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Thursday morning Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his support for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and McCutcheon, the two Supreme Court decisions allowing big money nearly unlimited influence in politics. The core of his argument is this:
Every American should have the same ability to influence our political system. One American, one vote. That’s what the Constitution guarantees. The Constitution does not give corporations a vote.  And the Constitution does not give dollar bills a vote.  From what I’ve heard recently, my Republican colleagues seem to have a different view. Republicans seem to think that billionaires, corporations and special interests should be allowed to drown out the voices of Americans. That is wrong and it has to end.
Reid is not just making noise on the constitutional amendment; Sen. Patrick Leahy followed up by announcing that the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in June on the proposed amendment by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Leahy acknowledges the uphill climb this will be, but says the issue is too critical to not fight for.
“I recognize that amending the Constitution will not be easy,” Leahy said. “Vermonters have been leading the nation on this issue, and many in our country took note that our Legislature was the first to call for a constitutional convention for the purpose of drafting a remedy. Like my fellow Vermonters, I strongly believe that something must be done to address the divisive and corrosive decisions by the Supreme Court that have dismantled nearly every reasonable protection against corruption and against unfettered spending in our political process.”
Reid will force votes on the amendment once it clears committee. As Greg Sargent writes, it's part of Reid's 2014 strategy of making this election about the Democrats' "fair shot" agenda, focusing on income inequality, economic opportunity and mobility. The Koch brothers' attempt to buy the Senate this year in order to push their own profit-maximizing agenda provides the perfect backdrop for this message, and the constitutional amendment is a good counter to it.

Sign the petition from Daily Kos, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, 13 U.S. Senators and two Senate candidates demanding a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow! Something I wanted to happen (4+ / 0-)

    is actually happening!

    I don't know how to feel!

    I think I feel pleased and encouraged!

    The media will be completely against this - they are the ones who stand to lose the flood of advertising money.

    The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

    by LibrErica on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:09:47 AM PDT

    •  Please also support an Article V convention (5+ / 0-)

      of the states to propose an amendment. I think that process is likelier to get us a good and successful amendment. Even if Congress seems like it will act first, convention calls like what Vermont just passed are still the best way to pressure Congress to do so.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:05:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to propose an amendment (0+ / 0-)

        Clarifying the process of an Article V convention.

      •  YES! And see similar efforts such as (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robiodo

        California's March for Democracy to demand that the CA legislature call for a Convention to get money out of politics and

        Wolf PAC's effort to organize nationally to ensure we get the 34 calls necessary to hold a Convention to produce the Amendment, then the 38 signatures needed to ratify the Amendment.

        I'm thrilled with Reid's call for a hearing, but I really want to see the language of the Amendment.

        Consider this:

        Something to keep in mind (from Wolf PAC):

        Near the turn of the 20th century the states wanted a direct election of senators, and Nebraska was the first state to call for an Article V. Convention in 1893.  By 1913 the movement had come within one state of reaching the necessary 2/3 threshold that would force a convention.  When it became clear to Congress that the 17th Amendment was going to happen one way or another they decided to preempt a convention  by passing it themselves.  The threat of a convention is the strongest message we can send and the most effective way to restore our democracy in the United States.  This can and must be done in a far shorter time period then it took for the 17th Amendment, then again, they didn't have the power of the internet and other technology we will be using in this battle.

        I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        by Words In Action on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:50:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree about seeing the language... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mkor7, Robiodo

          in our zeal to pass this needed reform amendment, we need to be careful about unintended consequences, and other weasel tactics that our politicians have become known for. I don't want them sneaking anything in, or conversely, leaving a gaping hole in the amendment.

