Obama, NYT wail over Supreme Court decision on free speech

posted at 11:06 am on January 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

A couple of hilarious points of hypocrisy erupted this week in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down limits on contributions and advertising during political campaigns, especially those applicable to “corporations.”  The most hypocritical came from Barack Obama himself, who angrily pledged in a statement and his weekly radio address to counter this decision through legislation:

We’ve been making steady progress. But this week, the United States Supreme Court handed a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists – and a powerful blow to our efforts to rein in corporate influence. This ruling strikes at our democracy itself. By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned more than a century of law – including a bipartisan campaign finance law written by Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold that had barred corporations from using their financial clout to directly interfere with elections by running advertisements for or against candidates in the crucial closing weeks.

This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy. It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way – or to punish those who don’t. That means that any public servant who has the courage to stand up to the special interests and stand up for the American people can find himself or herself under assault come election time.  Even foreign corporations may now get into the act.

I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.

It’s worth pointing out that Barack Obama had an opportunity to limit that influence in the 2008 election simply by remaining in the public matching fund program that every major Presidential candidate had used since Watergate.  In fact, Obama himself pledged to do just that in 2007 and again in early 2008, but changed his mind in June when he discovered that he could raise a lot more money than his opponent — by currying favor with Wall Street and the unions, as well as ethanol companies and a host of corporate-sponsored, lobbyist-run PACs.  Obama raised over $600 million in 2008 for his eventual victory.

Now he wants to limit the power of politicians to raise that kind of money, which is mighty convenient for incumbents such as himself — and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.

Oh, and those lobbyists in Washington were doing quite well before the decision on Citizens United v FEC, certainly better than the country as a whole.  The power of lobbyists come from the expansion of government.  Campaign contributions from lobbyists exist only because expanded government gives lobbyists more cash to donate.

Meanwhile, the New York Times Corporation complained about being returned to the 19th-century robber baron environment:

With a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century. Disingenuously waving the flag of the First Amendment, the court’s conservative majority has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding. …

As a result of Thursday’s ruling, corporations have been unleashed from the longstanding ban against their spending directly on political campaigns and will be free to spend as much money as they want to elect and defeat candidates. If a member of Congress tries to stand up to a wealthy special interest, its lobbyists can credibly threaten: We’ll spend whatever it takes to defeat you.

As opposed to what — corporations buying newspapers and endorsing political candidates in the final days before an election?  Corporations buying newspapers and printing last-minute attacks against their political bêtes noirs?  The ban on corporations was always very selectively enforced, because newspapers managed to lobby for and receive an exemption for newspapers and other media outlets.  But they’re also corporations, which should have come under the same restrictions — and as the Court pointed out in its questioning during oral arguments, any printed or broadcast message that explicitly said “Vote for Candidate X” or “Don’t vote for Candidate Y” would have run afoul of the law, including books released in the final days of an election.

Besides, we’ve had these laws since Watergate (not since the 19th century, as the Gray Lady shrieks).  Has corporate money evaporated from the political process?  Absolutely not.  It has simply gotten funneled into arcane and confusing legal entities and types: soft money, hard money, 501(c)3s, 527s, PACs, etc.  It hasn’t disappeared; it just has become much harder to trace.  Obama didn’t skip the matching-fund program because he thought he could raise $600 million from $20 campaign contributions.

And what about influence?  Well, those same laws restricted unions, which can also now spend its money in the open.  Did that mean that unions had diminished influence before this week?  Er, no.  The week before this decision, union leaders attended backr0om-deal meetings on ObamaCare, demanding (and getting) a five-year exemption on the “Cadillac tax” on health-plan benefits.  That would have saved them $90 billion over ten years, far more than what they’ve spent in the previous decade to buy their way into the halls of power.

The Supreme Court just leveled the playing field, and Democrats don’t like it one bit.

Update: Ilya Somin has more on corporations and their legal status at Volokh ConspiracyFront Page has an interview with Ilya Shapiro on this subject as well (hat tip Michael van der Galien) — I had originally thought both interviews were with Ilya Somin; my apologies for the confusion.


