Campaign Finance Reform Laws- Unconstitutional?

jessicak

Senior member
Aug 15, 2003
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I think that money equals political speech and that basically your speech is being regulated by having laws against how much you can give to a candidate ( Bipartisan Campaign Reform Finance Act of 2002) and therefore clearly violates the first amendment. Anyone else have any other opinions? I have a debate to do on Friday and I am still looking for good points that I can bring up.

Thanks
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
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www.ShawCAD.com
I don't think the individual limits are neccessarily a "bad" thing but that isn't why I think the current legislation sucks. Not allowing ads or whatever else for a set time before the election is what is the most limiting IMO. That is directly affecting political speech instead of just limiting how much you let your money help a particular candidate. McF was a joke IMO:)

CkG
 

jessicak

Senior member
Aug 15, 2003
542
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0
The bipartisan campaign finance reform act of 2002 prohibits special interest groups from using their general funds to pay for radio and tv ads that target a federal candidate 1 month before primaries and 2 months before general elections. Why is this more against free speech than just limiting the amount of money that people can contribute?
 

Strk

Lifer
Nov 23, 2003
10,198
4
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Actually, the 2002 Campaign Reform Act increased the amount of money a candidate can take it. However, it did ban the use of soft money and the ability for third parties to run ads for or against a candidate.

*edit* I mean third parties as in corporations or PACs, not third party candidates :)
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
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money as free speech? That's gotta be the weirdest interpretation I have ever heard.

are bribes covered under the first amendment too?
 

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
1
81
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
money as free speech? That's gotta be the weirdest interpretation I have ever heard.

are bribes covered under the first amendment too?
So you think Soros should be limited to spending $2000 on a campaign?
 

Martin

Lifer
Jan 15, 2000
29,178
1
81
Originally posted by: charrison
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
money as free speech? That's gotta be the weirdest interpretation I have ever heard.

are bribes covered under the first amendment too?
So you think Soros should be limited to spending $2000 on a campaign?
He should be limited to the same amount that every other citizen is. After a bit of thinking, I do see where people like the OP are comming from, but the fact is that political donations are to bribes what escorts are to prostitutes. Techicalities aside, in the the result is the same.

Also, the government already says (to a certain extent) what you can and cannot do with your money. I don't see why politics should be different.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: jessicak
The bipartisan campaign finance reform act of 2002 prohibits special interest groups from using their general funds to pay for radio and tv ads that target a federal candidate 1 month before primaries and 2 months before general elections. Why is this more against free speech than just limiting the amount of money that people can contribute?
Who gets to define "tageting"? Why can't these people have their issues heard/displayed just because it is close to an election.

CkG
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
money as free speech? That's gotta be the weirdest interpretation I have ever heard.

are bribes covered under the first amendment too?
Yes, but we call them "campaign contributions". It is so much more PC than "bribes".

Seriously, if freedom of speech interferes with campaign finance reform, then we need to amend the Constitution to support both. Seriously.

American politics, especially at the national level, have become so perverted by big money that there is little pretense today of our "representatives" actually representing us. By any normal standard, big money interests openly bribe elected officials, yet we all look the other way and call them contributions. Total nonsense, and the result is the same as it's always been -- votes for sale to the highest bidder.

This is clearly not what our founding fathers envisioned. It clearly does NOT deliver a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I think the solution is some sort of national structure to campaigns, with strict controls set on the form, content, and source of advertising, the money that can be spent, fundraising, and the use of the incumbent's position and resources to campaign for reelection. I seriously question whether the current two-party system serves the public interests. I lean towards a multi-party system with weighted voting, i.e., voters rank candidates and the winner is the candidate who gets the strongest positive response.

(For example, if Candidate A is ranked #1 by 40% of the voters but #3 or #4 by most of the rest, Candidate B might win if he got only 30% of the #1 votes but 60% of the #2 votes. Even though Candidate #2 isn't most people's first choice, he has the highest overall positive response. Perhaps someone can provide links that better explain the pros and cons of various voting strategies.)

