Friday, May 23, 2014

Speech, Money, Influence, Power, and the RNC...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Some say money is speech. At one time I argued that money was speech and corporations, individuals, political parties, and organizations (special interests) ought to be able to spend freely to "get their message out." After all isn't that one way voters keep informed?

My position has, shall we say evolved. Money can be considered speech if all parties have the same ability to spend large sums of it to get their voices "heard." Of course we all know this is not the case and realistically it never will be. The larger the corporation, the more wealthy the individual, or the more flush the super PAC the bigger voice they have. So, what does this mean from a practical viewpoint? In a word INFLUENCE.

Money buys influence. Money combined with influence is power. And the more money that is available the more influence and power can be bought. So if you're the average person on the street, the small business competing against the big guys, or a politician with a small campaign war chest you simply don't stand an equal chance. The big money gets people elected, the big money buys influence, and the interests of the those without the same ability to spend rarely get noticed and if they do it's generally amounts to being tossed a bone.

Just when the nation ought to be looking at real campaign finance reform and limiting the influence money has on the political process the RNC has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission to allow it to solicit UNLIMITED cash amounts from individuals. Of course the argument is again the Article 1 of The Bill of Rights; aka the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Here is what Campaign finance watchdogs had to say, "If the RNC is successful, we will again see party committees brazenly soliciting $1 million contributions from wealthy contributors seeking to directly purchase influence over candidates and officeholders, with the party committees acting as the sales agent," said Lawrence Noble, general counsel to the FEC from 1987 to 2000 and now an adviser at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Lawrence Noble is right. Anyone who understands the nefarious effects of money in politics should be highly concerned. Those who don't fully understand, rather than buying the rhetoric, should do some independent research so they do understand.

here is much more and it can be FOUND BELOW THE FOLD.

What say you?

Via: Memeorandum

19 comments:

  1. Getting your message out is not the same as freedom of speech. I am glad you finally recognize this.

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  2. The GOP isn't in the mood for parsing money from speech. It's going to take a change of thinking on the right in general. I've seen some encouraging signs, though. Forbes had a few great pieces for Net Neutrality recently. Most all conservative bloggers I know of don't like the Citizens United decision, or at least not what it created. And many of these bloggers even think we should bring Glass Steagall back! These are all positive signs, and I can think of a few more, that the grass roots and some conservative media are beginning to see the dangers of letting the rich run amok.

    JMJ

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    Replies
    1. Ultimately real reform would benefit America jmj and THAT is what should be important.

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    2. THAT won't happen until the RIGHT gets on-board.

      JMJ

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  3. I haven't voted Republican since 2004 and vote LP. The GOP-RNC machine is a crime syndicate run by banksters, defense contractors and assorted special interests (ditto for the DNC). That said, I would support unlimited personal campaign contributions provided that PAC's were outlawed and all campaign contributions were legally required to be disclosed in real time on the website of every candidate so that voters could actually see the special interests money (who is buying the candidates).

    Sheldon Adelson is reported to have given $150-200 million to Mittens through various PAC's. Do I care if Soros gives big money to Obama or if the Koch brothers give big money to Republicans? No, so long as it's disclosed in real time on the candidates website and organized by the dollar amount.

    Also, I totally 100% support ending the PAC's as well as the ability of the RNC-DNC machines to raise any money. All political money should be raised by the candidates – period – and disclosed in real time. Instead we have a system where special interest dough is funneled thru RNC-DNC PAC's to fund establishment candidates.

    Any meaningful campaign finance reform starts with abolishing the power of special interests to buy/own candidates and the parties. Until NASCAR styled logos lose their power to control election outcomes with their big money, voting is not only a waste of time in America, it's the road to tyranny and oligarchy.

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    Replies
    1. I like your idea Judy, it has merit. if only the political will to do something like this existed in Congress.

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  4. Money buys political clout. The sad part is, it seems to influence the electorate.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it does BB Idaho, and the special interests know it all to well.

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    2. It didn't work for Linda McMahon in CT. That bimbo/wrestling mogul tried to buy a Senate seat twice and failed twice (though she did wrestle away - no pun intended - the nomination from an electable Republican in Rob Simmons and so the money in fact did help in that regard).

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    3. If you look hard enough, you can usually find an exception.

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    4. This one was right under my nose, Jerry. Unfortunately.

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    5. There are examples here in CA where money did not win either. Unfortunately, there are many more examples where money does win. That's the reason why so much emphasis is placed on fundraising. It is shameful that the number one activity of a congressperson is raising money for the next election instead of doing their job.

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  5. Careful, Les, that is starting to sound like a Progressive. Campaign reform is absolutely needed, on so many levels. PAC spending, contribution limits, transparency in donations...so many areas. I would go even further and mandate TRUTH in political ads, limit campaign duration.....it is needed now. This is a bi p[art need.osam

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    Replies
    1. This should be a completely bipartisan issue and effort. It is neither progressive or conservative, it is simply the RIGHT thing to do.

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  6. Ahh, do I sense an emerging consensus? Some Holy Grail of common ground - and common sense - that has eluded us for so long? Just one thought to share, however: Speech, money, influence and power are not recent phenomena, and "corporate personhood" is not the only culprit. What we used to call "graft" is now considered standard operating procedure. We need to bring back a more traditional concept of ethics and responsibility into our public lives.

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  7. Money talks........bullshit walks.......

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  8. Well, now thanks to Citizens United we have another term of abuse - "social welfare." To add to money being speech and corporations being citizens, now we have political advertisers being social welfare corporations!

    I fear for the ethics of our people.

    JMJ

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