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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:24 PM

Move to Amend proposed 28th Amendment to be introduced in Congress tomorrow

Tomorrow at 9:00 CST / 10:00 EST, there will be a press conference at the National Press Club to discuss the language of the proposed 28th amendment to the US Constitution. Quoting from the Move to Amend page:

On Monday, February 11, Move to Amend will join members of Congress as they introduce Move to Amend’s “We the People Amendment” an amendment that clearly and unequivocally states that: 1) Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies; and 2) Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

The Move to Amend coalition was formed in 2009 in preparation for the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Today, the coalition of nearly 260,000 people and hundreds of organizations has helped to pass nearly 500 resolutions in municipalities and local governments across the country calling on the state and federal governments to adopt this amendment.

The “We the People Amendment” is being introduced by Representative Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin).

More information here: https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment

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Reply Move to Amend proposed 28th Amendment to be introduced in Congress tomorrow (Original post)
LongTomH Feb 2013 OP
meeshrox Feb 2013 #1
steve2470 Feb 2013 #2
LongTomH Feb 2013 #3
brooklynite Feb 2013 #11
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #13
brooklynite Feb 2013 #14
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #21
SheilaT Feb 2013 #23
vlyons Feb 2013 #74
OneGrassRoot Feb 2013 #88
onenote Feb 2013 #98
OneGrassRoot Feb 2013 #99
graham4anything Feb 2013 #76
Recursion Feb 2013 #4
radiclib Feb 2013 #26
harun Feb 2013 #89
Cicada Feb 2013 #5
Glamrock Feb 2013 #7
skepticscott Feb 2013 #12
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #19
skepticscott Feb 2013 #24
LongTomH Feb 2013 #49
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #67
reACTIONary Feb 2013 #94
caseymoz Feb 2013 #29
eallen Feb 2013 #32
caseymoz Feb 2013 #41
skepticscott Feb 2013 #36
caseymoz Feb 2013 #48
theKed Feb 2013 #66
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #17
eallen Feb 2013 #25
skepticscott Feb 2013 #31
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #51
onenote Feb 2013 #79
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #80
Blanks Feb 2013 #93
X_Digger Feb 2013 #53
apocalypsehow Feb 2013 #56
X_Digger Feb 2013 #57
apocalypsehow Feb 2013 #58
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #70
X_Digger Feb 2013 #73
skepticscott Feb 2013 #30
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #84
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #44
The Wielding Truth Feb 2013 #69
tonybgood Feb 2013 #83
Vincardog Feb 2013 #85
one_voice Feb 2013 #6
madrchsod Feb 2013 #8
AzDar Feb 2013 #9
oldandhappy Feb 2013 #10
RB TexLa Feb 2013 #15
neverforget Feb 2013 #18
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #22
eallen Feb 2013 #33
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #35
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #45
eallen Feb 2013 #72
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #77
defacto7 Feb 2013 #27
Terra Alta Feb 2013 #16
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #37
Terra Alta Feb 2013 #39
rhett o rick Feb 2013 #40
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #50
theKed Feb 2013 #68
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #71
WillyT Feb 2013 #20
defacto7 Feb 2013 #28
bluestateguy Feb 2013 #34
OmahaBlueDog Feb 2013 #38
Apophis Feb 2013 #42
AAO Feb 2013 #43
arthritisR_US Feb 2013 #59
Lobo27 Feb 2013 #46
AllyCat Feb 2013 #47
LongTomH Feb 2013 #52
X_Digger Feb 2013 #55
The Magistrate Feb 2013 #54
davidn3600 Feb 2013 #60
mac56 Feb 2013 #61
99th_Monkey Feb 2013 #62
Fire Walk With Me Feb 2013 #63
KansDem Feb 2013 #64
valerief Feb 2013 #65
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #95
KansDem Feb 2013 #75
Auggie Feb 2013 #78
immoderate Feb 2013 #81
LongTomH Feb 2013 #82
immoderate Feb 2013 #86
onenote Feb 2013 #97
valerief Feb 2013 #96
ReRe Feb 2013 #87
Uncle Joe Feb 2013 #90
HomeboyHombre Feb 2013 #91
arely staircase Feb 2013 #92

Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:27 PM

1. Woohoo! Let's hope this gets traction!

I've followed this for years and promoted the idea whenever possible with the hope it would get somewhere!

