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Why aren’t Corporations limited to individual campaign contribution limits, if they are to be considered individuals?
Posted: 20 February 2012 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Write4U - 20 February 2012 06:28 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 20 February 2012 05:41 PM
Charles Collom - 18 February 2012 11:57 PM

No one has a right to demand their opinion be heard. Everyone has the right to express their opinion and to hear those opinions in which they are interested. A trillion dollars of ad buys will not change my ability to create a blog for free, stand on a street corner, knock on my neighbors’ doors.

Yea, but it does make a difference whether a few dozen listen to you or a few… or very many hundreds of thousands of people listen to you.

As I understand it, a corporation has certain rights and obligations similar to a person, but are “distinct” from persons.

from wiki,

A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members

  Red highlight by me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation

and

The concept of legal personality is not absolute. “Piercing the corporate veil” refers to looking at individual natural persons acting as agents involved in a corporate action or decision; this may result in a legal decision in which the rights or duties of a corporation are treated as the rights or liabilities of that corporation’s shareholders or directors. Generally, legal persons do not have all of the same rights—such as the right to freedom of speech—that natural persons have, although the United States has become an exception in this regard).
The concept of a legal person is now central to Western law in both common-law and civil-law countries, but it is also found in virtually every legal system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_person

IMO the term “distinct from” is the key word in this definition. By lifting the “veil” the supreme court has in effect stricken the phrase distinct from from the actual legal definition of what a corporation is. How they can do this without legislative power is a mystery to me. They can interpret the law but not alter it without congress.

[ Edited: 20 February 2012 11:22 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 21 February 2012 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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IMHO, the best solution isn’t to limit money flow, but to make all politically-focused money open to public audit. No secrecy.

Getting back on point, Charles brought up some valid points and to partially adddress one, the Citizens United decision by the Court has allowed corporations to pump millions of dollars into pacs that support conservative candidates and thus far, over 60 mill. has been spent by rep. candidates alone. Over 90% of these ads are negative attacks on presidential candidates according to NPR. This negates the ideal of “one person, one vote” as super pacs pour millions into the warchests of candidates favoring their corporate agendas. Ex. the Koch brothers who backed conservative candidates in the Northwest (including Ohio) in a vain attempt to end collective bargaining, poured money into the coffers of Walker and Kasich.  There is a movement afoot to petition the Court to reverse the ruling and level the field so to speak as the coming presidential election begins to heat up the airwaves. Here is a list of the superpacs. Decide for yourself who has the advantage:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php?cycle=2012


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 21 February 2012 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 21 February 2012 07:15 AM

IMHO, the best solution isn’t to limit money flow, but to make all politically-focused money open to public audit. No secrecy.

Getting back on point, Charles brought up some valid points and to partially adddress one, the Citizens United decision by the Court has allowed corporations to pump millions of dollars into pacs that support conservative candidates and thus far, over 60 mill. has been spent by rep. candidates alone. Over 90% of these ads are negative attacks on presidential candidates according to NPR. This negates the ideal of “one person, one vote” as super pacs pour millions into the warchests of candidates favoring their corporate agendas. Ex. the Koch brothers who backed conservative candidates in the Northwest (including Ohio) in a vain attempt to end collective bargaining, poured money into the coffers of Walker and Kasich.  There is a movement afoot to petition the Court to reverse the ruling and level the field so to speak as the coming presidential election begins to heat up the airwaves. Here is a list of the superpacs. Decide for yourself who has the advantage:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php?cycle=2012


Cap’t Jack

Um, are you relpying to me or Charles?

With regard to SuperPACs, my point isn’t that SuperPACs don’t disclose. It is that the people and corporations and unions and et cetera who give their money to SuperPACs don’t. Those are the ones extending influence, and those are the ones who are abusing their anonymity. How do we really know how the Koch brothers bought political influence? They don’t have to disclose anything if they check the correct legal boxes.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The “corporate veil”, at least in these glorious United States, serves generally as a shield protecting individual officers, directors and shareholders of a corporation from liability attributable in law to the corporation.  For example, if the corporation enters into a contract or purchases something, or manufactures a defective product, or causes harm due to the negligence of one of its employees, the corporation is liable but its officers, directors, shareholders are not individually liable.  There are exceptions to this rule.  When courts/lawyers speak of “lifting the corporate veil” what is normally meant is holding certain of the individuals involved in the operations of the corporation liable for a corporate obligation, not according to the corporation the legal rights of those individuals.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Um, are you relpying to me or Charles?

With regard to SuperPACs, my point isn’t that SuperPACs don’t disclose. It is that the people and corporations and unions and et cetera who give their money to SuperPACs don’t. Those are the ones extending influence, and those are the ones who are abusing their anonymity. How do we really know how the Koch brothers bought political influence? They don’t have to disclose anything if they check the correct legal boxes

I was replying to Charles’ post # 11 but to yours too. In the case of the Koch Brothers, it’s painfully obvious where they are putting their money. It seems that funds contributed to the superpacs could be tracked via tax returns as these funds must be listed as taxable or tax write offs by the IRS. How could major contributers cover their tracks when they donate millions to these pacs? IMO tracking large amounts of money should be fairly easy to spot.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/06/nation/la-na-koch-brothers-20110206


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 21 February 2012 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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ciceronianus - 21 February 2012 02:58 PM

The “corporate veil”, at least in these glorious United States, serves generally as a shield protecting individual officers, directors and shareholders of a corporation from liability attributable in law to the corporation.  For example, if the corporation enters into a contract or purchases something, or manufactures a defective product, or causes harm due to the negligence of one of its employees, the corporation is liable but its officers, directors, shareholders are not individually liable.  There are exceptions to this rule.  When courts/lawyers speak of “lifting the corporate veil” what is normally meant is holding certain of the individuals involved in the operations of the corporation liable for a corporate obligation, not according to the corporation the legal rights of those individuals.

