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Turow offers up--however tentatively--a proposed amendment in the op-ed, and I think it's worth debating the merits of that amendment. As I read it, the New York Times would be shut down, but Althouse would continue. Perhaps all crazed right-wingers can unite behind this goal.
The only value this proposal has is that it showcases the tyrannical instincts of the left, or at least of Mr. Turow.
Well, the good news is I never have to worry about buying a Scott Turow book.
Feigned, or legitimate altruism aside, Turow ignores the political reality that those that might be sympathetic in next year's elections are going to be looking for new jobs, a good chuck of which will be on K street.Signed,Crazed Right-Winger And Bitter Clinger
His proposed amendment: “The Congress and the States shall regulate the direct and indirect expenditure of private funds on the electoral process in order to ensure that no group, entity or individual exercises unequal influence on an election by those means.”So, more government power is in order. I keep feeling like this is a proposal to solve your fire ant problem by buying a colony of army ants.
The Congress and the States shall regulate the direct and indirect expenditure of private funds on the electoral process in order to ensure that no group, entity or individual exercises unequal influence on an election by those meansI prefer amendments that limit what the Government can do. There is nothing in this wording that limits the scope of Govt, and I envisage this amendment being used to expand the Government's eyes into all sorts of things that the author does not intend.
Thomas quickly found the loophole in Turow's fantasy world. I bet Turow would also support a plan to podcast the Manhattan cocktail party current events banter so it could be shared with all of our K-12 students.
I mean, seriously, how the hell do you ensure there is unequal influence on an election? What if one side just has a slicker marketing team? What if one side gets the better October Surprise at the end? What if one side is better about hiding its funding? What does he think will happen when all these problems spring up? Either people will feel like they've wasted effort on a law with no teeth, or they'll spend even MORE money to give the government even MORE power to make sure everything's totally fair.And that's not even considering all the hedge wizards turned "aspiring elected officials" that'll spring up thinking "hey, free money under the fair campaigning act".Does Scott Turow even think more than one or two steps ahead?And it's not just him. I made this point to a friend of mine a few weeks ago. One of her friends - apparently a professional idiot - started *flaming* me, asserting I believed that money was the only factor in an election. I can't even begin to fathom the incoherence in such an attack.
And by the way, the NYT need not fear. It and all the other major newspapers with their routine Democrat endorsements will be exempted from this measure.(To be fair, the Republican-endorsing rags probably will, too, but everyone knows there's a lot fewer of them. That's why it's okay to make them exempt.)
as long as the Unions are prohibited from spending money on elections as well. Their spending dwarfs corporations.
I found the article fairly frustrating and more than a bit naive. Now Corporations and unions have free rein to directly contribute, how terrible that they don't need to go through a PAC like they did before, how terrible that they must rely on throwing money at lobbyists just a little bit less. Restricting speech to prevent money influencing politics is kind of absurd if you don't attack several other problems. Such as lobbying and PACs...when there were restrictions on giving, Corps and Unions found ways around them (and those restrictions favored the big guys who could spend time and money getting into the loopholes). Then there's the underlying interest of all this which is that Washington is in bed with Big Labor and Big Business. Well, it might be, but restrictions on giving directly won't stop those entities from offering sweet deals to Congress, especially to Politicians who were supporters and find themselves out of the job (Hey Pete Orzag!) or long time members of the political class with a lot of connections(Hey Chris Dodd!).What his amendment would do would end up just restricting speech, make it only slightly more difficult (and much less transparent) for entities who wish to influence Washington, and lead us down a path towards the destruction of Civil Liberties. We may be a nation founded on the notion that all men are created equal, but the power of pretty much every single right flows from the idea of free speech and freedom of association. Would it matter very much if the government were quartering soldiers illegally if no one could complain, nope, again it would only make Washington more powerful and the individual less so.A better idea comes from Glenn Reynolds, and that idea is a %50 tax on politicos who swing their power into lucrative private sector positions for a set amount of time after being an elected or high appointed official.
The Congress and the States shall regulate the direct and indirect expenditure of private funds on the electoral process in order to ensure that no group, entity or individual exercises unequal influence on an election by those meansUm, huh?This stuidity presumes that the average voter is somehow "duped" by a bunch of ads.Maybe they are, Obama was elected, afterall...
