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Comments about ‘Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on federal campaign contributions’

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Published: Wednesday, April 2 2014 12:16 p.m. MDT

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Karen R.
Houston, TX

I get the free speech argument, but this undermines the "we're all equal" principle because clearly, when it comes to $$$, some are far more equal than the rest of us!

So it sounds like what is needed is to re-think the entire process of funding elections. Those who already have outsized wealth and influence likely won't care to see this change, but I can dream. I propose a Presidential election season that is just 4 months long and a Congressional election season that is just 2 months long. Funding: All public and capped at $10 million each for Presidential candidates, $5 million for Senate candidates, and $3 million for House of Rep. candidates. How well they spend this money in the service of their cause may even tell us something about how they will approach the federal budget.

RickH
Blaine, WA

Now more than ever we need term limits for Supreme Court justices.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

So the Supreme Court thinks that people and businesses should be able to buy elections. Sad for the country and its people.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@RickH,

You want “term limits” on Supreme Court Justices, simply because you do not agree with their decisions?

Just how do you propose that be done since the Justices are NOT elected by the people, nor are they term limited, per the U.S. Constitution?

@Fury1993,

This obviously is a “freedom of speech” thing with the Court. “Buying an election” does not have the same constitutional grounds that the First Amendment holds for freedom of speech.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

Well... this should cut down on bribery of officials; after all, who needs bribery when you can just give them checks legally? It's no coincidence that Governors Perry and Jindal wrote letters to Congress urging them to pass a ban on internet gambling days before they're going to meet billionaire donor (who spent 90 million dollars on Gingrich, Romney, and others in the 2012 campaign) casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Guess what his pet issue is?

Is this what we want? Wealthy people on either side of the aisle buying off members of Congress?

Sven
Morgan, UT

We just knew the left would go apoplectic over this. Leftists have very little tolerance for free speech...unless it's their own.

Good ruling!

OneWifeOnly
San Diego, CA

At the end of the day it is the people who vote, not just the rich. What we need is transparency in campaign finance. The voters need easy, up-to-the-minute information on campaign finance / contributions. That way the voters can see who bought which campaigns.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The court did not heed warnings from [Obama's] Solicitor General . . . that donors would be able to funnel large amounts of money to a favored candidate . . . ."

You mean like what self-interested trade unions, empty-headed Hollywood celebrities, and the disingenuously named and supported shell 501(c)(4)s of guilt-ridden, ultra-rich liberal donors, like George Soros, already do?

The only reason liberals hate this decision is that it empowers law-abiding conservatives the same opportunity to do what scofflaw liberals have been doing for years.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Maybe Adelson should simply BUY the whole GOP. The new "blood oath" for office holders will be to oppose all internet gambling. Anyone who breaks the oath gets sold (cheap) to Donald Trump and assigned cleanup duty. That should bring out candidates with lots of integrity.

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

The voter has to make correct decisions independent of the influence of money - as long as we protect the secret ballot

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@procuradorfiscal
"The only reason liberals hate this decision is that it empowers law-abiding conservatives the same opportunity to do what scofflaw liberals have been doing for years."

Don't pretend that the Koch brothers couldn't already do what Soros does. I don't like ANYONE having that much influence, the only reason I tolerate it from the left is because unilateral disarmament is foolish but I'd like to see the influence of all of these people, left or right, reduced. Then maybe we'd have a Congress that'd work for their constituents rather than their big money donors.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

Apparently, many on the left just don't get it, or at least pretend not to get it.

Special interests have been significantly effecting elections throughout history and probably always will. Obama is obviously beholding to education and other big unions. Hence, the reason he's against school vouchers, even when they obviously allow inner-city kids a chance at a much better education and thus overall life. Statistics don't lie.

He's also beholding to environmentalists. Hence, the Canadian oil pipeline is still not signed off on, even though studies prove it will not have any significant detrimental environmental effects. In the meantime, we are still forced into energy dependence on avowed enemies of the United States for our oil. Loyalty over common sense.
Russia is currently demonstrating just how dangerous that can be by holding the Ukraine and Europe hostage and without any political action leverage.

Many democrat voters are receivers of government funds (low income and low information) and thus not significant contributers to their party. It's little wonder they are opposed to this ruling.

mcdugall
Murray, UT

@@procuradorfiscal It's not a liberal vs conservative issue. This is an issue with the wealthy having disproportionally more influence over elected officials than average citizens. Also, money is not speech, it is merely a commodity and a value store to conduct transactions.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

@Tators: "Many democrat voters are receivers of government funds (low income and low information) and thus not significant contributers to their party. It's little wonder they are opposed to this ruling."

The people who receive the most benefit, dollar-for-dollar, are the very wealthy in terms of tax breaks, kick-backs, subsidies, sweat-heart-contracts and so on. They pony up the contributions and they expect a return on their investment.

Middle class Republicans vote for politicians who promise to protect them from the poor, but those politicians have been bought by the super-rich and will act to benefit the super-rich and only the super-rich.

Do you really think ALEC and the Koch Brothers have anything but disdain for the middle class?

@RickH: "Now more than ever we need term limits for Supreme Court justices."

Campaigns for Supreme Court justices every few years would mean candidates for the job pandering to whatever special interest ponied up the most money. Not a positive solution in my book.

Way of the Warrior
Arlington, WA

YAY! May the candidate with the most votes...I mean...campaign contributions, WIN! So grateful to live in an aristocracy where only the voice of a few is heard!

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Honestly at the end of the day I doubt this decision will have that much effect on the long broken way we elect or officials.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

A lot of you seem to think money, lots of it, in politics is a bad thing. And, I presume most of you are on the political left. So just remember that it was Obama who was the first to raise a Billion dollars to run for President. But my biggest question to anyone who wants to limit money is, what would be the alternative? How can a person campaign without buying advertising? You want advertisers to work for free? You want to tell me or yourself that you don't have a free speech right to say what you want, be it political, or otherwise, by buying an ad on TV or radio ect? How about one of those signs I often see that say something like "Persistance" Pass it On. The Foundation for a Better World? Some of those I've seen could be construed as a political statement. Where and how would you draw a line that could limit money in politics? Seriously, inquiring minds would like to know.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

I'm reading posts all over the place today and the Koch Brothers name is coming up more and more. You libs are sure doing a good job of carrying the water for the Democrat talking points. You can run against the Koch Brothers all day long if you like. We have Obama to run against. That should win the Republicans a lot in the next two elections. And it's funny that the great Obamacare is now a hot potatoe (Dan Quayle version) many Dems are running away from.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

You can't buy elections. If you could, Ross Perot would be president. In fact, there are no limits on unions for campaign contributions. This only gives others a chance to be equal to unions.

I agree with Justice Thomas. I would have lifted all limits. As long as there is full disclosure, I think anyone should have their First Amendment right to spend their money to support any causes or candidates they want to. Unions shouldn't be the only ones with this privilege.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

I wonder if Buffet and Gates might be convinced to enter the political fray with sizable contributions to Moderate and Liberal PAC's and candidates?

Wouldn't that be interesting?

I think it's time for these two sensible and moneyed leaders to make a BIG statement in the political arena.

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