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  • Posted by Zenphamy 5 years, 6 months ago
    I've wondered before what would happen if anyone, at any level, that receives pay, grants, contracts, etc from the gov't were blocked from involvement or donation in politics.
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 6 months ago
    The reason that many of us in the Gulch are against Planned Parenthood is because it is a critical looter/moocher pillar to topple. While I think abortion is a poor decision in the vast majority of cases, ultimately it is that person's decision. The relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Democrat/Socialist politicians, on the other hand, epitomizes how America has veered from its founding principles.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 years, 6 months ago
      Planned Parenthood isn't using government money to support the Cackles campaign, which is illegal (and it isn't using it for abortions either). But it is getting tons of taxpayer funds for its general operations that include leftist propagandizing permeating the organization on a routine daily basis. It is one of thousands of NGOs being subsidized by taxpayers. All of them should be cut off.

      The conservatives aren't trying to do that, they want to defund PP to destroy the organization for its abortions -- which are legal and up to the choice of the women who want them -- while they divert the same funding and more to the other NGOs. They are obsessing over PP over religious injunctions against abortion, trying to equate it with the major policy issues like the enormous deficit, Obama health control, and illegal immigration threatening the country.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 6 months ago
        "All of them should be cut off."
        I N D E E D ! along with all the other unconstitutional funding.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 years, 6 months ago
          Yes but here we are discussing a whole host of groups ideologically and politically similar to PP, though in many cases with different functions. The conservatives are doing nothing to stop or reduce their funding, only increasing it while making an hysterical scene over PP out of opposition to legal abortion.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 6 months ago
            ewv, you manage to be insulting even when people agree with you.
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            • Posted by ewv 5 years, 6 months ago
              If someone is insulted by principled rejection of anti-abortion activism he is in the wrong place or needs to check his premises. The frantic, hysterical Alinskyite tactics to destroy PP because it provides abortions is unconscionable, and so is the strategy in Congress of artificially elevating the funding of that one organization to a central issue, especially with so many sweeping fundamental problems in government. There are many reasons to oppose PP and to oppose its government funding, but not through anti-abortion discrimination while shifting the funds elsewhere. They are not Acorn. The publicized reasons and methods for defunding PP matter.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 6 months ago
                ewv, I don't know why you post here in the gulch. A rational reason might be to post here in an attempt to share your point of view and by showing the reason behind your conclusion, thereby convince others to accept that conclusion. However,.you frequently treat other posters as if their observations are beneath contempt even when they agree with you. You are unlikely to win anyone to your way of thinking with the condescension you consistently display. Your message may be valid. Your delivery of the message needs a lot of improvement.
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              • Posted by 5 years, 6 months ago
                you have a blindspot when it comes to this org. why?
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                • Posted by conscious1978 5 years, 6 months ago
                  K, I see the surgical precision of someone able to expose the Conservative's monetary slight of hand behind the Loud camouflage of their betrayal of rights. As ewv said, there are plenty of reasons to oppose PP, but a woman's right to an abortion is not one of them. If Conservatives opposed the funding of PP, as wrong, on the basis of unconstitutional funding, then they would have to throw their NGO babies out with the bath water...and they don't have the acorns for that.
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      • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 6 months ago
        Officially they aren't but the catch with money is that it is fungible. Money it gets from one source to do Foo is money it doesn't have to use to do Foo from another source.
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      • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 6 months ago
        When the government gives to an NGO's general fund and the NGO uses "other" funds to carry out part of its mission or to support politicos that will enable them, your argument, though technically correct, is mostly a semantic one.

        I agree with the remainder of what you said, particularly regarding the idea that all NGOs should be cut off. Regarding conservatives' attempt to equate abortion with other major policy issues, I will agree that conservatives view all of those issues as immoral.