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:28 PM

2. k&r nt

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:34 PM

3. For the skeptics among you.....at least give it a chance!

Please!

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:21 PM

11. Okay, I'm sure the Republican controlled House will give it due consideration and an open vote...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:27 PM

13. if they reject it, then it's something to blame them for

But it's not a reason not to make the effort.

All the positive social movements in U.S. history had early efforts that failed.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:29 PM

14. Their approval rating is 18%; how have responded to criticism so far?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:43 PM

21. Still no reason not to try

Did you know that women's suffrage was once considered such an outrageous idea that even some feminists thought it was too extreme?

Do you know how firmly entrenched segregation was in the South?

Both those situations changed because people were willing to try and fail. Again. And again. And then they won.

But ever since they've been infiltrated by Republican Lite types, the Dems have been real scaredy-cats. "Oh, we can't try this, because it will only fail."

We're lucky that people in the nineteenth century didn't feel that way.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:51 PM

23. Thank you for reminding us of all of this.

I'm inclined to be one of the skeptics, so I appreciate this lesson. NOT sarcasm.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:29 AM

74. Think critical mass!

That's right! A critical mass of people agreeing that change MUST occur is what's required to effect change. We have reached a critical mass regarding assault gun violence and gun violence in general. And we need to keep telling our friends and neighbors why getting the current state of money out of politics is so important. We must get to critical mass.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:05 PM

88. Exactly. Those who feel something is impossible...

shouldn't stand in the way of the people doing it.

Something like that.

I understand people being disheartened and overwhelmed, but others may have the hope, energy and vision to do what others feel is impossible.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #88)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:05 PM

98. Those who think something should be done should understand the consequences of what they are seeking

I have no problem with the idea of a targeted amendment restoring the law to its state before the CU decision. That law clearly recognzied that corporations have constitutional rights and that was a good thing. Leaving corporations without constitutional protection not only is unnecessary to correct the CU decision, its a horrible idea unless you favor the following:

Allowing a group like the NAACP to be sued for damages for organizing a boycott against a racist hardware store in Mississippi (see NAACP v. Clairborne Hardware); allowing the government to block the NY Times from publishing the Pentagon papers (NY Times v. US); allowing Jerry Fallwell to sue Hustler magazine for damages for publishing a satirical ad that allegedly caused Falwell emotional harm); allowing the government to conduct warrantless searches and seizures of the Democratic National Committee (or, for that matter, of Democratic Underground); allowing the government to require the company that produces Michael Moore's movies and/or the theaters that want to show them to submit the movies to a state board for their decision, based on whatever standards they want, as to whether to allow the movie to be shown in a particular state or town.

The people supporting this amendment may have their hearts in the right place, but they need to have their heads examined if they think its a good amendment as written.

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Response to onenote (Reply #98)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:56 PM

99. Mine was a general comment...

Disagreeing about how something should or shouldn't be done is necessary in the discussion process.

What bothers me is when people summarily say something is impossible. Period.

But, I hear you.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:41 AM

76. Best to not only get the ball rolling, but get the votes on record for 2014

 

and use it to win back the house

If we can win back the house, keep the senate, win the governorships
win the Presidency in 2016
then change the court, we can with a new court have them reinterpret/overturn

Happy Al Franken put his money where his mouth is, put his mega career on hold to do this,
and continues to do it, in conjunction with the President's agenda.

20 votes here, can be 40 votes next month, 80 votes next year etc.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:42 PM

4. Rhetorically we can sell this to conservatives as limiting unions

It's worth a shot

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:56 PM

26. They would have to be dumb as shit to fall for that

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:35 PM - Edit history (1)

...oh, wait...

