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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:24 PM

Democratic Representative Introduces Two Bills To OVERTURN Citizens United Ruling





One day after the three-year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling for Citizens United, the fight to overturn it has begun. Two bills were introduced by U.S. Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts: one that declares that corporations are not people, and one that says that Congress has the power to regulate the financing of political campaigns.



Both pieces of legislation are the first step in what will likely be a long and bitter fight to make an addition to the U.S. Constitution. If successful, it would mark the 28th Amendment to this countryís sacred document of governance. The last time an amendment was ratified was in 1992. It took over 200 years for it to pass the 2/3 majority of both Houses and the 3/4 majority of the states to meet the requirements. Most probably donít remember it. It determined when changes could be made to Congressí pay. Most would not consider that a life-altering change. However, many would agree that the current proposed Amendment does matter to them.



Shortly after the Supreme Court ruled for Citizens United, 80% said that they disagreed with the ruling. Since then, sentiment has softened some, with 62% saying they opposed the ruling. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center had similar findings. Of those who were familiar with the Supreme Court ruling, 65% felt that the Super PACs had a negative impact on campaigns. Surely, supporters realize that as time passes, their window of opportunity will get smaller.



Thatís why the groups that support the Amendment are making sure people donít forget. Groups pushing for the Amendment include Free Speech for People, Public Citizen, and People for the American Way. Move to Amend is another group that has worked hard to gather support for the change. They have regular rallies to spread the word, their website is full of information on the topic, and their petition has over 250,000 signers. Whichever version you look at, they all seem to come to the same conclusion Ė corporations are not people. Congressman McGovern stated it best when he proposed his version:






The fact is, corporations are not people. And the Constitution was never intended to give corporations the same rights as the American people. Corporations donít breathe. They donít have kids. And they donít die in wars.

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Arrow 55 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democratic Representative Introduces Two Bills To OVERTURN Citizens United Ruling (Original post)
Segami Jan 2013 OP
tosh Jan 2013 #1
Tagish_Charlie Jan 2013 #12
onenote Jan 2013 #22
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #51
onenote Jan 2013 #52
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #2
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #3
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #9
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #15
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #18
onenote Jan 2013 #21
onenote Jan 2013 #23
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #32
quakerboy Jan 2013 #14
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #16
quakerboy Jan 2013 #17
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #31
quakerboy Jan 2013 #36
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #37
quakerboy Jan 2013 #39
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #40
quakerboy Jan 2013 #41
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #42
quakerboy Jan 2013 #47
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #50
quakerboy Jan 2013 #54
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #55
onenote Jan 2013 #43
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #45
quakerboy Jan 2013 #48
onenote Jan 2013 #49
quakerboy Jan 2013 #53
freshwest Jan 2013 #4
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #8
freshwest Jan 2013 #10
onenote Jan 2013 #33
Historic NY Jan 2013 #5
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #6
davidpdx Jan 2013 #7
The Wielding Truth Jan 2013 #11
davidpdx Jan 2013 #25
The Wielding Truth Jan 2013 #34
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #13
davidpdx Jan 2013 #24
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #19
Cha Jan 2013 #20
Berlum Jan 2013 #26
KharmaTrain Jan 2013 #27
davidn3600 Jan 2013 #29
KharmaTrain Jan 2013 #30
graham4anything Jan 2013 #28
eallen Jan 2013 #35
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #38
Lesmoderesstupides Jan 2013 #44
onenote Jan 2013 #46

Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:39 PM

1. Excellent!

That is a GREAT quote, btw: "Corporations donít breathe. They donít have kids. And they donít die in wars."

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Response to tosh (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:11 AM

12. Corporations just

 

finance the wars where real people die

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Response to Tagish_Charlie (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 03:57 AM

22. DU is a corporation. nt

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Response to onenote (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:47 PM

51. If you resent that obvious fact, I'm quite sure you are free to leave. Meanwhile,

I am not aware that DU is bribing politicians and buying elections and denying vast numbers of people their basic rights.

