What Really Happened in Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission

The landmark Supreme Court case that changed the face of election finance has been praised by some and has raised the ire of others. The “pro” arguments center around First Amendment issues. The “anti” arguments are based entirely on the idea that corporations will rule elections in the future. How many of us really know how the case came about?

Citizens United is a non-profit organization that accepts donations to produce conservative films. They’re the group that made “Hillary: The Movie.” Before the 2008 primary elections, Citizens United tried to have “Hillary” put on pay-per-view, but they were denied for political reasons by the FEC. The reason? Three $1000 checks, from different corporations. Considering the millions in donations received by Citizens United, that’s a pretty small amount. Because the limit according to the law was $2300, not to mention laws that banned non-profits and corporations from buying advertising time 30 days before an election, “Hillary” was shot down.

THAT was why Citizens United sued the FEC.

This decision, like any other made by SCOTUS, didn’t just affect one issue. The decision to strike down McCain’s 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which made it illegal for Citizens United to “buy advertising time” in the form of a conservative documentary on pay-per-view, is going to have an effect on other things. That is when Congress can step up and work on campaign reform that isn’t going to run afoul of Freedom of Speech.

Like it or not – and believe me, there are some corporations I don’t want contributing unlimited funds to certain political parties – corporations have the same Constitutional rights as everyone does. If they didn’t, the government would be able to determine what kind of business can be founded. For example, we all have a particular distaste for white supremacists; if the government were allowed to regulate businesses outside the Constitution, those hate groups wouldn’t be allowed to operate and generate a profit for their owners. But exist they do, even if they don’t make much money.

To say that a business, corporate or otherwise, falls outside the Constitution is laughable at best. Once you tear down the rights of corporations you open the door for those rights to be trampled for everyone, and that is wrong. I don’t like George Soros. He has been slapped with a number of enormous fines for election finance fraud. Do I want him to be able to filter untold amounts of money to extremely liberal Democrats? No. We cannot, however, damage the rights of one group without damaging the rights of all.

The Danger of Barack Obama

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I couldn’t help but notice that in the last three debates, Barack Obama has indeed played the aggressor in constantly reminding America the bad choice Hillary made by voting to go to war.  He asserts that the war has “diverted attention from Afghanistan” and is happy to remind Americans that it was; after all, Al-Queda that killed 3,000 on our soil. 

His views really are no different than Rosie O’Donnell’s or any other left-wing kook that seem to think that terrorism was born in the mountain-cracks of Afghanistan.  He doesn’t even acknowledge the 19+ years of attacks we endured from Muslim fanatics preceeding 9/11.  How do stop that problem?  Moreover; the last time I checked, Bush had rounded up most of Al-Queda’s top men.

Since McCain’s latest run-ins with the NY Times and the same Democrats in Congress he worked so hard to impress all those years with Bills like McCain-Feingold, some of you will be happy to know that I am warming up to him finally.  I just may support him if this keeps up – but my stipulation of a good V.P. still stands.

Still though, it’s important as Americans to watch all the debates – as I have been – even during this horrific tax season I am having.  And if you’re paying attention, you will see that 4 years of Obama will me fifty times worse than four years of Hillary.

Read more on Barack’s Glass House

What’s Good for the Goose is Bad for the Moderate

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After a couple of spirited chats on finance reform here at gayconservative.org, I am happy to report that McCain gets first-hand experience of what happens when you “moderately” work with far-left nuts like Feingold.

In an article released tonight titled Democrats Seek FEC Probe of McCain, we see what happens years later after pandering to the left:

The national Democratic party wants campaign finance regulators to investigate whether Sen. John McCain would violate money-in-politics laws by withdrawing from the primary election’s public finance system.

McCain, who had been entitled to $5.8 million in federal funds for the primary, has decided to bypass the system so he can avoid spending limits between now and the GOP‘s national convention in September.

John McCain poses as a reformer but seems to think reforms apply to everyone but him,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Sunday

If McCain were prohibited from withdrawing from public financing, he would be severely limited in his campaign spending for the next six months. Under campaign finance rules, he would be allowed to spend only $54 million; as of the end of January, his campaign had already spent nearly $50 million.