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Response to radiclib (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:16 PM

89. Yep, a non-issue.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:50 PM

5. So NY Times wouldn't have 1st amendment rights?

The Nation could be sued for libel by Republican congressmen? This is a bad idea.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:12 PM

7. Maybe I'm wrong,

but if they went to court, they (repubs) would risk discovery.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:26 PM

12. Exactly...why do so many people on this site

have trouble with this concept? Virtually all news and media organizations (including Democratic Underground) are corporations. Limiting constitutional rights to individuals only would strip them of the right of freedom of the press. Corporations wold also be stripped of their fourth amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. If these people had their way, any government agency, at any time, for any reason (or no reason), could intrude on and search the property of any incorporated entity (or any organization whatsoever), and seize any property, records or assets whatsoever for an unlimited time, with no absolutely no legal recourse available to those being searched.

Is that REALLY what these people (and all those here cheering about this) want? Seriously?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:42 PM

19. There's no reason an amendment can't explicitly protect certain things.

Here's another proposed amendment:

`Section 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

`Section 2. Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

`Section 3. Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.

`Section 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.'.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:53 PM

24. Except that's not the amendment to be introduced

in Congress tomorrow, now is it? And neither this version nor that one speak to the issue of fourth amendment rights (without which the government could effectively shut down any corporation it choose at any time). Why is it that the people proposing these things don't even think of that? Is that a power you'd like to see a Republican administration have?

And it should raise a red flag that the whole notion is misguided when you start having to going into such minute detail and insert so many exceptions into an "amendment".

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:18 AM

49. The language of the proposed 28th Amendment specifically says:

Section 3:

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.


Did you think the Move to Amend people didn't think of this?

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:55 AM

67. I see nothing about Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment....

I do volunteer work for the Sierra Club, which is a corporation. Suppose, in 2018, President Rubio orders FBI agents to show up at Sierra Club headquarters and seize membership lists, hard drives, etc. Or suppose he issues an executive order simply taking possession of the entire building.

Right now, those actions would be plainly illegal under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, respectively. If this amendment were adopted, those amendments would no longer protect the Sierra Club.

Furthermore, the Citizens United decision, which prompted this whole thing, was based on the First Amendment. It makes no sense to attack that decision by saying that the protections of the Constitution don't apply to corporations but then exempting the exact protection that underlay the decision.

What does make sense is to attack the real flaw in Citizens United, by the proposed language that recognizes campaign spending as conduct that can be regulated, despite its speech component (just as burning a draft card can be prohibited). A further advantage to that approach is that it picks up spending by natural persons like the Kochs. But if you have that part, why do you need to take away so many other important protections against government abuse?

BTW, I don't expect Rubio to be President in 2018. But I do expect that, within the next twenty years at most, some right-wing Republican will be President. In the meantime, there are plenty of right-wing governors who would jump at the chance to use their new powers to harass corporations they disliked.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:07 PM

94. RE: Raise a read flag...

RE: And it should raise a red flag that the whole notion is misguided when you start having to going into such minute detail and insert so many exceptions into an "amendment".

True, that.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:59 PM

29. Not if all the individuals making up the corporation . . .


. . . have the right to free speech. The courts would have to distinguish between "the press" and "the company," similar in the respect the court had to rule on "prior restraint." What it likely means is that any outlet an individual uses for speech would be protected.

It's one way to balance the First Amendment and this.

If this Amendment looks bad, limitless corporate speech set against limited individual speech is worse, for different reasons. The Constitution was written before it was known how much class differences would be a challenge to the concept of rights.

Those are my opinions. I wouldn't worry much. It doesn't have much chance of going anywhere without different wording.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:12 PM

32. "Hillary: The Movie" was directed by Alan Peterson, and written by him

Two other individuals, natural persons, are listed as co-authors. So respecting their 1st amendment rights means allowing its distribution, right? So the result of Citizens United would be the same?




