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Bernie Sanders Proposes A Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United

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Galraedia Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:51 PM
Original message
Bernie Sanders Proposes A Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United
Source: PoliticusUSA

Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed a constitutional amendment today that would overturn Citizens United and make it clear that corporations are not people.

Read more: http://www.politicususa.com/en/bernie-sanders-citizens-...
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is all nice but nothing gets done, no change until........
You give POTUSa Dem Congress and a stronger Dem Senate

This is what need to be shouted from the rooftops all day long so that it penetrates the 99%

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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. The President has no role in a Constitutional amendment process, for starters.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. self delete
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 05:07 PM by progressoid
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
73. Do you mean no official role?
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 09:53 AM by No Elephants
Actually, I am not sure even that is true. He is both head of the Democratic Party and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S.

Can he pass the intitial legislation without Congress? No. But that is true of everything Congress passes.
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Ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #73
100. Constitutional Amendments do not go to him for a signature
He can tell Congress to bring it up, but they don't have to listen.
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Aleric Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. Sen Reid, please sit down.
That cartilage you grew around your spinal cord after OWS began is still fragile.


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Aleric Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. That's all nice but nothing gets done, no change until...
The congressional and Senate Dems get some backbone and some actual leadership.

Reid could have 100 Dems in the Senate and still not get anything done. He will never have "enough" of majority. He has no sense of strategy or leadership.

So quit whining about not having a majority. The republicans have proven they can thrash a majority. We need courage and leadership, not numbers.
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savalez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
36. You have no idea what you are talking about.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
62. That's all nice but nothing gets done, no change until...
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 09:48 PM by AlbertCat
So... still propose it....again and again.... until it's the norm.


Why continue to let the GOP set the agenda? All this "It's not worth a try" crap has got to stop. If anything, it highlights the "Do Nothing GOP". At least Independents in this case are trying to accomplish something... something people get and approve of.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #62
75. +1 And propose it again and again so the public can see which roaches oppose it.
Democrats are NOT helpless in the face of Republicans, while Republicans are always omnipotent.


If that were really so, no Democrat would be worthy of election and we should replace every fucking one of them.
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Shoe Horn Donating Member (54 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #75
99. Anyone got a list of the DINOs that extended Bush's Tax Cuts for the 1%?
You may start with a list of them, back when we had a majority.
Not a solid, unbeatable majority though.

it's a false dilemma, this either or thing.
We need a lot of strong congresspeople.

We may need to write up a little contract of our own and keep track!

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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
59. I agree. nt
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
61. to do what?
what mandate? To hold the Senate? And if they lose it to win it back?

And what's the mandate of a dem president? To win re-election?
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. In my humble opinion, this doesn't go nearly far enough....
... specifically, it does not get money out of politics and expects Congress to regulate it!!!!

Try this...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


..snip..


a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.


..end..
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Didn't you learn the lesson of Prohibition? "Positive" rights under the Constitution do NOT work
What is meant by "Positive" right is a right the Government MUST provide, as oppose to a NEGATIVE right, where the Government is prohibited from doing. The Bill of Rights is a list of NEGATIVE rights, what the Government can NOT do:

The First PROHIBITS Government regulation of Speech, Press, Religion, public assembly or even lobbying.

The Second, prohibits the Federal Government from forbidding people from owning "arms" capable to Military use (The Supreme Court recent decision expanded this right to include "self defense", but that is a dispute for the Gun Dungeon not here).

The third prohibits the Quartering of troops in Civilina Homes during peace time.

Amendment 4 - Prohibits the Government from entering people's home without a warrant.

Amendment 5 - Prohibits:
a. any indictment other then by a Grand Jury,
b. Double jeopardy
c. forcing someone to be witness against himself
d. take some one's life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
h. take private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment 6 - Prohibits:

a. any trial other then a speedy and public trial
b. that the trial be by jury
c. a trial where the defendant can NOT confront the witnesses against him;
d. a trial where it is impossible for the defendant to compel witnesses to appear in his favor
e. a trial where the defendant is NOT permitted to have an attorney

Amendment 7 - Prohibits

a. A CIVIL trial with a out Jury if such trials had been Jury trials prior to 1787.
b. Any review of a jury trial NOT according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment 8 - Prohibits:

a. Excessive bail
b. excessive fines imposed,
d. cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment 9 and 10 are viewed as statements that the above list is NOT conclusive i.e. other rights exist even of not stated in the bill of rights.

