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 Post subject: Campaign Finance Regulation
PostPosted: Wed September 10, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Since I'm feeling a bit saucy after reading this proposed constitutional amendment I thought I'd boil down all the problems with it:

https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-co ... on/19/text

Quote:
Section 1. To advance democratic self-government and political
equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral
process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits
on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to
influence elections.

Section 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement
and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may
distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other
artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such
entities from spending money to influence elections.

Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant
Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the
press.


--Section 1 has a debilitating weasel word in it: "reasonable". It's a subjective term that's wide open to interpretation. More germane, what is seen as reasonable to Congress may be seen as unreasonable to the Supreme Court. I think there's a good chance that this Court in particular would still strike down plenty of laws on a basis of unreasonability.
--The first clause of Section 2 is fairly straightforward, but the other two... A distinction between person and corporation may be workable on the contributions side, but it's wholly impractical for solely individuals to spend on campaigns in any effective manner. You'd have to allow people to form some sort of corporation to make it work, and then you run into another problem: Section 2 does not distinguish between one corporation and other. That means you could run into some Equal Protection Clause issues if you say that these corporations are exempt, but these aren't.
--The inclusion of Section 3 makes the amendment self-defeating and worthless. First of all, "freedom of the press" is not what the drafters of this think it is. Eugene Volokh convincingly argued here, it is better understood not as "freedom of the journalism industry", but "freedom of the usage of technology" (i.e., the printing press). This helps explain why the freedom of expression from the First Amendment is not solely limited to the spoken form. With Section 3, pretty much any attempted regulation would still be unconstitutional.
--But even if "freedom of the press" were construed to refer only the journalism industry, Section 3 would be self-defeating in a worse way. First, you'd have the messy question of who qualifies for "press". Second, the traditional forms of journalism are typically held by quite large corporations in the first place. GE owns NBC, Disney owns ABC, and so on. If you limit it to those traditional forms, you're shutting off the voices of quite a few powerless people and groups. If you don't, then as I've said before, what would stop an ExxonMobil or a Wal-Mart from spinning off a news agency to further whatever advocacy they wish?

tl;dr: This amendment was drafted really poorly. Good thing it's going nowhere anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Campaign Finance Regulation
PostPosted: Wed September 10, 2014 9:12 pm 
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Pretty much my thoughts on this. I might be in favor of some amendment that would overturn Citizen's United and allow better regulation of campaign financing, but this draft is far too vague and therefor dangerous.


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 Post subject: Re: Campaign Finance Regulation
PostPosted: Wed September 10, 2014 11:41 pm 
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cutuphalfdead wrote:
Pretty much my thoughts on this. I might be in favor of some amendment that would overturn Citizen's United and allow better regulation of campaign financing, but this draft is far too vague and therefor dangerous.


Why exactly should documentaries be banned for x amount of time before an election? Why not news broadcasts? Why are they fundamentally different?


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 Post subject: Re: Campaign Finance Regulation
PostPosted: Tue November 15, 2016 1:31 am 
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I really enjoyed this article:

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/ ... corruption

One debate I've gotten into several times with lefties I know in recent years is how Democrats have talked a lot but haven't walked the walk on this issue. I particularly called Obama a hypocrite when he was saying Citizens United should be overturned while still taking full advantage of the ruling, and that criticism applies to Hillary Clinton as well. The retort I would get was pretty much "hate the game, not the player." Well, as it turns out, a lot of voters (rightly or wrongly) did hate the player.


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 Post subject: Re: Campaign Finance Regulation
PostPosted: Tue November 15, 2016 5:28 am 
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Green Habit wrote:
I really enjoyed this article:

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/ ... corruption

One debate I've gotten into several times with lefties I know in recent years is how Democrats have talked a lot but haven't walked the walk on this issue. I particularly called Obama a hypocrite when he was saying Citizens United should be overturned while still taking full advantage of the ruling, and that criticism applies to Hillary Clinton as well. The retort I would get was pretty much "hate the game, not the player." Well, as it turns out, a lot of voters (rightly or wrongly) did hate the player.


I saw a chart comparing the money spent by other Republican primary campaigns and the Clinton campaign vs. the Trump campaign, but thats a fairly poor accounting. Including PACs and the like, how much did the Clinton camp outspend Trump by?

If we include all the free TV news coverage of Trump and put a monetary value on that, I expect that he'd be the big spender. I don't think that a return to the fairness doctrine would necessarily help Dems, at least in this case.


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