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home : opinion : opinion May 4, 2016


4/6/2014 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: Ruling puts the welcome mat out for corruption

Alan Choate
News Editor


My fellow Americans: Last week we saw a great wrong repaired. A glaring injustice has been righted and now First Amendment rights have been enhanced for one of our country's long-oppressed minorities: Rich people.

Oh, how have we lamented the plight of these millionaires and billionaires who seek only to have their voices heard in the marketplace of ideas?

For too long, they have been hamstrung by contribution limits and reporting rules, but those so-called "protections" against so-called "corruption" are crumbling now, dismantled and tossed aside by a ringingly decisive 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

About time, too. Right?

The case is McCutcheon v. FEC, and the thrust is this: Limits on total contributions by individuals to as many candidates or political parties as they want are gone.

This is momentously gargantuan. It's less and less necessary to build support from a large base of donors - pols can just hit up the wealthy elite! No more $50 contributions, no more shaking hands with the everyday folks who live paycheck to paycheck and are actually subject to the laws and regulations implemented by their federal government.

At long last, those with the gold are firmly in charge of the rules. And thank goodness. Those harried, put-upon political types surely have better things to do than to reach out to the people for support.

Now they can collect six- or seven-figure checks from a few fortunate friends, and then get back to the serious task of governing - which they, of course, take so very seriously.

But wait a minute.

Wouldn't these fortunate friends want a little something for their generous support?

Might they demand a favor or two? A quashed regulation, a loophole in a law, a narrow definition that conveniently benefits a coincidentally connected business interest? (You've got to watch those. As a city attorney in Washington state once said - in public, and on the record - lawyers "like to do it in the definitions.")

Not to worry, according to Chief Justice John Roberts. According to him, that's just not something to worry about, as long as the donation isn't aimed at getting an officeholder to do something specific.

"Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder's official duties, does not give rise to quid pro quo corruption," Roberts wrote. "Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner 'influence over or access to' elected officials or political parties."

In other words, rich people who shovel cash at political candidates and parties do so only out of the goodness of their own blessedly big hearts.

Good gosh golly, they don't expect a single little thing in return for writing checks for more money than most people will see in their entire lifetime!

People write big checks for access and influence. To write what he wrote, the chief justice is either the most naive rube in the history of naive rubes, or he's an activist judge intent on overturning decades of precedent that tried to counteract the corrosive influence of concentrated big money in politics.

The chief justice is not a naive rube.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

>>>now they can collect six and seven figure checks from a few fortunate friends<<

You mean, what Dems have been doing all along and much more common with libs then conservatives?

For instance, as I previously pointed out w/the K Road Power, LLC NYC energy co, business development Mgr Ira Magaziner, former Clinton assoc at the Clinton Climate Initiative, most of those, complicit w/Harry Reid in pushing Bundy off land they want for solar panels are also all BUNDLERS or RECIPIENTS OF BUNDLING. To a man, ALL LIBS.

For instance, First Solar w/plans for 11 wind sites in Clark Co. Investors? Who's Who of Dem insiders INCLUDING major obama/Reid campaign bundlers. Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, Algore, Ted Turner, Goldman Sachs.

First Solar's CEO, Michael Ahearn, former big time fundraiser for both obama and Harry Reid.

And one, Harry Whittemore, is in prison now for illegally donating $150,000 to the Harry Reid campaign in 2007.

You see, Mr Choate, it isn't the ruling that is the problem. It is that, disproportionately, liberals are far more corrupt in this area than Conservatives, many of whom are Christians.

But read actual facts for yourself (The New Leviathan, David Horowitz)


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman Dweller

Give me a break.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Trained Observer

You are one person. You know a few people. You do not know about millions and millions of other women or their lives. I can tell you that I have had spans between jobs due to deaths or illnesses or moving when I could not stay at the same job. You are in no way an expert or good spokesperson regarding this phenomenon.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"When you respond to other comnenters, please do not quote from my comment as the foundation for your rebuttal."

You do not get to tell me how to post. If you don't want your posts "quoted" then maybe you shouldn't post.


Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: We The People{me} Thinking

So the point of this Article is to inform/comment on the corruptible influence of big money has on the election process-- and so some of you are gonna try to defend and point the blame at each other REALLY!! So money equals free speech and corporations are people too! you got tobe kidding. critical thinking has be come a lost art.