Thank you for your concern.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #51)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:49 PM

52. I cannot make any sense of your post

But if you care about ensuring that entities like DU, the NAACP, MoveOn, labor unions, and the Democratic National Committee have free speech rights and are protected against warrantless, unreasonable searches, you should be opposed to McGovern's amendment as drafted.

You realize that under the proposed amendment, the Watergate break-in could have been conducted legally by Nixon simply directing the FBI to go into the DNC headquarters and take whatever they want since there would be no constitutional protection against such searches and seizures of the DNC (not a "natural person"). Or that the damages award against the NAACP for organizing a boycott against Claiborne Hardware would not have been overturned because the NAACP would have no first amendment rights?

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:40 PM

2. Not a big deal.

At this point we need a constitutional amendment or for the Supreme Court to reverse itself.

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:47 PM

3. This proposed amendment strips all corporations (including LLCs) of all constitutional rights.

So for example, it would not be unconstitutional for the police to search the offices of DemocraticUnderground LLC without having a reason, or a warrant. And it would not be unconstitutional for the police to seize the assets of DU for no good cause.

Obviously this amendment has no chance of passing and is simply a publicity stunt.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:20 PM

9. I don't believe in constitutional rights for corporations. Even DU. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:14 AM

15. How about the New York Times Corp? (nt)

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:31 AM

18. Do you think a corporation can be sued?

If so... how does that work, exactly?

You can't sue a rock or a tree...

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 03:56 AM

21. never heard of the Pentagon Papers case?

Never heard of FCC v. Pacifica?

Do you want bookstores, movie theaters, publishers, etc. to have First Amendment rights or do you want the government to be able to shut them down, censor them etc?

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 04:04 AM

23. How about the NAACP, MoveOn, every labor union

You really comfortable stripping all of them of their constitutional protections against search and seizure, censorship, etc.?

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Response to onenote (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:27 AM

32. Planned Parenthood is not a natural person, so has zero constitutional rights

according to many DUers.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:14 AM

14. Somehow I dont think thats an accurate representation

Just because a corporation is lacking constitutional rights does not mean that police will immediately step in and sieze all they own. Any more than any person would suddenly be allowed to step in and burn down a building owned by a corporation.

By my understanding of history, corporations have not always had constitutional protections, and yet I understand they existed, without having the police seize their assets or randomly ransack them, from the founding of the country.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:18 AM

16. And it's not like if the First Amendment was overturned, people would immediately be arrested

for criticizing the government. And newspapers would not immediately be placed under Government control.

And if Roe versus Wade was overturned, women would not immediately be prevented from terminating pregnancies.

The point of the Constitution is to prevent laws from being passed that would allow this kind of bad stuff.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:19 AM

17. To keep it from happening to People

And people would still have the constitution to protect them.

The constitution was not put in place to protect corporations.

Nor was it put in place allow people to avoid personal responsibility by using a legal fiction of corporation.

The answer is simple. If you have a corporation, you make it into a personal holding. Then you are the person owning the office, the papers, the posessions, and you have all your constitutional protections.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:25 AM

31. So under your system, book publishers could be prevented from publishing books

critical of an election candidate, during the run up to an election.

However, you would allow an exception to this for publishers that were owned by lone billionaires.

Not sure that this is the best outcome.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 08:07 PM

36. Not even a little bit

Seeing as I've printed several small books at home, and there are at least three independent publishers within a few miles of my home, which can publish politically charged materials at any time they find it financially or morally expedient to do so, regardless of whether they are a corporation or the property of an individual person.

I have free speech. A corporation does not need free speech when each of the owners has their own individual free speech. Same for property rights. Same for all constitutional rights.

As I understand it the original purpose of a corporation was to allow several people to merge resources to accomplish (socially beneficial) tasks that were greater than any one of them could do alone. Today their main purpose appears to be a legal fictions to allow individuals to accomplish tax avoidance and other plunder that they could or would not do without a legal intermediary.

They do not need constitutional rights to do the first, but they do need them to efficiently accomplish the latter. Thus they do not need them at all.

