The reformers are at it again with yet another attempt to criminalize political speech and campaign activity.
From the government’s Department of Perverse Acronyms comes the “DISCLOSE Act”, which stands for “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections”. How clever. And how disingenuous.
It’s being championed by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer in an attempt to get around this year’s Supreme Court decision which threw out restrictions on freedom of speech for unions and corporations in political campaigns.
The claim is that large amounts of money spent by corporations on political speech somehow corrupts the system, but it should be noted that Schumer’s bill would reinstate no restrictions on unions, just corporations and average citizens. In other words, he only seems to want to cast light on “some” spending. read more »
It's not often that you look to the usually dull world of the judiciary for great quotes, but sometimes you get surprised. In this case however, the person in question is no surprise.
And in this case it's Chief Justice John Roberts who comes through with what we'll call the "quote of the week" in the course of his questions for Solicitor General Elena Kagan during the Court's hearing on a key campaign finance / free speech case this week, (Citizens United vs. the FEC).
Roberts was aggressively questioning whether restrictions on corporate and union campaign spending infringed on the First Amendment right to free speech...and not getting a satisfactory answer from the Solicitor, which caused him to state:
"We don't put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats."
Of course, something as dull to most people as a case about campaign finance law is certain to be drowned out by the goings on around health care this week, so all the more reason to highlight Mr. Roberts.
Here's hoping that, (with the replacement of O'Connor w/Alito), they can get McCain-Feingold overturned.
"Quote of the week" runner-up? "You lied" - Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Now that the first election conducted under the new campaign finance laws has come and gone, a little post-mortem is in order. By any objective standard, it has been an abject failure.
Ostensibly, campaign finance reform (CFR) was supposed to deliver us from the evil of the "special interests" and their "soft money", (contributions that can't be given or spent directly on behalf of a candidate, like "hard" dollars can). We were told that they had hijacked our political system.
We were told that CFR (as they envisioned it) was a necessary trade-off tighter restrictions on free speech in exchange for a reduction of the influence of money in the political process. read more »