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raising money from millions of small donations from everyday Americans. Obama raised over $600 million in 2008 for his eventual victory.

Top Obama donors (link):

Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Google, Citicorp, TimeWarner

Yes, a lot of small guys there.

In any event, the point remains: Obama ditched – after saying he wouldn’t – public financing of his campaign in order to skirt the limits.

And now he worries about excessive money in campaigns?

Do the liberal/left posters here really want to defend that?

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 12:20 PM

If Owebama has to deal with rejection and setbacks on the scale of this past week’s in the near future, we may get the malignant narcissist meltdown that
some at AT have been predicting. Yesterday’s performances were very different, but both creepy. Ohio was unsettling in a teenage wise ass kind of way.
I’m expecting video of Rahm’s latest knife adventure to show up on the internet
any day now.

ontherocks on January 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM

The Supreme Court just leveled the playing field, and Democrats and John McCain don’t like it one bit.

FIFY

Kini on January 23, 2010 at 12:22 PM

While I fully support the Constitution and wish they would roll back the abuses of the commerce clause in particular, I have a question. Does this ruling mean that foreign corporations can spend limitlessly in our elections? Foreign individuals cannot contribute money as I understand it. But what about Lenovo, for example. Can a primarily Chinese corporation, with a branch known as Lenovo USA, buy all the ads they want in promotion of a candidate?

That seems to be a double standard of sorts. Can someone clarify this for me?

GnuBreed on January 23, 2010 at 12:22 PM

If a corporation or some foreign entity wants to give tons of money to a candidate, they can just break it down into thousands of “anonymous” $50 online donations, right BO?

forest on January 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

or have a company fundraiser where the employees donate moneyy and the corporation reimburses the donation.

If there is full disclosure on corporate donations, the corporations will have to answer to their boards and to their customers..

kringeesmom on January 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Democrats Shocked That Supreme Court Would Rule That Groups of Individuals As Well As Individuals Have Free Speech Rights http://optoons.blogspot.com/

Mervis Winter on January 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Top Obama donors (link):

Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Google, Citicorp, TimeWarner

Yes, a lot of small guys there.

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve. So the top donors you listed made up a tiny, tiny fraction of Obama’s 600 million (less than 2%), and therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

The most hypocritical came from Barack Obama himself, who angrily pledged in a statement and his weekly radio address to counter this decision through legislation:

Hmmm…. this legislation wont be challenged through the Supreme Court?

canditaylor68 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Foreign individuals cannot contribute money as I understand it. But what about Lenovo, for example. Can a primarily Chinese corporation, with a branch known as Lenovo USA, buy all the ads they want in promotion of a candidate?

Professor Somin addressed this. I’ll quote him:

Whether foreigners are entitled to do the same thing [run political ads] is a different question. It’s part of the broader issue of which constitutional rights foreigners have. If you believe that foreign speech generally is not protected by the First Amendment, then neither is the speech of foreign-owned corporations. The key point is the foreign status of the owners, not whether the speech goes through a corporation or not (notice that by this logic, their noncorporate political speech would be unprotected as well).

Answer: the status of the owner(s) of the corporation.

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Obama’s … War on Insurance Companies, War on Wall Street, and War on Banks … his next effort will be a War on Political Contributions.
SlaveDog on January 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

“President Obama used the occasion of his first State of the Union address before Congress to demand an unexpected and unprecedented action when he asked the Congress to pass a formal declaration of war against the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the American People. Rapid passage is expected, and when President Obama signs it into law, it will be the first formal declaration of war since FDR (who the President admires greatly) asked for one after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Vigorous assertions of approval for the President’s bold move were expressed by members of the main stream media, academia, unions and educated intellectuals from across the country. ‘In light of all that President Obama had accomplished during his first year in office, this is a briiliant move that is sure to lead to an even more outstanding list of accomplised successes for him in 2010,’ said David Brooks. ‘His exquisitely sharp creases on the pants he wore tonight were a dead giveaway to me that he would take this masterly step.’”

– lead story in the MSM on Thursday, January 28, 2010

ya2daup on January 23, 2010 at 12:29 PM

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve

He still took money from wealthy donors/interests.

