Prospects for Campaign Finance Reform : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

If Bush is elected, and places member(s) on the Supreme Court (and remember these are lifetime appointments), could this not be crippling for campaign finance reform? I can see his appointees falling back on the old "free speech" justification to overturn laws passed to prevent grave abuses.

(Not that you don't have to take the free speech argument into consideration. For example, there are a host of organizations all over the spectrum, from right-to-life to the Sierra Club, which do have free-speech rights which they are afraid of losing.)

-- Peter Errington (, October 24, 2000


Peter, you are quite right to identify a conservative Supreme Court as a potent instrument to retard reform.

It was the SC that decided in the 1880s that a corporation was a pseudo-person and should be endowed with the same rights as an individual - never mind that a corporation has limited liability and the ability to live for hundreds of years. This one decision has been the source of immeasurable woes (although it has also been a wellspring of deep economic power that has created a lot of wealth). I still wish that economic progress might have been a bit slower, if individual political rights could have been better preserved against the power of immortal, super-personal corporations.

If GW Bush really intends to pack the court with Antonin Scalia type justices, then it could cause woe unbridled to sweep across the causes of reform - including campaign finance reform.

In short, I agree with you. The SC is a BIG issue in this election.

-- Brian McLaughlin (, October 25, 2000.


Are you saying the SC is a big issue for you in this election, or just a big issue on the whole for this election?

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), October 25, 2000.

>> Are you saying the SC is a big issue for you in this election, or just a big issue on the whole for this election? <<

Obviously, I can't speak for the whole electorate about whether this is a vital issue for them. However, if they are not thinking about this issue, I know they are missing a vital interest they have in the outcome.

Good enough explanation for you?

-- Brian McLaughlin (, October 25, 2000.


Nice of you to take free speech into consideration.

IMO, "election reform" is what is needed, not "campaign finance reform". In 1972 (?), as a reform, elections were returned to the people by creating an extensive primary process. Prior to that, the rap was that candidates were chosen by out-of-touch pols in smoke filled rooms.

I don't propose that we return to the smoke-filled-rooms model. But the current system is just as bad. Campaigns take two years and enormous money and energy are required to negotiate the primary system. Once a candidate gains a lead in the primaries, the nomination is merely a ratification. Party conventions are are no longer about nominating a candidate. They are coronations of the candidate with the most stamina and or money who started early enough. If the name-brand pols in the party don't start early, they don't have a chance come convention time. Obscure Gubanators like Clinton and Carter actually are nominated for president.

I have no idea what to propose that would be better. But common sense says that there must be a better way to nominate party candidates. A shorter nomination time could automatically reduce the expenses.

Something I have wondered about "campaign finance reform"---how much do Liberals really want this. What if a Liberal billionaire like Ted Turner were to pull a Perot and run as an independent, financing himself but advocating all those policies so dear to Liberal hearts? Shouldn't he have the right to do this? Wouldn't some of you guys like to see this? Campaign finance reform might make it impossible.

-- Lars (, October 25, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