Comments about ‘Supreme Court has limited political speech to the wealthy few’

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Published: Friday, April 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Virginia Beach, VA

JS Mill is well known for his “tyranny of the majority,” quote. (Mill’s “On Liberty” is a pretty interesting read . . . It’s a little book with a lot in it.)

If money is speech, and the most money equates to the most voices, then yes, Mill’s tyranny of the majority becomes the tyranny of the wealthy.

The Supreme Court has essentially subverted Democracy in America and replaced it with court sanctioned Plutocracy . . . Rendering the Constitution null and void.

Fortunately, the wealthy do not all agree on how the nation should be run.

Gates and Buffet, the two richest and most charitable men in America, are of a more Liberal persuasion, and I hope they can be convinced to fund PACS that support reasonable policies and candidates. No charitable giving can be more worthwhile than influencing the course of the future to the benefit of mankind.

Our Right Wing Supreme Court may well have replaced our Democracy with Baronial Control, where the warring wealthiest determine the course of history, and we humble serfs can only hope for kind masters.

Centerville, UT

You forgot George Soros in your list of the rich @liberal

Salt Lake City, UT

@red state pride
"Sheldon Adelson spent 93 million seeking to influence the 2012 Presidential campaign. What did it buy him? "

His pet issue is banning internet gambling or preventing it from becoming legal. It's no coincidence that shortly before their trips to Nevada to visit, both Governors Perry and Jindal sent letters to Congress urging them to ban internet gambling.

Who needs bribery when you can legally influence candidates if you're a billionaire?

"Where was all this angst when Oprah, rich Democrats, and rich Hollywood elites, and even big corporations, were pouring money into Democrat campaigns""

Campaign finance laws affect everyone on both sides. When Democrats support these limits, they support limiting everyone, including their own side.

@Mike Richards
"You want to give an official or department in government the authority to squelch speech. You want us to be forced to do only what government decides is best for us."

You want our politicians to be bought and representing the few rather than their constituents.

Durham, NC

It amazes me how some can continue to play their partisan songs no matter what the melody is. Listen, all this ruling did is really reaffirm what was the status quo in American for nearly 200 years before campaign finance reform was attempted.

Those with means have always been those who had most access to influence public opinion - sometimes successfully, sometimes not as much. The remarkable thing about the 2008 campaign, whether you like Obama or not, is that his campaign didn't rely on huge donors but rather hundreds of thousands of micro donors. The same the can be largely said about the Tea Party in that they were a true grass roots organization, until they were co-opted by a few people who again sought to influence the dialog through their position.

I wish I could say this radically changed things, but instead this is just a minor change in the tempo of the song. I am not saying it is right, nor am I saying it is wrong. Its just that it isn't anything really new either.

Money has always found a way to flow to candidates.

Springville, UT

This piece is brilliant, well written and well reasoned. I would hope that the editorial board of this paper pays close attention and stop parroting right wing propaganda. The biggest threat to our freedom is coming from the mega-rich who are buying elections, own Washington, and subverting the interests of the middle class. This is not an attack on the super-rich. It's an attack on the super-rich who are subverting the process and the system.

Springville, UT

@ Mike Richards, the Constitution is indeed the surpreme law of the land. How it is interpreted and applied is the issue.


Here's a sobering fact:

Politico reported:

"The total number of dollars spent on the 2012 election exceeded the number of people on this planet.
About $7 billion was spent by candidates, parties and outside groups on the 2012 election – beating even the unprecedented expected total of $6 billion, according to a review of campaign finance reports by the Federal Election Commission."

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Speech is good. Money is speech. So money is good. More money means more good.

Because money is good it must be a wonderful influence on our political class. It surely makes them more responsive to their Average Joe constituents, less likely to commit ethical errors, and preserves them from undue influence by the few. It just makes them better people all around.

Thank goodness for money in politics. It will surely save our republic.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

re: Mike Richards

"Who should determine how citizens spend their own money?... Either we have the right speak or we don't. It's an all or nothing thing. Our Creator endowed us with unalienable rights - including the right to speak our mind without government censorship."

I can see how SCOTUS might get involved when it comes to politics just to keep some balaence and equity in the system.

I'm fairly certain the unalienable rights are Life, Liberty, & Pursuit of Happiness. If you don't like something be it government or business then vote with your wallet.

to Open Minded Mormon early this morning

I disagree. Life in 21st Century America is more like Brave New World than 1984. If we are going to compare to a dystopian setting then my vote is V for Vendetta.

Sandy, UT

What is particularly concerning about the Supreme Court's opinion is that it allows individuals to express their views. This is of particular concern because it reduces the ability of the media to skew public opinion for or against a candidate, proposition, etc. I can see why a newspaper is concerned. The owner of a newspaper, radio station, etc., should be able to push a candidate, but a person who wants to spend their money to take a contrary view should not be able. Apparently when it comes to first amendment animals, some animals are more equal than others.

Kearns, UT

Larry, how about your buddy Soros doing everything that he can to corrupt the system and buy candidates? You forgot about him.

Kearns, UT

Money equates to power. Those that have it want it. One way to start to lower that influence would be to amend the Constitution to make the House of Representatives elections every four years instead of every two. That would mean they could actually work instead of spending one year at work that the other year running for re-election/raising money.

As a result of this decision the Congress has to put into place some very draconian reporting rules with hard and fast penalties for abuse (think John Swallow).

BTW the major crowing about this issue is being done by Democrats/Liberals/Progressives.

Another idea, cut back the election season. Especially for the President.

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