        Happy New Year, ewv.
        +1 for "Cackles campaign"
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        • Posted by ewv 5 years, 6 months ago
          Money is fungible and any support for general operations also serves to indirectly support specific activities even though the money cannot be spent on them directly. But the fact that PP provides abortion services is not a justification to destroy it, and the conservatives are dishonest in pretending that the money is for abortions and that they are trying to cut spending on the subsidies. They aren't cutting subsidies, they are redistributing and increasing them.

          In obviously going after legal abortion they are package-dealing their irrelevant and destructive religious campaign to important reforms, undermining rational support for the reforms and opposition to the left in Washington politics.
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          • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 6 months ago
            The Planned Parenthood topic is a case of politics making for strange bedfellows. The constitutionally thrifty like us have a different moral reason for defunding of Planned Parenthood than the social conservatives.
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            • Posted by 5 years, 6 months ago
              not necessarily. I oppose their operations because their stated goal is to decrease the world population. Pre-Natal care is only offered in 8% of clinics. (95% of all business is the abortion business. While I support a woman't right to choose, it seems moral to me to promote human life, encourage adoption and provide prenatal care to women who are poor, but find themselves pregnant.also, I don't like the taxpayer subsidy, they receive 500M a yr from federal govt.
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              • Posted by $ jbrenner 5 years, 6 months ago
                I will readily admit a bit of conflict with myself here. I also support a woman's right to choose, and am morally committed to promotion of human life and encouragement of adoption. The provision of prenatal care of poor women is problematic to me, because I don't want to force others to provide for the indigent women.

                You make a great point, kh.
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  • Posted by Butched 5 years, 6 months ago
    No organization should be allowed to donate to any campaign if they receive federal dollars. They are donating in essence taxpayer money which is money they took from me. They screw the books and say it's from other sources. If they are so concerned about woman's health issue that money should go elsewhere.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 6 months ago
    Maybe that's not our money...maybe that their baby parts money...it will be in good company in the vault with the monies of our enemy's.

    These creatures have done little to no good ever and there is no difference between Their or governments lies, perversions or corruptions.
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  • Posted by jabuttrick 5 years, 6 months ago
    Note the vast majority of the government funds going to PP are reimbursements for services provided to individuals receiving health care under government programs (medicare and medicaid). Such programs, and their cousins, direct government acquisitions, invite the recipients to become involved in politics to protect their cash flow. That's why we see such diverse groups as defense contractors, hospitals, drug companies, manufacturers of solar equipment, and on and on, lining up to support politicians. This is just another sick example of this amalgam of corruption and power politics.
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  • Posted by brkssb 5 years, 6 months ago
    The case against corporate political donations! If Planned Parenthood cannot sustain itself without the government dole, then it should go out of business and legal/political barricades that have prevented competition of provision of those services should be eliminated. Looters are worse than looters when they operate in a closed-loop conspiracy.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 5 years, 6 months ago
    It is interested to see how the taxes I through coercion pay can so playfully bounce around like a pinball to one entitled BING! to another entitled BING! on a machine where TILT has been disengaged.
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  • Posted by jdg 5 years, 6 months ago
    PP is the sole provider, in most parts of the US, of a service most of us -- including myself -- consider indispensable to liberty. As far as I'm concerned that makes them pretty much immune to criticism even if they mooch.

    Besides, it's a lot cheaper to abort an unwanted baby than to pay him/her the dole for life or have him/her go into crime, which are the most likely alternatives.

