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Would Democrats Amend Constitution to Stop the Koch Brothers?
Townhall.com ^ | May 19, 2014 | Byron York

Posted on 05/19/2014 3:18:25 PM PDT by jazusamo

It's no longer news when Majority Leader Harry Reid takes to the floor of the Senate to denounce the Koch brothers. But most Americans probably don't know that Reid and many of his Democratic colleagues now want to amend the U.S. Constitution in far-reaching ways to put an end to the conservative billionaires' political influence.

"The shadowy Koch brothers are attempting ... a hostile takeover of American democracy," Reid charged recently. "No one should be able to pump unlimited funds into a political campaign."

Reid urged his fellow lawmakers to support a proposed constitutional amendment, written by Democratic Sen. Tom Udall and co-sponsored by 40 of the Senate's 55 Democrats, that would give Congress the right to regulate all political contributions and all spending of any kind in all federal elections. (It would also give states the power to do the same in state elections.) The Supreme Court has held such far-reaching restrictions to be unconstitutional, which is why Reid wants to take the extreme step of changing the nation's founding document.

"Amending our Constitution is not something we take lightly," Reid said. "But the flood of special interest money into our American democracy is one of the greatest threats our system of government has ever faced."

The Udall amendment is brief. This is the heart of it:

"Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to federal elections, including setting limits on (1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, federal office, and (2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates."

The amendment would grant incredible power to Congress: the authority to regulate every dollar raised and every dollar spent by every campaign and every outside group in every federal race in America. It would do the same for non-monetary, or "in-kind" contributions -- that is, when a person or organization contributes goods or services to a campaign. If Reid had his way, the U.S. Constitution would include the phrase "in-kind equivalents."

The Udall amendment is not some sort of eccentric crusade. It is the latest in a long line of efforts to limit campaign contributions and spending. And liberals have been particularly angry recently after the results of the McCutcheon and Citizens United cases.

But the Udall amendment is also part of a Democratic 2014 midterm electoral strategy that focuses on the Kochs as stand-in villains representing all of America's economic ills.

Building on the Occupy Wall Street movement and the successful portrayal of Mitt Romney as a plutocrat in the 2012 presidential election, wrote Washington Post liberal blogger Greg Sargent recently, Democratic strategists now believe "struggling swing voters are more open to the argument that the influence of big money in politics is one of the key reasons (along with other long-running trends) for rising inequality and a key cause of why the economy is rigged against them and for the wealthy ... "

It seems a long shot, but Democrats are facing a pretty tough environment this year. Maybe it's the best they have.

Still, proposing to amend the Constitution is a serious thing. Yes, it has been done for frivolous purposes in the past: In 1989, George H.W. Bush supported a proposed amendment to ban flag burning. But now, Reid, Charles Schumer and other top Democrats pledge that the Udall amendment will be debated in the full Senate and receive a vote -- and perhaps several votes -- this year. They are serious.

After Reid's announcement of support, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime veteran of the campaign finance wars, expressed outrage, calling the amendment "an all-out assault on the right to free speech" and "the ultimate act of radicalism."

Privately, some Hill Republicans see the move as a Democratic effort to bait GOP leaders into defending the Kochs. Which would of course be followed by more Democratic denunciations of the Kochs.

As far as the amendment itself is concerned, there's not a chance in the world Democrats will succeed. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate, and then approval by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. It won't happen.

But the very fact that Democrats plan to seriously consider a constitutional amendment born of an election-year strategy to silence a pair of big conservative contributors suggests how far Reid and his colleagues would go to crack down on political adversaries. Is any temporary partisan advantage worth such a radical step?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: amendment; campaignfinance; constitution; corruptreid; farce; kochbrothers; reid; soros
Harry Reid is a disgrace to the US Senate and the USA, this is a complete waste of time
1 posted on 05/19/2014 3:18:25 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

It’s just the usual liberal two-faced phony outrage. If Dingy Harry thinks he can get that passed, much less ratified, he’s smoking crack.


2 posted on 05/19/2014 3:22:33 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: jazusamo

I think Harry has either had a stroke or he knows he is about to be charged with something and is preparing for an ‘insanity defense’.