Notice all of the Rights in the Bill of Rights are NEGATIVE RIGHTS, and as such easy for the Courts to rule on i.e. state does X, X is prohibited by the Bill of Rights or other constitutional clause, the court rule X is unconstitutional and thus unenforceable.

The same can be said of the post Civil War Amendments. The Post Civil War
Amendments (The 13th, 14th and 15th) prohibited restrictions on African Americans (and other non-whites) that did not also applied to white Americans. The post Civil War Amendments did NOT require Congress to pass any law to enforce these rights, but gave Congress the right to do so. The people affected by discrimination had the right to use the post Civil War Amendments and go directly to court to prohibited any violations of those amendments, Congress need not do anything (Thorough Congress did on the Form of the 1866, 1871 and 1875 Civil Rights Acts, when support for those Acts loss public support, racism rose out of the ashes of Slavery and survived till public support against racism became the majority view starting in the 1950s, which lead to the 1964 Civil Rights Act).

What you are proposing is addition to several negative provisions (including prohibiting Corporation from contributing to election campaign) is to REQUIRE Congress to do something, such positive provisions have been avoided in the past by the US authors of the Constitution and its amendments, except for Prohibition. Prohibition required Congress to do something, remove Alcohol from the nation. We can see how successful that was.

Other nations have also tried Positive provisions, but ran across the same problem, the legislature controls the purse and if the legislature does NOT want to fund the required provisions how can the courts force them to do so? The old Soviet Union guarantee housing for everyone, then failed to provide the housing (did excessive spending on the Military instead). The Soviet Courts ignored the problem, and the Courts of the US refused to force Congress to spend the money even the Court believe was the minimum needed to enforce Prohibition.

Sorry, such positive constitutional provisions are doomed to failure UNLESS it also has massive popular support (and if that is the case, why have a Constitutional provision?, Congress will fund it so people would re-elect them).

Sorry, Sanders is the best provisions when it comes to a Constitutional Amendment, it continues the tradition of providing Negative Rights, i.e. prohibits the Government from permitting corporation to donate money. The Government does NOT have to do anything to stop such contributions, if made the opposition to the person who was given the contribution can take it to court.

The best Constitutional provisions are provisions that does NOT require any positive act by the Government. Such provisions may PERMIT such actions and then it is up to the Political process to make sure the action is done (Which would be the case even if the provisions required Government Action).

Negative provision shows an understanding of the limits on the Courts, they can prohibit the Government from doing things, but can NOT compel the Government to do anything UNLESS there is political support for the positive act. Such political support only needs a provision that PERMITS such actions, and the lack of such political support would quickly make a positive provision a dead letter (like the old Soviet right to housing).

Thus Sanders's proposal will work, for it permits public funding of elections, but does not require it. It relies on political support for such funding to carry the day, something that would be the case even if public funding was constitutionally mandated.
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. Wow. I hope you didn't write all that just for me....
...my basic problem is that Bernie's solution allows private citizens to spend as much as they like. Ergo the Koch brothers could spend several billion (without feeling it) and buy an election. They wouldn't have to do it through a corporation.


We need to get money out of politics. Unless I've misunderstood all that legalese - which may provide more wiggle room than tight definitions - Bernie's proposal hasn't done that.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
51. That is some lesson in what
the Constitutional Amendments provide.

I, for one, thank you!
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Gore1FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #30
63. Wow! Thanks.
I love posts like yours.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #30
76. Well...
What you are calling positive and negative rights are actually powers of the Federal Government and limits on those powers.

Most of the Constitution is about the powers of the federal government. The Bill of Rights limits some of those powers for certain reasons.

