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Twice is a coincidence?

Wow, the House Democrats have actually done something I can agree with this year, and once again Adam Bonin at Daily Kos deserves proper credit for being on point with this. Brad Miller (D-NC) and John Conyers (D-MI) have introduced HR4389, which amends the execrable Shays-Meehan-McCain-Finegold perverted immoral and fattening Act to exclude weblogs and websites. Text of HR 4389 here.

I echo Glenn Reynolds in hoping that enough conservative Republicans get on board with this so that it passes. As for the Senate, I think Lileks had it right on the Hugh Hewitt show yesterday:
At this point, I'm on board with a unicameral legislature. I'm frankly okay with just bricking up the door to the Senate entirely, and letting the lower house figure things out.

Word to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee: Not one dime, yo.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2005 10:36 pm (UTC)
We'll have to get together and have a logical, non-shouting arguement on why you oppose this one day. :)
Nov. 19th, 2005 12:44 am (UTC)
Re: Shays-Meehan-McCain-Feingold
It's pretty straightforward, actually. I believe that when the First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" it means NO LAW. As a corollary, I believe that the Supreme Court's decision in Buckley v. Valeo, legitimizing restrictions on individual campaign contirbutions, was utterly fucked - another great example of the Court deciding cases the way they thought the law should be instead of the way it actually was. So what's to argue about?
Nov. 19th, 2005 04:24 am (UTC)
Re: Shays-Meehan-McCain-Feingold
Your argument would be complete if you equate speech with money, or better yet, free speech with access.

The law restricts money flowing into the coffers of campaigns. It does not restrict speech of any sort. You can still say anything you want, any time you want. This is not about what they say, but about how they are buying access.

Contributions without restrictions is legal bribery. Without restrictions, the only voices that will be heard will be the ones with the most money.

But let's say the right to give money is free speech. The First Amendment should not be a suicide pact; and when the majority of citizens believe that the government only listens to voices with enough money, the Bill of Rights won't be worth the paper it's written on.
Nov. 19th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Shays-Meehan-McCain-Feingold
Your argument would be complete if you equate speech with money, or better yet, free speech with access.

Money is speech. SCOTUS has defined it that way (and I agree with them) which makes their decision in Buckley even harder to understand. What are campaign contributions if not a statement of approval and support for a candidate or party? Sure, some people are going to see those contributions as bribery, but bribery has a very strict definition. The whole "getting money out of politics" effort has been a waste of time and effort for everyone involved except the lawyers, who make a ton of money suing and defending people, and the politicians, who get good press for trying to force American politics into a never-never land where everyone gets up and talks forever just like in the golden days of Athens.

I am for unlimited campaign contributions and complete disclosure. We should know where all the dollars come from and who is behind the PACs and how our politicians vote. We're halfway there; we just need the pols and PACs to open up and show us the money. Then anyone who cares can follow the money and make up their own mind as to whether a politician is being bought off or rewarded for doing something a union or a corporation or the NRA thinks is good for them.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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