3 posted on 05/19/2014 3:23:36 PM PDT by CMailBag
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To: Billthedrill

” If Dingy Harry thinks he can get that passed, much less ratified, he’s smoking crack.’

I think he is probably smoking crack whether he thinks he can get it passed or not


4 posted on 05/19/2014 3:24:37 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: jazusamo

To answer the question of the title: of course, if that were the only way to fulfill their agenda, but circumventing the Constitution is always easier.


5 posted on 05/19/2014 3:25:44 PM PDT by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: CMailBag

I think your on to something, a stroke is possible but I’d go with the progression of debilitating dementia in the elderly.


6 posted on 05/19/2014 3:28:09 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

7 posted on 05/19/2014 3:28:26 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: jazusamo

Just how would they do anything that would limit those like the Koch brothers with likewise limit their sugar daddy Soros? No they want to rant and rave and demonize the Koch’s but even if they could amend the Constitution they won’t.


8 posted on 05/19/2014 3:28:47 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: jazusamo
Would Democrats Amend Constitution to Stop the Koch Brothers?

Not a chance. Because it would also cut off their funding from Tom Steyer, George Soros, and a host of other individuals and organization that contribute far more to the Democrats than the Republicans receive.

This is nothing but messaging, to sway the easily confused and wavering Democrats. But, I shouldn't repeat myself.

9 posted on 05/19/2014 3:30:11 PM PDT by justlurking (tagline removed, as demanded by Admin Moderator)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; Mastador1

Bump.


10 posted on 05/19/2014 3:30:48 PM PDT by jazusamo
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

11 posted on 05/19/2014 3:35:19 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo
[Art., quoting Reid] "But the flood of special interest money into our American democracy is one of the greatest threats our system of government has ever faced."

Communist, syndicalist, Democrat "527", foreign national and criminal contributions and political slush funds don't count against that "flood", though, do they, Harry?

12 posted on 05/19/2014 3:36:15 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: jazusamo

give them the super majorities they had in 08 and 09 and they will.


13 posted on 05/19/2014 3:37:50 PM PDT by ealgeone (obama, borderof)
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To: jazusamo
I don't think this kind of amendment to the US Constitution would pass. However, the 19th Amendment, Prohibition, wasn't taken seriously at the time and was sold to the states under false pretenses i.e, that beer and wine would be exempted and only hard liquor would be banned. That crazy Harry could actually find a sponsor for the bill is scary enough.

What we should fear more is the Obama administration killing free speech by executive actions. The FCC for example could pass some type of "fairness doctrine" that would muzzle talk radio. Internet censorship could happen too. In Australia government blocking of "offensive" or "hate speech" web sites was passed and set to be implemented. However, when the list of sites to be blocked was leaked many had purely political content. That ended the program.

14 posted on 05/19/2014 3:38:37 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: justlurking
Not a chance. Because it would also cut off their funding from Tom Steyer, George Soros, and a host of other individuals and organization that contribute far more to the Democrats than the Republicans receive.

Oh, come on -- you're completely giving the 'Rats insufficient credit here for being able to rise to the challenge of total, naked hypocrisy.

OF COURSE they'll still be entitled to gorge themselves on illegal contributions.

Just ask Slick Willie and Barky: Owning the Justice Department means never having to say "I'm sorry".

15 posted on 05/19/2014 3:39:41 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: jazusamo
Doesn't anyone read the US Constitution? Democrats in Congress cannot change or amend the Constitution. Article V.

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.


16 posted on 05/19/2014 3:41:13 PM PDT by The_Republic_Of_Maine (Be kept informed on Maine's secession, sign up at freemaine@hushmail.com)
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To: jazusamo
...Reid and many of his Democratic colleagues now want to amend the U.S. Constitution...

Not gonna happen.

And Slimy Harry is the last damned person that could convince 2/3rds of the states to go along.

17 posted on 05/19/2014 3:41:52 PM PDT by OldSmaj (I am an avowed enemy of islam and obama is a damned fool and traitor. Questions?)
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To: The Great RJ

You make good points.

