was supposedly very smart might have said this at some point while he was living
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jarredscott78 wrote:
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
-Some currently dead fella who was supposedly very smart might have said this at some point while he was living
Kant?
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No He could and did.
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Quote:
My cynical response is of course that politics has become such a team sport that partisans will toe the party line regardless of how absurd the party line becomes.


I think you nailed it right there. Our elected officials no longer are representatives of their constituents; they are representatives of a platform.

Republican and pro-choice? Get out of the party--no room for that, you are way too far left.

Democrat and anti-union? Get out of the party--no room for that, you are way too far right.

You're not allowed to have a mind of your own anymore, stick to the party line. You said it, it's absurd.
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legendno6 wrote:

You're not allowed to have a mind of your own anymore, stick to the party line. You said it, it's absurd.


I'll go a step further and say that on many issues people don't care to have a mind of their own. They'll affiliate with a party over a particular issue ::cough:: abortion ::cough:: and then let that party tell them what to think about everything else. After all, they've already decided their vote based on their pet issue so why complicate things and compromise their resolve by questioning the rest of the platform? Which leads to the insanity we have of so many people voting against their own interests. Ugh, depressing.
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verandi wrote:
legendno6 wrote:

You're not allowed to have a mind of your own anymore, stick to the party line. You said it, it's absurd.


I'll go a step further and say that on many issues people don't care to have a mind of their own. They'll affiliate with a party over a particular issue ::cough:: abortion ::cough:: and then let that party tell them what to think about everything else. After all, they've already decided their vote based on their pet issue so why complicate things and compromise their resolve by questioning the rest of the platform? Which leads to the insanity we have of so many people voting against their own interests. Ugh, depressing.


this is the confusing part for me since i often listen to conservative talk radio and hear people happily destroying their personal lives to advance the conservative cause. The worst was a mid to late 50 year old man who want to cut unemployment to everyone including himself who then went on to say that would cause him to lose his house and probably his wife would divorce him. But unemployment was just wrong on principle.

I was like, "seriously? wtf???"

It's like this on other issues often but not to this extreme. Another example from this morning, "YEA! We should have a FLAT tax. Everyone pays the SAME tax". You have people calling in who probably make $60k to $100k at most- who are demanding to have their taxes increased from about $10k to $14k up to $30k (your share of a true flat tax is $30k -- national budget / #workers).

 
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legendno6 wrote:
Democrat and anti-union? Get out of the party--no room for that, you are way too far right.


There are more than a few anti-union Democrats.
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mightygodking wrote:
legendno6 wrote:
Democrat and anti-union? Get out of the party--no room for that, you are way too far right.


There are more than a few anti-union Democrats.


True. And there are more than a few pro-choice Republicans. But get in a room full of party-liners, and there is going to be a beat-down.

When I registered to vote, and requested my party be Independent/Unaffiliated (it seems to be "Unaffiliated" in Ohio), I thought the woman was going to come over the counter and smack me. Guess people get pissed off you when you don't want to play for their team, regardless of which party they are in.
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Being able to speak anonymously is as fundamental a Constitutional right as to be able to speak freely at all. The Supreme Court has defended this on multiple occassions for decades. See Talley v. California (1960) and McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995) for example.
 
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tscook wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Being able to speak anonymously is as fundamental a Constitutional right as to be able to speak freely at all. The Supreme Court has defended this on multiple occassions for decades. See Talley v. California (1960) and McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995) for example.


Until I can murder a corporation, they aren't people.


I would settle for being able to literally put the corporation in jail for 3 to 5 years.
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tscook wrote:
Until I can murder a corporation, they aren't people.

That's quite the non sequitur. What does corporate personhood have to do with anything? Surely you're not suggesting that only corporations donate more than $10,000 to a political groups?
 
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damiangerous wrote:
Being able to speak anonymously is as fundamental a Constitutional right as to be able to speak freely at all. The Supreme Court has defended this on multiple occassions for decades. See Talley v. California (1960) and McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995) for example.

As Anthony Kennedy stated in his majority decision in the otherwise stinky Citizens United case:

Anthony Kennedy wrote:
The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.


Disclosure does not stifle free speech.
 
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They were for it, before they were against it. Hypocrites, all of them. Even McCain, who's made campaign finance reform one of his main issues for years.

 
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I'm confused by Reid voting against it.
 
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quozl wrote:
I'm confused by Reid voting against it.


I think that's a procedural move that lets him bring the bill back at a later time. It doesn't mean he was actually against DISCLOSE.
 
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jmilum wrote:
As Anthony Kennedy stated in his majority decision in the otherwise stinky Citizens United case:

Anthony Kennedy wrote:
The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.


Disclosure does not stifle free speech.

Which is bullshit, as he should well know. There is absolutely nothing to support that view in previous Supreme Court decisions, yet a great deal that opposes it. Kennedy took a stand that I can't find any evidence of the Supremes ever taking.