As far as I can see you are trying to drag in any possible exception to this, but each one falls flat on their face when examined. Millionaires already own the major presses, and they will not print your political books unless they see fit. That wouldn't change whether there is a corporate entity isolating the owner from any responsibility or not.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #36)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 09:32 PM

37. So if I understand correctly, under your proposal, a publisher that is a corporation could be banned

from publishing political books in the run up to an election. But an individual would be allowed to self-publish political books at home, to his heart's content, without restriction. Because the individual would have First Amendment protection but the publisher that was a corporation would not.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:12 PM

39. Read it again, sam.

Look up sole proprietorships. Then Partnerships. then cooperatives. Then corporations.

There are many ways to protect the rights of people, even in cooperation with other individuals, including the right to own business property or publish controversial books, without giving corporations legal person hood or, if we do give them some form of that, without granting corporations the constitutional rights of human beings.

Then there's plain ol normal statute law. As far as I am aware, there is no constitutional requirement to regulate drug use or have a department of agriculture or require drivers licenses. Yet we do all of these things. Lawfully. Non constitutionally. No reason that corporate rights and responsibilities cannot be defined in law without have any call on constitutional protections.

Or to put it in a little more concrete fashion, Corporate persons having access to constitutional rights wasn't really a thing back at the founding of the country, as I understand it. Yet publishers (and other businesses) existed in the 13 states, without being raided at the whim of authorities, without having their business items capriciously taken by the government.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:18 PM

40. So I think that's a very long "yes" (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:03 PM

41. Nope

Its a fairly short no, Along with an explanation of why even though it looks like it might technically be almost correct, sorta, if you wiggle your way upside down and backwards to stare at it from exactly the right misleading angle, why.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:17 PM

42. Excellent. So corporations *do* have some constitutional rights.

It seems that this was a productive discussion.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #42)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:26 PM

47. No.

They are a legal fiction, not persons. They are only entitled to such "rights" as society chooses to give them. I do not believe they have any inalienable rights, nor any constitutionally granted rights.

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #47)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:56 PM

50. Ah. So it *would* be constitutional for Congress to ban corporations from publishing books

that are critical of election candidates, during the run up to an election. Because these corporations do not have any "constitutionally protected rights".


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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #50)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:46 AM

54. Misdirection

Under that measure, its also constitutional to require all redheads to regularly dye their hair black, require all us citizens to wear superhero tights on Tuesdays, or to give every US citizen a pony.

In fact, doubly misdirection. US governments have already banned books that they didn't like. Making the point moot

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #54)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:27 AM

55. But redheads and US citizens are not "corporations".

You stated that corporations have no constitutional rights.

Therefore, you think that it is perfectly constitutional for Congress to pass a law banning corporations from publishing political books during the run up to an election.


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Response to quakerboy (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:30 PM

43. But are you okay when the power of the state is used to go after a corporate entity for its speech?

Like the NY Times (in the Pentagon Papers case)
Like the NAACP (in the Claiborne Hardware case)
Like Hustler Magazine (in the Jerry Falwell libel case)

Are you really okay that each of these cases would have turned out differently if the First Amendment didn't apply to corporate entities?

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Response to onenote (Reply #43)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:39 AM

45. This argument appears to be over.

And like I said before, I think it was quite productive.

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Response to onenote (Reply #43)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:29 PM

48. That's a false argument

Every one of those cases can turn out the exact same with direct ownership of a company as opposed to incorporation. There is no need for incorporation to protect rights, and no need for constitutional rights to to protect corporations

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Response to quakerboy (Reply #48)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:33 PM

49. Explain how "direct ownership" of the NAACP would work? How do you make it a "natural person"

What about the Democratic National Committee? How do make it a "natural person"?

Also, I hope you understand that a company can be owned by one person and still be a company.

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Response to onenote (Reply #49)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:34 AM

53. Thats exactly my point

A company can be owned by one person, or multiple people, be provided the protections of the rights of those owners, without having its own independent "human rights" as the legal fiction known as a corporation.