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Response to eallen (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:41 PM

41. If they were working as employees


Then they're only serving to give somebody else speech, regardless of what degree they concur with what's said.

You then must have on the credits who in particular is saying it or wants it said. And no, you can't credit that to a collective entity. At all. Partners can't say it. Somebody owns that speech.

If somebody is willing to do that, yes, then it can get distribution.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:20 PM

36. Except that this Amendment is being proposed by people

who are really only interested in blocking "corporate speech" coming from one end of the political spectrum, and who would be perfectly fine if unlimited corporate speech and expenditures in support of liberal and progressive causes were set against limited individual conservative speech. The problem is that the Constitution makes no such ideological distinctions, nor should it be recast in this manner by people wishing that it would.

And when the editorial board of a newspaper publishes editorials, that is not individual speech by a person, so none of that would be protected, now would it? Nor, in principle, would the publication of any information and opinions that could not have been uncovered or disseminated with the resources of the corporation.

And yes, the difference in rights between the rich and the poor was already firmly in place when the Constitution was ratified. Read Howard Zinn if you doubt that.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #36)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:18 AM

48. The problem, then, is that the Constitution should be scrapped.


Since that's not going to happen, I'm afraid we're left to keep it together with duct tape and bailing wire. Why shouldn't it be recast in a manner by people wishing it would address the problem? I fail to understand the immorality of that. The long-dead Founders couldn't have foreseen everything; they didn't, and it's absolutely stupid to depend on that document and the debates about it at the time to solve every dispute and conflict and to continue to guide us more than 230 years later. Jefferson didn't think the Constitution could or should last more than 20 years.

The Constitution was also written by men who thought we would avoid factioning, which would have made the US a one party state.

I didn't say the difference between the rich and the poor. I said class differences, which means in the modern, post-Marxism sense.

(And please, don't start arguing against Marxism. I'm only using that as a reference point of when workers became a political entity as well.)

The editorial board on a newspaper? If some such individual like Joseph Pulitzer is willing to say it's his message, and he fully agrees with it, why would it be a problem?

Right now, the Internet works on the basis that the carrier cannot be held responsible for what somebody posts to the site. If you want to know, that seems to work very well. Why not just apply that to "real life?" Or is it that we can't because the Founders didn't think of it?

Everything I say is provisional, just to give some other ideas. I'll read Howard Zinn on Saturday. I'm busy till Thursday, and Friday I'll read Citizens United. Until after that, I'm not make any other comments about this.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:49 AM

66. Freedom of the press

is expressly protected by the first amendment.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:40 PM

17. ALL of the proposed texts I've seen have explicitly protected freedom of the press

Here's one from a few weeks ago:

`Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

`Section 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

`Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people's rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association and all such other rights of the people, which rights are unalienable.'.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:54 PM

25. Then they would have zero impact on the result of the outcome of Citizens United

Look -- over there is a newspaper, a corporation, publishing a political editorial! Does it have 1st amendment freedom of the press? Look -- over there is a corporation, making and publishing a political movie on gun control! Does it have 1st amendment freedom of the press? Look -- over there is a corporation, making and publishing a political movie on Hillary Clinton.

Well, see, there's the nub. The first was the NYT. The second was Michael Moore. The third was Citizens United. If you want the third decided differently than the first two, what legal line do you plan to draw for that?

That proposed amendment may be meaningless with regard to the Citizens United ruling, because of its third section. Or it may put the NYT and Democratic Underground at risk. Or both. What it fails to do is to define a legal line that would change the outcome of Citizens United without putting the NYT and Democratic Underground at risk.

Think, again.


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Response to eallen (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:04 PM

31. +1

Thank you!

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Response to eallen (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:26 AM

51. I disagree.

Since the third section specifically talks about The People, after specifically stating that Corporations are Not people.

is there more to do to rein in Citizens United, and campaign spending? You bet. But this is a big piece of the puzzle.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #51)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:33 PM

79. Are you willing to sacrifice the NAACP?

The NAACP is not a natural person and it is not the "press". It was sued for damages for organizing a boycott against Claiborne Hardware. The Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protected the NAACP. Under the proposed amendment, the individual members of the NAACP would still have the right to boycott, but the NAACP could be put out of business for organizing that boycott.