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Uh Duh

When you respond to other comnenters, please do not quote from my comment as the foundation for your rebuttal.

("For example many women spend several years out of the workforce or working part time during the years they are raising young children. They don't build seniority and training or experience during these years..")

YOU need to read my original comnent again and you will see you copied and pasted one of my sentences as a quote.
Duh!


Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"You are one person. You know a few people. You do not know about millions and millions of other women" responded to by Origional Kingman Resident. I wasn't responding to your post. I was responding to trained observer who wrote ""Really? I spent more than two decades working for one company - while raising a family. (and going to school). So did quite a few other people I know. " Unless you are poster trained observer also read it again. I used punctuation and everything



Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“Bob Moore: Would you like to give us a rundown on the history of that?”


Certainly, more than glad to. From the U.S. Senate website covering the periods as indicated – for 2007-2008, 139. 2009-2010, 137. 2011-2012, 115. 2013 to date, 121. That is a total of 512 filibusters – all by GOP-ers.


“Ted Cruz's was not considered a filibuster.”


Canada (aka Rafael) Ted’s nonsensical spewing of trash for a few hours was indeed an attempt to filibuster a bill and it failed, as has everything else that son of a Cuban Communist has tried except for his pocketing of more than million dollars after costing the taxpayers $24 billion.

Now GOP’ers don't even have to filibuster. They simply raise the threat and that brings the discussion to an end. Senators have also employed additional tactics such as anonymous holds, whereby senators can secretly prevent action on a bill and nobody can know who was responsible.




Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@Uh Duh

"You are one person. You know a few people. You do not know about millions and millions of other women"

You are absolutely right. I am only 1 person which is why I base my understanding of societal issues, not on my own personal experiences as you appear to be doing, but on facts that are found through systematic studies of statistical data where all variables are considered.

If you Google Consad gender pay gap, you will find a statistical analysis that includes all the variables that factor into wages and how male/female wages compare when the variables are the same for both genders.

The powers that be want you to feel victimized and beleaguered so that the government can "rescue" you, (buy your vote).

If you want to remain a poor, put-upon government puppet that is your right. But, with the internet at your fingertips, try researching some of the issues the government uses to divide us, you may be surprised.


Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Article comment by: Uh Duh

"Really? I spent more than two decades working for one company - while raising a family. (and going to school). So did quite a few other people I know. "

Which was in response to "For example many women spend several years out of the workforce or working part time during the years they are raising young children"

You are one person. You know a few people. You do not know about millions and millions of other women or their lives. I can tell you that I have had spans between jobs due to deaths or illnesses or moving when I could not stay at the same job. You are in no way an expert or good spokesperson regarding this phenomenon.



Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"Would you like to give us a rundown on the history of fhat."

No he would not. You have to understand obama sock puppet thinking. If Republicans achieve power, they will pass legislation leftists like him do not like, but elected democrats can do nothing to stop them. But if democrats are in power they can not move thier legislation forward because Republicans stop them from doing so.

Refresh my memory. Did'nt the democrats control the house, the senate, and the executive at the same time?

Maybe democrats shoul try taking responsibility for thier own falures.


Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014
Article comment by: trained observer

For example many women spend several years out of the workforce or working part time during the years they are raising young children. They don't build seniority and training or experience during these years.
___
Really? I spent more than two decades working for one company - while raising a family. (and going to school). So did quite a few other people I know. It will come as a huge shock to you but other developed countries actually have paternity leave for new fathers. There is no excuse not to provide equal pay for equal work.


Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Bob Moore:

You said >>>The GOP’ers wil – as they have continually – filibuster and block the movement of the bill.<<<

Would you like to give us a rundown on the history of that?

Rand Paul used it recently, Ted Cruz's was not considered a filibuster. Let's hear the history.


Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

All of the people who are engaging in the argument of whether or not men are paid more than women are just falling for a tired old feminist fallacy. The figures trotted out by the feminists when this whole straw controversy started in the 70's did not take into account the variables that factor into what people earn.

For example many women spend several years out of the workforce or working part time during the years they are raising young children. They don't build seniority and training or experience during these years.

Women are far less likely to take hazardous or dirty jobs. Since these jobs involve danger or are otherwise less desirable they tend to pay higher. Women also are far less likely to take jobs that involve extensive travel or temporary relocation. The oil fields in the Dakotas are a good example of this. The work, which pays 6 figures annually, is dangerous, dirty, physically exhausting, and requires 6 week solid stints in the oil fields up north. There are many men from Arizona who are currently taking advantage of this employment opportunity.

