Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More Stupidity

From the same website I had just mentioned, Here's more stupidity, this time on a Constitutional proposal to eliminate wealth in electoral politics:

SECTION 1. For the purposes of providing all citizens, regardless of wealth, a more equal opportunity to influence elections, public policy and run for public office; of furthering the principle of “one person, one vote” and preserving a participatory and democratic republic; as well as the purpose of limiting corruption and the appearance of corruption, we the people declare the unlimited use of money to influence elections incompatible with the principle of equal protection established under the Fourteenth Amendment.

SECTION 2. The Congress shall have the power to set limits on contributions and expenditures made to influence the outcome of any federal election.

SECTION 3. Each state shall have the power to set limits on contributions and expenditures made to influence the outcome of elections in that state.

SECTION 4. The power of each state to set limits on contributions and expenditures shall extend to all elections in that state, including initiative and referendum elections, as well as the power to lower any federal limits for the election of members of Congress to represent the people of that state.

SECTION 5. Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


I'll keep this sweet and simple. This isn't just about restricting donations to candidates for office, this is literally about restricting speech. The language would specifically give the states and the federal government power to set limits on "expenditures made to influence the outcome of elections in that state." As I've pointed out many times before, this is the logical extension of campaign finance reform and an idea that tears at the very fabric of the First Amendment. It's literally insane and would potentially mean the death of talk radio, newspaper editorials, and even well-read political websites.

I'll leave you with this thought- if such restrictions were permissible during the debate over the Constitution in the 1780's, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton could have been limited in their ability to publish the Federalist Papers, as publication of those famous political tracts involved expenditures made to influence the outcome of elections.

1 Comments:

Anonymous rose said...

You talked a bit before about the corporation as a structure, which in the end is made of people-employees, investors etc.

I think it bears pointing out that a union is like a corporation in many ways. It's a structure that is made up of people.

Yet there's this stigma around corporations that you talked about. People don't see them for what they are. Yet unions are seen in an entirely different light. People empathize with unions and hate corporations.

Our auto industry is failing in large part because of the burdens of the union contracts. Yet I'm not sure one politician has had the balls to stand up and challenge the unions. Tell them they need to get back to the negotiating table and work something out. Tell them that two years of 90% pay after being fired and while collecting unemployment from the government (tax payers) and then refusing to make concessions and requiring tax payers to continue to pay their ridiculous severance packages via a bailout is wrong.

4:21 PM  

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