But you continue to miss the point: He originally stated that he would accept public funding in order to limit/mitigate the harmful effects of money in politics. Then, after realizing he’d get so much more money from private donations than from public financing, he changed his mind.

For someone now worried about money in politics why did he abandon the one measure that liberal says mitigate this problem?

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 12:30 PM

ya2daup on January 23, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Educated genius that he is, David Brooks chastised me for using the adverb “masterly” when the adjective “masterful” was the proper word to use. So sorry, David. My bad.

ya2daup on January 23, 2010 at 12:33 PM

In fact, Obama himself pledged to do just that in 2007 and again in early 2008, but changed his mind in June when he discovered that he could raise a lot more money than his opponent — by currying favor with Wall Street and the unions, as well as ethanol companies and a host of corporate-sponsored, lobbyist-run PACs. Obama raised over $600 million in 2008 for his eventual victory.

Rules for thee, but not for me … too bad so sad.

redridinghood on January 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Didn’t congress already pass legislation (McCain-Feingold)? Besides, the Executive branch does not ‘pass’ legislation, congress does.

jerseyman on January 23, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Answer: the status of the owner(s) of the corporation.

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 12:27 PM

TY Steve.

GnuBreed on January 23, 2010 at 12:38 PM

The most hypocritical came from Barack Obama himself, who angrily pledged in a statement and his weekly radio address to counter this decision through legislation.

He’s going to crack, folks. More and more now, and often multiple times per day, he’s getting his buttons pushed (including some of which he probably was not aware) and he does not liking it in the least.

ya2daup on January 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

LOLouder! Republicans have always received more “Small” donations from the Everyday American. The last election was the exception, not the norm. Democrats, historically receive larger donations from Unions, corporations and filthy rich elitist hypocrites… like the Hollywood Left. (as has been extensively reported on).

ronnyraygun on January 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM

As noted elsewhere, and in contrast to the amusing analysis from left-of-center partisans disguised as journalists during her confirmation hearings, the Wise Latina voted exactly as Master would have her vote.

No “independent thinking”; no “surprisingly conservative” opinions. Just predictably knee-jerk, partisan leftism. Souter with bad hair.

Yawn.

Jaibones on January 23, 2010 at 12:46 PM

It’s apparent that the ‘George’ wasn’t able to use his billions to buy the SCOTUS…heh…that man can’t die fast enough for me.

Ltlgeneral64 on January 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Educated genius that he is, David Brooks chastised me for using the adverb “masterly” when the adjective “masterful” was the proper word to use. So sorry, David. My bad.

ya2daup on January 23, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Don’t be too hurt. If you get the grammar and phrasing just right, he won’t respond at all. Typical sissy liberal who can’t defend his stupid opinions and hypocrisy.

Jaibones on January 23, 2010 at 12:48 PM

therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

You can’t prove that, and neither can anybody else, because credit card verification was deliberately turned off by the campaign. That means that we have no way of knowing how much foreign, corporate, or other illegal money was flowed into his coffers through small donations. By the way, this fact has been extensively reported on [sic]

AZfederalist on January 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve. So the top donors you listed made up a tiny, tiny fraction of Obama’s 600 million (less than 2%), and therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

How do you know they came from everyday Americans? If my memory serves, Obama kept his donations lists under lock ,and key, while McCain was completely open. When the elections were over, who got investigated? McCain. Those small donations could have very well been made my corporations, or other entities, such as Moveon.org, in small increments. Remember, this is the transparency president. *barf*

capejasmine on January 23, 2010 at 1:07 PM

AZfederalist on January 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

You know….sometimes, but rarely, I’ll head over to a liberal site, just to see the latest. I never post, or register, because I have no desire to consort with them. So when they come here, it’s because they believe they have the intelligence to convince, and sway our beliefs, and convert us to their way of thinking. So far, all I see is us proving our points with facts, and they living in their obamalala land for as long as they can.

capejasmine on January 23, 2010 at 1:10 PM

How do you know they came from everyday Americans? I

capejasmine on January 23, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Every post this communist makes is a confession. The quote is the caption.

daesleeper on January 23, 2010 at 1:15 PM

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve. So the top donors you listed made up a tiny, tiny fraction of Obama’s 600 million (less than 2%), and therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

As usual, you fail to get the point. Because of the campaign finance laws just struck down, we will never know how many of the “online donations from everyday Americans” might actually have been laundered donations from larger entities. If these larger entities can give directly in a legal manner, like they can now, there is no reason to launder donations unless you’re trying to pull something fishy.

