Campaign Financing

When the Citizens United case was decided by the Supreme Court, a howl went up from Democratic politicians. “Take the money out of politics,” they said. “This will open the floodgates for corporations to buy elections.”

I have posted charts from before. These charts show that the top spenders (before and after Citizens United) are still the unions. No one is talking about taking away the right of unions to donate to campaigns. Also, keep in mind that the people who pay union dues and provide the money for the donations don’t have a say in where the money is donated. At least the leaders of a corporation that donates to a PAC are accountable to their stockholders. The fact that government employee unions give political donations is also a bit questionable–they donate to the people they are going to negotiate contracts with. Is it possible to do that without a conflict of interest?

Any, here is one of the charts from

campaigndonationsSo why am I mentioning this? First of all, I firmly believe that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If unions are allowed to make campaign donations, corporations should also be allowed to make campaign donations. If you want to eliminate one, take them both away. Otherwise, you are creating an unbalanced situation where the government is suppressing free speech.

The National Review is reporting today that according to the Hillary Clinton emails, Mrs. Clinton was planning to reverse the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United as soon as possible.

The article reports:

Although President Obama came out swinging against the decision during his State of the Union address a few day later — prompting some Justices to boycott future speeches — Clinton remained largely silent on the issue for years. She didn’t openly declare her opposition to Citizens United until April 2015, after she’d already announced her candidacy. In May, she said she’d use opposition to Citizens United as a litmus test for any Supreme Court nominee.

The Ready for Hillary Super PAC — founded under the new Citizens United rules — raised $15 million for the Clinton campaign before it was disbanded early this summer following her presidential announcement.

Mrs. Clinton’s emails to Sidney Blumenthal show a desire to overturn the Citizens United decision, yet she was willing to take advantage of the law up until the time she ran for President. She disbanded the PAC before any low-information voters would learn about it. Also, there is the question of the money flowing through the Clinton Foundation that might have made the PAC unnecessary. Remember that most of the Clintons travel expenses are paid through the Foundation, and a large part of campaigning is travel. That may or may not be illegal, but it is questionable at best. The hypocrisy is amazing.


It Really Is Time For Harry Reid (And Most Of The Rest Of The Senate) To Go

Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported that the Senate has made plans to accomplish something when it returns from recess. They are not planning to take up the immigration bill the House of Representatives just passed, they are not planning to deal with America‘s deficit spending in any way, and they are not planning to deal with any of the bills the House of Representatives has sent them to encourage job growth. So, what are they planning on dealing with first thing when they get back from vacation? They want to make sure that the Republicans can’t raise campaign contributions from corporations the way Democrats raise campaign contributions from unions.

The article reports on S.J. Res. 19, which seeks to undo the Supreme Court‘s 2010 Citizens United decision:

The Supreme Court said in its decision that political contributions are protected under the First Amendment.

However, the proposed amendment, which was authored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., not only gives Congress the power to limit spending on federal candidates, but it also bars the judicial branch from overturning any future campaign finance laws authored by legislative branch.

Other than the obvious problem with priorities, the Senate is planning on limiting the actions of the Supreme Court. I believe that would be unconstitutional. We have three separate but equal branches of government. The Senate does not control the actions of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, we are being overrun by illegal immigrants on our southern border. The young children are bringing diseases, and the older children are joining violent Latin American gangs already here. Americans (particularly those on our southern border) have been negatively impacted by the invasion. Wouldn’t you think the Senate might consider that more important than protecting Democrat fund raising?


Never Put Anything In An Email That You Don’t Want To Be Made Public

Today’s Washington Times posted an article about some emails from Lois Lerner that have been released by the House committee investigating the IRS. The emails seem to show that the IRS specifically targeted Tea Party and conservative groups in 2011 in the run-up to the 2012 election.

There are a number of emails that are detailed in the article:

“Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner said in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.

…“It is what it is,” she said in the email, released Thursday by the Ways and Means Committee. “Although the original story isn’t as pretty as we’d like, once we learned this [sic.] were off track, we have done what we can to change the process, better educate our staff and move the cases. So, we will get dinged, but we took steps before the ‘dinging’ to make things better and we have written procedures.”

That email suggests agency employees knew they had gone overboard in their scrutiny — despite top IRS officials telling Congress that there wasn’t any special scrutiny of conservative groups.

Needless to say, the Democrats on the investigating committee are claiming that there was no targeting of conservative groups. I suspect that there will be more hearings in the near future.

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