In any case, the drawback to finance and advertising restrictions is that the party or parties in power can effectively suppress the rise of new parties. This is why we are where we are today, with two parties that don't really represent typical Americans. Any reforms need to include mechanisms to ensure that viable third parties are able to compete with the established parties on equal terms. I don't know how we write this legislation, but it is critical to maintaining a representative democracy.

(Note to the anal-retentive: yes, we're really a Republic. We are also a democracy. Get over it.)



Edit: typo
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
Originally posted by: MartyTheManiak
money as free speech? That's gotta be the weirdest interpretation I have ever heard.

are bribes covered under the first amendment too?
Yes, but we call them "campaign contributions". It is so much more PC than "bribes".

Seriously, if freedom of speech interferes with campaign finance reform, then we need to amend the constitution to support both. Seriously.

American politics, especially at the national level, have become so perverted by big money that there is little pretense today of our "representatives" actually representing us. By any normal standard, big money interests openly bribe elected officials, yet we all look the other way and call them contributions. Total nonsense, and the result is the same as it's always been -- votes for sale to the highest builder.

This is clearly not what our founding fathers envisioned. It clearly does NOT deliver a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I think the solution is some sort of national structure to campaigns, with strict controls set on the form, content, and source of advertising, the money that can be spent, fundraising, and the use of the incumbent's position and resources to campaign for reelection. I seriously question whether the current two-party system serves the public interests. I lean towards a multi-party system with weighted voting, i.e., voters rank candidates and the winner is the candidate who gets the strongest positive response.

(For example, if Candidate A is ranked #1 by 40% of the voters but #3 or #4 by most of the rest, Candidate B might win if he got only 30% of the #1 votes but 60% of the #2 votes. Even though Candidate #2 isn't most people's first choice, he has the highest overall positive response. Perhaps someone can provide links that better explain the pros and cons of various voting strategies.)

In any case, the drawback to finance and advertising restrictions is that the party or parties in power can effectively suppress the rise of new parties. This is why we are where we are today, with two parties that don't really represent typical Americans. Any reforms need to include mechanisms to ensure that viable third parties are able to compete with the established parties on equal terms. I don't know how we write this legislation, but it is critical to maintaining a representative democracy.

(Note to the anal-retentive: yes, we're really a Republic. We are also a democracy. Get over it.)
Mostly agree with the above:Q I'd take issue with a few minor points but on the whole it was a good position rant:)

CkG
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: CADkindaGUY
Originally posted by: Bowfinger
. . . (good position rant) . . .
Mostly agree with the above:Q I'd take issue with a few minor points but on the whole it was a good position rant:)

CkG
Careful, Caddie. The last time we did this, the mercury in Hell dropped to unprecedented levels. :D
 
Oct 16, 1999
10,490
3
0
Using free speech as an argument not to limit campaign contributions is sort of like using it as an argument to not have to limit yourself to just one vote.
 

Strk

Lifer
Nov 23, 2003
10,198
4
76
Originally posted by: CADkindaGUY
Originally posted by: jessicak
The bipartisan campaign finance reform act of 2002 prohibits special interest groups from using their general funds to pay for radio and tv ads that target a federal candidate 1 month before primaries and 2 months before general elections. Why is this more against free speech than just limiting the amount of money that people can contribute?
Who gets to define "tageting"? Why can't these people have their issues heard/displayed just because it is close to an election.

CkG
It is easy on what targeting is. It is just the act of pointing out a specific candidate. Under the 2002 Reform Act a candidate, a PAC or an independent individual cannont run ads that specifically name another candidate and why others should or should not vote for them. (ie: Whoever wins the democratic nomination cannot run ads about every issue they can think up about Bush 1 month before) For the most part this is to fight against wealthy PACs and special interest groups(like Citizens for better Medicare, who are not what you think they are) who could "electioneer" by saying how the opposing candidate is not the right choice etc.
 

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