Sekhmet on January 23, 2010 at 1:17 PM

The hypocrisy and irony abounds. I also have to laugh at corporations like Ben & Jerry’s, who use their ice-cream to peddle their Leftist propaganda and agenda, whining about politicians calling them for contributions to their campaigns.

Buy Danish on January 23, 2010 at 1:17 PM

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Nice try, but citing the NY Times blew it out of the water.

Del Dolemonte on January 23, 2010 at 1:17 PM

This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy.

Kind of like all of those anonymous Visa card donations in the election.

Fartnokker on January 23, 2010 at 1:18 PM

therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).
crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Uh huh. “Everyday Americans” in places like the Gaza Strip.

Buy Danish on January 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

The one thing the statists who are having a conniption over this fail to grasp — corporations are stingy so and so’s, there is not going to be flood of unlimited finance coming from companies to politicians. Any money a company spends has to be justified in how that expenditure will pay itself back. So, if the government would stop its expansion and limit itself to the enumerated powers, there would be no payback for the corporations to flood D.C. with money.

AZfederalist on January 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

The one thing the statists who are having a conniption over this fail to grasp — corporations are stingy so and so’s, there is not going to be flood of unlimited finance coming from companies to politicians

True, but I think there is a legitimate concern about, for example, non-national/state races where corporations can use campaign ads in judicial races to influence outcomes.

I think the danger nationally is marginal. But local/state races where one candidate can receive a wealth of support from a corporation over another really causes me concern.

Again, I think the ruling was correct; but to dimiss the potential dangers of the decision is short-sighted.

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 2:04 PM

“All that effort to stifle conservative and anti-communist speech….thrown out in a single decision”

-Obama, 2010

BobMbx on January 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Again, I think the ruling was correct; but to dimiss the potential dangers of the decision is short-sighted.

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Please keep in mind what the real topic of all this is….corrupt politicians, not the money.

Analogy: The kids keep eating too much candy.

Possible solutions:

1. Hide the candy and dole it out under controlled conditions.

2. Don’t buy candy or bring it in the house.

3. Wean the kids off candy.

The real solution is #3. The most popular solution is #1.

BobMbx on January 23, 2010 at 2:15 PM

“The Supreme Court just leveled the playing field, and Democrats don’t like it one bit.”

Damned straight. The key is not to limit involvement in politics, it is to expose political activity to the light of day. Every single penny given to political causes should be traced back to the donor, and that information made public. Give every one freedom to support the cause they wish, and give everyone the knowledge of who gives money to whom.

Enkidu on January 23, 2010 at 2:27 PM

A corporation General Electric owns NBC and MSNBC, broadcasting stations that are shills and and an ongoing advertisement promoting only Democrats. And these liberal hypocrites complain about and want to limit the influence of corporations? What a joke.

Goodale on January 23, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Please keep in mind what the real topic of all this is….corrupt politicians, not the money.

Well, not entirely.

It’s also about trying to influence elections by overwhelming one candidate with pro-candidate ads and the other with anti-candidate ads.

Let’s say there’s a race for the Supreme Court in Alabama, a state where judges are elected.

If a corporation favored one candidate over another, they could overwhelm the election with ads attacking his opponent. No corruption, no payoffs, nothing sinister; one candidate is “better” for their interests than the other.

But that candidate may not be the “best” for the state. He may be the best for the narrower interests of that corporation but not for the larger interests of all of the people.

And because that candidate got much more favorable political ads, the public was swayed to elect him.

Again, nothing corrupt or dishonest.