As other have pointed out, corporate entities would have no protection from warrantless searches and seizures. The Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate in 1972? Nixon could just have directed the FBI to break in and carry away whatever he wanted carried away.

The examples go on and on.

The problem with CU isn't that it recognized that corporate entities are entitled to protection under the Constitution. Its that it broke with longstanding precedent allowing finding that there is a substantial federal interest in content-neutral regulation of different types of speakers.

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Response to onenote (Reply #79)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:41 PM

80. No, I am not willing

and you are right, this amendment doesn't seem to correctly address the issue.

For me, the issue is corporate personhood, and giving corporations rights without requiring responsible behavior from them. And the idea that money=speech is a travesty.

So, how do we fix it?

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #80)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:59 PM

93. We fix it the same way that we fix so many of our problems.

Through the tax code. We didn't worry about the undue influence of corporations when we were taxing the shit out of them.

If the problem is that corporations have too much influence on politics; then the solution is to make sure they don't have too much money to spend on politics.

Forget restricting freedom; tax donations based on the amount of the donation. They have the freedom to donate as much as they want as long as they don't mind only a small percentage going toward their issue or candidate, and the rest going toward the deficit.

The influence that they have is a symptom of the problem; it is not the problem. The problem is that they are siphoning too much money out if the system - currently it is a positive feedback loop. We are bombarded with TV commercials about one side of an issue; make them pay for the opposing view too.

A constitutional amendment isn't the answer; revising the tax code is the answer.

We wouldn't be faced with this problem if we had people trained in the law writing laws instead of old former tortured POWs putting their pen to the paper for campaign finance reform.

The ACA stood up to the Supreme Court, maybe it's more about the authors of the legislation than the idea itself.

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Response to eallen (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:38 AM

53. It'll mean whatever they want it to, and it will only apply to meanies we don't like.

*headdesk*

You gave a great example, there.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #53)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:55 AM

56. The NRA's right to advocate for PRD's will not be infringed, so I don't see your opposition?

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #56)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:59 AM

57. Opposition to this particular wording? Strong. Opposition to overturning CU? None.

It's throwing out the baby with the bath water.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #57)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:18 AM

58. Glad we can at least both agree that Citizen's United needs to go. What would you suggest

as regards the legal language be done to make this amendment acceptable to achieve that worthy goal?

This isn't a "trick" or "gotcha" question, and has nothing to do with our oft-rehashed disagreements about the proper interpretation of amendment #2 in the BOR: I am genuinely interested in hearing your thoughts about what could be done to make this proposal palpable for consideration by the states in the amending process.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:09 AM

70. Here's a suggestion, one that seems obvious to me.

An act can be both speech and conduct. People burned their draft cards to protest the Vietnam War, and that was speech, but it was also conduct that destroyed the card. The government had a legitimate interest in requiring men to have their cards. Therefore, said the Supreme Court, although the First Amendment protected you if you walked into a courthouse wearing a jacket that said "Fuck the Draft," it did NOT protect you if you conveyed the same political message by burning your draft card.

Like burning a draft card, the spending of huge amounts of money in a political campaign is speech but is also conduct. A proper amendment would clarify that the government may impose reasonable regulations on such spending. The main criterion of reasonableness would be neutrality among competing candidates or differing viewpoints.

Of course, as a practical matter, flipping one vote on the Court will be a lot easier than passing an amendment -- but if you want an amendment that won't give far too much power to right-wing nutjob governors and presidents, then what I've outlined is one good way to go.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:19 AM

73. Rather than an amendment, do it via campaign reform legislation.

I do agree with the court that money can be speech- a good example is a boycott. By denying retailers (or politicians or PACs or non-profits like the BSA) our money we can make strong political statements.