    It annoys me that PP supports leftist politicians, but what do you expect when rightists want PP destroyed?
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    • Posted by blackswan 5 years, 6 months ago
      There is NO justification for mooching. If you're suggesting that healthcare is unavailable unless PP is there, then there must not have been healthcare before PP existed, and if that's the case, then clearly healthcare is not a necessity, because we've clearly survived thousands of years without it. If you buy that idea, I have a used bridge to sell you.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 6 months ago
    Hillary and Planned Parenthood, become the evil twins of politics. They deserve each other. I feel the need for a shower just reading about them.
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 6 months ago
    I was going to say what he said. Is that a legal use of tax dollars that fund a non-profit? Well if they are an LLC yes? Corporations have 'personhood' and money is now classified as free speech. The worst is yet to come. Direct purchase of candidates and office holders is the next step. What did you expect?
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    • Posted by edweaver 5 years, 6 months ago
      IMHO, how an individual spends their own earned money is free speech. But that does not hold true for any individual or organization that receives taxpayer funds. They are simply looters perpetuating their existence. As K stated, this organization is evil.
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      • Posted by $ sjatkins 5 years, 6 months ago
        Try doing much of anything in many areas without arguably receiving something from the overbloated state. You need a LOT more than this to pronounce anyone or any organization evil.
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        • Posted by edweaver 5 years, 6 months ago
          I don't need more than this to call them evil. I consider all looters evil but despise looters funding political campaigns with taxpayer dollars that perpetuate their existence.

          But there is much more out there. A couple months ago I listened to an interview as a former director of Planned Parenthood explained their goals for abortion. Their goal was to convert as many people as possible to abortion as opposed to other ways to handle a pregnancy. My memory tells me that 95% of the people in for counseling end up aborting as opposed to other options. That high percentage was made understandable since they were selling the body parts for income, which I understand is the only funding they get besides taxpayer dollars.

          I'm trying to locate the podcast and will post it if I find it.
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 6 months ago
      Frankly I'll applaud the day we can openly purchase politicians.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 6 months ago
        If one looks at history, that's exactly how the 17th amendment was passed. A noted Senator from Montana was actively purchasing his position by bribing the members of the State Legislature to vote him into office.

        The problem is that making the Senate a public-vote has destroyed States' rights.
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 6 months ago
          That is a bit the other way, the politician buying his way in as opposed to s non-politician buying the politician but yes that is how we got the terrible state of one person two votes in the federal government. You are correct in that it is also the path to the fiasco we have today. The founders knew people were "hot headed" and would trample each other. Thus the Senate was to represent a competing interest to the people. It is one of the "checks and balances" we have lost.

          Ultimately though all the campaign finance stuff is placing bandaids on a sucking chest wound. The laws of supply and demand still apply to politics. As such the price of a vote/candidate isn't the cause but the conveyance of the relationship between the supply of power vs the demand for it. The more power is concentrated, the higher the price. Consequently if you want politics to less contentious and money to be less influential in politics one must decrease the power available - the more limited government. Alternatively, the other extreme is zero representation and everything is a direct vote by the entire citizenry.

          The latter always leads to a tyranny of the majority, but does eliminate the entire campaign finance issues. ;) Perhaps it could have worked decently when information travelled slowly or at least it was expected you took the time to consider your vote seriously - and when everyone involved personally know each other. The Gulch would have fallen into that category.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 6 months ago
            Either way we end up with someone's monetary means being the means to public office. That's not the way it was ever designed.

            Regarding campaign finance reform, I think there are a few reforms that could make all the difference in the world.
            1. Restrict all donations to individuals. No companies. No PAC's. No unions. This also includes both the Democratic and Republican National Committees.
            2. Individual contributions may be of any size, but candidates may not accept contributions from individuals outside of their voting district. No Bloombergs trying to change voting outside New York.
            3. Contributors MUST be eligible voters. Any accepted contributions ruled to be from ineligible participants are confiscated and subject the candidate to a fine of the amount of the contribution, i.e. the candidate forfeits the original contribution + pays a fine of that amount again.
            4. Candidates accepting contributions from aliens (non-citizens) may be ruled ineligible and may be stricken from the ballot.
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            • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 6 months ago
              I like item two. The first would be unconstitutional and an abridgment of the rights of assemblage. The third and fourth are open to too much abuse and overhead in my opinion.