The lesson of Prohibition is that prohibiting something very popular does not work. And, no, we have not learned that lesson, as evidenced by the attempts to crack down on marijuana.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for bringing this here. K & R.
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deacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. No real change is possible unless this is overturned. n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
81. Possible, but much harder. And would require more of us.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
5.  KNR - occupy nt
Occupy.
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DocMac Donating Member (429 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. Can't wait to see it passed and signed.
:sarcasm:
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. knr
Never could understand the wisdom of the Supreme Court on this one...
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oldhippydude Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. funny
that was the final straw for me... i always had the core belief that there was in fact justice in this country.. that somehow when justices reached the top of the food chain, that despite all it would clear the way for some sort of justice..

sort of a Duh!! moment.. i like a lot of americans had remained blissfully unaware of bad justices we have had over the years.. when a justice attends meetings with teh koch brothers that ought to be a red flag..

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Bush v Gore
was equally bad. Essentially the SCOTUS told the State of Florida to stop counting the votes to determine the outcome of a presidential election.
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kenfrequed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. There was a series of bad decisions
They made several decisions that made no sense and some of them they explicitly stated were non-precential decisions. Choosing to make a decision that cannot be used as predent is the clearest indicator that the decision is corrupt and bias as all hell.
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howmad1 Donating Member (959 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
44. And that's why it won't make......
....a goddamn bit of difference who wins the Pres. As long as that mutherfucker Clarence Thomas (who clearly broke the law) sits on the SCOTUS and is not removed, who gives a shit who is on the SCOTUS.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. That's because it wasn't "wisdom".
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. There really was no "wisdom" to speak of.
This is an advancement of fascism in the U.S. This is all part of the NWO, and the Supreme Court has been nothing more than a vehicle to facilitate the rise of a fascist state. This country is in big trouble, and I fear we have realized it all too late...
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
10. www.wolf-pac.com... join the fight.
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benld74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
11. CHeck out Alternet of HOW Citizens United came to be,,,turned my stomach!!!!
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SoapBox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
14. Go Bernie...
I love it...but of course, the Party of Thug, Bully and Bagger will never let it happen.
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peace frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. Sadly true, but mad kudos to Bernie nevertheless
Wish he was my senator!
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. good on ya bernie
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
16. One of the few left in congress, that the corporatists have not yet
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 03:14 PM by ooglymoogly
been able to, by hook and by crook, silence with bags of shekels, or eliminate by a lone gunman, or down whatever plane he might be in.

The rare senator who is still watching out for the constitution and the people it protects; from an over reaching, bloodsucking vampire vulture, octopusass oligarchy, out to extract the last drop of blood and the last drop of gold from our teeth, while their junk yard dogs (the gestapo) hold us down.
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
18. bernie usually does the first hour with thom hartmann on fridays, 12EST
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
19. This is the kind of man we need to run for the president. kr nt
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Bill USA Donating Member (628 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
21. RECOMMENDED! also suggest sending Sanders an email or calling his office to praise him for this.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
24. This is a much better attempt at an amendment than most I've seen
But it still has some lurking issues that need to be addressed.

Here is the actual amendment language:

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 candidates own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.



My principal concern is that, as drafted, its unclear whether the words "for-profit" are intended to modify only "corporations" or each of the separate categories of entities that follow. I suspect the intent is to modify each of them by "for-profit" in order to exclude non-profits, but its not clear, particularly since the words "established for business purposes or to promote business interests" would seem redundant if everything was modified by "for profit". Do those words modify each of the categories that precede them (so it first category would, in effect, be a "for profit corporation established for business purposes or to promote business interests". And what exactly is meant by "business" in this context? Are there for profit entities that would nonetheless have constitutionally protected rights because they aren't established for "business purposes"?

This may sound picky, but if we want something that won't get twisted around, we better try to lock down the language to be as tight as possible with as little ambiguity and room for interpretation.