Obviously not every dollar spent is a political statement, but some are.

Just as time/manner/place restrictions on speech / assembly are permissible, a narrowly crafted campaign finance reform package can be crafted to pass constitutional muster.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:02 PM

30. Sheesh, who writes these things?

In the first place, the people proposing this "amendment" are not the ones who "ordained and established" the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so their "intent" was obviously not involved.

Secondly, Section three does not protect the freedom of the press rights of media organizations, only of the "people", under which term corporations do not fall, according to section 2.

And of course, Section 2 displays utter ignorance of the fact that the right of freedom of speech is not granted to "the people" in the First Amendment, or to any specific group or entity. The restricting of free speech by the government is prohibited, regardless of who is doing the speaking.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:35 PM

84. Don't get me wrong, I agree that most of these proposed amendments

(heck, most proposed amendments in general) are poorly written; I'm guessing it's because they're easy enough for any dummy to draft, being a few sentences at most.

My point was that it's possible for an amendment to be written properly and make necessary exceptions. It's a constitutional amendment, so "constitutionality" is not a factor.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:08 AM

44. That would be a heckuva stretch

to try to limit freedom of the press.

And congressmen, as public figures, have a heckuva time suing to libel or slander regardless.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:07 AM

69. That should still be considered "freedom of the press" and not person vs corporation.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:31 PM

83. No, the 1st Amendment clearly states "the press". Newspapers are the press.

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Response to Cicada (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:39 PM

85. I do not see where the proposed amendment says the 1'st is revoked. Why all the concern

For Fictitious legal entities rights? That being said join in helping write the amendment to ensure your concerns are addressed.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:56 PM

6. Hope this works!!

k&R

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:16 PM

8. the supreme court gave the unions the same rights as business

one step forward...two steps back.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:16 PM

9. K & R

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:18 PM

10. good

I'm in, at least for the conversation. And I think there are other groups fighting the corporations are not ppl thing. I'll keep watching. Thank you for the post. Will check the news tomorrow.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:34 PM

15. So Democratic Underground, LLC would have no right to prevent the government from searching

it's files and records any time and as often as the government likes?

The government could seize the property of any corporation at any time for whatever reason it wishes? With not compensation?


Fortunately, this lunacy will go nowhere.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:41 PM

18. Yay! corporations will continue to have rights as people!!!

Yay! Go corporations!

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:46 PM

22. Good points but the problem will still remain of unlimited funds pouring in by corporations

if nothing is done so how about this? What if the amendment just states that no one may donate funds anonymously to any PAC or group and that all donations over 1000 dollars must be reported 30 days prior to any election? Atleast then maybe the citizens will be made aware of how many politicians votes are for sale and whos the buyer.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:15 PM

33. Why do we need a Constitutional amendment for that?

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Response to eallen (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:20 PM

35. Because unless its an amendment a future court could rule it unconstitutional

as well a future congress and senate could be paid off to kill it where as if its an amendment its very difficult to kill.

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Response to eallen (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:10 AM

45. Because it's the only way to reverse Citizens United

short of a reversal by the Supreme Court.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #45)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:09 AM

72. The court, in Citizens United, encouraged Congress to require more transparency in funding.

It didn't block that.

Citizens United was a free press case. I know a lot of people are laboring under the misconception that the court ruled that corporations are people and that money is speech. It did neither.


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Response to eallen (Reply #72)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:12 AM

77. Like I said though the problem is 10 years down the road say congress could

then change its mind and abolish transparency in large donations so the only way to make it stick is via an amendment that actually spells out that names of people who donate large sums of money have to be revealed 30 days before an election and that its a felony not to do it and or to try and conceal the names.

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Response to RB TexLa (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:56 PM

27. Ha... they do that now....

Corporations shouldn't have too much to hide anyway. Their limits should only be where "individual" rights are concerned. News organizations rights should be based on the individuals involved, not the corporation itself. That's where the problem lies. Corporations should not be individuals, but the individuals IN or connected TO the corporation are protected by the constitution now and always.