I’m still waiting to see the good side of “moderate.”

The bright side?  At least McCain will have time to ponder this now before selecting his VP.

A Perspective from the “Rightest” of the “Far Right”

Pro-lifers like to ask, “How many Einsteins have we lost to abortion?” I ask: How many Reagans have we lost to campaign-finance reform?Ann Coulter – 02/20/2008

Ironically she released her weekly column tonight after I wrote my last post.  She thoroughly explains Reagan’s process of getting elected and proves that with McCain-Feingold, Ronald Reagan would have never been elected.

Forward it on so people can be informed – you will never hear this from the mainstream media. 

Take the information and fact-check it if you wish before using it but we need to be informed to make change necessary for 2012.  We need to start now. 

The Year the NY Times Re-Defined Conservatism

It boggles me; really, why some continue to perceive John McCain as a viable choice to run this country.  Aside from being a ripe 71 years old who is not changing anytime soon, the man has as much ability to tick off the far-left as Teddy Kennedy. 

He teamed up with Teddy Kennedy to create a Bill that would give amnesty to 20 million illegal aliens.  He seemed to not be too far apart from Kennedy’s positions that day.

He teamed up with Russ Feingold to create a Bill that reformed campaign finance.  Basically this rule wiped out anyone who was not a Hollywood star, a raging liberal, someone endorsed by Oprah, a Republican that liberals liked, or someone with instant name recognition like Hillary Clinton.  His positions weren’t that far off from Feingold’s that day.  (Come to think of it, perhaps we all know now why he supported Campaign Finance Reform in the first place!)

He teams up with congressional members of the far left to cry about dropping water down the noses of terrorists.

He teams up with members of the far left to denounce and demand that we shut down Guantanamo.

The NY Times loves him because he supports these crazy positions.

But one thing they love more is watching alleged Republicans call someone “far right” simply because we aren’t allowing the media to select our candidate for us.

McCain IS NOT G.O.P.  No matter his outcome, we lose the White House anyway because our principles will not be going with him.

All of the above positions that McCain has sold us out on are NOT positions that are important to the “far right!”  They are positions important to “Americans!”

Just get used to President Barack….

  • Much like McCain, he was funded by George Soros
  • Much like McCain, he opposes water-boarding
  • Much like McCain, he wants illegals to have amnesty
  • Much like McCain, he criticizes the war
  • Much like McCain, he wants to shut down Guantanamo
  • Much like McCain, he is loved by the NY Times

But unlike McCain, he was endorsed by Oprah.

That’s our future, people.

When Democrats don’t show as much fear of our Presidential candidate as we do with theirs – then we really may as not have a candidate to begin with.  We really have four bad years ahead of us.

Amazingly though, the same voters who supported Ronald Reagan and his positions 25 years ago are now members of the “far right.”

A category I will gladly rest in if that’s what it takes.

The NY Times can make that claim and anybody else can. 

I am a Republican and McCain is not my candidate.

Oh Dear God!

I detest doing back-to-back blogs on the same issue.  I really try to mix it up.  I even try to edit previous blogs with updates, but this post-script deserves a blog of its own.  Remember the Hillary donor, Norman Hsu?  You know, I mentioned him in the previous blog.  The New York Times tells us a little more about this guy.  Here are some excerpts:

But what was not widely known was that Mr. Hsu, who is in the apparel business in New York, has been considered a fugitive since he failed to show up in a San Mateo County courtroom about 15 years ago to be sentenced for his role in a scheme to defraud investors, according to the California attorney general’s office.

Mr. Hsu had pleaded no contest to one count of grand theft and was facing up to three years in prison.

Not the kind of guy you want as a major fundraiser for your campaign, right?

The donor, Norman Hsu, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates since 2003, and was slated to be co-host next month for a Clinton gala featuring the entertainer Quincy Jones.

The event would not have been unusual for Mr. Hsu, a businessman from Hong Kong who moves in circles of power and influence, serving on the board of a university in New York and helping to bankroll Democratic campaigns.