              However I'd wager we could cut the problem down dramatically by instituting "one and done". As in you get one term in one political office and that is all. Plus it solves the largest complaint of politicians: having to keep re-election in mind and fundraise for it.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 6 months ago
                "Citizens' United" is a legitimate concern, I admit, for #1. The problem I see with it is that it also permits things like the Clinton Foundation. I want to do away with all political action bundling groups as fundraising platforms. I don't have a problem with issue organizations, what I have a problem with is a violation of representative democracy. The over-arching principle for me is "no representation without taxation". And corporations don't vote - only individuals do. (I'm also looking at it under the guise of the elimination of all corporate taxes. That would also eliminate the need for tax-exempt organizations in the first place - including religious organizations and PAC's both.)

                #3 is critical to prevent manipulation by foreigners. If government truly derives its power from the consent of the governed, then no one unqualified to be governed may have a say in the matter. We can't be less concerned about foreigners controlling our politicians than citizens. That's how the UN takes over.

                #4 is merely a punitive measure designed to emphasize that only citizens may participate in the election process and that policing should begin with the individual candidates themselves. This is supposed to be problematic for them. It's not supposed to be easy. It's there to protect the integrity of the election process with the most effective penalty I could think of - disqualification.

                Could it be abused? I could certainly see someone trying to get tricky and donate money to an opposition's campaign as a straw donor just for the sake of trying to get them disqualified. All the more reason for the funds to be appropriately vetted.
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                • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 6 months ago
                  I think CU is overblown. It didn't grant anything new, merely recognizing what was already there. Whether corporations vote or not is irrelevant and we need to look to the underlying problem. The underlying problem is the limitation of political speech through campaign finance laws. One less onerous and arbitrary solution is to remove limits on contributions and expenditures. The route removes the barriers to expression - and spending money on a campaign or issue is certainly expression.

                  I am with you on eliminating taxes on corporations, and yes it is a nice solution to the tax-exempt problem. I'd take it a step further though. The federal government should have import/export taxes, use fees, and for everything else it bills the states in proportion to their population. Let the states decide how to pay their share of the bill for the union. That would dovetail nicely with a Senate which represented to the States themselves.

                  I fully disagree with #3 being "critical to prevent manipulation by foreigners". Again go to the roots here and you'll see it is unnecessary. For over 200 years we've not had that restriction and it didn't make a difference. People who are willing to be influenced by the money of non-citizens are susceptible to those same people without the money. Consider the U.S. Supreme Court which seems to increasingly consider what other countries are doing when deciding on constitutionality of U.S. laws. No foreign money involved there, yet still it occurs.

                  However, by making the money changing hands illegal all you'd do is give rise to another black market - money will always find a way - and give people an excuse to hide what they are doing. Just as making racial discrimination illegal forces it to occur hidden from view forcing contributions (or payoffs) to go dark only prevents seeing them. For far too long we've quietly and tacitly accepted the assertion that money causes influence rather than influence attracting money.

                  For this I draw on my personal political experience. I once ran for state Senator as a Libertarian. I accepted money from anyone - and I didn't care why they wanted me to have it. I spoke with many candidates across the spectrum, many of whom supported me over their party's candidate. The sense was universal - they don't care who gave money other than appearing at events. They cared about getting the money they felt they needed to run their campaign. Frankly most didn't want to manage the campaign, and indeed few did.

                  It may surprise most. but the fact tis our early presidents didn't campaign. Others campaigned on their behalf. The recent shift toward other ("non-coordinating") groups doing the bulk of the spending and promoting of a candidate isn't new but a return to the original processes in this country. Yet today we view it as somehow bad - mostly because it is new.

                  We've been normalizing the corruptive influence of money. We expect politicians to be beholden to the "big donors". Indeed we don't even allow for them not to be. This is not only contrary to reality but corruptive to the process itself. As long as we let that mistaken belief be accepted as the norm we will only find ourselves completing the self-fulfilling prophecy.

