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Old Jan 21, 2010, 03:38 PM
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The Pounding Part Deux...Free Speech beats Statism

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United—holding that the government may not use campaign finance laws to silence the political speech of corporations—is the most significant First Amendment decision of the past decade. In holding that “the First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves,” the Court made it clear that the Constitution “entrust[s] the people to judge what is true and what is false.” Freedom of speech means that everyone, including corporations, has the right to participate in the “open marketplace of ideas” that is “an essential mechanism of democracy.”

But while Citizens United marks a major victory for First Amendment rights against expansive campaign finance regulation, the war rages on. Politicians worked to silence corporations because they have the resources to speak effectively. Politicians feared if this speech criticized them, it could threaten the one thing they care about most: re-election.

Suppressing speech for the sake of political self-preservation led Congress and many state legislatures not only to ban corporations from speaking, but to create a legion of laws to limit political speech and participation. These laws continue to prevent ordinary Americans from speaking out on important issues during elections, when most of our fellow citizens are paying attention.

SpeechNow.org, for instance, is a group of individuals who wants to protect the First Amendment; they plan to do this by pooling their resources and running ads against candidates who seek to suppress free speech through campaign finance laws.

Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that one individual may spend as much as she wishes to produce and broadcast her own independent political advertisements, whenever two or more people want to speak out about a candidate in this way, they must register as a “political committee.” That means that, unlike individuals, they must deal with complex administrative and reporting requirements that carry the threat of fines and even prison if not followed to the letter.

To add insult to injury, the law prevents anyone from contributing more than $5,000 to this kind of joint political effort. So, while George Soros may spend an unlimited amount to run political advertisements, a group of individuals may not. Between the law’s funding and administrative restrictions, most groups that want to speak simply cannot afford the time or the hassles to do so.

Campaign finance laws force Americans to choose between their First Amendment right to associate with others or their First Amendment right to speak out.

Because Congress cannot force people to sacrifice one constitutional right in order to exercise another, SpeechNow.org has challenged these laws in court. SpeechNow.org will make its case for freedom of speech next Wednesday in a special session before the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. It could very well be that SpeechNow.org v. FEC is the next campaign finance blockbuster to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Another case illustrates how state campaign finance laws are used to intimidate political adversaries into silence. In 2006, Karen Sampson joined with several neighbors to fight against the annexation of their little community into the nearby town of Parker, Colo. They wrote letters, handed out signs and printed information sheets in an attempt to persuade their fellow citizens.

Little did they know that by banding together, they had unwittingly become an “issue committee” underColorado’s campaign finance laws. They soon found this out, however, when the pro-annexation forces filed a legal complaint claiming that Karen and the group had violated state law by not registering and complying with myriad reporting and disclosure regulations. The complaint threatened sanctions for the group’s “illegal activities” and ominously stated that anyone who had contacted the group or gotten a sign from them may be subjected to “investigation, scrutinization, and sanctions for Campaign Finance violations.”

Karen and her neighbors are fighting back in court—against both the burdensome campaign finance laws and the idea that your political opponents can use those laws to drag you into court in an effort to silence you. Karen is fighting laws that keep ordinary Americans mute while allowing only political insiders who can safely navigate the system to speak out.

So Citizens United, although momentous, is not the end. Those who favor campaign finance reform always promise that their utopia is only one more law away. But far from delivering any benefits, each of these laws after the next strangles the freedom of speech our nation was built upon. The struggle for everyone’s free political speech continues.
Deal with people in the marketplace of ideas, Statists...and without the power to squelch speech from people you don't like, finally. It was a long time coming. Spin on it, Schumer you scumbag
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 03:42 PM
Cat Rack
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Lyle, WA
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Richard Viguerie, who invented mass direct mail solicitation empowering conservatism in the pre-net era, knows how this will empower the grass roots anti-incumbent movement:

"Today's Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case means that the anti-incumbent furor that has been growing is partly released from the shackles created by ‘incumbent protection' election and campaign finance laws.

"The dirty little secret about all campaign finance laws passed by Congress since 1972 is that they were designed to protect incumbents by stifling competition.