My second concern is that I'm not sure why the first paragraph is needed at all and whether its worth the risks that it poses. The goal should be to get corporations out of the business of influencing elections. Denying corporations all constitutional protections poses some significant risks. What if a government doesn't like the fact that some for profit entity is run by someone with whom the government disagrees. Let's say the repubs got fed up with Warren Buffet pissing on their bad tax policy. What would stop the government from deciding to take the property of Buffet's corporate entities without just compensation or without due process? What would prevent them from making warrantless searches of Buffet's enterprises, seizing computers, disrupting his business and basically attempting to intimidate him from speaking out?

I'm glad Bernie has gotten the ball rolling. Now I hope folks try to fashion it into something a bit narrower (i.e., something focused on regulaton of campaign donations and expenditures) and less susceptible to mischief.

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
25. Thank you, Bernie Sanders.
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Maineman Donating Member (411 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. Best wording, so far.
I have seen several versions including my own, and they are getting better. This is the best, so far.
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gussmith Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
27. About Time
Yeeaaahh! What took him so long? It is part of taking back America.
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LuvNewcastle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
28. This could be something to rally around.
For all those people who criticize OWS for not having a coherent message, this amendment would be a good answer. I'd like to hear the RWers explain to the people exactly why this amendment is a bad idea.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #28
77. The message of OWS is very clear: This country has been rigged to make the
richest people richer, at the expense of the rest of us. What part of 99% is unclear?

Citizens United is ONE part of that rigging, and a relatively recent way to boot. OWS is not solely about Citizens United.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #28
101. I'm not a RWer but I think it's a bad idea.
Because it applies to LLCs, so DemocraticUnderground (which is an LLC) would be stripped of its constitutional rights. Under this amendment DU would not be able to spend money on bandwidth to promote Democratic candidates in elections.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
29.  it doesn't address non-profit corporations, a bad flaw.
Thinktanks are every bit as bad as for profit corporations.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. And if they did, Unions would have to be added
Most unions are "non-profit" corporations for purposes of they day to day operations. Other Political active Groups are also "Non-Profit" such as the NAACP. Some entity must own the property the union or other political organization owes, and that means held in the name of the President of the Union OR a "non-profit" corporation. Thus to restrict "Non Profits" would restrict Unions and groups like the NAACP.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #32
66. the more we can restrict lobbyists and groups, the better.
Democracy should be from the people up; as far back as the Constitutional Convention Madison warned about the destructive effects of factions on democracy.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #66
93. That violates the First Amendment
Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


The term "Petition the Government" is what lobbyists are doing when their lobby and the purpose of the lobbying is to "redress of grievance" which can be that some one wants X, another person wants Y.

Lyndon Johnston (LBJ) once said, NOTHING gets done in Washington unless it is lobbied for. One of his aims of the "Great Society" program was to build up groups who would lobby for things the poor needed (and he is hated for it by the Right Wing, they do NOT want to hear such arguments).

Everybody oppose lobbying until it is something they want, LBJ saw this and understood you can guide lobbying, you can direct lobbying but it is impossible to abolish lobbying.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #93
98. no, a new Constitutional Amendment does not violate the Constition.
that's how it works, you know.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #32
67. For many, that would be an equitable trade.
If you were to put an item on the ballot asking whether I would be willing to get corporate and big media money OUT of politics, if the price was that union money would be excluded too, I'd vote YES in a heartbeat.

If corporate money is taken out of the equation, union money becomes less important to the overall process, because we no longer need it to counter the corporate $$. More importantly, unlike corporations, unions can still mobilize their members to support candidates in other ways. Corporations, once excluded, are simply removed from the process.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #67
79. It's not only unions, though. Amnesty International, NAACP, ACLU,
Doctors Without Borders, National Cancer Society, Consumers Union and on and on and on.

What if the Consumers Union's crusade against unsafe cars could have been silenced?
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #79
89. Would it be such a terrible thing..
...to say that the only people who are allowed to support candidates are the VOTERS?

Doctors Without Borders, National Cancer Society, the NAACP, the ACLU, and all of these other groups are pushing wonderful things, but in the end they are still simply groups that are trying to convince elected representatives to follow their leads, over the leads of their voters. Ultimately, I think that the country would be a better place if we simply excluded ALL GROUPS from directly interfering with political matters, and set it up so that only individual citizens could support politicians financially or petition them directly.