                  This brings me to why #4 is a bad idea. First it is certain that in today's world in a tight race the base you mentioned will happen. All it takes is a few days of "investigation" and the damage is done - regardless of the end result of the investigation. It would be nothing more than another tool to "bash from the shadows". We see this today where a politician's campaign receives money from a group or person who later turns out to be politically undesirable or ineligible.

                  And in the end despite all the hoopla surrounding the finance of political activity campaigns, candidate and issue advocacy, and anti-candidate campaigns are all a drop in the bucket when you look at it.As the correct saying goes, we spend more on ketchup every year than all domestic political campaigning combined.

                  What we are really seeing is the increasing power of those who hold office. I think that is what we are all objecting to on the sub-conscious level. Deep down we all know that concentrating power is a bad idea, that it is happening, and we want to prevent it. Even if it is only preventing "the other side" from holding that power. But we have a society today where we mistakenly hold as a moral good the growth of government reach and as such we have sub-cognitive dissonance which manifests itself as "stop the money!". What we really mean is "stop the power grabs".

                  Crimes don't change opinion. Making the spending of money for or against a candidate or issue a crime doesn't change opinions any more than making fraud a crime makes people decide it to be wrong. Making unwitting "accomplices" of candidates by making the act of accepting money without a quid pro quo in effect isn't a valid solution. If we want the act of "buying a vote" illegal make the act of soliciting and accepting it illegal. It is in a sense a form of bribery.

                  But to say that absent the specific evidence such an agreement occurred we'll still hold the recipient accountable as if it were is a dangerous, unreasonable, and slippery slope. We should not be accelerating our advancement down that slope by increasing the angle.

                  One last thought on influence of extraterritorial interests and "taking over". Money is a poor motivator here. The real underlying issue is the ideology of this in power. That is where the real danger lies. Just as the real threat to liberty isn't terrorists but the politicians, the threat here is by people in power who already agree with, or are inclined to, taking such actions. How that happens is far too long for this already long reply. ;)

                  Cheers
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 6 months ago
                    My first question: why the -1 on my reply? I reserve those for people using logical fallacies or being disagreeable - not for just voicing opinions I disagree with.

                    On #3 then, you disagree in the principle of sovereignty then? A foreigner is going to be pushing their interests - interests which may directly oppose those of the US. Can you honestly say that you would not have a problem with Saudi Arabia buying 2-3 senators in order to push a treaty that protects the OPEC cartel? You would have no problem with the UN buying the Presidential race just to further Agenda 21, climate change tyranny, population controls, and more? Would you also then allow foreign nationals to make lavish gifts to members of Congress or the President so as to curry favor?

                    You say it is unnecessary; I can not more vigorously disagree. Your ideas - if implemented - would set up Senate and Congressional offices (not to mention Cabinet positions and more especially President and Vice President) as puppets to money. It would make the problem worse than it is now - not better - especially because the puppet masters wouldn't even represent American interests. I strongly urge you to re-evaluate your position here.

                    "Crimes don't change opinion."

                    I would directly challenge that notion. Look at either of the two campaigns right now and it is clear the electorate absolutely does care. Sanders is gaining ground every day on Clinton as a result of the email server, Benghazi, and other scandals. On the Republican side, it is the outsiders of Cruz, Carson, and Trump who lead in the polls because people are tired of the machinations of Washington.

                    "If we want the act of "buying a vote" illegal make the act of soliciting and accepting it illegal. It is in a sense a form of bribery."

                    It already is both bribery and illegal. It is called quid pro quo and is specifically cited in Citizens United as being the main determining factor in that case. It is also the critical factor in all corruption cases: did such-and-such accept some kind of perks for special treatment toward someone else.

                    "What we are really seeing... "

                    I agree. The Founders specifically created our system of government with checks and balances to try to keep things in line, but they predicated the entire solution upon the desire of the people to remain free. I think there is an argument there many people in the US no longer wish to rule their own lives that has substantial merit. This then becomes very problematic for the rest of us who wish to retain the right of self-rule.