Anonymity has a long and storied history with holders of unpopular or dangerous views. The Federalist Papers were anonymous! William J Brennan coined the phrase "chilling effect". The Supreme Court has explicitly reiterated multiple times that speech needs to be able to be anonymous to be free.
 
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tscook wrote:
Money isn't free speech.

If you spend that money on speaking, it absolutely is. Telling someone they can spend only X dollars in publishing pamphlets to disseminate their opinion is no different than telling someone they can only make X blog posts per month on a topic.

It's an artificial limitation on speech. Unless you're standing on a street corner shouting, all speech costs money to disseminate. So unless you want to go back to literal soapboxes, you're going to have to accept that limiting someone's ability to spend money disseminating their speech is an un-Constitutional abridgment of that speech.
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damiangerous wrote:
tscook wrote:
Money isn't free speech.

If you spend that money on speaking, it absolutely is. Telling someone they can spend only X dollars in publishing pamphlets to disseminate their opinion is no different than telling someone they can only make X blog posts per month on a topic.

It's an artificial limitation on speech. Unless you're standing on a street corner shouting, all speech costs money to disseminate. So unless you want to go back to literal soapboxes, you're going to have to accept that limiting someone's ability to spend money disseminating their speech is an un-Constitutional abridgment of that speech.


It is possible to purchase all available airtime if one had enough money. It was Scalia himself who has argued that the answer was unlimited free speech (or something to that effect). But money and media access doesn't work that way. It IS a zero sum game. The answer to speech you don't like is more free speech goes out the window because it's not possible. There is only so much airtime.

Other advanced nations do not view free speech in this manner. They certainly don't view media access to political views this way. The reason is obvious - the argument you're making is anti-democratic. Money can't be (logically) speech *because* it creates a zero sum game situation.

If the pool of options was unlimited you might have an argument. But a pool of unlimited speech options is Fantasy Land. It does not exist. Money buys power. Allow the wealthy to spend all they want on "speech" and you have created an environment in which those without money have far far less speech. But I'm repeating myself - it's a zero sum game. Period.
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travvller wrote:
It is possible to purchase all available airtime if one had enough money.

Yes, it is, that's why airtime is a seperate resource regulated for the common interest.
Quote:
It was Scalia himself who has argued that the answer was unlimited free speech (or something to that effect). But money and media access doesn't work that way. It IS a zero sum game. The answer to speech you don't like is more free speech goes out the window because it's not possible. There is only so much airtime.

You're conflating "airtime" with "any and all types of speech". If the problem is airtime, regulate airtime.
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But I'm repeating myself - it's a zero sum game. Period.

You are wrong, your argument is a logical fallacy. Period.

Speech is hardly a zero sum game. You took the single aspect of "airtime" and used that unique situation to classify all speech. Airtime is subject to physical limits. There is only so much of it in the world at any given time and no amount of money can create more. That's why we have the FCC, to (theoretically) ensure that that limited resource is used for the common good. Addressing the problem at the appropriate level would make far more sense than censoring with a broad brush.

Once you look at other types of speech, your argument falls apart. I could not buy all the magazines and newspapers in the nation to allow my view to flourish and silence others, because someone else would start printing another newspaper if they cared enough. I certainly could not buy every webhost in the nation so all websites were my website.

Money certainly gives you a megaphone for your speech. But so do a lot of things, like celebrity of any kind. Should we ban celebrities from speaking their minds about things?

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DISCLOSE Act is just another way protect incumbent politicians.

One of the superior aspects to our system of government is that is one of the few that allows common ordinary citizens to challenge entrenched incumbents instead of being picked by party hacks and thus causing a dozen smaller often single-issue fringe parties.

The Senate hasn't had time to pass a budget in three years, but they have time to try to scare citizens into not exercising their First Amendment rights? So what is needed are more protestors to confront citizens outside their homes like Hollywood's stalkarazzi or to allow more government officials to threaten citizens? The Obama campaign has rifled through the divorce records of major political donors just as they did the sealed divorce records of election opponents Jack Ryan and Blair Hull.

"(T)he deterrent effect (of DISCLOSE Act) should not be underestimated," stated thug senator Charles Schumer as he rubbed his hands together and laughed uproariously.

Trying to resurrect the McCain-Feingold provision that helps intimidate groups from mentioning the name of a congressman within 60 days of a general election?

That's funny I don't see the words "60 days" lists in my copy of the First Amendment.

However, if you are a union you are exempted from the DISCLOSE Act. So the union thug intimidators are exempted but ordinary citizens are not. Welcome to Banana Republic America.
 
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damiangerous wrote:

Should we ban celebrities from speaking their minds about things?



Now this is a limit on free speech that I could almost support!
 
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sikeospi wrote:
However, if you are a union you are exempted from the DISCLOSE Act. So the union thug intimidators are exempted but ordinary citizens are not. Welcome to Banana Republic America.


As far as I can tell, it doesn't exempt unions. Why do you think it does?
 
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