WHOA!

Guess what?  Hsu helped other Dems too.  And now they are stepping all over themselves to rid their campaign coffers of those funds and disavow any relationship to this crook.

Last month, Mr. Hsu was among the honored guests at a fund-raiser for Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island, given by Stephen A. Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group at the New York Yacht Club.

Al Franken, a Democratic Senate candidate in Minnesota, said he would divest his campaign of Mr. Hsu’s donations, as did Representatives Michael M. Honda and Doris O. Matsui of California and Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, all Democrats.

This just keeps getting more interesting.  I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear of this.  I’ll just watch with glee as the Democrats twitch uncomfortably and look for an out.  It’s 1996 all over again.  In the midst of a media cycle that has left frowns on a lot of Republican faces, this one is truly a gem.

The Left’s Funny Money

One of the things that many conservatives hold against Arizona Senator John McCain is his support and sponsorship of the campaign finance legislation that bears his name.  To his credit, McCain, apparently has worked within the confines of his own legislation and kept his nose clean.  This is especially important to him since he was a member of the notorious “Keating Five” involved in the Savings and Loan Scandal back in the late ’80s.  Maybe McCain-Feingold was a personal crusade that McCain sought in order to vindicate himself and make reparations – regardless of how misguided this act has been.

And while some GOP-leaning groups and Republican candidates/politicians have run afoul of campaign finance laws over the past few election cycles, it seems that the Democrats and their patron support groups on the Left have been the ones to make a true mockery of the legislation in recent years.  And what do we call that kids?  Hypocrisy – say it with me now.

There are two great examples recently to illustrate this point.  The first involves Hillary.  And while this is a doozy, the MSM and the relentless Clinton machine will make sure that none of this comes back on her.  The story involves a guy named Norman Hsu.  Nobody knows the extent of this fraud yet, but it all starts with a middle class California family who suddenly became some of Clinton’s biggest donors.  The Wall Street Journal details the events.

Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show.

Ok, no problem so far, right?  Well….not exactly.

It isn’t obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple’s grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to “attendance liaison” at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund.

Ouch!  Anyone smell a rat?  While Hsu’s ties to the family are not extremely clear yet, he once listed his address at the family’s residence.  A mega-Dem fundraiser living in this tiny home.  Doesn’t pass the smell test.

Obviously, the Hillary folks have denied this one was linked to the candidate, but it certainly raises some eyebrows when you consider the Chinese Lobbying Group that scandalously funneled money to Bill’s presidential campaign back in the 90s. Or maybe the Al Gore trip to the Buddhist temple which was connected to the same shady players.

But, this scandal aside, also consider that George Soros’ former leftist 527 group, America Coming Together (ACT) was just hit with a $775,000 fine by the FEC for campaign finance violations in the 2004 election.  Naturally the group settled with the FEC without admitting to many of the charges, but you don’t get fined $775,000 for simple mistakes.

The Federal Election Commission has fined one of the last cycle’s biggest liberal political action committees $775,000 for using unregulated soft money to boost John Kerry and other Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections.

America Coming Together (ACT) raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 2004, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits.

MOST of $137 million is a whole lot of green.  Think about the impact of that amount of money.  That could easily tilt a campaign.  Fortunately for the GOP, ACT’s main benefactor was John Kerry.  Even that amount of money wasn’t going to help him with his issues.

I’m not saying that GOP groups and candidates are clean here.  When it all comes down to it, money is a corrupting force in politics for many.  But the hypocrisy here is that McCain-Feingold was made possible primarily by the hordes of Democrat senators and representatives who were tired of being out of power since 1994.  They sought to level the playing field at a time when Republican groups were outraising them by massive amounts.

Now that the field is more level due to increases in Dem donors and the left’s mastery of the shady 527 groups, they seem to have little regard for the legislation that they piously advance only a few years ago.  If that’s the case, then I would urge them to consider the repeal of McCain-Feingold.  Let’s see how many Dem takers we have on that one.