      •  i think it's a good way to (0+ / 0-)

        attract fringe tea party types.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:54:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  NO! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mkor7

        DO NOT FU(K WITH THE CONSTITUTION!
        Take it one amendment at a time. Reid, Leahy, Udall and Bennett's  approach is correct, a single amendment that deals with a specific issue.
        Wholesale revision of the Constitution is extremely dangerous.
        First of all, who would do the rewriting? How would the delegates to an Art.V convention be picked? By the same crooked electoral process now mostly owned by the Billionaires? By our so effective Congress? By some eminently hackable online process?
        We don't want to set in motion a process that could easily end up out of our hands. The Constitution has been the ONLY protection we've had, flimsy as it is, in many cases all our lives. It's been the ultimate backstop that has protected all the we hold dear and rely on.
        A Constitutional Convention puts it all on the table, makes all of our protection vulnerable to revision and removal.
        And in the current political climate, we can't afford to risk that.
        Get this Article V madness out of your mind, it's a VERY bad idea.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri May 16, 2014 at 05:09:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a constitutional convention (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wood Gas, Nisi Prius

          It's a convention of the states to propose amendments. Its scope can be limited by the states' convention calls. The fears you describe about delegates are worse about Congresspeople; Congress will not pass a good amendment. And, either way, it still takes three-fourths of the states to ratify.

          Don't give up on the power of the people to express the consent of the governed through the social contract. Our current situation, when Congress is intractable, is exactly what the Article V convention process was meant for.

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Fri May 16, 2014 at 08:39:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And what prevents ALEC (0+ / 0-)

            from writing the states' proposed changes?
            A new revised second amendment, brought to you by the NRA?

            If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

            by CwV on Fri May 16, 2014 at 10:30:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We need to form an activist base to prevent that (0+ / 0-)

              it will take a lot of ratifying states, take the state legislatures and we can prevent it. Local races are important! donate to and volunteer for them more!

              There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

              by daeros on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:06:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'd bet ALEC has a new Constitution all teed up! (0+ / 0-)

          Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

          by triplepoint on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:11:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  RE: Your NRA Story (0+ / 0-)

            I Called the number like you claimed to do in this story expecting to prove to someone it was true, unfortunately it very much isn't true, the NRA Does allow Visitors with CCW Permits to Carry, and you should fix your story and actually call them yourself

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            •  I did talk to the persons I claimed to, (0+ / 0-)

              and passed on what I was told truthfully.    I spent over half an hour  on the phone getting shunted around and did talk with both someone in security (who told me that no visitor guns were allowed) and to a PR person who said that CCW licensed employees could carry in the building.  Either I was given the wrong info, or their policy has changed.  Maybe even my little diary got to them as bad PR on their account.

              I am sticking to my guns, as it were.

              But I will edit to link to your comment

              Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

              by triplepoint on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:37:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  It is appalling that the Democratic party has (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, coffeetalk

    abandoned the First Amendment because they don't like the uses to which it is being put.

  •  if the GOP had any sense (8+ / 0-)

    they'd back this as well, given the way that big money fucks with their primaries, and backs unelectable nutters at the national and increasingly the state level. campaign finance limits shifts power to the party and away from the megadonors.

  •  Not much happening, using the word amendment (5+ / 0-)

    makes it sound serious, but it's not- just getting media attention instead of legislating. See Wikipedia entry on List of Abrogated U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: by Constitutional Amendment (5) versus by federal statute (25). That's five times as many cases abrogated by Congress. But this issue is not important enough for Reid. The electorate has no idea what Congress's powers are, has no leverage and Reid isn't about to do anything real on this issue.

    •  I couldn't visit your link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial, Words In Action

      But is it the same thing as the MayDayPac?

      Because if so, a constitutional amendment is one of their goals, as well as various legislation, yet to be spelled out.

      The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

      by LibrErica on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:52:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  moneyouttapolitics.org advocates omnibus (5+ / 0-)

        legislation including media regulation and stripping of Court review. This puts the issue in Congress where it belongs under Art 1 Sec 4,5 and away from the Court as a political question.

        •  You should do a diary. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Musial, Simplify

          Perhaps in the context of other ways people are discussing this issue of getting money out of politics.

          Wolf PAC and March for Democracy, among others, are promoting the Convention approach.

          Harry Reid now apparently has his, but I'm skeptical that it will be what we want.

          And then Lawrence Lessig has his Mayday PAC electoral approach...

