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Who is upholding the Constitution?

July 12, 2014

To the editor: Isn’t it wonderful? The Supreme Court has upheld the First Amendment which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercis......

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Jul-17-14 11:45 AM

"I have no problem limiting the political reach of the rich like Bloomberg, Soros and others. Or limiting corporate political meddling." -Scout

Hey Scout, you forgot to mention the Koch brothers, Karl Rove or Sheldon Adelson.

"If this legislation had been proposed and supported by the Republicans not the Democrats would you still support it???" -Scout

If you need to ask that question Scout, then clearly it is YOUR reading and comprehension skills that are deficient. I have made it clear that I support legislation that limits the influence of ALL special interest groups and wealthy individuals.

Scout, you seem to believe that ideology is a valid substitute for a reasoned argument. Ideologues that fail to apply their principals justly or universally become bigots.

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Jul-16-14 5:33 PM

Hartman if you are capable of reading comprehension, which is seriously in question, what does the following sentence mean ?

"I have no problem limiting the political reach of the rich like Bloomberg, Soros and others. Or limiting corporate political meddling."

I was just curious how you like your Obamcare that's all. As far as the comparison of immigration and this bill, both examples of how an outwardly appearing good bill can be abused.

Why don't you ask Lois Lerner if there is a difference between conservative and liberal nonprofits ? She would probably loose the email anyway.

Any legislation that is so heavily supported by one party and not the other is only politically motivated to support the interest of one party. It is not good for the average citizen.

If this legislation had been proposed and supported by the Republicans not the Democrats would you still support it ???

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Jul-16-14 5:12 PM

Scout, your last two responses are nothing but jibberish. Obamacare? Immigration? What do they have to do with 501c6 business associations, 501c4 nonprofits & SuperPAC’s? News Flash: There is no difference between a liberal or conservative SuperPAC. Your inability to grasp that simple concept clearly leaves you incapable of providing a logical response to the question: Why would it NOT be in the best interest of voters to limit influence the wealthy, corporations or special interest groups have on our political process?

Campaign finance reform, eliminating gerrymandering and more transparency regarding campaign contributions do not impinge on free speech rights. Its painfully obvious by your comments that low information voters like you and Alice just don’t get it.

What’s your next diversionary subject Scout, Benghazi?

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Jul-16-14 11:20 AM

If you need an example of even well meaning legislation being abused look at the border situation.

The Bush administration passed legislation meant to give children attempting to enter our country the chance to plead their case based on abuse. That legislation is now being abused by the current administration and they are letting every minor at the border enter with little hope of ever seeing these kids again for an immigration hearing. They are forcing communities to take them many times without the current residence knowledge.

The proposed contribution bill will be used to silence free speech just as this immigration law is being abused to benefit one political party.

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Jul-16-14 11:11 AM

Speaking of posture Hartman hows that Obamacare working on your yours ?

I have no problem limiting the political reach of the rich like Bloomberg, Soros and others. Or limiting corporate political meddling.

The problems begins with who is identifying the "special interest groups" If me and 5 of my neighbors each put $150 dollars into a joint checking account for political use are we now a special interest group ? If an environmental group with voluntary membership is politically active do they have the same status as a union shop with mandatory membership ? With this legislation being backed by one party I am certain that party has groups in mind that it is specifically targeting and the legislation will be abused.

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Jul-15-14 2:19 PM

By the way Scout, is your head so far up your … that you foolishly opted to pass judgment before I actually posted a comment, or is that just your normal posture(ing)? Gee, I hope I’m being politically correct.

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Jul-15-14 2:18 PM

By your own admission Scout, special interest groups are corrupting our political process. A small group of “like minded” individuals should not have the ability to “buy” influence, whether their agenda is liberal or conservative. Our elected officials spend more time fundraising than legislating while ONLY special interest groups reap the benefits.

In many states, political parties use redistricting to “game the system”. Its INTENDED to determine the number of representatives for a given district based on population but Republicans & Democrats have corrupted the process and use it to consolidate their control. “We the People” has become “We with the most money” while politicians use dishonorable means to maintain their influence. When you don’t fear losing, the need to cooperate is eliminated leaving voters disenfranchised.