Yes, but in the case of PACS, the corporate veil cannot be lifted and individuals cannot be held responsible for slander and/or character assasination, as is the preferred way of destroying one’e political enemies today.

What I find most distressing in a general way is, if all those millions and even billions of dollars were spent on building schools or hospitals or infrastructure, the reputation of the donors would give them much more credibility and if then an endorsement is offered it would carry the weight of veracity. This is why Buffet is cited so often, he admits the inequality of benefits between being rich and poor and therefore has “earned” a good reputation, where the Koch brothers are unversally despised.
The corporate veils have not been lifted through law, but by intrepid journalists.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 21 February 2012 03:07 PM

I was replying to Charles’ post # 11 but to yours too. In the case of the Koch Brothers, it’s painfully obvious where they are putting their money. It seems that funds contributed to the superpacs could be tracked via tax returns as these funds must be listed as taxable or tax write offs by the IRS. How could major contributers cover their tracks when they donate millions to these pacs? IMO tracking large amounts of money should be fairly easy to spot.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/06/nation/la-na-koch-brothers-20110206


Cap’t Jack

Using tax returns to figure out who paid for what commercials isn’t a viable method of public disclosure, from the simple fact that tax returns happen once per year and people who are going to vote will not have the time to wait until next year’s tax returns to be made public (if at all) when they vote in 3 weeks.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I thought that individual or corporate tax returns are not open to public scrutiny, unless by subpoena. OTOH, the “voluntary” disclosure of tax returns of public figures or people seeking public office, I believe is customary requirement, as well as other “private” details of one’s lifestyle, religion, and moral convictions. That’s the nature of “vetting” a candidate.

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Posted: 22 February 2012 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 21 February 2012 07:15 AM

IMHO, the best solution isn’t to limit money flow, but to make all politically-focused money open to public audit. No secrecy.

Getting back on point, Charles brought up some valid points and to partially adddress one, the Citizens United decision by the Court has allowed corporations to pump millions of dollars into pacs that support conservative candidates and thus far, over 60 mill. has been spent by rep. candidates alone. Over 90% of these ads are negative attacks on presidential candidates according to NPR. This negates the ideal of “one person, one vote” as super pacs pour millions into the warchests of candidates favoring their corporate agendas. Ex. the Koch brothers who backed conservative candidates in the Northwest (including Ohio) in a vain attempt to end collective bargaining, poured money into the coffers of Walker and Kasich.  There is a movement afoot to petition the Court to reverse the ruling and level the field so to speak as the coming presidential election begins to heat up the airwaves. Here is a list of the superpacs. Decide for yourself who has the advantage:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php?cycle=2012


Cap’t Jack

Those listed as conservative, appear to have raised $90 million plus, while those listed as liberal appear to have raised $20 million plus.  If this pattern holds. Obama will be at a major disadvantage in superpac money spent on his campaign vs. Romney’s.  (More likely, the pattern will not hold and much more money will come in on both sides.  This coming Presidential general election will probably have the most money ever spent on a campaign.)  Purple states may look forward to a slight economic boost from the sheer amount of campaign money that will be spent.

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Posted: 22 February 2012 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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TimB,

Just saw the latest figures. Republican PACs have raised about 68 million so far (mostly from large donors), while Democratic PACs (Obama) have raised 102 million (mostly from small donors). It is estimated that 25% of all moneys raised came from 5 large donors. (4 republican and 1 democrat)

One good statistic here is that the small donors (mostly democrats) are far greater in numbers and actual votes (if they are allowed to vote)

[ Edited: 22 February 2012 05:14 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 23 February 2012 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Write4U - 22 February 2012 05:10 PM

TimB,

Just saw the latest figures. Republican PACs have raised about 68 million so far (mostly from large donors), while Democratic PACs (Obama) have raised 102 million (mostly from small donors). It is estimated that 25% of all moneys raised came from 5 large donors. (4 republican and 1 democrat)

One good statistic here is that the small donors (mostly democrats) are far greater in numbers and actual votes (if they are allowed to vote)

We “small donors” prefer the term “persons who contribute small donations”.  smile

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 February 2012 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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TimB - 23 February 2012 11:45 AM
Write4U - 22 February 2012 05:10 PM

TimB,

Just saw the latest figures. Republican PACs have raised about 68 million so far (mostly from large donors), while Democratic PACs (Obama) have raised 102 million (mostly from small donors). It is estimated that 25% of all moneys raised came from 5 large donors. (4 republican and 1 democrat)

One good statistic here is that the small donors (mostly democrats) are far greater in numbers and actual votes (if they are allowed to vote)

We “small donors” prefer the term “persons who contribute small donations”.  smile

Touche, I consider myself to be such a “person”. 

On second thought, the trends seems to be towards “large persons” (corporate persons) and “persons who contribute small donatoions”.

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