SCOTUS strikes down individual biennial limit caps for political contributions


Lord Blackadder

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Conservatives feel that the flow of money in politics should be seen as free speech i.e, buying a president is merely a means of expressing democratic views.

Election campaigns will become increasingly expensive. Soon we will see presidential campaigns spending 10 billion, then 100 billion dollars as corporate and tycoon donors turn the presidency into an auction.
 

jkcerda

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Conservatives feel that the flow of money in politics should be seen as free speech i.e, buying a president is merely a means of expressing democratic views.

Election campaigns will become increasingly expensive. Soon we will see presidential campaigns spending 10 billion, then 100 billion dollars as corporate and tycoon donors turn the presidency into an auction.
it already is an auction.
 

ugahairydawgs

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Election campaigns will become increasingly expensive.
Is there anything that isn't more expensive now than it was 10 years ago? That's the nature of the beast. As time goes on costs go up. That's not limited to elections, where the avenues in which campaigns have to spend money in order to reach an apathetic voting base is constantly growing.
 

Lord Blackadder

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Is there anything that isn't more expensive now than it was 10 years ago? That's the nature of the beast. As time goes on costs go up. That's not limited to elections, where the avenues in which campaigns have to spend money in order to reach an apathetic voting base is constantly growing.
Inflation and income have risen at different rates. It's not a linear matching progression across the board.

While I largely agree with you, you fail to address the potential sustainability issues and the affect increasing amounts of money have on the fairness of elections as certain groups gain greater control over the selection of candidates and other aspects of the campaign.

Money in politics is growing at a greater rate than ever before.
 

ugahairydawgs

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Inflation and income have risen at different rates. It's not a linear matching progression across the board.

While I largely agree with you, you fail to address the potential sustainability issues and the affect increasing amounts of money have on the fairness of elections as certain groups gain greater control over the selection of candidates and other aspects of the campaign.

Money in politics is growing at a greater rate than ever before.
What sustainability issues are you talking about?

To me the rapid rise in costs over the past 10 or 15 years seems reasonable when you factor in the massive online presence that you need now that wasn't there as recently as the year 2000. E-marketing, web development, mobile device support and social media teams are all new fixtures in the political world and none of them are cheap.

On top of that, political campaigns have become much more professional over the past decade or so. There have always been strategy and fundraising consultants in the mix, but more and more the roles that use to be handled in-house by volunteers or family members are being handled by professional organizations. It create a much more polished product and a more businesslike atmosphere, but it also comes at an increased cost.

For that I think the the contribution limits that we have in place now are perfect. Having a limit on how much a person can give to any single candidate is a good thing. But limiting how wide a net someone can throw is pointless. If Joe Billionare wants to give $5,200 per cycle to every Democrat running for office, who am I to say he shouldn't? I don't see how doing so could increase corruption.
 

Southern Dad

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No limits just infuriates Democrats because they can't seem to get liberals to open their checkbooks. The left loves to spend money but only when it is Other People's Money.
 

iBlazed

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No limits just infuriates Democrats because they can't seem to get liberals to open their checkbooks. The left loves to spend money but only when it is Other People's Money.
And who do you think will open their checkbook for the right wing agenda? Corporations who know that republican policies will make it much easier for them to screw we the people. But for some reason that doesn't bother your typical blue collar joe shmo who has no idea that he's voting against his own best interests because the right wing propaganda machine is that powerful. Do you honestly think it's a good thing for our government to be for sale to the highest bidder? These corporations open their wallets for whoever is going to line their pockets more and you think this is good? If liberals have a hard time getting greedy filthy people to donate to them, then that's the party for me. What does it tell you about the GOP when the people who want to screw this country in any way they can open their checkbooks and spread their legs for them? They're not donating to better the country, they're donating to line their pockets and they know the perfect party to donate to. You seem to think the republicans give a rats ass about you...
 

Eraserhead

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No limits just infuriates Democrats because they can't seem to get liberals to open their checkbooks. The left loves to spend money but only when it is Other People's Money.
Obama hasn't had any issues raising more than his opponents...
 

ugahairydawgs

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And who do you think will open their checkbook for the right wing agenda? Corporations who know that republican policies will make it much easier for them to screw we the people. But for some reason that doesn't bother your typical blue collar joe shmo who has no idea that he's voting against his own best interests because the right wing propaganda machine is that powerful. Do you honestly think it's a good thing for our government to be for sale to the highest bidder? These corporations open their wallets for whoever is going to line their pockets more and you think this is good? If liberals have a hard time getting greedy filthy people to donate to them, then that's the party for me. What does it tell you about the GOP when the people who want to screw this country in any way they can open their checkbooks and spread their legs for them? They're not donating to better the country, they're donating to line their pockets and they know the perfect party to donate to. You seem to think the republicans give a rats ass about you...
Not to go off on a side street here, but how is the perceived beholden nature of Republicans to "corporations" any different than the perceived beholden nature of Democrats to labor unions?
 

Eraserhead

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Not to go off on a side street here, but how is the perceived beholden nature of Republicans to "corporations" any different than the perceived beholden nature of Democrats to labor unions "corporations"?
I agree with this.

And that's why allowing unlimited money into politics is bad, but the horse has already bolted on that one.
 

iBlazed

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Not to go off on a side street here, but how is the perceived beholden nature of Republicans to "corporations" any different than the perceived beholden nature of Democrats to labor unions?
It's not. Political donations need to be limited. If they're not it's just a back door to giving power to the highest bidder, it's inevitable. This is NOT what the forefathers had in mind.

