Comments about ‘Letter: Limit political campaign spending’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

In America, we have the right to own property. Money is property.

In America, we have the right to use that property for any lawful purpose. Spending money to support a candidate or a political party is legal.

In America, we are GUARANTEED the right to speak freely. Speaking for a candidate or for a party is a guaranteed right.

We have the right to speak and to use our property to fund that speech.

NO ONE has the authority to take away those rights.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

As much as I would LOVE to see less politicking, Mike Richards is essentially correct (a few minor quibbles for another day).

Limiting the campaign season would take away their right to speak. But we do retain the right to ignore. Exercise that right.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

Everybody wants to get a leg up, whether it's politicians starting their campaigns earlier, or retailers extending the Christmas shopping ad blitz until well before Thanksgiving (same with other holidays), or cyclists taking performance enhancing drugs. Pretty soon, we'll see somebody campaigning for the 2020 election, and advertising Mother's Day flowers in October.

Too bad we don't have the guts to take a stand and boycott anyone who jumps the gun and seeks undue advantage over competitors.

one old man
Ogden, UT

ALL rights come with certain limits. They must. For example, I have the right to free speech. But am I allowed to use that right to spread false stories about my neighbor -- or is that something called "slander?"

Limiting time and money spent on political campaigns is just common sense.

I have freedom of speech. But what do you think would happen if I took a bullhorn to the balcony of the Utah Senate and used it to exercise my freedom of speech? Isn't that at least somewhat analogous to using that money to buy up unlimited amounts of TV time to shout at people?

One of the great principles of our Constitution is that it strove for balance between rights and common sense.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mike is wrong when he says that “NO ONE has the authority to take away those rights.” The American people have the right, authority and the means to take away those rights that are contrary and harmful to the American people.

Mike is correct when he says that “In America, we have the right to use that property for any lawful purpose.” It is the word lawful that protects us from the wrongful, dangerous and improper use of words and deeds that we may say or do.

Political campaigns are mostly lies. Or at least very incomplete truths. Their reliance on money is the main obstacle ordinary people having any say in their government.

Perhaps in this one case, we should take a lesson from business. Hire people to operate our government according to merit, training and experience rather than their phony advertising.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Funds belonging to a corporation are not owned by the corporation's bosses, but by the stockholders, who might be a completely different group of people.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

The headline says spending, but the article says time. We should limit both. If superpacs and corporations can spend as much as individuals, which is apparently limitless, I am willing to give up my right to spend limitless amounts on political ads. I'd be willing to settle on a limit of say $5000, and be entitled to one vote, if every superpac and corporation (apparently they're individuals now) had to abide by the same rule. And, I'd be willing to see the entire exercise limited to one month. If you can't get your message out in that time, you're spinning your wheels.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Mike Richards comments at the top of this page are right in this instance. You can't limit campaigning without serious First Amendment issues.
But there's a reason European political campaigns are short and ours are long. We hold elections according to the calendar. There will be another Presidential election in 2016. Everyone knows it, everyone plans accordingly. But in Europe, most Parliamentary states don't work that way. Elections are held when there's either a Parliamentary crisis (the ruling coalition loses a vote in Parliament), or when the ruling party or coalition decides to schedule one. When will the next General Election take place in Great Britain, for example? Not sure. Sometime.
And their election seasons are certainly short. But they can be plenty nasty. I've been in England for a General Election, and in Norway when the opposition forced one. I promise you, their ads are just as misleading and shallow as ours.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

Assuming that corporations are people with all of the rights of a person (which I do not accept), do they have the "right" to spend unlimited amounts AND be anonymous in doing it? Save time and money and just have all super pac ads end with: "The people that paid for this ad would prefer you not know who they are which could mean they are not proud of it." Why do we make politicians add the tagline to the end of spots saying who approved it, but not expect the same of the guys and gals behind the curtain pulling the strings?

aComment
Centerville, UT

Ever since I came back from Europe, I have always be wary of anyone saying we should be like Europe. In most of Europe, you can't vote for individuals, only parties. Straight party voting is the only option available. Voting for Romney and Matheson would not be an option there. For that matter, there wouldn't even be a Romney or Obama. We would simply vote for Representatives and then the country would be lead by either John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi. Furthermore, John and Nancy would have the power to reassign where party members are candidates from. That's right, we in Utah wouldn't even be guaranteed to have any candidates for Congress who were actually from Utah. Our candidates would be assigned by the national party leaders.

So, no candidates of our choosing, straight party voting required, and elections held at the time of the incumbent party's choosing to their best advantage. Anything else you want to do just because Europe does it?

There's a reason we are a nation of immigrants. In most cases, it had more to do with what they were getting away from rather than what they were coming to.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

At a minimum we need/ deserve transparency. We deserve to know who/what organizations are funding campaigns. Why do Republican legislators oppose the Disclose Act? Several states have passed measures supporting a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

We need to revise presidential terms. Perhaps, lengthening them to 6 yrs., with a national simple yes or no vote, after 4 yrs.,for a president to extend their term to 8 yrs. If Americans vote "yes" at the 4 yr mark, then the president serves 4 more years. If the vote is "no," then the president gets just 2 more years.

I don't know, just an idea. Our campaign season seems to be getting longer and longer and the time legislators are focused on doing their jobs, shorter and shorter.

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