          I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

          Trust, but verify. - Reagan
          Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

          by Words In Action on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:33:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  At some point, yes. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action, J M F

            McCutcheon is usurpation of Art 1 at it's worst. There's really no need for an amendment. Those who think a subsquent Court will restore respect for Congress, avoid the fact that Congress must do that for itself, to legislate anticorruption law. See Ackerman's "We the People" series on how legislative revolutions work. The Court is dropping bombs on Congress like it's Pearl Harbor. The amendment tactic reveals the lack of any attempt at a credible defense by implementation of well understood powers.

            •  How do you respond to the argument that the threat (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Musial, J M F

              of a Convention is the best weapon we have?

              Uygur's Wolf PAC, which is organizing to pressure states into calling for a Convention, refers to the 17th Amendment, which apparently was passed by Congress when the 37th called for the Convention.

              I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

              Trust, but verify. - Reagan
              Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

              by Words In Action on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:40:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  first you dont want an amendment,as FDR (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action

                said you just give more ammunition to the Court. LBJ the same. Amendments not decisive, why we have VRA despite the obstructionist 24th amendment. Amendment assumes there's something wrong with the constitution. To use a convention avoids what you want which is to empower congress by voters sending a mandate. The convention is too uncertain to require a critique, never happened before, untested. The 17th amendment had been around for 80 years.Was not related to a war between the branches, Lincoln's response to Dred Scott, TR, FDR, LBJ are the precedents. Congress has all the power it needs right now, it takes movement voters to get it to move off the dime as Ackerman shows in We the People series.

    •  Of course the Republicans will never let it pass, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Musial, LibrErica, Words In Action

      but it will force their hand. Let's let the whole country see that the Republicans are owned by the 1%. This will catch the attention of those who haven't been listening.

      Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

      by shoeless on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:54:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't media attention worth it? (0+ / 0-)

      I recognize, as you do, that it's unlikely for this amendment to actually succeed. Isn't raising public awareness worth the show, though? For better or for worse, senators are public leaders as well as legislators, and sometimes when they put on stunts it can help move the public enough to push the issue forward. Also for better or (mostly) for worse, the legislature isn't getting anything else worthwhile done these days. I applaud senators Reid, Leahy, Udall, and Bennet for putting their time into this issue.

  •  2/3 of the House? (0+ / 0-)

    No, I don't think so.
    And what exactly do you want in the amendment? Do you want to censor Rush Limbaugh? That could also impact on dailykos and Pacifica radio stations.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:58:58 AM PDT

    •  Could be a great fund-raising line, though. (0+ / 0-)

      Especially if the put some kind of warranty on it:

      We will pass this Amendment if we get 67 seats in the Senate and 220 seats in the House!

      Throw in an attractive Minimum Wage, Wage Equality for Women and a few other popular Must Haves and you might even get them...

      Dems need to think about Sure Thing solutions for elections instead of clawing and badgering and then blaming.

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Read the Amendment before (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer, coffeetalk

    falling for this.

    •  Read the politics before (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LibrErica, Musial, Words In Action

      you concern yourself with the wording of the amendment.

      1) There's absolutely 0 chance of this passing.

      2) By signing on to this we demonstrate we want something to happen to fix the Republican war on democracy.

      3) The next sane Supreme Court, hopefully appointed by President Obama or Clinton, will have the political support to overturn the bull shit the conservative court has done.

      4) It's another point demonstrating just how disgusting the Republican party has become and another reason why we all need to get out and vote.

      5) If we ever get near to the chance of passing a real amendment, the first proposal will likely not be the last proposal.

    •  I posted it below (0+ / 0-)

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:27:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's an easier way to deal with this.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer

    Gut all campaign finance disclosure laws, let anyone/anything spend unlimited amounts of money, with the only requirement being the contributions have to be anonymous.

    Quid pro quo is made more difficult if the donor can't prove they gave the money and how much. Kinda takes all the fun out of it for anyone expecting a kickback, but citizens that are legitimately supporting a party or candidate will still happily give.  