And in doing so reduce the unfair benefits to the individual/detriment to society that is provided by isolating persons from any legal responsibility for the actions they direct that corporation and its employees to take on their behalf, providing the corporation rights that even living people do not have access to.

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:54 PM

4. I love it. And the language is very plain. Could get a lot of traction.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:19 PM

8. I just love my Congressman McGovern!

The fact is, corporations are not people. And the Constitution was never intended to give corporations the same rights as the American people. Corporations donít breathe. They donít have kids. And they donít die in wars.


Well said Sir!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:24 PM

10. Very, very timely. Although with the revelations of the NRA types supplying arms abroad...

Which creates chaos and then our soldiers are called to go in and put out the fires. All for corporate profits. This should never be the way national policy is made. Good work by your MA rep!

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:02 AM

33. I doubt it will get any traction

I can't see newspapers, unions, groups like the NAACP, etc. giving up their constitutional right to free speech and their protection against unreasonable search and seizures.

Think about what this amendment would mean:

Pentagon Papers: never published.

NAACP: financially crippled by awared of damages against it for organizing a boycott against Claiborne Hardware

Jerry Falwell: laughing all the way to bank with his award of damages against Hustler Magazine for making fun of him.

TV programming, motion pictures, and music: stuck in the 1950s.

Internet sites like DU: censored or shut down.

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:48 PM

5. K&R

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:13 PM

6. From Ma. here...Kick and F***ing Rec!

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:18 PM

7. This would have to pass both the House and Senate correct?

Is that really going to happen? I agree with the concept and applaud him for introducing the bill, but I can't see it going anywhere. The House is run by the Republican, they'll stick it in a committee never to be seen again. Even if it made it over to the Senate, the filibuster reform is dead so it would never come to a floor vote there. Unless he's got some support from the other side (which I highly doubt since it will kill their funding) I wouldn't get too excited.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:48 PM

11. The filibuster will stop any path to sanity. It must be changed.

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Response to The Wielding Truth (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 04:59 AM

25. I agree

I think it's been killed already though. There are enough Democrats that refuse to sign on to stop it. Last time I checked there were 7 on the list and none had budged.

The only thing I can think of is maybe Feinstein and Boxer are sitting on the fence on purpose to watch the Republicans hang themselves by saying they won't agree to anything and then Reid pulls out his pair of A's and lays his cards down. If that the case it allows most of the others to save face and vote against it or go with the no vote option.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:51 PM

34. This may be the king pin to saving our country from total corruption.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:14 AM

13. It's a Constitutional Amendment. It needs a 2/3rds majority in the Senate and House,

and it needs to be ratified by three quarters of the states.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 04:54 AM

24. That's what I thought

They would have to get a crapload of Republicans to agree. *shakes head*

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Response to Segami (Original post)


Response to Segami (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:40 AM

20. Thank you, Jim McGovern!

Good Luck to our Country on getting this done someday.

Thanks Segami

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:05 AM

26. This issue is so important

k and r

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:10 AM

27. Wonderful Idea...

...that doesn't stand a icecube's chance in hell of passing either house. The dirty secret is Citizens United makes politicians lazier...they don't have to go out and hit up the "little people" to support their campaigns. It's a lot easier to pander to a fat cat who can write 100k checks without feeling it vs. the poor schmuck who can only throw away $50 or $100. Find a sugar daddy...like Gnewt...and you can not only have your ego-laden campaign paid for but find way to grift for personal gain as well.

The quickest way to overturn CU will be replacing several of the right wing water carriers on the SCOTUS...no way that money-hungry politicians will cut off such a big spigot...

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:25 AM

29. SCOTUS rarely completely overturns their rulings

Rulings can be weakened over time, but the vast majority of the time their rulings stay consistent when it is made.

