Comments about ‘Letter: Money is not speech’

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Published: Saturday, April 12 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Othello, WA

"The flood of money from the superwealthy to politicians is the gravest danger to our democracy."

Are the superwealthy the only ones "flooding" money to politicians? What is it with these leftists? First Corporations aren't people so they cant exercise free speech. Now rich people aren't people, so they cant exercise free speech either? Maybe the letter writer feels badly that the Greek billionaire, who has a face for radio, went over the line in getting barry elected? How else do you explain the success of a woefully inept, egotistical, empty suit being elected president in the last election? Maybe the writer thinks the slobbering left wing press, who fight over top shelf worshiping positions and get tingles whenever they see the anointed one, are the only ones entitled to free speech? Guaranteed...as all leftists think (feel), only his opinion counts, and everyone else needs to be silenced!!

Tooele, UT

Re: "Jefferson is now turning over in his grave"

That's probably true, but not because people are now free to support the political ideology of their choice.

What's more likely to have caused the spinning is his concern over Obama's liberal monetary profligacy. He noted, "I sincerely believe . . . that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale" [Letter to John Taylor, 1816].

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I think that the letter writer totally misrepresented the Supreme Court decision. He told us that money was object of the ruling and not free speech. Of course, he has the right to say anything that he wants, even if it is wrong. If he cared enough about his responsibility as a citizen, he would have read the decision and then he would have honestly written about his concerns. Instead, he turned and twisted that decision into something that it is not, showing, once again, that free speech is allowed, no matter how dishonest that speech is.

Justice Kennedy wrote: ""If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech."

"Corporations, as associations of individuals, therefore have speech rights under the First Amendment."

The ruling also said that if the court upheld that previous ruling, that blogs, webpages, newspapers and all other "media" that engaged in "political speech" would have to be disallowed.

Free Speech won. Censorship lost.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Dan you are 110% CORRECT!!!!
The wealthy will decide our future because they know best. YA RIGHT!

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

28% of all campaign contributions come from the top 1/100the of the top 1% of the population, the 1% of the 1% in other words. Everything our government does is geared to please this tiny sliver of the population. That is why even things that are overwhelmingly popular can't get through congress. The wishes of the 1% of the 1% far outweigh the desires of the other 99.99% of the people.

The recent supreme court decision is going to make this trend much worse.

Murray, UT

If you like a store or a product, you choose to buy from that store or buy that product, with your money.

If people don't like a company, they boycott them, refusing to spend their money at that company. The message comes from the money.

Money is absolutely speech!

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

We limit peoples rights when we have found that it is in the interest of society to place a limit on these "rights".

We curb the religious rights of Rastafarians to smoke the sacred ganja, we limit second amendment rights by prohibiting the private ownership of bazookas, and we infringe on the rights of gas stations to sell us leaded gasoline.

Isn't it harmful for some individuals to have more speech than others?

Maybe it is in the interest of society to limit "speech" when the influence of the super wealthy drowns out the voices of the many.

one old man
Ogden, UT

I saw an excellent comment the other day. It went something like this: "Everyone deserves free speech. But what this decision does is hand a huge megaphone to a few people so they may drown out everyone else."

Provo, UT

Giving money to politicians isn't free speech.

It's called bribery.

It's sad that the GOP is so partisan that they're willing to throw our democracy away just to one up the democrats on this one.

We need more democrats as presidents to replace this horrible conservative Supreme Court.

salt lake city, utah

What libs forget is the right's idolatry of money. Function is secondary to the item itself, so it matters not what the context of the conversation is taxes, speech, consumption, commerce, never, never, disparage money.

You will quickly find out it's constitutional, moral, and desirable regardless of the consequences.

American Fork, UT

In its' intent, the ruling is correct. Free speech for one and all. But it's empowerment in the hands of a wealthy few is not healthy for democracy.



A big problem is the lack of transparency in campaign funding. The groups caught in the IRS targeting don't have to disclose donor information which is why there was a dramatic increase of these groups. (btw the majority of the new groups seeking 501(c)4 status were conservative groups). So if people wanted to boycott, they can't find out who to boycott. This was a huge flaw in the Supreme Court's reasoned opinion in Citizens United. The Supreme Court majority opinion stated,

"And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy."

"transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.”

Salt Lake City, UT

Ever wonder why Congress has a 12% approval rating? It's because most people feel it doesn't represent them, right? Ever wonder who they're listening to if not most of their constituents? Big donors. It's not coincidence that Perry and Jindal sent letters urging Congress to ban internet gambling shortly before they went to Vegas to meet with Sheldon Adelson (it's his pet issue as a casino mogul).

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

Our Republic is slowly being put up for auction, and each of these SCOTUS decisions is an acknowledgement of a new bid.

Tooele, UT

Re: "28% of all campaign contributions come from the top 1/100the of the top 1% . . . ."

That's not counting, of course, the nearly 40% filched from rank-and-file trade-union members, and used by their cynical bosses to buy political influence, primarily from liberal Democrats.

For example, in the 2004 election cycle, unions contributed -- and, fortunately for the cause of transparency, bragged about it -- some $925M of total contributions of some $2.4B. The math works out to something over 38.5%.

So, in reality, the top contributors are not the top 1%, but unwilling, probably unwitting middle-class trade-union members. Who were denied any choice, whatever, by their liberal overlords.

Provo, UT

It's disturbing to me how many conservatives are actually in favor of the SC's ruling.

Are they really this bitter and want to stick it to the democrats? Or do they really believe that more money and corruption in politics is a good thing?

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

What surprises me isn't that the oligarchs seek to control more and more of our democratic process. What surprises me is that they have convinced so many of us plebes to ignore Brandeis and defend takeover as a good thing.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

When the air isn't breathable, the water can be ignited, the food carries new, bad odors, bank practices are treacherous, medicine is available only at high prices, insurance companies stiff their policyholders on claim payments, working conditions become servile and dangerous, and for poor pay, it's difficult to cast a vote and corporate law is the next hyper-growth industry, you will then know that LOTS of money has spoken, and that it has been HEARD!

Salt Lake City, UT

What the court is really saying is that the rich have more free speech than the rest of us. Does this not go counter to the principles our nation was founded upon - the equal rights phrase in the Declaration of Independence and equal representation and equal protection in the Constitution. The rich have a right to the wealth they legally acquired, but not to more power and influence in our democratic government, which is supposed to represent us all regardless of our economic status. If you argue we all have one vote, you are forgetting that people are greatly influenced by media, campaigns and ads which can mislead and distort politics in their favor. Most of the viewers and listeners of pundits like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and O'Reilly, who are all multi-millionaire's, are older, working class Americans.

provo, Utah

The ruling allows special interests to buy politicians under the guise of free speech.

It allows more open Quid pro quo which was hardly ever even investigated before, and now demands no investigation since it's completely legal.

The democracy is dead. Sorry. Facism not socialism controls the country.

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