    •  interesting but not practical (0+ / 0-)

      I would be all for this if I believed for a second that anyone could hide Koch brothers contributions from the candidate.  If the Oligarchs want the candidates to know they contributed the money, there's a gazillion ways to do it.

  •  Pretty frightening, especially without the text (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer, VClib

    of the amendment.

    The first amendment is No 1 for a reason.  Messing with it sounds like a very bad idea.

    Could be an effort to step on the throats of anybody who voices inconvenient views.

    I didn't think anything could make those morons suggesting that we repeal the 14th and/or 17th amendments sound less nutty, but I was wrong.

    Very, very wrong.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:09:09 PM PDT

  •  The way the Supreme Court decisions were decided (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, Words In Action

    Al-Qaeda, China and Russia can now buy our elected officials.

  •  No offense, but this is seriously stupid shit. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    This problem does NOT require an amendment and in this political atmosphere, if simple legislation won't pass Congress, how the hell will an amendment?

    Solution:

    Implement 100% public campaign finance. Any Candidate achieve some reasonable goal ... number of signatures, whatever ... is eligible for the campaign finance.

    However, you MAY choose as a candidate to OPT OUT. If you do however, your opposing Publicly Financed candidates will receive 100% matching funds for all monies you raise privately.

    We remove ENTIRELY all private finance limits. Cocks or Adelson can feel free to donate $100 Billion to your campaign, however the US Treasury will match it completely. Corporations can donate whatever they wish, however the US Treasury will match it dollar for dollar.

    This eliminates ALL Constitutional concerns about free speech, etc. You, anyone, is free to speak as loudly as they wish. There is however NO Constitutional right for everyone else to be silent, they can all speak just as loudly and the US Treasury will fund that parity, in the interests of Democracy.

    The result of this, implemented very simply in Congressional Legislation, will very quickly be to REMOVE ENTIRELY Corporate and wealthy individuals from the equation.... entirely.

    No Corporation or rich asshole will spend $millions-$billions in complete futility. The point of their spending is to "be heard" loud and clear, and for their speech to drowned out everyone else, so they get their interests attended over all others.

    This simple approach completely neutralizes the whole point of pouring larges sums of money into campaigns. If your $ is as loud as any other citizen, you will simply stop wasting your money in the process as it accomplishes nothing.

    The special interests will have to go back to other methods to arrange for candidates who support their will to be elected.

    So Sen Reid, cut the shit and propose REAL MEANINGFUL legislation, and keep proposing it until we have a Congress that will actually pass it. Leave the meaningless political theater to the experts .... The Republicans. ;)

    •  Right back atcha. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Jester, Words In Action

      If legislation can't pass Congress, how do you expect to:

      Implement 100% public campaign finance. Any Candidate achieve some reasonable goal ... number of signatures, whatever ... is eligible for the campaign finance.

      If there is any good in life, in history, in my own past, I invoke it now. I invoke it with all the passion with which I have lived. --Elizabeth Kostova,

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:24:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Supreme Court already knocked down (4+ / 0-)

      matching funds when it struck down Arizona's law. The majority said that matching funds infringe upon rich folks' "speech." Not joking.

      In an astounding overreach of judicial power, Roberts in McCutcheon v. FEC actually said the government can have no legitimate interest in leveling the playing field for candidates.

      It's going to take an amendment, or giving up on democracy entirely for a generation.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:52:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing in your proposal re: transparency for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Jester

      contributions if you opt out?

      "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

      by Mr MadAsHell on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:25:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, the current laws cover reporting. (0+ / 0-)

        The change to the current laws would be to remove contribution limits, the reporting remains ... predicate for legality being contributions are tax deductible, so they have to be reported.

    •  Jester - many of your suggestions have been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Jester, J M F

      litigated in states with public financing and some of them have been held to be unconstitutional. I don't have time to sort it out for you right now.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:21:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The attempts defeated were flawed. (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, for example with Arizona's law, the fact it passed a Republican legislature should have told you it was flawed and deliberately designed to fail .... because that was the intention in the first place.