There is a legitimate concern, it seems to me, that “wealthy speech” can overwhelm “less wealthy speech” and influence elections against the best interest of the electorate.

Once again, I think the ruling was correct and Americans have a right to express their political views through corporations. I just think the results won’t always be good ones.

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Shorter me: Madison argued that the best solution to “factions” was to counteract them with other “factions”.

But if some “factions” can get their message out better than others, they have a greater chance of “winning.”

This decision – while correct – increases, it seems to me, the chances of a bad “faction” winning over a good “faction.”

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Obama needs villains. Banks, Oil and Insurance companies apparently weren’t enough targets, now we have lobbyists. I’m sure next week’s State of the Union speech will roll out a few more. Remember, when you are incompetent all a wake-up call does is send you off in a new wrong direction.

Fred 2 on January 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM

You forgot that the Supreme Court is now a villain too.

Of course, the lobbyists he has approved, aren’t villains.

Hobbes on January 23, 2010 at 2:43 PM

therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

You can’t prove that, and neither can anybody else, because credit card verification was deliberately turned off by the campaign. That means that we have no way of knowing how much foreign, corporate, or other illegal money was flowed into his coffers through small donations. By the way, this fact has been extensively reported on [sic]

AZfederalist on January 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Exactly. Foreign nationals in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere were bragging all over the internet about the contributions they made to the Obama campaign. Obama’s 2008 campaign funding was one of the most outrageous criminal frauds in American political history.

Django on January 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Again, I think the ruling was correct; but to dismiss the potential dangers of the decision is short-sighted.
SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 2:04 PM

One of those potential dangers is lobbying to shut up the conservative media once the corporations don’t need them anymore. They will want Americans to believe everything is all right to keep their envisioned status quo. Any dissent will be silenced to further that goal. In a few years we will be saying goodbye to HA, Rush, Beck, etc. Even though I come from a different perspective then most here, I still liked the fact that those mentioned above added to political discourse.

Instead of “the representative of” (insert state or district here)
Will become:>
“The representative of” (insert corporate name here)

Bill Blizzard on January 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

ya2daup on January 23, 2010 at 12:29 PM

:)

chemman on January 23, 2010 at 2:56 PM

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM

While you have a generally valid point it assumes the electorate is easily led. While no longer a citizen of the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia all the pro Rose Bird (Cal SC) campaign material didn’t save her from the people.

chemman on January 23, 2010 at 3:02 PM

It’s also about trying to influence elections by overwhelming one candidate with pro-candidate ads and the other with anti-candidate ads.

This is exactly what is meant by “free-speech”.

You would be a proponent of equal time, yes?

What you’re really saying is nobody should be able to spend more than the least-funded candidate in an election?

Define “overwhelming”. Would that be a ratio of 2-1? 10-1? 1.5 to 1? 1.1 to 1?

Where is the line? What if one candidate is promoting the repeal of child molestation laws, and wants to legalize child pornography. This candidate only has enough money for 2 ads. The opponent has virtually unlimited funds. You say it would be unfair to overwhelm the porno candidate, and the law should allow for an equal playing field by restricting the quantity/value of the moral opponent.

Really? The SCOTUS said “No”. Free speech is free speech. Government has no authority to control what you say, or how often you say it.

BobMbx on January 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

While you have a generally valid point it assumes the electorate is easily led

No, I just know that in local elections, a small percent of the electorate will vote.

Why do candidates run ads? Answer: They work.

Yes, over time people – in the long run – will make the right decision. But short term, they can be swayed.

Barack Hussein Obama anyone?

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Instead of “the representative of” (insert state or district here)
Will become:>
“The representative of” (insert corporate name here)

Bill Blizzard on January 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

The SCOTUS ruling has not effect on that. Just the amount of money it takes to get the rep under contract.

Just wait till the Congress demands free agency.

BobMbx on January 23, 2010 at 3:07 PM

This is exactly what is meant by “free-speech”.

You would be a proponent of equal time, yes?

Nope, I’m not a proponent of equal time. And these are private ads that every America has the right to run. I’m 100% in favor of that right.

