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Justices Raise Doubts on Campaign Finance
New York Times ^ | 26 April 2007 | Linda Greenhouse

Posted on 04/26/2007 4:26:47 AM PDT by shrinkermd

WASHINGTON, April 25 — The Supreme Court put defenders of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law on the defensive on Wednesday in a spirited argument that suggested the court could soon open a significant loophole in the measure.

At issue is a major provision of the five-year-old law that bars corporations and labor unions from paying for advertisements that mention the name of a candidate for federal office and that are broadcast 60 days before an election or 30 days before a primary. By a 5-to-4 vote in December 2003, the court held that the provision, on its face, passed First Amendment muster.

But a new majority may view more expansively the Constitution’s protection of political messages as free speech, and invite a flood of advertising paid for by corporations and unions as the 2008 elections move into high gear.

The argument on Wednesday was over whether, despite the 2003 blanket endorsement, the law would be constitutional if applied to three specific ads that an anti-abortion group sought to broadcast before the 2004 Senate election in Wisconsin.

The ads, sponsored by Wisconsin Right to Life Inc., mentioned the state’s two senators, both Democrats: Russell D. Feingold, a co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold law, who was up for re-election, and Herb Kohl, who was not. The advertisements’ focus was a Democratic-led filibuster of some of President Bush’s judicial nominees. Viewers were urged to “contact Senators Feingold and Kohl and tell them to oppose the filibuster.” The ads provided no contact information, instead directing viewers to a Web site that contained explicit criticism of Mr. Feingold

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: campaign; financereform; scotus
Hard to excerpt this long article which contains the meat of the campaign finance reform imbroglio.

The Solicitor General (Administration) has apparent strong head winds opposing his views.

We will have to see. In the meantime, the term "Campaign Finance Reform" or McCain/Feingold is a misnomer. It should be "incumbent protection act."

One can hope, indeed pray, SCOTUS has sufficient wisdom to see with the Internet, Blogs and Talk Radio free speech is going to be hard to suppress; therefore, preventing special interest groups from issue advertisements is a waste of time and destined, at best, to weaken the court's image and authority.

1 posted on 04/26/2007 4:26:50 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

All I can say is duh...


2 posted on 04/26/2007 4:28:43 AM PDT by DB
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To: shrinkermd

Thank God Sandra is off the court.


3 posted on 04/26/2007 4:30:07 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: shrinkermd

We got campaign finance reform because of a cleverly crafted disinformation campaign by the Marxists at Pew, a democrat propaganda organization.

The story exposing this lie, by John Fund at the Wall Street Journal, can’t be posted, so here’s the link to read it -

http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110006449


4 posted on 04/26/2007 4:34:38 AM PDT by sergeantdave (Give Hillary a 50 coupon for Betty Crocker's devils food mix & tell her to go home and bake a cake)
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To: shrinkermd

Amendment I (revised by the Incumbents in Congress to Perpetuate Their Exalted Positions)


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances
except to help anyone already in Congress to stay therein
thus making for two types of Americas - those already in Office,
and the rest who will pay for their salary, trips, pensions, whores, computers, SUVs, .......


5 posted on 04/26/2007 4:46:04 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: shrinkermd

The Supreme Court is no longer operting like the “Do Be There Club”.


6 posted on 04/26/2007 4:53:13 AM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: shrinkermd
This act was put into place to keep the gun-owners quiet, since they were the major factor in the 1994 change in Congress.

McCain is anti-gun and wanted to keep that as quiet as possible.

7 posted on 04/26/2007 4:57:13 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (For what saith the scripture? (Rom.4:3))
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To: fortheDeclaration

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.


8 posted on 04/26/2007 5:02:27 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: shrinkermd
"significant loophole.."......the Constitution, perhaps?
9 posted on 04/26/2007 5:12:45 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: shrinkermd

I think the ad-ban is an infrigement of free speech, but I’d never thought of the angle Judge Alito brought up.

Suppose a Senator running for re-election introduces a controversial bill within 60 days of election day? Would it be illegal for interest groups to run contact-that-senator ads? I never thought of that. This law basically gives senators a free-from-criticism period to pass laws without the public being notified.


10 posted on 04/26/2007 5:33:01 AM PDT by Timeout (I hate MediaCrats! ......and trial lawyers.)
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To: shrinkermd

We had hoped it would get repealed before.


11 posted on 04/26/2007 6:03:54 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: sergeantdave
Good post. I forgot about this. How about the following paragraph? Makes one sick. Probably the same technique being used on POTUS regarding WOT.

"...What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."

12 posted on 04/26/2007 6:04:24 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: Timeout
I think the ad-ban is an infrigement of free speech, but I’d never thought of the angle Judge Alito brought up.

Alito is the fifth vote.

We already had Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas & Roberts on this one.

We win 5-4.

13 posted on 04/26/2007 6:08:08 AM PDT by NeoCaveman (A proud member of the Frederalist society.)
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To: shrinkermd

I think any limit on campaign spending violates free speech. Anyone or any body should be free to spend whatever he, she, or it wants; that’s what freedom and capitalism are all about. If the McCain-Feingold standards were applied to newspapers, for example, there would be a limit on the number of pages in the daily paper, a limit to editorial space, and periods of required editorial and political reporting silence before an election.


14 posted on 04/26/2007 6:09:03 AM PDT by pleikumud
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To: shrinkermd
Lots’ of people to blame for McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, but here’s the main culprits:

1) McLame — Why did he do it?
2) GW — GW signed the bill saying, “I’ll sign it but the Courts are going to say it’s unconstitutional!”

Why didn’t GW VETO it!!!!!

15 posted on 04/26/2007 6:14:20 AM PDT by TRY ONE (NUKE the unborn gay whales!)
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To: shrinkermd

Maybe when he was shepherding Roberts through the nomination process, Fred told him, don’t thank me, just you get there, see about that CFR monster, will ya? :)


16 posted on 04/26/2007 6:21:13 AM PDT by Graymatter (FREDeralist)
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To: TRY ONE
Why didn’t GW VETO it!!!!!

No nuts, that's why.

17 posted on 04/26/2007 6:28:38 AM PDT by Inquisitive1
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To: Timeout

the timing is ‘suspcious’ ... think about the Dan Rather TANG report brilliantly exposed here on FR by Buckhead. That was aired September 8, 2004; the election was within 60 days.

Had the fraud not been exposed, there would have been no way for any pro-Bush organization to combat it. What if it had been intended solely as a trial balloon before the media, which is unaffected by CFR, really got going on that issue?

To me, the worst aspect of the nefarious CFR is its exclusion of the media from any restrictions, while tying the hands of advocacy groups.


18 posted on 04/26/2007 6:57:45 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: shrinkermd

McCain - Feingold - and its crafters and executors should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Its a Constitutional abortion.


19 posted on 04/26/2007 7:09:31 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: sergeantdave
Thanks for the link to that article. I no longer pay any attention to polls when I see the name "Pew" attached to them. If they have done this once, I'm sure they've done it other times, as well. Liars lie.

This also points out what a bunch of idiots we send to Congress every couple of years. Maybe if these elected representatives actually listened to what their constituents are saying, they wouldn't be duped by efforts like the one put forth by Pew. Instead, they allow themselves to be influenced by the D.C. echo chamber.

20 posted on 04/26/2007 10:01:32 AM PDT by Major Matt Mason (Advocacy journalism has killed the news business.)
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