mrdannyg, on Monday, October 10th, 2011, 5:56 PM, said:
This doesn't address BG's problem at all. What's to stop a third party from running anti-candidate ads? The NRA would have a budget many times bigger than any candidate if we start limiting donations. No way you could put such a wide net around this type of ad under the type of writing you propose.
Nothing. We'd have to accept that freedom of speech cannot be contained and that some people have more resources than others to get their message our further. The reason the National Rifle Association has so much money and influence is because they are an organization that represents the interests of old white men, who themselves have all the chips. It's not like the NRA is disproportionately sized, relative to the power and influence of their member base. White guys are control freaks who like what guns represent.
Homosexuals, women, Jews, etc don't come from the same culture as old white men, so they tend to not like them. If the NRA (or trade unions, or gays, or whoever) wants to influence candidates with the threat of ideas, I'm totally cool with that. I'm OK with them saying "If you don't support us, we're running ads against you..." That politician then has to make an ideological decision, however, I'm sure he can find some gay SEO expert who's willing to donate his time and can achieve a similar reach for 1/1000th the cost. Maybe it's because I'm from Chicago where we have (bar none) the most rotten, openly corrupt political culture in the entire United States, but there's a big difference between trying to win influence in the pantheon of ideas versus buying influence with a manilla envelope full of cash. If a corporation or group entity wants to present their case for a candidate, then make a law that says any 30 second political ads paid for by a third party must contain a 5 second disclaimer (2.5 front, 2.5 back) that clearly outlined who paid for it.Make a law forbidding PACs and made-to-order political shell organizations from running political ads- entities that only exist to hide the identities of who's funding the ads... Anyone can run a political ad in this country, so long as they're an individual person or a credible entity that exists for purposes other than running political ads. Defining a credible group from a non-credible made to order PAC would be dead simple and revolve around tax returns. If we can define a bar as any establishment that derives (X%) of its income from the sale of alcohol, then we can define a PAC as any institution that spends (X%) of its donations on political activities, then ****ing ban them. Is it a can of worms? Yes. Nightmarishly complicated? Yes. Would it take some time to bulletproof? Yes. It's a rough issue, but its one we have to tackle. We're currently a Plutocracy, and it's killing our country.