                    "Money is a poor motivator here. The real underlying issue is the ideology of this in power. "

                    Ideology is the why. Money is the how. You act as if one is irrelevant when in fact they are completely interconnected. Which goes back to...

                    "We've been normalizing the corruptive influence of money. ... As long as we let that mistaken belief be accepted as the norm we will only find ourselves completing the self-fulfilling prophecy."

                    Money is the tool, I agree, but show me one politician who obtained office without it and you can substantiate your point. I think it also illustrative to point out that what money is actually buying in today's age is information - information which then gets pushed out to the public. One can not win an election as an unknown. One can not counter negative political ads nor publish one's own ads without it. How money is used is certainly a legitimate question, but the whole notion is predicated upon its existence in the first place.
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                    • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 6 months ago
                      I didn't down vote you, so I have no idea what you're talking abut there.

                      That said you have begun using fallacies in this last post. To wit: "On #3 then, you disagree in the principle of sovereignty then? "

                      I never said any such thing, nor implied it. I merely stated that your assertion of undue political influence by way of campaign donations has never been a problem and that the real "threat" is from candidates who are amenable or in accordance with ideologies supporting what outside interests may want. For you to then conflate that with a belief in non-sovereignty is completely asinine and fallacious. Indeed, you mention and then ignore the fact that some external interests may well be in accordance with American principles. You can't cut one without the other bleeding. The rest of that paragraph is just more panicked hyperbole unworthy of you and thus will be ignored in the remainder of this response.

                      "Ideology is the why. Money is the how. You act as if one is irrelevant when in fact they are completely interconnected. "

                      Your assertion is entirely false and lacking merit or substantiation. How, exactly, does capping the amount of terms you can serve to one portray money as irrelevant? I have never claimed it to be irrelevant, and unless you can directly quote thusly I'd ask you to refrain from such straw men. What I have said is the it is not the driver or the source of the threat to liberty. Money is a tool which can be used to any end and as such any attempt to lay the blame on money or funding source is shortsighted and doomed to failure. Further I specifically stated that money will find it's way regardless of the laws limiting it. I also specifically stated spending to be an expression. Tell me wherein those constitute considering it irrelevant. The situation is quite the opposite.

                      I'd also be interested in how exactly you think making the States proportionally and directly responsible for footing the bill of the federal government leads to congress critters becoming puppets of money.


                      "Money is the tool, I agree, but show me one politician who obtained office without it and you can substantiate your point. "

                      What point would this somehow substantiate? Having money is irrelevant to the question at hand.I fear this is a fool's errand due to the wiggle room in your assertion but nonetheless, George Washington didn't spend money on getting elected - though he did have some. It was spent by others who campaigned for him. The same occurred for most of the early presidents such as Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, and Jackson among others. Yet this is beside the points being discussed.

                      Perhaps to substantiate your assertion that candidates receiving money from people outside of the country has every directly caused the problem you proclaim to be preventing. My position is that in the over 200 years since the founding of the country money to candidates from sources outside of the country has never been shown to be effective let alone a problem to the country. I recall Gore getting money from a Bhuddist monastery and the resulting outcry over it. Yet no quid pro quo was ever established. While I was opposed to Gore winning I had no problem with him accepting money from them.

                      As to the country giving a rip about Hillary's email - I don't think they do. There isn't enough credible direct evidence to objectively conclude that the popularity of Sanders is due to her email or Benghazi problems. To further refine the point, what crimes has Hillary been convicted of which are causing her popularity to drop among the Progressives which constitute the Left's base? The Left doesn't think she did anything wrong, and she hasn't been convicted of a crime. Therefor you assertion that this is an example of a "crime changing opinion" fails.

