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