# Should we amend the Constitution to prevent the influence of big money in elections?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by armbarboy, Jan 15, 2015.

1. ### armbarboyBannedBanned

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Should we amend the Constitution to prevent the influence of big money in elections? Obviously this question is not aimed at people who think anyone should be able to donate ungodly sums of money to a particular candidate or groups as a whole.

I was thinking that if we really wanted to stop the influence of big money in elections then amending the Constitution is the only way to do it and this proposed amendment would be a step in the right direction.

Section 1.Donors will be limited to donating a \$2,500 maximum per candidate in the district/precinct the donor is registered to vote in. No one will be allowed to donate to candidates outside their district/precincts.For example this means people in California can not donate to governor races in Alabama and people in New York City can not donate to mayoral elections in Tulsa.

Section 2.Individuals may form groups and only donate to candidates in their district/precinct and those group members may not donate as a individual.For example you can donate to a can donate to candidate in your district either as a individual or a member of a group, but not both.

a. Seeing how section 1 applies that means what a group can donate will be limited by the number of members in that district of that candidate and only donate to candidates what ever the group's members in that candidate's district willingly donated to that group.. If hypothetically there is five planned parenthood members in a city counselor candidate's district then the most amount Planned parent could donate to that candidate is \$12,500 5x \$2,500= \$12,500 if all five members donated the max of \$2,500.However if 2 only donated the max ,2 donate half the max and one did not donate then that means planned parenthood can only donate is \$7,500 to that candidate.

b.While a company/corporation is a group of persons it's members IE employees are not part of that group for a cause other than getting a paycheck.So employers and employees can not solicit or donate to each other.

c.Any contributions to a group must be specially marked that they for donating to candidates in that member's voting district. People sometimes have a difference of opinion from the group they are part of.

Section 3.Seeing how television stations/networks are privately owned entities they are banned from propping up one candidate over another.They must give equal positive and negative time to all candidates or non at all.All debates must include all candidates or no debates happen at all on TV. This means if candidate A appears on a popular talk show or tv show then so must candidates B,C,D, and and other candidates in that race.If a news outlet does a positive story on Candidate B then it must do a equally positive story on Candidates A,C,D, and other candidates. If a network does a negative story on Candidate C, then it must do a equally negative story on Candidates A,B,D, and other candidates.This also applies to tax payer funded networks since governments should never be in the business of propping up candidates.

Do you agree?

2. ### drstrangelovHey.

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Nope, too cumbersome a process and nobody wants the damned constitution telling them what to do with their money.

Instead, more folks just need to recognize the importance of voter mobilization, it's where that money wants to go eventually, and is an example of an area where narrow, easily inflamed passions can prove more effective as a predictor than big data.

3. ### Cubo de SangrePresident of the War Room

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It's a fine goal, but I'm not in agreement with the OP. I'd prefer a solution that didn't require massive bureaucratic oversight. Like opening televised debates to more than the two parties. I'm in total agreement though that if one can't cast a vote for a candidate then one shouldn't be allowed to donate to that candidate. If there's a good reason that people should be allowed to influence the elections of others then I'd love to hear it.

4. ### armbarboyBannedBanned

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what do you think about section 3?

5. ### TheyAreSurfersLet Me Get One Wave

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Of course the constitution has to be amended and the U.S. election codes.

It is insane that Rupert Murdoch, a f*cking Australian, or some Saudi sheik can donate billions to a candidate they support, thus swining an election in their favor.

WTF am I going to show up to polls for when you have billionaires from other countries rigging elections?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

And this is how I feel about voting more than ever:

"The public sucks. Fuck hope. " - true to this day.

6. ### Cubo de SangrePresident of the War Room

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Yeah, more or less. I'd think that makes sense for networks on public airwaves but I'm not sold on restricting private outlets.

7. ### armbarboyBannedBanned

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yup two-party system sucks

why should I choose between coca and pepsi if I want to drink some coffee?

8. ### WordBlue Belt

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I've wrestled with this concept a lot and the conclusion I've come to is there must be spending limits and transparency.

Folks use the First Amendment to claim that political spending is a form of speech and therefore may not be infringed or limited. I do understand that spending is absolutely a form of speech but in just this area I'd like to see restraint.

I realize that saying I'd like to restrain speech even once is once too much, but I've emerged in a place and time where elections cost billions of dollars. Something needs to change.

So even though I'm with you in the end, TS, when you say "amend the Constitution", in this case that means taking a red marker and scribbling on the First Amendment. Unlikely.

9. ### Jack V SavageSecretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog

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Not big on the idea of a free press (or free thought generally), are you?

10. ### Like A BasBrown Belt

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Dude, I think your tsunami of question marks is borking my screen. Can you please edit?

11. ### Jack V SavageSecretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog

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What I'd propose is giving everyone \$10 to vote, and making voting easier. If we could get turnout up to 90% or so, the influence of the rich would decline drastically, and there would be no need for the kind of tyrannical policies and forced propaganda you're pushing.

Last edited: May 25, 2015
12. ### Like A BasBrown Belt

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Interesting idea. Would cost under 2 billion. I seriously doubt we'd see 90% though. Maybe 75% if it works really well. That would essentially guarantee at least a couple more Democrat presidents, and might be extremely divisive.

13. ### Cubo de SangrePresident of the War Room

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People can't vote in every election out there so limiting speech in this manner isn't really different from limiting financial influence via the same or similar criteria.

So the rich are influencing who gets elected to office? In both parties? How would you characterize this influence? If we all voted in the last Presidential election then how would that have changed things?

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:icon_lol:

15. ### IngaVovchanchynPlutonium BeltPlatinum Member

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The two party system has serious drawbacks. So does the parliamentary system other democracies employ.

The two party system forces the major parties toward the center. A multi-party system empowers extremist parties within coalitions.

16. ### BKMMAFANSilver Belt

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Here's JP Stevens' proposed amendment on the issue:

"Neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns."

Of course, you'd see a flood of litigation on what 'reasonable' is.

17. ### IngaVovchanchynPlutonium BeltPlatinum Member

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Political speech during elections is exactly the kind of speech that needs protecting more than any other.

18. ### IngaVovchanchynPlutonium BeltPlatinum Member

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You nailed at least one reason that would be a terrible amendment.

The second is that attempts to limit election spending give a very large advantage to incumbents in almost any election.

19. ### WordBlue Belt

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The thing is, I don't think anyone is misconstruing the Constitution. I think they're just reading it.

I want spending limits but as it stands now it seems the First Amendment is in direct conflict with that.

Also, I wonder just how useful it would be going after individuals vs going after corporations. Corporations having rights is a whole other interesting topic.

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