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Need some arguments on free speech vs campaign finance laws

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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 03:07 PM
Original message
Need some arguments on free speech vs campaign finance laws
McCain-Feingold and other laws have restricted donations and money in political campaigns. Some Republicans (George Will comes to mind) argue than any restriction on political spending is a curtailment of free speech/the first amendment.

What argument do you use to counter that?

Thanks
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. Corporate money can overwhelm speech.
Edited on Thu Jul-15-10 03:19 PM by Jim__
Money is not speech, so it seems like it is not a direct violation to regulate buying up limited air time in the interest of speech. There are still major news and commercial outlets that dominate media. Corporations can buy up the free time on these media and by getting the political representatives they want, they can make their advertising money back in increased profits. Limiting spending money can actually contribute to the amount of speech that gets out.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. good point
thanks
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. Corporations are not people...
The fact that commercial interests have worked for 150 years to work that idea into the law doesn't make it so.
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NoNothing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. McCain-Feingold
did not only restrict corporations.

Broadly speaking, money is not speech. That is why restriction on campaign contributions, for example, have not been overturned; transferring money to campaign is not speech. However, once money is spent on speech, then it actually is speech, and you need to find a way around the First Amendment to stop it.
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