Sorry, what part of my statement that the decision was correct is being missed?

Government has no authority to control what you say, or how often you say it.

Incorrect. We have libel laws, defamation, copyright infringement, et cetera et cetera that “control” what we say.

Again: the decision was right. The results may not always be “right.”

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM

“Clean-up in Aisle Zero!”

Maquis on January 23, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Incorrect. We have libel laws, defamation, copyright infringement, et cetera et cetera that “control” what we say.

Again: the decision was right. The results may not always be “right.”

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM

It’s possible I mis-interpreted your position. Apologies.

True, we have libel laws, defamation. These laws, however, do not restrict speech. They assign circumstances to other torts contained within the speech. In other words, libel doesn’t “prevent” me from saying bad things about you, if those things are true. It penalizes me for making false statements and harming you in some way if I just make up stuff with the intent to defame or harm you.

The laws overturned by SCOTUS, and supported by “limited speechers”, in effect said that I could not speak at all, whether what I wanted to say is true or not.

Big difference.

BobMbx on January 23, 2010 at 3:21 PM

True, we have libel laws, defamation. These laws, however, do not restrict speech

I guess you mean prior restraint?

Okay, how about national security laws?

If a publication, for example, wanted to reveal the names of our agents inside Al-Qaeda (if we have any), the government can stop them from doing so.

Or try to. With the internet I doubt it actually could be stopped. But legally they could try.

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM

therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).
crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

You know crappy–you really should be asking for more money–Axlerod give you the talking points and leaves you without the facts to defend said point.
You remind me of a certain fish out of water….

lovingmyUSA on January 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Incorrect. We have libel laws, defamation, copyright infringement, et cetera et cetera that “control” what we say.

Again: the decision was right. The results may not always be “right.”

SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM

I think you’ll find that these things are not a banning of speech but a protection of private property. It’s not a control of speech by the federal government but a justice system provided for individuals to sue for destruction and theft of property.

Saltysam on January 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I personally can’t wait for the corporate ads to start. Bring. It. On.

Mojave Mark on January 23, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I personally can’t wait for the corporate ads to start. Bring. It. On.

Mojave Mark on January 23, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I’m with you, Double M. Anything that prevents the federal government from interfering with free speech is a win for America.

Saltysam on January 23, 2010 at 4:30 PM

In any event, the point remains: Obama ditched – after saying he wouldn’t – public financing of his campaign in order to skirt the limits.
SteveMG on January 23, 2010 at 12:20 PM

It was more than that. The public financing pledge was the centerpiece of his campaign, indeed the raison detre of his candidacy. Obama abandoned his own challenge to McCain (which McCain honored). Worse, Obama’s campaign collected huge foreign donations they didn’t cross-check or report, and suspended as well the standard credit card verifications, probaby leading to illegal donations. In short, Obama’s campaign was an ethical horror show.

rrpjr on January 23, 2010 at 4:31 PM

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve. So the top donors you listed made up a tiny, tiny fraction of Obama’s 600 million (less than 2%), and therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

AHAHAHAHAH…”everyday Americans”. What a load of sh1t.

Yes this “fact” has superficially been parroted but never actually investigated since your thug in chief refused to release actual details.

This from the supposedly computer savvy generation which “accidentally” disabled address verification for donations so thousands of Palestinians could help corrupt the election. Americans my ass.

Just typical criminal behavior from your side.

ClassicCon on January 23, 2010 at 4:45 PM

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve. So the top donors you listed made up a tiny, tiny fraction of Obama’s 600 million (less than 2%), and therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Water carrier

Prove it

LOL what an idiot

CWforFreedom on January 23, 2010 at 4:58 PM

(as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

That last part BTW indicates CRR is just recycling.
When one makes such a comment it is to make up for a lack of knowledge and or facts. CRR does not know if it is true nor does CRR care if it is true.

CWforFreedom on January 23, 2010 at 4:59 PM

…therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans…

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I believe that was ordinary Palestinians.