Constitutional amendment is the only way to completely overturn CU.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:34 AM

30. True...

...and my point being is I don't see politicians...including some Democrats (sad to say) that see this easy money spigot and will not vote to shut it off. The days of doing serious campaign finance reform are far behind us as the cost of running for office continues to get higher and higher. The court may not repeal their ruling but they sure can water it down...as I don't see any chance of getting 2/3rds of both houses and an even smaller chance in state legislatures...especially those controlled by rushpublicans.

The best hope is the fat cats keep losing...make it expensive for them to try to buy their perks...

Cheers...

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:18 AM

28. Oh, you mean the Ralph Nader's contribution to America. HE DID THIS

 

Ralph Nader gave the nation this law by getting 10 million voters to stay home in 2000
because, well, the big freakin' egotist said both candidates were the same 10 million times
while being financed by the republican party to do what he did

then comes along Bush who gives us Alito and Roberts and voila this law enacted by the courts.

Of course without Ralph Nader, there wouldn't be this law

now, so many Naderites have this law as their #1 whine.
Gee, the Naderites should look in the mirror, because, for all intents and purposes, Ralph Nader's name should be on it

for he wrote it, he financed it, he gave the nation this (proverbially of course), but it is
his. HIS blood is on and in this bill.
He liked what he did, laughing all the way to the bank

because Bush and Gore and Kerry and President Obama are one and the same

except without Ralph Nader, the court by this time this bill was looked at, would have been a liberal court

Thank's Ralph Nader.
Tip of my hat to you.
No matter which way you slice and dice it, it is 100% due to Ralph Nader in 2000.


remember, it will take Hillary45 to make the court change complete.
then this can be eradicated by the court.
alot quicker than any constitutional amendment which normally takes well over a decade anyhow.

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:56 PM

35. The campaign finance amendment repeals 1st amendment protection of political speech

As example, it would allow a Republican Congress to shut down this and other liberal websites. 1) Virtually everything posted here supports or opposes candidates for various offices, directly or indirectly. Certainly in election years. 2) It takes money to run this website.

Yeah, I know. Everyone here wants it to be used against big corporations, and in a fair fashion. What it does, though, is give Congress the power to regulate political speech, whenever money is involved in its production or distribution. Any Congress. For any purpose and in any way. That's a big stick. Does anyone here think, if the GOP managed to get a majority in both houses, that it wouldn't be used to shut down liberal speech?

That's not liberal. That's nuts.

Let me point out another law Congress could pass under this amendment. It could ban all political speech over the internet or phones. 1) Political speech by its nature influences elections. 2) It costs money to be connected.

The only political speech this amendment leaves Constitutionally protected is anything said face to face. Providing no one spent money to get to the meeting.




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Response to eallen (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 09:49 PM

38. YES. And the irony is that people like David Koch would still have unlimited free speech,

since he is a "natural person", while DemocraticUnderground LLC, Planned Parenthood, and Moveon.org would not.

This is a horrible amendment. The only good thing is that it clearly has no chance whatsoever of passing, and its proposal is obviously a stupid publicity stunt.

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Response to Segami (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:32 PM

44. Harry will only let it come to a vote if it will FAIL

 

America knows who Harry REALLY works for now.

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Response to Lesmoderesstupides (Reply #44)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:57 AM

46. Its never ever coming to the Senate for a vote. And it should fail

First,this was introduced in the House and its certainly not going anyway, even out of Committee, in the House. So consider it DOA.

Second, no one has offered a companion amendment in the Senate and I doubt anyone will. And if they do, it too will die before ever getting out of Committee.

And it should die. As several posts here have explained, it is a spectacularly ill-conceived amendment that would leave every corporate entity, from the New York Times to MoveOn to the NAACP to DU to the Democratic National Committee exposed to unreasonable search and seizure and to the denial of any first amendment rights. Imagine this: if this amendment was in place back in 1968, Richard Nixon wouldn't have had to worry about breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate. He could simply have had the FBI make a warrantless, baseless search of the premises. He could have had them seize all of the party's records. Since the Democratic National Committee is a corporate entity, not a natural person, it would have no basis for recourse.

That's only one example of how spectacularly bad this amendment is as drafted.

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