Studies by less activist groups than NOW , have done more accurate comparison of wages comparing the same types of work and experience and years of service to find that no such bias exists.


Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"The GOP'ers wil - as they continually - filibuster and block the movement of the bill"

Thanks for illustrating why there is no point to voting for dems. You agree it will not advance your leftist dreams. Since dems already admit they will not be retaking the house in the fall, imagine what it will mean if they also lose the senate.


Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

”…and when the Dems run the Congress, what's the excuse then?”

The GOP’ers wil – as they have continually – filibuster and block the movement of the bill.


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Talk

“…the White House still pays women less than men for the same work. Why?”

Because federal salaries are set by Congress and we know the GOP’ers will do anything to hold women down.
-----
Funny you both brought that up. If you check out our esteemed Sen. Kelli Ward's Facebook page/collection of selfies, you'll see that she posted just today that she has no problem with employers paying women less than men for equal work. "If a woman wanted it, she could take it-or not!" she wrote. It's just a matter of negotitating, she also wrote. Check it out yourself. Way to represent Mohave County, Kelli! Why is the commenter worried about the White House when this is what we have representing us right here in our own backyard?


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Too Funny

"Because federal salaries are set by Congress and we know the GOP’ers will do anything to hold women down. "

and when the Dems run the Congress, what's the excuse then?


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: mr. parker

To the Koch Brothers haters: What do you hate the most about them? Their support for homosexual marriage,their support for the arts, their support for marijuana legalization or the 60,000 jobs they provide, unfortunately many of them union.

Warren Buffoon is apparently so addled that he can not figure out a way to write a check to the US Treasury to pay more in taxes. He also supports the freaks that want to stop the Keystone pipeline. I wonder why, something about the BNSF Railroad.

"... a Canadian born of a Cuban Communist father who thinks ripping off the taxpayers for $24 billion while pocketing millions for himself is a good thing to do."
What? The government shutdown revenue loss could've been mitigated if BO accepted the offer of Boehner to keep certain facilities running. 16 day shutdown, the govt. runs almost $2B deficit/ day. Let's see, $32B-$24B=$8B saved by shutting that monstrosity down. Thank you Sen. Cruz!

PS, I've got a secret, did you know George Washington fought for the British? Yes, until he realized how tyrannical they were. Same with Cruz's father and Castro.

"Beware the corporate-military complex."
He also warned about the dangers of massive spending, especially deficit spending and about Federal influence on scholars (like phony climate change data.)


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“…the White House still pays women less than men for the same work. Why?”

Because federal salaries are set by Congress and we know the GOP’ers will do anything to hold women down.


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Linda

Holy Cow! I just asked this question in another post, then heard this news. Obama just pulled another EO to strengthen enforcement of women getting equal pay for equal work.

Meanwhile, White House women get $.088 compared to every $1.00 men get. They say it is tied to experience, hours worked, blah blah blah.

In other words, if it is THEM, it is described differently. If it was the Bush Admin doing it, they would be dirty scoundrels dumping on poor women.


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Linda

Alan:

Just out of curiosity, why don't you tackle something we know is true but hard to understand.

And that is the fact that while obama blabs everywhere about various forms of equality for women, the White House still pays women less than men for the same work.

Why?


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Thank you OKR. There's nothing like truth to set the record straight.

Want a little more. Please go to Thomas Sowell's column and you will completely understand why this is simply the freedom we were promised by our Founders.



Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“And require Congress to pay into SS, Medicare.”

Congress has paid into SS and Medicare since 1984. Posting this old canard makes the remainder of your post suspect.

But I agree wholeheartedly – dump ’em all! And put in term limits to ensure we will not be faced with career politicians ever again. As to campaign financing shut it down! If you cannot cast a ballot (i.e corporations or PAC’s) you cannot donate and severely restrict the amount – in fact why not just shut off donations all together. Mandate media carry a limited number of ads as a public service. When I lived in Belgium I found it refreshing that their campaign laws shut out 99% of the nonsense we see in this county.


Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

Maria

One person can not donate millions to any one candidate. The restriction that was lifted was the total amount that can be donated. It is still a limit of $2600 per candidate, individuals can now donate the $2600 to as many DIFFERENT candidates as the want to.



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