There’s been more and more talk of control of the Internet and reigning in “offensive and hate speech” from leftists and Dems, but I repeat myself.


18 posted on 05/19/2014 3:44:55 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

G
e
o
r
g
e

S
o
r
o
s


19 posted on 05/19/2014 3:48:12 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: jazusamo
George Soros is WATCHING!!!...


20 posted on 05/19/2014 3:59:53 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: jazusamo
this is a complete waste of time

Not if you understand how political theater can influence voting in a close election year. It has no chance of passing but the media will pounce on the Koch brothers in typical demagogic fashion. There will never be any mention that the Koch's have donated about $30 million to conservative causes while Tom Steyer just promised $100 million to Democrats. That's in addition to the multiple millions George Soros, Hollywood moguls, Silicon Valley billionaires, Bill Gates and other rich Leftist elitists have pumped into Democrat campaigns.

21 posted on 05/19/2014 3:59:53 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: jazusamo

The Democrats want to amend the Constitution not so much to stop the Koch brothers as to stop the average American citizen.


22 posted on 05/19/2014 4:13:13 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Have a wonderful day!)
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To: jazusamo

Amend the constitution? Bring it on, Harry. You have to get the states (3/4 of them) to agree with it. Don’t you know ANYTHING, Harry?


23 posted on 05/19/2014 4:46:05 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: jazusamo

“No one should be able to pump unlimited funds into a political campaign.”

That include your union buddies, Harry? What a POS.


24 posted on 05/19/2014 4:47:43 PM PDT by bk1000 (A clear conscience is a sure sign of a poor memory)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Thanks jazusamo.
Reid urged his fellow lawmakers to support a proposed constitutional amendment, written by Democratic Sen. Tom Udall and co-sponsored by 40 of the Senate's 55 Democrats, that would give Congress the right to regulate all political contributions and all spending of any kind in all federal elections. (It would also give states the power to do the same in state elections.) The Supreme Court has held such far-reaching restrictions to be unconstitutional, which is why Reid wants to take the extreme step of changing the nation's founding document.
No one who supports this proposal is anything but an enemy of the people and Constitution of the United States.
25 posted on 05/19/2014 5:09:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: jazusamo

We need a nutjob in the GOP to start screaming about the Soros boogey man at every opportunity.


26 posted on 05/19/2014 5:15:27 PM PDT by Truth is a Weapon (Truth, it hurts so good.)
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To: jazusamo

Anyone who thinks the democrats are above an amendment
outlawing other political parties, hasn’t been paying
attention to what the democrats are saying.


27 posted on 05/19/2014 5:17:28 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: jazusamo
"The shadowy Koch brothers are attempting ... a hostile takeover of American democracy," Reid charged recently. "No one should be able to pump unlimited funds into a political campaign."

Another glaring example of liberal projection. It is not the Koch brothers who are pouring unlimited funds into political campaigns; that is George Soros, who is the liberal sugar daddy.

28 posted on 05/19/2014 7:02:08 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: jazusamo

Don’t know what they are worried about. The Koch brothers don’t seem to be making much headway.


29 posted on 05/19/2014 8:16:51 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: bk1000; SunkenCiv
“No one should be able to pump unlimited funds into a political campaign.”
That include your union buddies, Harry?
The fallacy in all of “Campaign Finance Reform” regulation is that it presupposes that the government can distinguish clearly between objective fact and political opinion. The First Amendment does not make that distinction; the First Amendment applies to your speech whether you are reading the telephone book, reading the Nicene Creed, or declaiming your allegiance to a political candidate. Or anything in between.

The trouble with journalism, a.k.a. “the media,” is that all major journalism outlets are associated. In consequence of which, all major journalism outlets go along and get along with each other, and there is no ideological competition among them. How are they associated? By their membership in the Associated Press (and/or any other wire services). Why is their ideological temperament “liberal?” Because socialism is the conceit that critics are superior to performers - and journalists do nothing but criticize. Their preference for reporting bad news makes that inevitable.

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

31 posted on 05/20/2014 7:08:32 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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