        Reid and Pelosi, writing a clear simple bill avoiding the elements that the Robert's Court can latch onto, can be done.

        I'm not saying it will pass Congress now, but it is a very big political stick for the Democrats to build and use to bash Republicans at every level over the head with. Eventually if we can get control of the House back, then we can actually implement it.... and fight the battle of the Robert's Court.

        You never know, the court may change or the better in the interim as well.

        But the fate of Democracy hangs in the balance, and the alternative is ultimately civil war.

        •  While people seem to approve of the concept (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Jester

          of public financing, they seem less supportive of actually spending tax dollars to fund it. The Presidential check off is now hopelessly out of date, but back when the candidates actually used it fewer and fewer people were checking the box to put $3 in the pot.

          I don't think public financing is a slam dunk issue for Democrats as the Republicans will position funding campaigns as taking tax revenue away from other public spending priorities. Some have called public financing "welfare for politicians" a catchy and damaging phrase.  

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Fri May 16, 2014 at 12:17:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm all for Civil war over this. I'll join the (0+ / 0-)

          army for the amendment.

          There is no such thing as False hope- there is only Hope.

          by daeros on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:42:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I would (0+ / 0-)

      like to Thank Harry Reid. He's standing up for us simple FDR Democrats and calling it like it is.
       A vast majority of ALL parties want to get $ out of politics. I.e. one of the few times our oppositions members are listening. It's been known for people to switch parties or at least become INDEPENDENTS.
       There's some interesting dynamics going on with Limpukes listening audience shrinking and now that Harry's taken on the koch bros., if you haven't noticed, I'm 63 and have seen the wash before, the roll out (we're in a political season right now) of the koch bros (scary $) & the prop (think orange guy and the same woman who always stands next to him. Hey she never says anything) Condepeople Rice (magazine articles, exposure) has fizzled, so the kochs have taken back to the shadows.
       If we keep the kochs in the spotlight combined with this constitutional amendment, pretty good reality, if you ask me.

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:17:11 PM PDT

  •  I have an idea... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, J M F

    Make it so that corporations can't donate a dime. Then make it so PEOPLE who donate ALL have their names listed IN ORDER of how much they gave on EVERY AD, TV, print, radio. And make it so that you can't hire people to donate for you or give away your money in someone else's name.
    I might be missing something here, but...

    Republicans want smaller gov't for the same reason crooks want fewer cops. - James Carville Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

    by wyckoff on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:17:28 PM PDT

  •  Udall's press release (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3rock, Simplify

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:17:46 PM PDT

    •  The text of the amendment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, J M F

      SJ 19

      ‘‘ARTICLE

      ‘‘SECTION 1

      To advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—

      ‘‘(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and
      ‘‘(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

      ‘‘SECTION 2

      To advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes, each State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on—

      ‘‘(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and
      ‘‘(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

      ‘‘SECTION 3

      Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

      ‘‘SECTION 4

      Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.’’.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:25:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I agree that this (0+ / 0-)

        is the best solution to the problem but it is a start at reestablishing the concept that Congress can regulate the commercial flow of money in our electoral system.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:27:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Reid's farewell gift to the American people? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    He's doing a number of right things lately.

    If there is any good in life, in history, in my own past, I invoke it now. I invoke it with all the passion with which I have lived. --Elizabeth Kostova,

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:20:48 PM PDT

  •  Read the amendment. I would strongly oppose it. (5+ / 0-)

    You can also see it in a pdf here.  The federal part:

    ‘‘SECTION 1. To advance the fundamental principle
    of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity  of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—
     ‘‘(1) the amount of contributions to candidates
     for nomination for election to, or for election to,
     Federal office; and
     ‘‘(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by,
     in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.
    I understand the sentiment that people want to limit corporate and special interest money, but this amendment is much broader than that and is a very, very bad idea.  It gives incumbents in Congress basically unfettered ability to regulate ALL contributions and ALL campaign spending.  There are no limits on Congress' power here.