                      I proffer an alternative cause. Hilary isn't as much of a Socialist as Sanders. There has been a groundswell of acceptance for Socialism among the progressive community building for about a decade. The current generations do not have the historical context to see the evils of Socialism, all they see is "free stuff" and "stick it to business". Sanders fits that card in the same way that Trump fits the Republican angst over politically rolling over.

                      What committed and convicted crimes are driving the reported Republican fervor for outsiders? None. What is driving them is indeed an annoyance with the establishment and it's trend of rolling over after winning. Hell I've said for years the problem with the Republicans is that when they win they give up the ground they won. It is loathing for the Left's relentless pursuit of political correctness, and probably most importantly a group of people tired of being blamed for everything perceived to be wrong with society.


                      "did such-and-such accept some kind of perks for special treatment toward someone else"

                      I am aware of the term, having used it in this discussion. Indeed in the portion of that reply you left out. Here for sake of proximity:

                      "Making unwitting "accomplices" of candidates by making the act of accepting money without a quid pro quo in effect isn't a valid solution."

                      In your proposal you make this terrible premise a reality. You throw away requiring evidence of an attempt at bribery and declare any giving of money to be one if it comes from someone you don't want involved. I can not agree with this principle.

                      "One can not win an election as an unknown" - a false assertion. A very visible example of this would be Jimmy Carter. Sure, we all know him now. But he was pretty well unknown to the country when he ran for and won POTUS. His name recognition was under 2% when he race started. He was also politically unknown in Georgia when he won his Senate seat. This is but one of many such stories. A quick Google search should reveal plenty more grist for that particular mill.

                      From whom money is acquired is irrelevant. What is relevant is what he character and ideology of the candidate is, and what they do, or would do, in office. Campaign finance regulation is a farce, serving as nothing more than a means to destroy or limit opponents who are not of the same ilk as those already in power. It is the political equivalent of government licensure for businesses. Having more money does not guarantee an electoral win. That can be proven empirically.

                      What does matter is how the person who gets the money uses it, and how they behave if they win. Not who gave them money. We see this same horse manure play out in refusal to accept scientific results. We see it labelled as "follow thee money" where the first thing someone who disagrees with or doesn't like the results does is to "poison the well" by pointing out where the funding came from. Not disputing the science, or the conclusions, or finding flaws in the methodology, but jump to "follow the money". This is a terrible logical fallacy and one we should certainly not enshrine in law.

                      I can say that were I ever to run for office again I'd accept money from anyone. I don't care why they want me to have the money or what they expect to get out of it. I'll do with it what I feel is necessary and have no compunction to owe the donor anything. That is by definition the point of a donation - that there is no form of quid pro quo. Frankly anyone focusing on who gave someone money is conceding their lack of ability to argue against the candidate's proposals, ideology, or reasons to run. IN short, they are being lazy and not participating in the process at all.

                      So in closing answer this one, and feel free to take time to consider it thoughtfully. A candidate is running for office. She espouses limited government or whatever else you want her to espouse. You support what she says she wants to do. Yet she receives a large campaign donation from a Canadian. Under your proposals she is now unqualified to participate. Indeed under your rules candidates will have to spend more time being financial investigators than putting their message out there. I fail to see how that is anything resembling a good time. How about we instead follow wise jurisprudence and place the burden of proof of wrongdoing on the accuser rather than the recipient?

                      You post a lot of unfounded and untenable assertions (mostly about me) in this last reply. Unless your next reply returns to reasonable discussion instead off hand-waving, straw men, and hyperbole I see no value in continuing this discussion.
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 6 months ago
                        From your first posts, it was not entirely clear if you had even read the principles upon which my proposals were based. I was incredulous and quite astounded with the vociferous response and dismissal. I was quite surprised that someone would treat sovereignty with what appeared to me to be disdain and even derision. You may choose to take offense at my remarks. Offense was not intended.