Maquis on January 23, 2010 at 5:09 PM

and a powerful blow to our efforts to rein in corporate influence.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

*GASP*

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

29Victor on January 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Water carrier

Prove it

LOL what an idiot

CWforFreedom on January 23, 2010 at 4:58 PM

It’s been too “extensively reported on” for him to point out any specific examples. That’s the way it usually works with lefty myths.

29Victor on January 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM

The millions of small donations was always a lie.

Unless you count using fake names to launder donations.

reaganaut on January 23, 2010 at 5:16 PM

As a public service for the handful of posters who don’t agree with this:

http://www.movetoamend.org/motion-amend

“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.” ~

Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816

Dark-Star on January 23, 2010 at 6:09 PM

today he will get riled up, by 2011 he’ll be hitting them all up for some dough…

he really irks me to no end…

cmsinaz on January 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Maybe, maybe not…they figured out where all that “stimulus” money doled out to non-existent zip codes has ended up?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 23, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Dark-Star on January 23, 2010 at 6:09 PM

You left out the money line from your link.

“money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”

Bill Blizzard on January 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM

The Supreme Court just leveled the playing field, and Democrats don’t like it one bit.

Squealing like stuck pigs…

Seven Percent Solution on January 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM

We’ve been making steady progress. But this week, the United States Supreme Court handed a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists – and a powerful blow to our efforts to rein in corporate influence.

This hypocrisy from the man whose administration oversaw the biggest haul ever on K Street:

Lobbyists on pace for record year
By: Victoria McGrane
December 22, 2009 04:38 AM EST
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=B41E9106-18FE-70B2-A8C96E940F1F48D1

Main Street has had a tough year, losing jobs and seeing little evidence of the economic revival that experts say has already begun.


But K Street is raking it in.


Washington’s influence industry is on track to shatter last year’s record $3.3 billion spent to lobby Congress and the rest of the federal government

…..But….But…But how could this be when Obama told us this during his “Hope and Change” tour:


Obama when he needed votes and applause from his sheep:

Plus this artful phraseology:(Obama)

In a 2007 speech, he said he was “running to tell the lobbyists in Washington that their days of setting the agenda are over. They have not funded my campaign. They won’t work in my White House.”


Barack Obama has a remarkable ability to utter howlers with a straight face, but this one from today’s radio address, talking about his proposed budget, stretched even his flexible standards of truth:


These steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business. I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I.

November 3, 2007:

One year from now, we have the chance to tell all those corporate lobbyists that the days of them setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race – and I’ve won. I don’t take a dime of their money, and when I am President, they won’t find a job in my White House.

– Barack Obama

Obama as saying: “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists—and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”


….as usual Rep. Wilson was right….
.”You Lie!!!!”……


Obama appointed more than 17 lobbyists after talking big on anti-lobbyist, clean Governance

Adrian Nathan
Jan. 31, 2009
http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/20471.asp

It is easy to project yourself as a clean politician after making your debut in South Side Chicago with buddies like Rahm Emanuel. US president Obama has appointed more than 17 lobbyists after talking big on anti-lobbyist Governance and rooting corruption out of the American Government.

…..Looks like “Hope and Change” is nothing more than “Lies and Deceit”.

who angrily pledged in a statement and his weekly radio address to counter this decision through legislation:

Wow!!!

…is that how they taught Mr. super smart law student to handle decisions handed down by the Supreme Court..

….circumvent them with partisan legislation….

……….how progressive!!!!

The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington

Wow!!! Mr. Transparency…..
….you think maybe the first step to stopping the lobbyist influence on the Hill would be for your administration to quit cutting backroom deals with them and letting them mold legislation.

…….Obama must think he is talking on Air America 24/7 by putting out this dishonest drivel.

Baxter Greene on January 23, 2010 at 7:49 PM

LOL. Thanks for proving my point Steve. So the top donors you listed made up a tiny, tiny fraction of Obama’s 600 million (less than 2%), and therefore the vast majority came online donations from everyday Americans (as has been extensively reported on).

crr6 on January 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

As usual crr6 fails to make or validate her own point:

Big donors are the key to Obama’s record haul
By Michael M. Luo and Christopher Drew
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/05/america/bundlers.php

But records show that a third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more – a total of $112 million, more than the total of contributions in that category taken in by either Senator John McCain, his Republican rival, or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Democratic primaries.