My 2 cents. I'm no corporate of constitutional lawyer.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:40 PM

16. DU is an LLC...

how would this amendment affect DU?

I don't see this amendment going anywhere. I think Citizens United was a horrible decision, but this amendment isn't the answer to it, IMHO.

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Response to Terra Alta (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:21 PM

37. You have my attention. What do you see as the "answer"???? nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:35 PM

39. not this. it's too broad.

Taking away ALL Constitutional rights from ALL corporations and LLCs? This means places like DU wouldn't have the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

I would support an amendment that limits how much corporations can spend on an election, but I think this goes too far.

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Response to Terra Alta (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:40 PM

40. Corporations exist at the pleasure of us humans. We allow corporations to exist

so they can assume some risk that individuals would be afraid to take. But it seems that once we allowed these entities to exist, they want citizenship. They do not get the protections of the Constitution. They need to be carefully regulated.

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Response to Terra Alta (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:22 AM

50. Corporations didn't have constitutional rights

until a clerk for the Supreme Court gave them to them in the late 1800s (google Thom Hartmann on this subject). Those rights were upheld by the Roberts Court in Citizens United.

In fact, when the constitution was written, corporations were formed for a specific, limited purpose, and then dissolved. They were not permitted to exist for multiple generations, or multiple purposes. They were not trusted (remember, the Boston Tea Party was staged as a protest against the subsidy of the largest corporation then in existence: the East India Trading Co.).

The founders were right not to trust them, as was Lincoln:

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

I think the more we do to rein in these "job creators" the better. The House won't go for it, the Senate probably won't either, but the more noise we make, the more opponents of it will pay the price. Something like 82% of the public were/are? against Citizens United.


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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:59 AM

68. The answer

is to alter the 14th amendment to the form it was intended, by adding the word "Natural" in front of "Persons" thereby removing constitutionally-protected rights as though they were people.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:20 AM

71. A fair question. My answer is in #70.

I don't pretend to speak for all the DUers who oppose Citizens United and also oppose many of the amendments offered to overrule it, but I gave one approach in this post.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:43 PM

20. K & R !!!


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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:59 PM

28. I am for the idea..

But I will have to say that the wording is a little.... simple. It will definitely need refining.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:20 PM

34. I'm not sure I agree with that wording

This is a bit overly broad: and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies.

Could that not be applied to non-profit organizations? Or non-profit corporations? If you are not careful, you may find yourself limiting the speech of activist interest groups, charities and non-profit organizations.

At what point do we draw the line between the collective speech activities of a group and a corporation?

I want to support this, but it is worded in a very murky way right now.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:29 PM

38. So, we'll limit first amendment rights, but not second amendment rights

Somehow, that seems backward. Frankly, I think this amendment, while proposed with absolutely the best of intentions, has great potential for unforeseen and unintended consequences.

Nevertheless, I'd alter as follows:

1) Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only. No such rights are endowed upon proprietorships, partnerships, nor any other artificial legal entities created for legal, commercial, charitable, or religious purposes.

2) Nothing in the Constitution shall be interpreted as preventing the States or the Federal Government from regulating or restricting the disbursement of funds to political campaigns, provided that such restrictions are equally applied to all campaigns.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:42 PM

42. I hope this gets going!

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:53 PM

43. One can dream... n/t

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Response to AAO (Reply #43)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:27 AM

59. If people inundate their representatives MAYBE it has a

chance, one can only hope!

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:12 AM

46. This reminded me of what the TyT

guys are trying to do. Something about getting the states to call convention, that DC can't be involved w/ or something like that. If 2/3s of the ratify what the TyT guys are aiming at. It would mean money would be taken out of politics. Believe it or not Texas dem was the first to follow their lead, and introduce a bill into the state legislature.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:17 AM

47. My rep!

Already on the job in his first term !

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:30 AM

52. For the critics of the proposed amendment, look at the language again:

If you're trying to argue that the amendment takes away all rights of a corporation (like Democratic Underground LLC), read the third paragraph of Section 1:

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.


