Those of us who grew up in the 50's experienced an optimistic time,
typified by optimism for civic involvement. It was assumed that everyday people
could have an influence for good in the political process. But our system is
evolving in another direction. The economic system has dictated the top heavy
distributions of wealth and income. Those at the top have used their influence
bring about changes which re-enforce the concentration process. Recent
decisions by the court are but a product of this.We now know that
everyday people have little influence on public policy. This breeds despair.
We see it in Utah with its low voter participation. Why vote? Where is this
process taking us? Now THAT is a question the Deseret News ought to attempt an
The best reasoning and writing in this paper in years. Thanks for printing this
Partisan politics is hopeless. You look at some areas and say "certainly
the PEOPLE, both R and D will completely agree on this".And the
"this" today is big dollars to politicians. I watched Fox
news yesterday and the days theme was that all this big money in politics is a
good thing. That it makes the whole system better and fairer.Come
on folks. Use your head. You know better. The money corrupts. It
corrupts R and D alike. Corporate, union, Soros or Koch. Doesn't
matter.But you know it corrupts and I know it corrupts. Yesterdays
Fox narrative is (or should be) an insult to your intelligence.
Only wealthy Democrats should be able to donate money to their buddies! All
others donations limits free speech to a wealthy few? Do I have that correct?
Agreed.Thank You Prof. Barker.This SupremeCourt ruling is not
about FreeSpeech at all.But about political access, money, legalized
Bribery, and Elections under the guise of FreeSpeech.Hence: McCutcheon V.
FEC [i.e., Federal Election Commission]FreeSpeech would be:Can
I wear a Naziuniform, and title abook “Arguing with Idiots”, orFreely answering if a dress makes someone look fat.Try
calling your Congressman.Unless you make the “A” list,
you’ll never speak them.The “A” list is prioritized by
$money."Free" Speech?, hardly.This is about selling
one’s soul to the Devil.Why do you think a politician SAYS one thing
during an election, And then DO the opposite?$$$ Our
Government officials should not be subject, obligated or beholden to
“paybacks”, “Kickbacks”, obligations or
“favors” – but to the PEOPLE. This is financial
bondage and CONTROL of our Government. Meanwhile, I’m
still baffled why the DeseretNews supports this.So, follow the money...Prof.Barker gains nothing from this ruling, and explains why as a common
citizen.The Deseret News a business.Advertising is the life blood of
the media, and this is ALL about $ advertising.Go figure…
You cannot be a good American and support this Judicial Activism by the Supreme
Court. Democrats and Republicans together should be doing everything possible to
eliminate (not encourage) bribery in our democracy.Allowing big
money to buy legislation is exactly the opposite of what our Founding Fathers
wanted.You cannot be a good American if you support bribery.
As usual, Marxist makes some keen insights into where we've been and where
we're at.I remember those days, when people felt like they
could make a difference, and we really did control our own destiny, as a nation.
American Exceptionalism was alive and well - we were the first to put a man on
the moon, Neil Armstrong was a hero, the Peace Corps was a way we shared our
esteemed values with the rest of the world, who looked up to us.Now,
the Supremes have essentially declared American Exceptionalism dead, allowing
the oligarchs to exert even greater influence than they already do. This
either paves the way for a populist revolution, a rebellion of the people
against the 1%, or it will make US politicians much like those in Russia,
subject to the oligarchs who put them in power. We view Putin as a
power hungry nationalist, and to curb his behavior we go after his oligarch
constituency. The same will be true for the US - if you want to exert influence
on American presidents, go after George Soros and the Koch Brothers.There's not much of a middle way anymore.
MM "Only wealthy Democrats should be able to donate money to their buddies!
All others donations limits free speech to a wealthy few? Do I have that
correct?"Do you really not read what the liberals are saying
here? You comments are absolutely baffling sometimes/ahhh most of the time.
Not a partisan issue.Of course Fox is excited, every media outlet should
be, because it mean unlimited spending on their product.If absolute
power corrupts and unlimited money corrupts, surely combining the two will
While disturbing, I don't find the recent ruling as devastating as the
writer or the numerous desenters of it. Money influences but it does not
predicate an outcome. Yes, the candidates who spend the most usually win but
not always. America continues to progress at the same time our middle class is
shrinking and wealth is being concentrated at the top. Populism is becoming
more than a trend and I think many with wealth will continue to find it
difficult to attain office. Certainly, the perception of Mitt Romney being out
of touch with Americans hurt him deeply in his campaign. While a candidate may
have money he won't be guarenteed a seat in office unless he represents the
views of the growing majority of underfunded Americans.
Mitt Romney spent 56 million of his own money on his 2012 campaign. What did it
buy him? A ticket to nowheresville. Sheldon Adelson spent 93 million seeking to
influence the 2012 Presidential campaign. What did it buy him? It seems
to me that those on the left would celebrate this ruling as they are apparently
so good at raising money but as usual anything that expands individual freedom
they are opposed to. But if you're in favor of limiting monetary
political contributions then what else should we limit? Volunteer hours for
campaigns? I have a job and 4 kids so I don't have time to go knock on
doors soliciting votes for my candidates. Is that fair to me? What about
newspapers? Should we limit the number of candidates they can endorse? They have
a louder voice than little ol' me. It's not fair. Finally- how
is it fair in an allegedly free country for those in government (power) to make
rules limiting the political speech of those outside of government (power)?