Behind those large donations is a phalanx of more than 500 Obama “bundlers,” fund-raisers who have each collected contributions totaling $50,000 or more. Many of the bundlers come from industries with critical interests in Washington. Nearly three dozen of the bundlers have raised more than $500,000, including more than a half-dozen who have passed the $1 million mark and one or two who have exceeded $2 million, according to interviews with fund-raisers.

As more information came in about who gave to the Obama campaign…big donors or grassroots…..the truth started to emerge and the influence of big donors dominated the landscape…

Big Donors Among Obama’s Grass Roots
‘Bundlers’ Have a Voice in Campaign

By Matthew Mosk and Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 11, 2008; Page A01

But those with wealth and power also have played a critical role in creating Obama’s record-breaking fundraising machine, and their generosity has earned them a prominent voice in shaping his campaign. Seventy-nine “bundlers,” five of them billionaires, have tapped their personal networks to raise at least $200,000 each. They have helped the campaign recruit more than 27,000 donors to write checks for $2,300, the maximum allowed. Donors who have given more than $200 account for about half of Obama’s total haul, which stands at nearly $240 million.


…..and the big donors dominated the overall money for Obama’s campaign even more…….


The Donors Who Gave Big, and Often
Obama’s $100,000-Plus Backers Were Able to Contribute to Several Entities

By Kimberly Kindy and Sarah Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 18, 2009; A02

As inaugural donations become public, a list of Obama’s most loyal backers has emerged, pointing to his success with a system that allows supporters to give maximum amounts on several occasions and to multiple committees.

The $100,000 group stands in stark contrast to the grass-roots campaign that Obama’s team has waged over the Internet, through which small donors, giving $200 or less, made up about a quarter of Obama’s campaign revenue. Small donors are still receiving e-mails directing them to the inaugural Web site, where they are asked for contributions of $5 and where 10 people just won free trips to the inauguration in an essay contest.

….now “grassroot donors” only made up about 25% according to Obama’s records……

………..crr6 should expand her idea of what is “extensively reported” by the standards of whose reporting she is listening to, because the reality does not match her rhetoric.


This is a through de-bunking of the myth concerning “grassroots” running the campaign:

The Obama Disconnect: What Happens When Myth Meets Reality
Micah L. Sifry | December 31, 2009 – 11:42am |

http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/the-obama-disconnect

The problem for Obama and the Democrats today, as they head into 2010, is that much of their activist base appears to have swallowed too much of the wrong half of the myth: they thought that Obama would be more of a change-agent, and never really embraced their own role.

The image of Obama gaining tens of millions of dollars through the “average joe” is only believable to someone with their lips pressed so firmly to Obama’s butt that they can’t see the truth in front of them.

This is the reality of where Obama made his money:

Obama takes six figures from Abramoff firm

Arriving a little after 10 a.m. on Oct. 1, Obama spent the next three hours schmoozing, speaking in a video conference to branch offices and raising money at Greenberg Traurig, a billion-dollar firm with one of the biggest lobby shops here.
Obama has now raised about $125,000 from Greenberg Traurig employees — nearly half of it at the time of the event — more than from any of the other top law and lobby firms.


……..Hope and Change baby….Hope and Change!!!!!

Baxter Greene on January 23, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Done being polite and circumspect about this:

This ruling strikes at our democracy itself.

Hey! Stoopid!! The United States is NOT a democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic. Not rule of the majority, rule of law.

MarkT on January 23, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816

Dark-Star on January 23, 2010 at 6:09 PM

I would think that he, of all people, could have inserted such language into the actual Constitution, instead of just a letter to some obscure “george”. Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to why he chose to omit something you obviously think he believed so strongly?

runawayyyy on January 24, 2010 at 2:48 PM

So when the Unions try to purchase Obamas Senate seat from the Blago…that is OK?

Stupid, Malicious, or Insane…….tough choices here.

percysunshine on January 24, 2010 at 3:53 PM

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