                        To me, sovereignty is key to representative government. According to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, government arises through the consent of the governed - not through sufferance of or facilitation by foreign (non-governed) players. That is dependence - not in dependence - a vassal or puppet state. And while I concur with you about the state of political affairs 200 years ago, the current environment in no way resembles that time - to our pity. We must deal with the issues of our day - not theirs.

                        I am dealing with principles. Excusing the behavior (saying it's going to happen anyway), denying that it happens (we haven't seen this in 200 years), or saying that because it doesn't matter to you that I shouldn't care either all avoid the principle under consideration. Principles don't equivocate or make excuses, however. Either sovereignty is an applicable principle or it is not. Either government should represent the interests of the governed (regardless whether they coincide with outside interests or not) or it should not. If you choose to respond to this message, please start with your position on sovereignty and representative government as I have outlined above. Please also follow that with whom you believe should vote in a representative government.

                        "From whom money is acquired is irrelevant."

                        Speaking of "unfounded and untenable assertions"! The whole reason people donate money to any candidate is to forward their views. It makes no difference if it is a grassroots donor, a union, a lobbyist, or a corporation. Those people are investing in a desired outcome. You would have me believe that political donations have no goal? You want me to believe that politicians do not understand the intent of those donations - especially large donations? That is a bridge too far for me.

                        Is money a tool? Absolutely. But more precisely, money is a trade medium. It holds no value in and of itself except as a means for obtaining a goal. According to your words, you - as a potential candidate - would have no problems taking money from La Rassa - a group that represents the interests of illegal immigrants which demonstrably are a drain on our nation's resources. You would have no problems taking money from OPEC oil ministers even though they actively seek to retain power over our nation through their energy resources. You would have no problems taking money from CAIR even though they actively finance terrorist groups around the world. And all because you believe that somehow those funds are donated without expectations or strings attached?

                        Why do people "follow the money"? Because it is indicative of the goals of the person bestowing the money and clues others in to the expected return on that investment. Why do people care? Because political elections are all about how we think a candidate will act in the future: what interests they are going to pursue. Would YOU vote for a candidate who took millions from unions yet proclaimed he was for "right to work" legislation? You would claim there is no inherent contradiction there?

                        You might remember the affair with lobbyist Jack Abrahamoff, which took down a number of politicians including Senator Conrad Burns of Montana. That was all about income sources and undue influence. There was constant haranguing of Bush and Cheney over Halliburton. Obama and Solyndra come to mind. The list goes on and on.

                        Scenario: "A candidate is running for office. She espouses limited government or whatever else you want her to espouse. You support what she says she wants to do. Yet she receives a large campaign donation from a Canadian. Under your proposals she is now unqualified to participate."

                        Yup. End of story.

                        At its heart, however, your scenario argues that the ends justify the means. I can't agree with that kind of logic. Take the Fourth and Fifth Amendments in particular. Both deal with how a matter may be prosecuted: the means being placed of such high importance that the end is subject to their complete fulfillment. Both means AND end matter - not one at the expense of the other.

                        Existing law really isn't much different, it just doesn't automatically disqualify the candidate like my proposal would. The money is still verboten. (And here I would point out that this is a result of conviction - not a decision arbitrarily arrived at as you imply regarding my proposal). In the 2008 elections one of Clinton's bundlers was convicted of laundering money from foreign investors and attempting to pass it off as domestic donations. The Clintons even now attempt to skirt the laws by having donations run through their Foundation as "income" that then they can claim is their own under campaign finance law. Anyone of any ethics or personal integrity can see right through this. It's blatant pay-for-play - not only for the existing position but as a down payment toward future positions.

                        I want American law and government to be for Americans by Americans.
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  • Posted by $ sjatkins 5 years, 6 months ago
    So what? Many organizations give money to many many candidates. $20 million is chump change. Planned Parenthood does a lot of very good things. I don't hang with idjits that claim they sell organs from aborted fetuses and such or that think abortions are even their primary service or advocacy.
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