"This ruling is especially important for advocacy causes and organizations, which may now more freely express opinions about incumbents."
The real Pounding will occur in November..and now we have our freedom back from the State to aid in The Pounding will all means at our disposal.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 04:16 PM
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Just got done reading a selection of opposition sites...common dreams, the nation, mother jones ('smart' journalism...if you need to tell people you are, you probably aren't), talking points, huffpo, kos....all are apoplectic. Meaning, this is a good thing.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 04:26 PM
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Now Goat. Not all free speech is equal. It's important that we decide what free speech should be free and what should be regulated. Only then can we have free speech.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 04:31 PM
Against it with you
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Houston, TX
Joined Feb 2006
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Originally Posted by Indiana_Geoff View Post
Now Goat. Not all free speech is equal. It's important that we decide what free speech should be free and what should be regulated. Only then can we have free speech.
This is not about really about free speech, it is about buying legislation, something that your average Joe can't afford. This just disenfranchises voters further, it isn't something that should be applauded.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Lyle, WA
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quid pro quo is already illegal.

free speech, is not any longer.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 05:09 PM
Out of Time
United States, TX
Joined Jul 2003
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Originally Posted by Sprydle View Post
This is not about really about free speech, it is about buying legislation, something that your average Joe can't afford. This just disenfranchises voters further, it isn't something that should be applauded.
Union leaders who buy campaigns with dues money that came from members who object to who the unions support... is that something that should be applauded?
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 06:38 PM
Against it with you
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Houston, TX
Joined Feb 2006
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Originally Posted by Highflight View Post
Union leaders who buy campaigns with dues money that came from members who object to who the unions support... is that something that should be applauded?
Please point out where I said that. Of course you won't be able to because I never have.

I am against campaign funding by corporations, unions, any organisations in fact, and also individuals. Joe public - you know, the majority of folk, the ones with a median household income of 50k, are disenfranchised.

Give them a finite fixed amount of money to run their campaigns, thats it. Yep - tax-payers money. It'll be cheaper on the tax-payers in the long run. Much cheaper.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 08:28 PM
Watts is life...
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Originally Posted by Sprydle View Post
I am against campaign funding by corporations, unions, any organisations in fact, and also individuals.
First of all, the ruling is about the ability for any all to spend money and speak. So for example, while the door was closed, CSPAN locked out of health care debate, any and all others could have swamped the sausage making that was OBVIOUS… What liberals seem to not understand is more speech is better because… it lets all points say what they want, spend whatever amounts they want. This works for all people because right now only controlled media gets to spin things.

It can be effectively argued that the media has gone unchallenged by groups outside of media, except of course for bought and paid unions, Acorn, SCIU, etc…

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Originally Posted by Sprydle View Post
Joe public - you know, the majority of folk, the ones with a median household income of 50k, are disenfranchised.
Joe public got to speak, in two sets of elections. They follow the stories; only liberals could possibly believe that restricted speech is good for them. This is now a fact, because up until Tuesday, the nut jobs on the progressive train ride defied countless number of indictors that “Joe” was pissed off… at the ruling class, progressives.

--------------------------

BO has done amazingly good for progressives, he’s been in my face with his plans, so I know exactly what he’s about… and at the same time destroyed the movement forever because he’s been in everyone’s face, about what the progressive vision is about.

The court ruling makes it now possible to counter any type of government actions by all people, all sides, all the time… Progressive know this, and is why they are not supportive of the ruling.

Bob(47)
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 08:59 PM
Watts is life...
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I want to help liberals understand that there is a 10 step plan to recovery…but first we need to listen to Chuckie…

Supreme Court (1) - Sen. Schumer, Rep Van Hollen Campaign Finance (10 min 17 sec)


At about 50 seconds into his comments he said this…

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This much is clear, the Robert’s court has turned back the clock on our democracy by over a centrury, this disastrous decision paves the wave for “FREE" and unlimited special interest spending in our elections…
Let’s get a level setting in place here….
http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/296624.html
Quote:
But unions would also benefit. The AFL-CIO filed a friend of the court brief calling for more freedom to run political ads. Labor organizations have a long history of political activity. In last year's presidential election, they ran millions of dollars in ads that stopped short of calling for a candidate's election or defeat. But their intent was clear.
"Given how extensively many unions are involved in various aspects of the election process, such as get-out-the-vote drives and the like, there seems little doubt that these same unions will have strong motivation to now engage in election-related independent spending," said Richard Pildes, a constitutional law professor at the New York University.

It is impossible for the ruling to be rejected… unless of course you’re Chuck… and like minded thinkers… true believers in closed door union negotiations on exceptions from sausage making policies.

What the ruling does Chuck, is level the playing field…

Step one of the 10 step plan is Ammendment one…
http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm
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