Of course, DWB, the National Cancer Society, the NAACP, and the ACLU are made up of actual people, real donating members, who would always be capable of petitioning our elected representatives.

It would hurt a bit as we adjusted to it, but ultimately I think the country would be better off if it simply returned to the original ideal, putting political power in the hands of the people. If it's in the hands of unaccountable corporations and political action groups, it's simply corrosive to the system and undermines the power of the individual voter.

I don't expect this to ever actually happen, but it's certainly an ideal I aim for.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #89
102. Wow. You would want the NAACP to be criminally prosecuted
for pointing out that a Republican candidate in an election is a racist.

Chilling.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #29
78. Thing is, would you want to eliminate, say, the NAACP from protection?
Or the Human Rights Commission? Or Amnesty Intenational? Or Doctors Without Borders? And on and on.

In some cases, entities have been formed to advocate so that reprisals are not launched against individuals. That was certainly the case with the NAACP. See NAACP v. Button, a 1950's case holding that the NAACP had a first amendment right to keep the names of its members secret.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
33. Love him, but lotsa luck there. nt
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #33
80. Well, if he succeeds, we'll either have an amendment or know who stopped it.
We hope.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
35. If it fails - keep introducing it. This needs to happen NOW!!
We can't afford more Scott Walkers and Rick Perry's and Herman Cain's running around!
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Buenaventura Donating Member (269 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
38. 'bout time. n/t
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
39. Thanks, Senator Sanders!
:patriot:

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
40. Looks like a good amendment to me
Unfortunately, that means that almost no Republicans will dare vote for it. Too many of them are in thrall to extremist lobby groups like the Koch brothers, or extremist Republican voters who want to elect nutcases in primaries. Money and insanity has captured the Republican party, and I don't know how the USA can escape that.
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AllyCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
41. Didn't Merkley already do this? Is this a matter of just doing it over and over until
they get the message? Won't go anywhere....yet. Keep it up folks. Persistence will pay off. Eventually.
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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
42. He's not the first - some Dems have introduced something similar - but this is important!
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Dont call me Shirley Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
43. Thank you, Bernie. Elect more Bernie's to congress!!!!!
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
45. K&R
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Marnie Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
46. You go Bernie
Damn I wish you'd run for POTUS.
The debates would be awesome.

Yes, I am being serious.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #46
70. +1000
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #46
74. K&R.
I have written many, many e-mails over the years, asking Bernie to run for POTUS.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #46
82. On the bright side, Presidents last 4 to 8 years. Conceivably, Bernie could remain in Congress till
he dies.

I was never terribly sad that Ted Kennedy did not become president. Besides, I was sure some nutter would shoot him if he did run.
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Veracious Donating Member (196 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
47. Vigilance!
ROCK ON BERNIE!!!!
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mysuzuki2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
48. I wonder how far this will get?
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Jim_Shorts Donating Member (355 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. About as far as a Yes Men spoof
Hear anything about the "Scrap the Cap" bill Sanders introduced a few months ago?

Bernie shows all the paid shills what government is supposed to look like and they ignore him and proceed in the exact opposite direction. I think they should all have to wear jackets like Nascar showing who they actually work for.
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mysuzuki2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #55
65. Unfortunately, I think you are right.
This amendment is a great idea and I thank Dog for Bernie but a snowballs chance might be optimistic.
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FailureToCommunicate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
49. Go Bernie!
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
50. link to email from Bernie. He wants us to sign a petition ...
It arrived shortly after 7pm ET tonight.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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LongTomH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
52. A link to the YouTube video of Bernie speaking out on his amendment.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
53. I don't see how that would affect Citizens United
Citizens United was a case about the creation and publication of a movie by a non-profit corporation. Sanders amendment expressly states:



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.



My emphasis. Seems to me the case likely would be decided in the same way. Sanders's amendment doesn't really get to the meat of that case: On what criteria precisely should Citizens United be distinguished from, say, the NYT for 1st amendment purpose? If you want law to stop the former from running its views, but to protect the latter from such law, on what grounds do you do so?

