Archive for Monday, January 25, 2010

McCain says campaign finance reform is dead

January 25, 2010


— Sen. John McCain says the movement he led to reform how political campaigns are financed is dead.

McCain says the Supreme Court has spoken on the constitutionality of political contributions by corporations. The Arizona Republican had sought to regulate them with a landmark campaign finance law he wrote with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress.

McCain says there’s not much that can be done about campaign financing now. Still, he predicts a backlash over time from voters once they see the amount of money that corporations and unions pour into political campaigns.

McCain spoke Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”


anon1958 7 years, 1 month ago

"Still, he predicts a backlash over time from voters once they see the amount of money that corporations and unions pour into political campaigns."

LOL corporations have 1,000 times the capital of unions available to buy congressmen. Even though McCain did sort of lose his mind for awhile during the last presidential election I do wish there were more republicans like him.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

The Right to Life group must be stronger forces than our elected officials. It was there legal team pushing the Supreme Court.

However congress can take up new legislation to make reform a live discussion again.

leedavid 7 years, 1 month ago

The dems have done alright with union, Acorn, Moveon, and donations from "private individuals" such as George Soros. The Supreme Court ruling applies to all parties. What is the beef?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

& Dear Leader's refusal to participate in public financing, despite his promise to do so, helped put a stake thru the heart of campaign finance reform.

jaywalker 7 years, 1 month ago

"corporations have 1,000 times the capital of unions available to buy congressmen"

That disparity didn't seem to be a problem for President Obama's campaign..

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 1 month ago

Campaign spending (speech) by unions and corporations may eventually annoy voters, but that should not abridge the right of a free society to engage the public in the issues.

rbwaa 7 years, 1 month ago

it would seem that political campaign financing reform is even more critical now with the supreme court ruling --- although i know it is an unrealistic hope, why not level the playing field and require all candidates to be financed with public funds? - that way candidates would have to compete on issues rather than money...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

"That disparity didn't seem to be a problem for President Obama's campaign"

The disparity didn't come from union contributions. It came primarily because of corporate contributions, which explains much about Obama's Republican-lite performance to date.

jaywalker 7 years, 1 month ago

" The disparity didn't come from union contributions."

Right. The unions' pacs might not have donated as much money as corps' pacs (when is it ever any different? for either party?), but the union's don't barter with money, at least not up front, now do they?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction

By Chris Hedges

Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place. --snip As long as the charade is played, they do not have to consider how to combat what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago


Inverted totalitarianism represents “the political coming of age of corporate power and the political demobilization of the citizenry,” Wolin writes in “Democracy Incorporated.” Inverted totalitarianism differs from classical forms of totalitarianism, which revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader, and finds its expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. The corporate forces behind inverted totalitarianism do not, as classical totalitarian movements do, boast of replacing decaying structures with a new, revolutionary structure. They purport to honor electoral politics, freedom and the Constitution. But they so corrupt and manipulate the levers of power as to make democracy impossible.

Inverted totalitarianism is not conceptualized as an ideology or objectified in public policy. It is furthered by “power-holders and citizens who often seem unaware of the deeper consequences of their actions or inactions,” Wolin writes. But it is as dangerous as classical forms of totalitarianism. In a system of inverted totalitarianism, as this court ruling illustrates, it is not necessary to rewrite the Constitution, as fascist and communist regimes do. It is enough to exploit legitimate power by means of judicial and legislative interpretation. This exploitation ensures that huge corporate campaign contributions are protected speech under the First Amendment. It ensures that heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations is interpreted as an application of the people’s right to petition the government. The court again ratified the concept that corporations are persons, except in those cases where the “persons” agree to a “settlement.” Those within corporations who commit crimes can avoid going to prison by paying large sums of money to the government while, according to this twisted judicial reasoning, not “admitting any wrongdoing.” There is a word for this. It is called corruption.

georgiahawk 7 years, 1 month ago

If this issue was about the ability of one group or another to inform the voters about issues, I would still be a little hesitant because of the amount of money that can be used to speak with. Essentially one side can use a bullhorn to drown out the other. However, when was the last time you saw a political add that informed anyone of anything other than how that side can distort "facts"? Do these adds also fall under the rule that political adds do not have to worry about the truth in advertising rules? Just because your side sees an advantage right now, that advantage may not always be there, the question would be then, do you want your issues to have an equal voice in the dialogue?

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago


That's as wrong when Democrats do it as when Republicans do.