Also, Section 3:

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #52)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:49 AM

55. Your statement contradicts the text you quoted (unintentional, I'm sure)..

Section 1, para 1 strips all rights from anything except 'people'.

Section 1, para 3 speaks of privileges, not rights.



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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:48 AM

54. An Excellent And Necessary Amendment, Sir

And an excellent platform for campaigning and organizing....

"The problem with our modern corporations is that they have neither souls to be damned nor bodies to be kicked."

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:00 AM

60. The amendment is badly worded. It will get nowhere.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:09 AM

61. Proud to say that Rick Nolan is my Congressman

here in the Minnesota Fighting Eighth District.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:01 AM

62. This would be incredibly helpful, a huge step towards healing & restoring our democracy. nt

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:12 AM

63. K&R! And massive SHAME upon everyone in government not working to overturn it! n/t

 

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:53 AM

64. I'll click to this!


________

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:37 AM

65. This'll get shut down faster than the Pope. I have no hope as long

as Republicans hold our country hostage.

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Response to valerief (Reply #65)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:16 PM

95. I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Agree! EOM

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:28 AM

75. "DFL" = "Democratic-Farmer-Labor" Party

The “We the People Amendment” is being introduced by Representative Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin).

http://www.dfl.org/

For those as ignorant as I was...
________

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:06 PM

78. K&R

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:47 PM

81. How did we get here in the first place?

Maybe slavery was a bigger embarrassment, but this is license to buy the government.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #81)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:12 PM

82. There's a long backstory of how corporations came to be regarded as persons under the law.......

......rather than as 'artificial persons created for a specific purpose. It involves a corrupt, 19th Century Justice of the Supreme Court, his clerk and a suit against a railroad:

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/LongTomH/91

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #82)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:55 PM

86. Thanks for that reference.

I was actually aware of the actions of Fields and Davis. And of course the recent supreme Court piling on.

Nevertheless, I was reflecting on the yet mind boggling question, "How did things get so fucked up?" which has no real answer.

--imm

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #82)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:53 PM

97. Overblown conspiracy crap

First, the notion that corporations have constitutional protection was first recognized in 1819 in a case applying the Constitution's Contract clause to Dartmouth University (a corporate entity). That opinon was written by Justice Marshall.

Second, the CU case, which was a disaster, didn't "enshrine" the idea that corporations are persons with first amendment and other constitutional protections. A hundred plus years of precedents involving the application of the Constitution to corporate entities did that, including decisions such as NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware (holding that the First Amendment protected the NAACP from a damages suit for organizing a boycott), NY Times v. US (holding that the NY Times could not be prevented from publishing the Pentagon Papers), Hustler v. Jerry Falwell (holding that Hustler couldn't be sued for publishing a satirical ad that allegedly caused Jerry Falwell "emotional harm"). The list of cases in which corporate entities have been recognized as having first amendment rights goes on and on and on.

The problem with CU wasn't that it recognized corporations as "persons" under the Constitution, a result that is correct and should be upheld. The problem is that it abandoned the longstanding precedent that Congress can draw reasonable distinctions between types of speakers where those distinctions are not content-based (i.e., not based on the point of view being expressed) and are narrowly drawn to address a matter of substantial government interest. Just as not all natural persons have the same first amendment rights, where the CU majority went off the rails is in deciding that that there could be no distinction validly drawn between a corporate speaker and a natural person.

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Response to immoderate (Reply #81)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:42 PM

96. electronic voting helped

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:02 PM

87. Did anyone see the Press Conference????

K&R

Edited: to update that I did sign...

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:20 PM

90. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, LongTomH.

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:57 PM

91. This is great. I participated in a mock trial

 

of Citizens' United a few weeks ago.

I argued for the "defense" (somebody had to do it) in ridiculous and absurd ways . . .

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Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:00 PM

92. i don't think this can work without public financing of campaigns

eom

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