People make the comparison that "money equals speech" and we are all in
favor of free speech, right? I think a better analogy is that money
equals the size of your megaphone, and people with giant megaphones, like
Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers, can effectively drown out the opinions
and views of others.Do we really want a society ruled by a few
fabulously wealthy oligarchs?
Outstanding op-ed piece. Thanks, DN, for publishing it.
Who should determine how citizens spend their own money? If we let government
decide, then what does the 1st Amendment mean? Are we to throw out free speech
just because we don't like to hear what some people say? Should Utah ban
the importation of "Eastern" newspapers and news magazines because they
are owned and operated by "liberals"? Who draws the line? What
freedoms are we willing to give up so that we can censor those who have
different ideas than we have?Freedom to speak freely is fundamental
to ensuring all freedoms. If government can tell us what we can say about
political candidates, why would they stop there? Why wouldn't they tell us
that we can't talk about the right to keep and bear arms? Why
wouldn't they tell us that we can't criticize ObamaCare? How long
before they put Benghazi off limits?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
Re Maverick:"You cannot be a good American and support this Judicial
Activism by the Supreme Court"...My how the tables turn... when
the court doesn't agree with you...===As for all
the "You can't be a good American if"... rhetoric...I
seem to remember people on the Right saying similar stuff... and getting
ridiculed by the same person.===Mountainman had a
point....Where was all this angst when Oprah, rich Democrats, and
rich Hollywood elites, and even big corporations, were pouring money into
Democrat campaigns?====Some protest this benefits Rs
more than Ds. It doesn't. If you check... big businesses (like GE,
Boeing, Chevron, Lockheed Martin, BP, etc)... contribute equally to both
parties. They know they need to be covered no matter which party wins.====I agree it's sad you can buy elections... but
anybody who didn't know that even before now needs to grow up.===And what about news networks that are obviously for one party
(Democrats for all the news networks I watch)?Why no angst about
that? I think THEY influence the outcome of elections as much as corporate
contributions.TV news about the candidates helps form most
Limit the number of newspapers? Limit the number of volunteers or the hours they
work? What are you guys talking about?It's pretty simple: limit
or even better eliminate all bribery (money and favors) from our politics.It's that simple. Stop trying to use scare tactics to rationalize
Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahEither we have the right speak
or we don't. It's an all or nothing thing.========= Stuck in your All-or-Nothing, Balck & White Pleasantville again?You do not have the right to yell FIRE in a corwded theater.You do
not have the right to BULLY or swear.You do not have the right to post
pornography on billboards.You do not have the right to say or do whatever
you dare well feel like Mike.This is America -- NOT Somalia.Money is NOT Free Speech.Unless -- You live in Somalia.This
ruling says -- "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal
than others" Yes, The pigs [Gadiantons] are in the Farmer
House, and Wake Up -- It's 1984.BTW -- God bless
George Orwell and Joseph Smith for correctly prophesying our times.
2bits, "Where was all this angst when Oprah, rich Democrats, and rich
Hollywood elites, and even big corporations, were pouring money into Democrat
campaigns"Like I said before look close and pretty much every
lib here has said corporate, union, and large donor money in politics is not
good. End of story.
The Real Maverick,I didn't say "limit the media". I'm
not into using the government to limit people's voice (not the media, not
even evil capitalists or businesses). My philosophy is to acknowledge them (and
their influence). Be aware of it, but don't use the government to limit
any of them.There's no way to completely stop bribery. And
from your posts... you don't want to completely stop it... you just want to
stop those you think aren't helping your interests. Or you would complain
about both sides (not just one). Because both parties use money. Both parties accept campaign contributions. Both encourage campaign
contributions. Both sides have PACs. Both sides use the same tactics.It's a false pretense that only Republicans accept campaign
donations (even from corporations).IF you called out both sides... I
may think you were more sincere.===BTW... what scare
tactics are you talking about??
Questions to all the Conservatives who see this as a GOOD thing for America.Since the Democrats already collect more, spend more, and win more in
Elections -- Why is allowing MORE for either side seen as a GOOD
thing?Because when it gets right down to it, it's all
about Karma.Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.Your "Victory" will end up becoming your own "Doom".FYI -- I have been against this from day one.Money is NOT Free
Speech, and Legalized Bribery is Gadianton in the 1st degree.andI LIKE seeing conservatives loose elections.But, I just like to
see them loose on the issues, "Fairly and Squarely", not being
bought out or using bribery -- that's all.Stand or fall on
their merits, Not their money.Babylon, Mammon.
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.
You forgot George Soros in your list of the rich @liberal
@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?@2bits"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.
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.
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.
@ 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."
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.
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 morningI
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
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.
Larry, how about your buddy Soros doing everything that he can to corrupt the
system and buy candidates? You forgot about him.
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