Unions were previously held to the same regulations as corporations - this ruling removes those for both groups.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

It sucks when Democrats do it, too, Thing. But is it OK when Republicans do it? You apparently think (well, that may be the wrong word in your case) so.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

"Despite President Obama's long history of criticizing the Bush administration for "sweetheart deals" with favored contractors, the Obama administration this month awarded a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan to a company owned by a Democratic campaign contributor without entertaining competitive bids, Fox News has learned.

The contract, awarded on Jan. 4 to Checchi & Company Consulting, Inc., a Washington-based firm owned by economist and Democratic donor Vincent V. Checchi, will pay the firm $24,673,427 to provide "rule of law stabilization services" in war-torn Afghanistan.

As a candidate for president in 2008, then-Sen. Obama frequently derided the Bush administration for the awarding of federal contracts without competitive bidding.

"I will finally end the abuse of no-bid contracts once and for all," the senator told a Grand Rapids audience on Oct. 2. "The days of sweetheart deals for Halliburton will be over when I'm in the White House."

Why is this an exclusive for Fox? Doesn't the msm know what's going on?

jaywalker 7 years, 1 month ago

"You apparently think (well, that may be the wrong word in your case) so."

He does? Well, Mr. Wizard, please show us your "thought" process in coming to that conclusion.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 1 month ago

I have been trying to find a study of the economic impact of campaign spending.

If it helps the economy, I hope they spend every cent that have.

My thought is that the American people are not going to be for sale anyway.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 1 month ago

What I want to see is transparency in government and in these campaigns. We need to know, without having to look too hard, exactly where the money is coming from.

I think we need to find a way to control false advertising and false news reporting and columnists who try to mislead the public.

We need easier access to a candidate's real qualifications, not the sanitized versions.

daddax98 7 years, 1 month ago

The contract, awarded on Jan. 4 to Checchi & Company Consulting, Inc., a Washington-based firm owned by economist and Democratic donor Vincent V. Checchi, will pay the firm $24,673,427 to provide “rule of law stabilization services” in war-torn Afghanistan.

$25 million? not saying that this is not alot of money but didn't Cheney receive like $40 million in severance alone from haliburton? But I can see your point if Obama awards like 900 more of these contracts it will equal what was given to haliburton, lets nip it in the bud!

daddax98 7 years, 1 month ago

just did a quick google search and haliburton overcharged not charged but OVERCHARGED the government $60 million on fuel?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

The message is pretty clear here-- it's OK for Fox to criticize Obama for his Republican-lite policies and actions, but not OK for Fox to criticize Republicans-- at least they never do.

jaywalker 7 years ago

"but not OK for Fox to criticize Republicans— at least they never do" know this how? Spend alot of time watching Fox do ya?

Satirical 7 years ago

I am going to miss the days when the only corporations with agenda's who had true free speech rights were ones which owned a media outlet. What are we going to do if other non-media corporations start spending money on politics? These corporation my try to put radical and crazy ideas into our head, like MSNBC or FoxNews can't be trusted.

It is clear that the only corporations whose agendas we should listen to are ones which control a media outlet. They are the only ones which deserve the right to freedom of speech. All the other corporations are evil and want to destroy America.

It is the beginning of the end!

georgiahawk 7 years ago

Satirical, you are right there is a problem when some corporations are allowed to buy a media outlet and then proceed to use the "news" programs to influence our public discussions. Is your solution that because some of them do so, all should be allowed? I think that there needs to be a solution to this problem also!

Perhaps because it was my childhood and you always remember things idealisticly and over simplified, but it seems there was a time (pre Watergate) where the news was not politicized like it is today. The problem is that, as a society, we demand everything in short bits of over simplified information. If we are not going to take the time to understand it all, then someone has to decide what information should be brought forward. As soon as that happens then there is the posibility of politicizing. The fact is, if you are powerful (define that as you would like) you have the real possibility of being drunk with power and that can distort reality. Human's, drunk with power, in a position to influence, scare me!

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

puddleglum 7 years ago

I thought Obama got elected because he was a way better choice for president than mccain/Palin.

speaking of Palin, would she have quit by now?

Liberty275 7 years ago

Solomon (Anonymous) says…

We need a constitutional amendment... limiting speech to particular times that Solomon approves.

No thanks. You people are unreal.

Stuart Evans 7 years ago

the beef is that corporate America owns our government. and they trade it like commodities. Corporate lobby is one big reason that marijuana is still illegal in this country

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