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No Public Money for Arizona Candidates

Posted on Jun 27, 2011
AP / Todd Goodrich

Chief Justice John Roberts.

In a second major ruling Monday, U.S. Supreme Court justices split along ideological lines to reject an Arizona campaign finance law that offered public funding to candidates unable to raise the enormous sums of money needed to run for political office.

In Chief Justice John Roberts’ personal and bizarre parallel universe, the law inhibited “robust and wide-open political debate,” a remark that no doubt pleased the conservative plaintiffs who complained that the use of public money negated their private fundraising efforts. An appeals court had previously upheld the Arizona law, stating that none of the accusers could cite a spending or fundraising decision made in fear of triggering the release of an opponent’s matching funds.

After the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling 17 months ago, Monday’s decision is a familiar endorsement of the idea that spending money is the equivalent of free speech, that corporate “citizens” are entitled to bigger megaphones and more time at the podium than the living, breathing kind, and that the have-nots may not play with the haves. —ARK

The Wall Street Journal:

Arizona said its public-financing system promoted free speech by giving candidates the opportunity to run for office without depending on private political donors. But the law’s challengers—five conservative politicians and two political action committees—said the law stifled free speech. They argued that, when they raised and spent money to promote their messages, their speech was punished because it triggered government subsidies to their rivals.

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority agreed with the challengers in a 5-4 ruling.

... “Laws like Arizona’s … that inhibit robust and wide-open political debate without sufficient justification cannot stand,” he [Chief Justice John Roberts] wrote, joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

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By frecklefever, June 28, 2011 at 8:55 am Link to this comment


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By the worm, June 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

The reality , the real politic , is that all politicians - play to the power of money.

Simply look at the last two and half years under Obama:

1. The Debt and Fair Taxes: Washington Post-ABC poll Washington Post-ABC
poll, Spring 2011: 72 percent supported raising taxes on the rich including 68
percent of Independents and 54 percent of Republicans. Obama twice
‘bargained’ to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Obama never stepped
forward to lead on this issue - even with 72% of Americans supporting it. Why?
Obama does not support raising taxes on the rich.

2. TARP & Financial Bailout: Over 70% of us opposed the bailout. Obama
accelerat ed it with Geithner and Bernanke - both Bush carryovers embraced by
Obama.  Why? Because Obama prefers the support of Wall Street and the
financial system to the support of the middle class. Obama will find Wall Street
and the financial system can buy others; they dont need him. He would have
had more loyal support had he supported the middle class.

3. Health Care: 72% of us supported “a government administered insurance
plan - something like Medicare for those under 65—that would compete for
customers with private insurers.” Supporting Max Baucus, Obama blocked
hearings on single payer and chocked off true health care reform. Why? Because
Obama does not believe in Democratic Party principles; he let seven decades of
Democratic public policy go for the sake of the insurance industry. The ‘reform’
will be found unconstitutional, and the Democrats will have wasted their House
majority, Senate majority and nominally Democratic President.

4. Afghanistan: 64% of us opposed expanding the war in Afghanistan and
wanted to disentangle from Bush-era ‘War on Terror’ and ‘preventive war’
policies. Today, over 70% of Americans oppose the war. Obama continues it.
More troops will be in Afghanistan when Obama leaves office than when he
‘began the draw down’ , and more money will be squirreled away in Defense
than when he took office. Why? Because he values the military and mercenary
vote more than the votes of the American people.

All of this was done with a nominal majority of pretend Democrats in both the
House and the Senate. Absurd to keep voting for the Democrats, only to
become complicit ourselves in our own demise.

Obama has rejected the majority of American voters on the major issues over
and over and over again.

Even if we had a ‘good economy’, Obama would not get the support he needs
for re-election. Youth, hispanics, independents have seen have been shoved in
the face. Obama has lost the confidence that he would bring ‘Cange You Can
Believe In’. Obama has simply been a zero. A non-leader for the middle class or
a shill for the wealthy and Wall Street.

Enough said. Obama is not a Democrat and should not be the Democratic
nominee in 2012. Obama has clearly opted for the money and shafted the
American voter. His problem is that people believe he represented “Change You
Can Believe In” and now he has the burden of hypocrisy to bear along with the
miserable economy and his shafting of the American voter.

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By colbill, June 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

It’s a good thing that conservatives don’t support
activist judges. Who knows what kind of rulings we
would get from the “supremes.”

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By John Sullivan, June 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A very informative article about how political opposition is suppressed in a third-world country.

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