I like the third section of Sanders's amendment. Corporations should be banned from campaign contributions. Some states already do that. It's long past time to do that at the federal level. (Citizens United wasn't about campaign contributions.)

:hippie:
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #53
87. Section 4
SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidates own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.

As I read this, it amends the Constitutional protection accorded political speech by allowing the government to "regulate" all election expenditures -- its not limited to speech by corporations -- it affects everyone's speech. The preservation of free speech protection that you quote covers speech not qualifying as an election expenditure.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #87
96. So, the NYT, Fox, and NBC could be censored during elections?!
I'm not sure that's what that section means. "Election contributions and expenditures" doesn't necessarily mean what anyone spends on publishing something about a campaign or candidates, but only what the candidate controls. If it did mean what you suggest, or if the courts so interpreted it, that means Congress could pretty arbitrarily censor the media during the elections.

See, I don't see anything in the proposed amendment that would distinguish Citizens United from the NYT.

Civil libertarians will oppose anything that gives Congress control over the media during elections. From the founding until now, political speech was considered to have the highest level of 1st amendment protection, it being perhaps the first reason for the 1st amendment. Amending the Constitution so that political speech can be regulated is a pretty significant change to American culture.

:hippie:
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #96
104. If it only allowed regulation of what the candidate controls it would be meaningless
And the media would be protected by the clause preserving the freedom of the press. But, as pointed out elsewhere in this thread, that's the rub. How does one define "the press"?
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
54. Thank Bernie !!! - K & R !!!
Lkick:
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
56. Bernie is one of the few true patriots left /nt
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
57. K&R n/t
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
58. once again, Bernie gets my vote! Sounds good to me
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
60. Bless you, Mr. Sanders!
....every true American patriot should support this amendment....every true American patriot that loves freedom, justice and this country should support this amendment....there is no patriotic reason not to support this amendment....
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #60
68. He is a TRUE AMERICAN
thanks Bernie
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Texas Lawyer Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
64. please!
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
69. Vital, historic move


Go Bernie :yourock:




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blkmusclmachine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
71. Well, that'll go nowhere fast in this CONgress.
And the WH? Forget it. How 'bout the SCOTUS? Hardy-har-har. This is DOA.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #71
72. Not DOA at all.
This is the start of the OWS agenda. It is the signal basis of fixing the influence-money corruption in politics. This amendment will continue to be introduced and the crooks that vote against it will continue to be voted out of office. It will take some years to finally pass.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #72
86. OWS brought attention to this very issue
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
83. k&r n/t
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
84. Limited liability? Limited rights. n/t
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
85. K&R
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pam4water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
88. Aww too late to rec.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
90. You go, Bernie! He has not forgotten what a blow to our..
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 02:01 PM by mvd
democracy this ruling was. One of the best Senators this country has.
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
91. I wonder why he hasn't tried to get more cosponsors?
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
92. kick
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
94. Hell YES
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
95. Note that this amendment would apply also to LLC's, including DemocraticUnderground.
So DU would be stripped of its current constitutional rights if this amendment passed. And spending money on bandwidth used to promote Democratic candidates for office would likely be deemed a campaign contribution, which would be prohibited, unless DU was somehow able to be classified as part of "the Press", which would enable it to benefit from the Section 2 exemption. This might not be easy though, as I imagine many LLCs and corporations would try to use the same strategy (calling themselves "the Press").
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #95
97. Exactly! No one has proposed anything that distinguishes DU from Citizens United.
The notion that Congress and the courts should somehow distinguish certain outlets as the press, on professional or other grounds, while giving other outlets a lesser level of 1st amendment freedom, is a pretty dangerous one.

:hippie:
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #97
103. I agree, but as you can see from this thread, we are in a tiny minority in DU on this issue.
I can't think of any other issue where so many DUers were opposed to the ACLU's position.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
105. He'd better wait for a national Democratic sweep (pres, congress, govenorshipes..
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 08:31 AM by Kahuna
state legislators, etc) before making such a proposal. At it stands at this point in time, it's a total non-starter.
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