So it seems the Occupy movement has gotten around to the courts. Specifically, the Supreme Court and the Citizen’s United decision.
At least some of the protesters are looking for a constitutional amendment to undo the Citizen’s United decision (I’m not sure why they would protest at the courts for that, but there it is). I doubt such an amendment is possible, but I am reasonably sure it is a bad idea.
I am no fan of the quantities of money that flow into politics. But I have to believe the answer is transparency. When an ad is on TV, or in the mailbox or wherever, the party paying for the ad should be prominently displayed. Complete information on where the money came from should be easily found on line. When an individual is the source of money, the individual’s job/business needs to be identified.
Money does corrupt, but when the whole transaction is open to scrutiny, the voters can choose what corruption they want to vote for. Consumers can choose what businesses they do or do not want to patronize.
Maybe that would not work. But I would rather try it first before we start carving out exceptions to the First Amendment.
Hat tip: Ann Althouse
So the Supreme Court knocked down (large?) portions of McCain/Feingold. Spending is speech and Congress will make no law etc.
Generally I am a liberal, so I guess I am supposed to be outraged that the Court did what it did.
But I am not outraged. I applaud the decision. I have felt for some time that all the regulation of campaign spending is not constitutional. Now, I did not make a mission out of trying to undo it (I do not look forward to all of the commercials), but I have long thought it made no sense.
Part of my problem with campaign finance laws goes back to a universal truth. Create a rule and there will (immediately!) be those out there looking for a way around the rule. This creates another rule, and the process continues ad nauseum. Soon (a long time ago), the regulations are so complex that it is simply too easy to break them even with the best of intentions. All of that for rules that are unconstitutional in the first place and, lets face it, did not do much to keep money out of politics as was intended.
I think anyone should be able to give as much money as he or she (or it) wants to give to any candidate desired.
The one catch I would have is that all candidates must publish who gave (with occupation) and how much.
This kind of transparency is part of the current scheme and is the one part that strikes me as effective. I have on several occasions listened to a news story on how a given candidate received a donation from a sullied donor and the candidate returned the money. This works. And the internet makes it easily doable. Post the info and the press and the bloggers will let us know if there is cause for concern.