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Saving American Democracy Amendment
Posted: 20 January 2012 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Here is a link to Bernie Sanders proposed amendment to the US Constitution, a move to overturn Supreme Court rulings that have given our government over to corporate influence.

http://sanders.senate.gov/petition/?uid=f1c2660f-54b9-4193-86a4-ec2c39342c6c

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Posted: 21 January 2012 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Unfortunately, that’s a very bad idea. One could easily take the language of some of those sections to justify election rigging in the name of government oversight.

Here’s a file with the actual proposal:

http://sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Saving-American-Democracy.pdf

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Posted: 21 January 2012 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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While I think the general idea is extremenly worthwhile, I have to agree with TromboneAndrew.  From a cursory reading of the proposed amendment, it appears to allow some tricky games to be played.

Occam

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Posted: 21 January 2012 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It’s not a long amendment.  Since you haven’t specified what’s in it to support the assertion that tricky games or election rigging would result, I suppose you are referring to section 4. 

Perhaps elected officials would attempt to use the wording of section 4 to influence elections.  Perhaps not.  Unless you have a better proposal, however, would you suggest that we continue to let the tricky games and election rigging, essentially, be left to corporate influence.

Please offer a better proposal.

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Posted: 21 January 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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My concern is wth Section 1.

SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit [1] corporations, limited liability [2] companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests [3] under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

[1] Should not be limited to “for profit”.  This allows companies, churches, etc. to set up non-profit corporations specifically to contribute to campaigns.
[2]  Should not be limited to “limited liability”.  That would mean partnerships and unincorporated companies would be exempt from this.
[3] This appears to be a loophole because it allows organizations not established for “business purposes” to be exempt from this amendment.

Occam

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Posted: 21 January 2012 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam. - 21 January 2012 03:00 PM

My concern is wth Section 1.

SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit [1] corporations, limited liability [2] companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests [3] under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

[1] Should not be limited to “for profit”.  This allows companies, churches, etc. to set up non-profit corporations specifically to contribute to campaigns.
[2]  Should not be limited to “limited liability”.  That would mean partnerships and unincorporated companies would be exempt from this.
[3] This appears to be a loophole because it allows organizations not established for “business purposes” to be exempt from this amendment.

Occam

So, your problem with the proposed amendment is that it doesn’t go far enough.

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Posted: 21 January 2012 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 21 January 2012 12:30 AM

Unfortunately, that’s a very bad idea. One could easily take the language of some of those sections to justify election rigging in the name of government oversight.

Here’s a file with the actual proposal:

http://sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Saving-American-Democracy.pdf

There are only 4 sections and only 1 having to do with oversight.  Though you had a problem with sections (plural). Is it that you prefer that corporations have virtually unlimited influence (in which case it seems to me that “election rigging” becomes a moot concept?

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Posted: 21 January 2012 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Quoting TimB:

So, your problem with the proposed amendment is that it doesn’t go far enough.

  Yeah, it’s sort of like telling us the the Income Tax rules are fair for everyone but including sleazy deductions for certain industries.  It isn’t that this proposed amendment doesn’t go far enough; rather it’s that it allows quite a few loopholes that the present wealthy and superpac types will be able to use.  Like the McCain-Feingold law which was supposed to stop campaign finance abuses but just made it extremely difficult for small honest political clubs to function, but let large donors do whatever they wanted, this amendment will do the same.  As it stands, it is worse than worthless.

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Posted: 21 January 2012 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Occam. - 21 January 2012 09:13 PM

Quoting TimB:

So, your problem with the proposed amendment is that it doesn’t go far enough.

  Yeah, it’s sort of like telling us the the Income Tax rules are fair for everyone but including sleazy deductions for certain industries.  It isn’t that this proposed amendment doesn’t go far enough; rather it’s that it allows quite a few loopholes that the present wealthy and superpac types will be able to use.  Like the McCain-Feingold law which was supposed to stop campaign finance abuses but just made it extremely difficult for small honest political clubs to function, but let large donors do whatever they wanted, this amendment will do the same.  As it stands, it is worse than worthless.

Occam

That’s unfortunate.  If you can’t trust Bernie Sanders, who can you trust?

I will look for alternative proposed amendments.  Are you aware of any?

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Posted: 22 January 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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TimB - 21 January 2012 02:02 PM

It’s not a long amendment.  Since you haven’t specified what’s in it to support the assertion that tricky games or election rigging would result, I suppose you are referring to section 4. 

That’s what I saw:

“SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.”

Meaning that it’s possible to set spending by every candidate but the incumbent to zero.

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Posted: 22 January 2012 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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How about this one?

The Loosely Based on Occam’s Oiriginal Idea Amendment
(aka: The If You Can’t Beat ‘Em. Join ‘Em, and Try to Beat ‘Em Amendment)

Section 1: In times of national debt, the voting process in all elections, Federal, State, and Local will be suspended and replaced by donations by any and all interested entities, foreign and domestic.
Section 2: In each case the candidate whose donations are the highest amount will be deemed the winner for that office.
Section 3: The sum of all donations submitted will be directly and completely used to pay down the national debt.
Section 4: In any given year in which the national debt does not decrease, all offices will be subject to a renewed donation selection cycle.
Section 5: When the national debt becomes a surplus, the donation selection process will be suspended and an elective process renewed.

[ Edited: 22 January 2012 12:59 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 22 January 2012 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Or more conservatively, how about this one:

Move to Amend 28th Amendment


Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated]
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. 
Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.


Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]
Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.


Section 3
Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

http://movetoamend.org/amendment

[ Edited: 22 January 2012 05:11 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 23 January 2012 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 22 January 2012 10:20 AM
TimB - 21 January 2012 02:02 PM

It’s not a long amendment.  Since you haven’t specified what’s in it to support the assertion that tricky games or election rigging would result, I suppose you are referring to section 4. 

That’s what I saw:

“SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.”

Meaning that it’s possible to set spending by every candidate but the incumbent to zero.

I don’t think it would be interpreted that way. I think it would be interpreted to mean that all regulations apply to all candidates equally.

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Posted: 23 January 2012 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Quoting Domokato:

I don’t think it would be interpreted that way. I think it would be interpreted to mean that all regulations apply to all candidates equally.

  Are you kidding??????  Haven’t you been watching the irrational interpretations the Republical majority in our congress have been coming up with these last two years? 

The legislators are, by definition, incumbents.  If they have an easy path to assuring their re-election they would almost certainly take it.  TromboneAndrew’s last sentence is quite likely to be an accurate prediction.

Occam

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Posted: 23 January 2012 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I just don’t see how it could be interpreted that way as it would appear to the public and to justices to be plainly unfair.

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Posted: 23 January 2012 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Ok, but putting aside the Sander’s Amendment proposal for the moment, what about the other serious Amendment proposal?

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