Why is it NOT in the best interest of the people to limit the influence wealthy individuals and special interest groups have on our political process?

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Jul-14-14 6:05 PM

While many may argue this only effects the ability of corporations to contribute, it also directly effects individuals. It will restrict the ability of like minded individuals to organize and contribute to their selected candidate.

With 4 million individual voting members the NRA will have restrictions on contributions.

So tell me Hartman, will this also prevent people like Michael Bloomberg from buying elections like he did in Illinois and Colorado ? Will it eliminate non citizens like George Soros from contributing to candidates in US elections ?

This legislation is aimed squarely at conservatives. Like I said earlier, it is a party power play not in the best interests of the people. What many may not see is it will also restrict several liberal leaning groups like The Sierra Club, etc.

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Jul-14-14 3:50 PM

really - we would be happy to leave you out of any meaningful discussion.

hartman - who is going to watch the feds and states so they don't abuse the laws?

I seem to recall that the Clintons utilized a number of big Chinese bundlers which cost some jail time. You weren't leading the charge back then so why now?

How are you coming on that health care information?

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Jul-14-14 12:04 PM

There is outside money pouring into State campaign coffers. Nearly 80% of what these groups spend is NOT going to support candidates. Instead its spent on negative messaging that opposes a particular candidate. Little, if any of the negative information presented in these ads is actually true. Why should we allow a group in Texas, for example, determine which candidates are elected to office in Minnesota? Here is a website that offers an indication of what groups spend per vote: PROJECTS dot PROPUBLICA dot ORG slash PACTRACK slash CANDIDATES slash VOTES.

Its time we put the political process back in the hands of the people and out of the hands of well-funded special interest groups.

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Jul-14-14 12:04 PM

Senate Resolution 19 provides guidelines that allow federal & state governments to limit the political campaign funds & spending that come from wealthy individuals, 501c6 business assoc., 501c4 nonprofits & SuperPAC’s. This legislation is necessary to offset what Conservatives consider “legislating from the bench by radical judges”. The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case was radical because it overturned 2 previous rulings that claimed campaign spending limits DO NOT limit free speech. The SCOTUS currently allows money to control political power. Giving political power to the wealthy, whether liberal or conservative, distorts our politics and economic policies. In 2012 nonprofits alone spent nearly $300 million & SuperPACs added $547 million (2/3 of it spent opposing candidates). In addition to campaign finance reform, we must eliminate gerrymandering that allows the manipulation of electoral boundaries to favor one political party or class.

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Jul-14-14 9:29 AM

Hartman and Really should pull their heads out for the first time and look at the whole issue not just their politically correct version.

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Jul-13-14 11:32 PM

Alice Thull should meet Phil Dreitz, they could go on and on about nonsense all day long and leave the rest of us out of it.

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Jul-13-14 10:44 PM

Whenever a constitutional amendment is proposed it should raise a red flag. What is so serious it requires an amendment ? This is especially true when it is supported primarily by one party. It is most likely being done as a power play over the other party and not for the good of the people.

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Jul-12-14 9:41 PM

CORRECTION: In my (hasty) research, I inadvertently confused JSR 18&21 with JSR 19. JSR 19 proposes an amendment that would give Congress or the individual states (depending on the election) the power to set limits on campaign contributions, while explicitly stating that the amendment would in no way infringe on Freedom of the Press.

The letter writer seems to be unaware that in order for the resolution to actually become part of the US Constitution it must be Ratified by 3/4ths (38) of the individual States (a very high hurdle). The President has no say in the process whatever.

And, our laws are based on the authority of that Constitution, not God.

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Jul-12-14 9:17 PM

The proposed amendment, in its entirety:

Article --

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people's rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association and all such other rights of the people, which rights are unalienable.

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Jul-12-14 2:46 PM

Researching S.J Res.19 I found it is proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections. It has nothing to do with taking away our first amendment rights.

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Jul-12-14 7:03 AM

******* This is what I found--relating to contributions.

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