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BIMMERPOST Universal Forums Off-Topic Discussions Board Politics/Religion Money in Politics: Super Pacs. Good or bad.

View Poll Results: Are Super-Pacs good for America?
Yes 2 7.41%
No 22 81.48%
Gray area 2 7.41%
Who cares! 1 3.70%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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      03-16-2019, 02:22 PM   #23
NormanConquest
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Originally Posted by glennQNYC View Post
First where did you get the term "personhood" rights?

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances. This freedom isn't granted by the government... They can only take it away.

The real question is why do people support taking away these rights?

If we're going to speak to Citizens United vs FEC case, let's get specific. The specific issue that was deemed unconstitutional was issue advocacy ads defined as "electioneering communications" broadcast ads that name a federal candidate within 30 days of a primary or caucus or 60 days of a general election, and prohibiting any such ad paid for by a corporation (including non-profit issue organizations such as Right to Life or the Environmental Defense Fund) or paid for by an unincorporated entity using any corporate or union general treasury funds.

I'm not for prohibiting broadcast ads that name a federal candidate within 30 days of a primary or caucus or 60 days of a general election.

I'm also not for prohibiting any such ad paid for by a corporation/non-profit organizations.


Honestly I don't understand what makes people think the government can restrict speech in this way and still be on the right side of our Constitution.
Here my issue, a union doesn't represent it individual members nor does it care. This is from personal experience dealing with unions. Same go with organization example was the build a wall organization they started with one promise then they change it and that distorts individual free speech. It also allows individual free speech to be silence by a glunt of money flooding the system by individual organization generally finance by foreign entities.

Last edited by NormanConquest; 03-16-2019 at 02:38 PM..
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      03-17-2019, 11:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanConquest View Post
Here my issue, a union doesn't represent it individual members nor does it care. This is from personal experience dealing with unions. Same go with organization example was the build a wall organization they started with one promise then they change it and that distorts individual free speech. It also allows individual free speech to be silence by a glunt of money flooding the system by individual organization generally finance by foreign entities.
First, it sounds like your problem is with groups not keeping true to their message. Okay. Perhaps those group don't deserve your support.

Where you lose me is the comment that "a glut of money flooding the system" is somehow silencing individual voices. I'd love for you to break this down and explain this concept further.

If you individually write/donate to say, President Trump and say that you'd like his campaign in 2020 to include federal legalization of marijuana... How does any other group or individual doing the same "silence" your message? If no PACs existed and everyone wrote/donated individually, I might argue that your voice is actually more likely to be lost in the overall volume of messages. The consolidation of voices into a PAC actually amplifies the message... That's why they exist!
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      03-17-2019, 11:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC View Post
My contention is that the 2016 presidential election disproved the theory that the candidate with the most political donations wins.
The issue isn't so much who wins, it's who they're indebted to. I read a study (i can go and dig it up if you like) that showed that lobby groups often donate to the candidate that they think is going to win - rather than donate to the candidate they want to win.

Some big lobby groups even give huge amounts of money to both competing parties in the same election cycle.

Why?

Well, it's really hard to say "no" to the guy who gave you a few million dollars that put you in office on the one issue which is important to him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC View Post
I'm not for prohibiting broadcast ads that name a federal candidate within 30 days of a primary or caucus or 60 days of a general election.

I'm also not for prohibiting any such ad paid for by a corporation/non-profit organizations.


Honestly I don't understand what makes people think the government can restrict speech in this way and still be on the right side of our Constitution.
You know, constitutional law is a pretty complex field. There's lots of ways to interpret the letter of the law, and there's lots of ways around it.

Fundamentally (and possibly because I'm a foreigner), I don't think we should be basing our decisions of today on the text of a 200 year old document. We should be basing our laws on the intent of our existing body of legislation. (So, rather than strictly on the text of the constitution, but on the founding principals of our society)

What I'm saying is I can imagine a number of ways the government can limit freedom of speech while staying within the constitution. In just the same way that they find ways around other constitutional restrictions about gun control, immigration, interrogation etc. But since we're not constitutional lawyers I think it's more productive to argue if they should rather than if they can.

Without going too far down a rabbit hole - freedom of speech is already restricted. Defamation laws prevent you from freely spreading harmful lies about people or companies. We mostly recognize that these restrictions are useful, because of the harm that could be done to society if they weren't in place.

... so I think the same principle applies in this situation - I think the democratic system needs to be protected from corruption, otherwise it won't matter what the constitution says - because 75% of the parliament can change it on a whim. ... and when campaign finance means our elected officials are representing their donors and not their voters, then the rights of individuals (ie. wealthy donors) need to be restricted for the sake of society.

----
I've raised a lot of problems above, and I don't really have solutions. And glennQNYC I actually agree with you that we shouldn't let our government continue on this path of restricting every little thing we do.

I do think if you can't restrict it, you should at least force transparency - ie. real-time reporting of any monetary or in-kind donations given to a candidate should be available to voters. The least we should know as voters is who our elected officials receive money from.
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