What's essentially happened now is that donations are no longer donations, they've turned into investments.
 

ugahairydawgs

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It's not. Political donations need to be limited. If they're not it's just a back door to giving power to the highest bidder, it's inevitable. This is NOT what the forefathers had in mind.
I agree whole heartedly. But that's not what happened with the Supreme Court today. Corporate contributions are still illegal and individuals still can only give up to $5,200 per election cycle, but now they aren't limited in the number of candidates that they can max out to.
 

Lord Blackadder

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What sustainability issues are you talking about?

...

To me the rapid rise in costs over the past 10 or 15 years seems reasonable when you factor in the massive online presence that you need now that wasn't there as recently as the year 2000. E-marketing, web development, mobile device support and social media teams are all new fixtures in the political world and none of them are cheap.
I disagree. Politicians have always had a big media presence. The shift to electronic news delivery is just that - a shift, rather than growth. What's the difference between paying for newspaper space in every paper/radio station versus creating then same presence online and on TV? I don't see any particular reason why running a campaign should be vastly more expensive (adjusting for inflation) than it was in the past.

I might be wrong about sustainability - maybe all the current situation has done is to funnel more money from billionaires through political parties to TV studios to make smear ads that appeal to people who've already made up their mind anyway.

On top of that, political campaigns have become much more professional over the past decade or so. There have always been strategy and fundraising consultants in the mix, but more and more the roles that use to be handled in-house by volunteers or family members are being handled by professional organizations. It create a much more polished product and a more businesslike atmosphere, but it also comes at an increased cost.
I think you're selling some very sophisticated political campaigns of the past somewhat short. But where is the ceiling on this?

For that I think the the contribution limits that we have in place now are perfect. Having a limit on how much a person can give to any single candidate is a good thing. But limiting how wide a net someone can throw is pointless. If Joe Billionare wants to give $5,200 per cycle to every Democrat running for office, who am I to say he shouldn't? I don't see how doing so could increase corruption.
Overall, I don't disagree. But the conservatives in the SCOTUS and many outside have already stated that their goal is ideally to get rid of ALL caps or controls on campaign spending. Clarence Thomas was explicit about this in the latest ruling. I think that is an extremely bad idea.
 

ugahairydawgs

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So the amount of Free Speech should be limited?
In this case, yes. Unlimited individual contributions would create problems on many levels, my main two problems would be...

1.) The wealthiest among us would have a disproportional amount of influence due to their ability to bankroll a candidate entirely if they so choose.

2.) Unlimited limits would greatly increase the size of campaign war chests, further increasing the incumbent advantage.

If a donor wants to spread the wealth to all candidates on his side of the aisle, then so be it. But I don't think opening the floodgates would be good for the country. What I do like about this ruling is that it gives some donors who want to give to national committees the ability to do so without being limited to picking one of the three on each side. If a big Democrat donor wants to max out at $32,400 per year to DNC, DCCC, DSCC then they are free to do so. My hope is that this extra avenue of giving will help limit the influence of Super PACs by siphoning off some of their donors.
 

jkcerda

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In this case, yes. Unlimited individual contributions would create problems on many levels, my main two problems would be...

1.) The wealthiest among us would have a disproportional amount of influence due to their ability to bankroll a candidate entirely if they so choose.

2.) Unlimited limits would greatly increase the size of campaign war chests, further increasing the incumbent advantage.

If a donor wants to spread the wealth to all candidates on his side of the aisle, then so be it. But I don't think opening the floodgates would be good for the country. What I do like about this ruling is that it gives some donors who want to give to national committees the ability to do so without being limited to picking one of the three on each side. If a big Democrat donor wants to max out at $32,400 per year to DNC, DCCC, DSCC then they are free to do so. My hope is that this extra avenue of giving will help limit the influence of Super PACs by siphoning off some of their donors.
if you are going to put limits then how about no contributions at all?
 

ugahairydawgs

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I disagree. Politicians have always had a big media presence. The shift to electronic news delivery is just that - a shift, rather than growth. What's the difference between paying for newspaper space in every paper/radio station versus creating then same presence online and on TV? I don't see any particular reason why running a campaign should be vastly more expensive (adjusting for inflation) than it was in the past.
I'm not arguing that the big media presence is a new thing, only that the focus on the online part of it is. This new avenue of of reaching voters is not done in lieu of TV/print/radio, it's done in addition.

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if you are going to put limits then how about no contributions at all?
And have elections paid out of tax revenue? No thanks.
 

jkcerda

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I'm not arguing that the big media presence is a new thing, only that the focus on the online part of it is. This new avenue of of reaching voters is not done in lieu of TV/print/radio, it's done in addition.

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And have elections paid out of tax revenue? No thanks.
have elections be fair where money is not the deciding factor.
 

Southern Dad

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If we allow caps on how we speak with our money, will we next cap how many times you can wear your candidates t-shirt? Let the wealthy spend their money on political campaigns. The outcome of the election is still up to the sheep, I mean voters.
 

ugahairydawgs

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have elections be fair where money is not the deciding factor.
I'd be fine with lowering the limits in place now (slightly), but I think bankrolling every Joe and Jane that wants to run for a House seat out of the tax revenue would be a non-starter for most people.