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Lawmakers Looking For More Regulation Of Political Activity

Is more regulation of political campaigning and advocacy really what we want? If you ask me the politicians who want to "clean up the money" in politics are going about things the wrong way.

Instead of all these limitations on contributions and such why not simply make the system more transparent? Why not require that every politician put a full disclosure of who contributed to their various campaigns and political action groups (or whatever) and how much was contributed right on their website? Or make the list available from their office to constituents on demand?

I know these politicians are already required to make certain disclosures, but why not make those requirements more exacting? Then let the public follow the money and draw their own conclusions.

Because frankly, the way things are going now, the politicians are going to have made political campaigning advocacy so difficult with all the red tape that its going to severely limit the number of voices we hear from.

But then again, maybe that's the point.

Rob Port owns and operates Say Anything.


Comments (12)

Rob asks Is more regulat... (Below threshold)
Huda Thunkit:

Rob asks Is more regulation of political campaigning and advocacy really what we want?
Answer : Heck no, they want incumbency protection. It just so happens that more regulation, more indirect and complex funding favor the incumbent positions. New regulatory positions to use as 'bones' they can throw to campaign supporters is a bonus.

What about this idea:... (Below threshold)
Rance:

What about this idea:
1) Anybody can contribute as much as they want to a candidate.
2)All contributions are anonymous.
3)The contributions would be handled by an independent third party (major accounting firm?). The campaigns would get daily updates to of their balances, but would never be told who gave the cash. It's hard to buy influence if you can't prove you paid.
5) Any attempt by a donor to communicate the existance of a donation to a campaign would be considered bribery.
4) Any attempt by the campaign to determine who contributed, would be considered solicitation of a bribe.

There's the proposition, shoot it down.

Its not bad, Rance, but her... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Its not bad, Rance, but here's where I see a problem: You say that any attempt to communicate the existence of a donation would be considered bribery. Wouldn't that limit the ability of citizens to publicly declare their support of a candidate?

Maybe not, Rob. As long as ... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Maybe not, Rob. As long as no attempt was made by the donor to publicize just how much he donated to a candidate, the donor could declare his support to his little heart's content.

Of course, Huda Thunkit hit the nail on the head when he called this incumbency protection. The only way around that is TERM LIMITS NOW!!!
(Sorry about the shouting, but I've never figured out how to use the boldface, italics and underline buttons)

How about this program:<br ... (Below threshold)
jd watson:

How about this program:
1) Allow individual contributions in any amount.
2) Require candidates to disclose within 24 hours all contributions on the Internet. Such disclosures will include the amount, donor's name, address and employer.
3) Require that any donor be eligible to vote in the candidate's election. This eliminates corporations, unions, PACs, 527s, etc., children, and non-residents of the election's district.

Escuse me.Did anyo... (Below threshold)
Mark A.:

Escuse me.

Did anyone actually READ that article? It's about the 527's, not straight campaign finance. This has nothing to do with candidates or disclosures on their websites. Neither Rob nor any commenters addressed the subject at all.

Ordinarily one must visit the Democratic Underground to find such a dearth of understanding.

Mark, the article was to po... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Mark, the article was to point out yet another instance of regulating political speech. After that pointing that on, I decided to put in some commentary about regulating campaigning in general. We've seen a lot of activity in this area in recent years and I think our politicians are going in the wrong direction. The point was to get some better ideas on the issue.

Seriously, are you this caustic all the time?

Mark A. asked, Did anyon... (Below threshold)

Mark A. asked, Did anyone actually READ that article? It's about the 527's, not straight campaign finance. This has nothing to do with candidates or disclosures on their websites. Neither Rob nor any commenters addressed the subject at all.

Actually they did address it. The article was about limiting (there's the key word) campaign money contributions given by 527's. The bill proposes that the 527's will now be governed by the same limiting laws that apply to PAC's. What Rob and the commentators are discussing is government regulation of campaign money. Now it is true that he didn't mention 527's specifically because he was talking in generalities and just used the story as a springboard.

Ordinarily one must visit the Democratic Underground to find such a dearth of understanding.

Says the guy who needed this simple stuff explained to him. Here's some advice Mark A.: the next time you want to give us a biting and sarcastic remark, make sure that you also give an argument and make a little bit of sense.

Rob,Sorry. I *am*... (Below threshold)
Mark A.:

Rob,

Sorry. I *am* caustic today, apparently. Bad day--it should not be your problem.

Likwidshoe,

Perhaps you should read the article again, and maybe the bill. The proposed limits apply to 527 fundraising and spending. That is hardly synonymous with "campaign money contributions given by 527's," as you put it. "Campaign money contributions" are a very small subset of 527 fundraising and spending.

My beef was with the talk about candidate disclosures on websites--what candidate has any knowledge or control of 527 funding or spending? Hell, there are many 527's supporting candidates that wish they would just disappear. Then there were comments about incombency protection. There are lots of non sequiturs flowing around here.

The free flow of non sequiturs prompted my snarky and inappropriate remark about the DU.

Apology accepted Mark. Bel... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Apology accepted Mark. Believe you me, I have my days as well.

I see the limitations placed on 527's and political campaigns as being the same thing: limitations on free political speech. That was the point I think we're all trying to discuss here. The article itself was, as Likwid pointed out, just a springboard.

Mark A. said, Perhaps yo... (Below threshold)

Mark A. said, Perhaps you should read the article again, and maybe the bill. The proposed limits apply to 527 fundraising and spending. That is hardly synonymous with "campaign money contributions given by 527's," as you put it.

Yeah that's correct. I should have been more specific in my comment. Limiting campaign contributions are only one part of what the bill encompasses.

There are lots of non sequiturs flowing around here.

You want non sequitur? I took issue with you when you started off by saying, "Did anyone actually READ that article? It's about the 527's, not straight campaign finance. ... Neither Rob nor any commenters addressed the subject at all."

Rob's opening question was, "Is more regulation of political campaigning and advocacy really what we want?" and then he went into his argument. Now what is this proposed legislation if it isn't more regulation on political campaigning and advocacy? Now granted, the discussion took a slight turn into subjects that the parent article didn't exactly address, but that is what happens in a discussion.

Rance, I don't know if that... (Below threshold)

Rance, I don't know if that idea of yours really would work, but it's enough to make me take back ... most ... of the unfriendly things I've called you in the past. Not bad.




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