    IT is a very very bad idea to give incumbents the power to drastically limit the contributions to, and spending of, their own re-election campaign.  Just by way of example, incumbents almost always have much better name recognition and a natural platform for getting a message out (their office).  Limiting spending in a campaign typically gives a serious advantage to whoever gets the most press attention -- and that's usually incumbents, because the press covers them as they are in the office they currently hold. So, what do you think Congress will do with this complete power of the spending of people running against them in elections?  

    Also, this is ALL contributions and ALL spending -- there's no carve out for individual giving or for spending by the campaign itself or by the political party.  Congress can say, no campaign for Senator starting with 2016 can spend more than $100,000.  Congress can limit what a political party spends on elections.  Congress can put limits depending on the outlet - newspapers, TV, etc. -- how much is spent on each.  Congress can limit how many commercials you run.  Technically, giving Congress the power to regulate the "raising and spending" of money on political campaigns" gives Congress the power to regulate what you say and how you say it.  Congress can say, "no one can spend money on an ad mentioning the name of the opponent."  

    I do NOT want to give incumbents in Congress the power to regulate ALL donations -- to any entity, even the political party or the candidate him/herself -- and to regulate ALL spending -- even by political parties and candidates themselves.  I do not understand how anyone other than an incumbent would want to give incumbents the power to regulate how much is spent against them in their re-election campaign AND give the the power to regulate how that money is spent in the election against them.  

    And that's just a start with the kind of havoc this can bring.  Notice, there's no limits on Congressional discretion -- can a Republican congress severely limit (maybe to $0?) donations to any political party, to any candidate, or to any PAC by Unions?  Under this Amendment, they can.  

    Now, you may say, "but Congress will never do that."  Really?  You want to give them the power based on the assumption that they won't abuse the power? I don't.

    I do not want to give Congress that essentially unfettered power to regulate how money is raised and spent in political campaigns.  

    I cannot imagine that anyone who actually reads this amendment would support it.

    •  This is actually what I want (0+ / 0-)

      My preference would be to create constitutionally-mandated federal election agency to regulate elections, but I can accept giving that power to Congress and pushing for them to empower the FEC to do most of the work.

      Proposed amendments to say that money is not speech or that corporations are not people are silly and do nothing to fix the real problem, which is that someone needs to be empowered to regulate elections in a way that allows for flexibility to handle future, unforeseen problems.

      I have always maintained that government cannot be effective unless you are willing to risk giving it power that can be abused.

    •  Note too that this guts free speech (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer, nextstep, VClib

      There's a carve out for freedom of the press, but not for speech.  

      So, what's this mean?  Well, the amendment deals with the spending of money and in-kind equivalents.  What do politicians spend money on?  Commercials.  What's the equivalent of a commercial?  Blog posts, letters to the editor, etc. - does Congress have the power to regulate all political speech (except for the press) under this Amendment?  Sure looks like it.

      Just a badly worded amendment that looks like they came up with something for the sake of coming up with something.

    •  How would you propose eliminating the influence (0+ / 0-)

      on money in politics, then?

      I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      by Words In Action on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:47:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. Proposed amendment could even be used to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Justanothernyer

      effectively shut down DKos, as advocacy for Democrats would be an in kind contribution, as well as shutdown newspapers and broadcast TV.

      Amendment should just be simplified to be "the first amandment is hereby repealed.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:28:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do foreigners here have free speech rights? (0+ / 0-)

    I vaguely recall that all people within US borders have free speech rights, which would include foreigners. Do they also have the freedom to donate to campaigns, or run campaigns? Can a group of Chinese citizens here on Visas give a lot of money to a 501c3?

    I honestly don't recall the legal status of speech by Visa holders (or even the undocumented.)

  •  Are you Kidding? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, are you kidding me? You think this would be a good idea? No, I don't mean an amendment to get money out of politics and reverse the whole corporate person hood concept, I mean having congress be the ones to propose the amendment.

    Letting congress have anything to do with this particular amendment issue is loaded with the same dangers as having the banks write the banking reform legislation.

