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Old 08-19-2011, 08:56 PM
 
2,125 posts, read 1,939,167 times
Reputation: 1010

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For all the ideological squabbles on this board, there has to be something that we can all agree on. Our politicians act as though they are responsible to their wealthy patrons first, and the general population second. In order to remain in power, they often resort to kowtowing to wealthy donors who funnel money into their campaigns in return for influence over their actions in Washington.

This has been an issue raised by both Republicans and Democrats, and back in 2002 John McCain and Russ Feingold cosponsored the BCRA, which sought to regulate campaign financing by limiting the role of soft money. Soft money represents contributions which are unlimited and can come from virtually anywhere.

The act, which hardly solved the problem, was subsequently weakened by the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The decision allows corporations and labor unions to spend as much money as they want on advertisements for candidates, via recourse to the First Amendment. Money is free speech, so if you don't have it, don't expect to be heard.

I'll also note that in 1976, the government launched a program which provided presidential candidates with government funds if they agreed not to use private funds or their own resources. Obama was the first President to turn down these funds since the program was implemented, and this is after he promised he wouldn't. He won't be the last, and we'll continue to have cronies for leaders if things don't change.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
14,848 posts, read 8,202,687 times
Reputation: 4590
I would rather requiring a "knowledge test" to vote. I believe that would have a better overall effect, and would be far cheaper.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:55 AM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,565 posts, read 5,511,840 times
Reputation: 2691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
I would rather requiring a "knowledge test" to vote. I believe that would have a better overall effect, and would be far cheaper.
That has got to be the most blatantly illegal idea I've heard all month. Not to mention it goes against the most American of ideals that every person, big or small, gets one vote that counts the same.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
14,848 posts, read 8,202,687 times
Reputation: 4590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febtober View Post
That has got to be the most blatantly unconstitutional idea I've heard this month.
Unconstitutional? Who what when where? Tell me exactly why it isn't constitutional?!
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:01 AM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,565 posts, read 5,511,840 times
Reputation: 2691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshadowz View Post
Unconstitutional? Who what when where? Tell me exactly why it isn't constitutional?!
Yes you're right I said unconstituional at first without really thinking about it, hence the edit.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Missouri
4,272 posts, read 3,786,079 times
Reputation: 1937
I would support legislation authorizing only those who are allowed to vote to be allowed to contribute to apolitical campaign, and only allowed to contribute directly, not through any representative organization.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:04 AM
 
11,531 posts, read 10,286,380 times
Reputation: 3580
How about every politician has to recuse himself from any legislative that his donors can financially benefit from? Sounds fair to me.

Otherwise it's legalized bribery.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,982 posts, read 13,755,730 times
Reputation: 5691
I love the notion, of course. But I think anything we erect would be like a sand castle on the beach. The tsunami of money seeking influence will find its way in and some would honor the rule and promptly be "Swift Boated" somehow for their efforts.

I am feeling jaded about this ten years after McCain-Feingold. If I thought it was remotely doable, I would be 100% behind it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:29 AM
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
14,848 posts, read 8,202,687 times
Reputation: 4590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febtober View Post
That has got to be the most blatantly illegal idea I've heard all month. Not to mention it goes against the most American of ideals that every person, big or small, gets one vote that counts the same.
Illegal? Anti-American? Do you know anything about the history of America?

First, a knowledge test is not illegal, what exactly would be making it illegal?


Secondly, in the beginning, only white land-owners had the right to vote. It took a very long time before everyone else got a right to vote. Thirdly, felons today don't have the right to vote. So don't pretend for a moment that having everyone vote is some sort of "American ideal". In fact, America has one of the lowest voting participation rates in the entire world(if not the worst). And its hard for me to imagine that more people voting would somehow make our government better.

More importantly, no one necessarily has the right to vote anyway. The states regulate voting, voting isn't really mentioned in the constitution. The amendments that protect peoples voting rights, they don't actually give those people the right to vote, they just simply make it illegal to discriminate based on sex, race, religion, creed, etc. Which is why felons don't have the right to vote, because they aren't a protected class.

Last edited by Redshadowz; 08-20-2011 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:33 AM
 
23,838 posts, read 23,113,952 times
Reputation: 9409
Yes, we can agree......but I don't think its reasonable to believe that we can ever expect legislators to put forth a good faith effort to restrict their own capabilities. Not gonna happen. Ever.
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