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A question for Doug SLoan...(10 posts)

A question for Doug SLoan...ClydeTri
May 7, 2003 10:32 AM
As well all knew the Supreme COurt was going to declare the recent campainign finance law unconstitutional, basically because it took away freedom of speech and free press. However, my question to you as a lawyer, wouldnt it be possible to place such restrictions on businesses and organizations? Common sense tells me that people have rights and freedoms, such as speech and press, but a non living entity has no such rights/freedoms. By doing so, we could eliminate business donations to politicians.
more likelyDougSloan
May 7, 2003 10:56 AM
I'm certainly no expert in the field, but I do know that businesses have been determined to have fewer or different rights than individuals. Businesses are not devoid of rights, though.

To me, in all fairness (nothing to do with legalities), if you prohibit business contributions (may already, in some ways), you'd also need to prohibit PAC's, unions, and other organization or institutional contributions.

Remember also that organizations are made up of people, and don't really exist apart from the people comprising them. So, if you take away rights of organizations, you are, in a way, taking away rights of individuals.

What would happen if there were no institutional contributions? Organizations like the AMA, NAACP, AARP, NATLA, etc., would probably cease to exist, except for lobbying, I suppose. There is a lot of regulations concerning PACs, but I'm not very familiar with them. I'm sure some here, like OldEd, will be.

Ain't gone talk bout no damn PACs today, nor about noOldEdScott
May 7, 2003 11:10 AM
soft money an' the hell it raises in tryin to git spendin under control, nor about mah own Senator Mitch McConnell who's a swore enemy of anythang to limit spendin an so shames me for bein from Kentucky (whoops, that's what them gals got in trouble for sayin), nor about no political foolishness whatsoever, cause Ah'm on the stoop and Ah'm DRANKIN.
Apparently the bourbon talk went to his head....eyebob
May 7, 2003 11:40 AM
I'd agree with Doug, as much as I think that politics is corrupted by big money, I think that there's no legal or ethical way to limit it. True (and lasting) change will have to come from a relentless campaign at a grassroots level. The ol "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" sort of public campaign. One of my big hopes in the "information age" is that as the net becomes more and more a forum for speach and information the more likely the average citizen will be to grab hold of this and start voting for those who disavow the need for this type of money.

as a conservative and clear thinker...ClydeTri
May 7, 2003 11:52 AM
The logical solution is, and in line with the COnstitution, is to eliminate contributions from companies, PACs, unions, etc. But an individual has the freedom to spend his or her money as they see fit. However, is there a freedom to accept money from a donor? if so, lets tax it at 99.99% for all over $1000, effectively my donations to an individual would be capped at a grand, but I could buy airtime or advertisements as I desire in accordance with the first amendment...
as a conservative and clear thinker...BikeViking
May 7, 2003 1:02 PM
The process needs to be as transparent as possible. All donors to any political should simply be catalogued by each organization and this info should be made available to the public. Kind of an accounting thing GOP says "we have ??? million dollars and here is a list of the 438 people/orgs that gave it to us and how much each donor gave us".

Any holes in this?
theory and reality, againDougSloan
May 7, 2003 1:27 PM
In theory, that should work; however, whichever party thinks it will be hurt more by that system compared to the existing one will oppose it ad nauseum. Typically, incumbents favor campaign finance limits. Also, if, for example, Democrats believe that there are more Republicans with more cash available for donating than Democratic supporters, what do you think the Dems will do?

ahOOga! ahOOga! Oxymoron alert! (nm)retro
May 8, 2003 9:01 AM
Nothing new....Buzzlitespeed
May 7, 2003 7:46 PM
It might interest some of you that this debate about money and elections goes back to at least the 1890's. I read a very good book a few months ago on the progressive era. The similarities to what we see today are surprising close. Just substitute big business for railroads and it could be a story right out of one of today's newspapers.
only way to get real change...DougSloan
May 8, 2003 6:18 AM
The only way real change might happen is a Constitutional amendment, but to take effect 20 years after ratification. That way, no one could be sure which side it might help or hurt more.