    I say let Wolf-Pac and the other citizen efforts push this forward and get states signed up for a convention on the issue. If that process ends up with a well written and popularly received wording that looks like it will do the job well before the state threshold is met, and congress wants to then pass it, unadulterated, into the stage of voting for state approvals, then fine. Until then, their money grubbing hands will do nothing but taint the process. This amendment is about controlling them and they should be recused from the process.

  •  The amendment under discussion does not do it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Maned Pensator

    The only way to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon and make sure they stay overturned is the Nolan Amendment which says:

    House Joint Resolution 29 introduced February 14, 2013

    Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

    The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

    Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

    The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

    Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

    Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

    Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

    The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

    You cannot overturn a ruling that Corporations are persons and Money equals Speech, without saying in the Constitution that Corporations are not Persons and Money is not Speech, and courts cannot change that.

    Corporations ≠ People

    by vbrowan on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:22:48 PM PDT

  •  Just being honest here... (0+ / 0-)

    wake me up when it passes cloture.  Until then, its just all talk.

  •  have a question (0+ / 0-)

    Does this just need to pass in the Senate, or does it need to go the House?  it it needs to go to the House, it doesn't have a prayer.

  •  Citizens United (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flavor411, catilinus

    Of course, multimillionaires and billionaires have an equal right to free speech as any other American. They can post comments here. They can write to their individual mayor, representative, senator, governor, and even the president. They can carry placards or a campaign T-shirt. They can write letters to the editor of their local newspaper. They can stand on street corners and shout out their opinions.

    What they should not be allowed to do is to secretly fund superpacs to finance campaign lies. They should not be allowed to donate money to influence politicians to vote they way they want politicians to vote. They should not be allowed to dominate elections more than any individual citizen can. They should not be allowed to corrupt politicians by the sheer amount of influence money can buy.

  •  Impeach (0+ / 0-)

    Roberts! He has a good start on destroying our Democracy. Let him not get further. If any justice deserved to be impeached it is Roberts. Then if a couple others don't change their ways impeach them. We'll go for term limits next.

  •  With all due respect, (0+ / 0-)

    what we need is public funding for all political campaigning. Corporations aren't people. Take the money out of it altogether don't just limit the amounts.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:09:24 PM PDT

  •  Reid's "Fair Shot" echoes Eliz. Warren's (0+ / 0-)

    book entitled "Fighting Chance," ...so, I wonder... would it be so farfetched for a one term Senator to win the Democratic nomination for President and go on to win the Presidency?  

    No one's ever done that, but I expect that a woman could.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. ~ expatjourno

    by ezdidit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:51:29 PM PDT

  •  Proposed amendment incompetent (0+ / 0-)

    It seems no one who supports this misguided amendment dares to post the actual language of it:

    SECTION 1. To advance the fundamental principle
    of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity
    of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall
    have power to regulate the raising and spending of money
    and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections,
    including through setting limits on—

        (1) the amount of contributions to candidates
    for nomination for election to, or for election to,
    Federal office; and

        (2) the amount of funds that may be spent by,
    in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

    SECTION 2. To advance the fundamental principle
    of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity
    of the legislative and electoral processes, each State shall
    have power to regulate the raising and spending of money
    and in-kind equivalents with respect to State elections, in-
    cluding through setting limits on—

        (1) the amount of contributions to candidates
    for nomination for election to, or for election to,
    State office; and

        (2) the amount of funds that may be spent by,
    in support of, or in opposition to such candidate.

    SECTION 3. Nothing in this article shall be con-
    strued to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom
    of the press.

    SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have
    power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate
    legislation.

    ———————

    How is it incompetent? Section 3 directly contradicts Sections 1 and 2. All campaigning is "press". It is logically impossible to reconcile them with the right of press. This amendment is political grandstanding by the cognitively infirm that would do the opposite of what its proponents are led to believe it would do.

  •  Is it written? (0+ / 0-)

    Does this amendment have text yet? If so, where can I read it?

    Greedy Old Parasites

    by Steeler on Tue May 20, 2014 at 07:42:05 AM PDT

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