Turow levels this charge:the Supreme Court has made no effort to address the inherent conflict of its approach to the First Amendment with other constitutional principles.Seems serious. But then the only "constitutional principle" he can find is not actually in the Constitution:The bedrock of our democracy is embodied in the most famous line of the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal.” Somehow, in Turow's brilliant legal mind, restricting the speech of some people--not to mention taxing them in order to fund the speech of their political opponents--constitutes equality under the law.Another unimpressive Harvard Law product.
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.phplook at this list, the Left wants to silence corporate spending but says nothing about the huge spending by Unions.
Brilliant. Money controls government too much, so we should give the government more control of the money. No one would possibly try to influence the government decisions about money. In addition, whatever party happened to be in power would never cook the rules to favor the party in power.Pathetic.
"The Government shall regulate and direct elections to ensure results that I approve."FIFY
The best one can say of Turow's argument is that it certainly is a logical step for the Occupy Wall Street movement.Then they can proceed to eliminating the last clause of the fifth amendment and the second amendment entirely.
Turow, not happy with a government that passes out billions to its friends (UAW, "green" companies), wants to further centralize control.I will never understand the lefty (and sometimes righty) belief that if we just get a few smart people together in a room we can make rules that will fix anything. What is the source of this endless belief in rules, rules, more rules? As Althouse says, nothing should be a high standard.
I get the feeling he has considered the most important question: how could my most devious opponents use this law against me? Because even if you get what you want now, you will not be in power forever.
If I knew how, I'd cut and paste my comments from some other post about attacking a problem from the wrong end.If gov't has power, people will pay to control it.End of story.
Er, should be, he has *not* considered the question. Need coffee.
Though of course, the actual effect will be, ".... results of whichit approves."
Seems to me that equality of political speech requires that Turow now publish an op-ed supporting the Citizens United decision.Leading by example, and all that.
Putting government in total control of who gets campaign money and how much sets the stage for even more government corruption. Government won't enforce the laws on voter intimidation if you're a member of the Black Panthers.I have a dim view of any proposal that gives the government more control. As an apparent leftie Turow perpetuates the great fallacy of leftism, government solves all problems.
Let me connect the dots. The heart of the protests is a lament about widening income inequality in the U.S., brought about, in part, by a government that seems to favor disproportionately wealthy interests. The Occupiers have focused their outrage on the bailout of banks that reaped huge profits on mortgage-backed securities and are now profitable again, while millions of homeowners have been foreclosed upon or lost their jobs.One huge "dot" Turow fails to connect is the fact that policies intended to reverse "widening income inequality" resulted in the housing bubble.At the time, the only forces fighting special interests in Congress was the Bush Treasury Department and OFHAO.
As long as Scott Turow can get a valuable op-ed spot based solely upon his success as a novelist, political speech will not be equal.
This government you speak of must have an exemplary record of success to be given such awesome power. It must have a long history of running affairs better than the average citizen.
is a lament about widening income inequality in the U.S., brought about, in part, by a government that seems to favor disproportionately wealthy interests.Of course there is no factual basis to believe this.Unless he's talking about means testing Social Security which is the most regressive tax in the United States.But I'm guessing he's not.
They want nothing less than the complete destruction of the United States Constitution.We should prosecute these people now for treason and hang them, so we don't have to kill them later in The Second Civil War.
Maybe Matt Yglesias should tell Turow that the Constitution was written, like, over a hundred years ago and difficult to understand.
Their [unions'] spending dwarfs corporations.In what bizarro world do you live?
Another totalitarian ass. The natural reaction of the Left to failure is to push for more regulation and government control. Because the only explanation for the failure of their paper mache idols is witches and other ungodly creatures casting curses and giving the evil eye.Sending the OWSers door to door seems like a dumb idea -- for Democrats. They have worn out their welcome in the Democratic cities, why would they be more appealing standing on the doorstep?
I would prefer the constitution be amended to correct the mistake of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_County_v._Southern_Pacific_RailroadThe bogus bullshit corporate person nonsense.Correct the bullshit that creates corporations as persons, and I'll put up with no restrictions on speech from actual persons.
The most amazing thing is that after 60-80 years of critical acclaim for "Brave New World" and "1984" in liberal circles, they still fail to see that this sort of thing is precisely what Huxley and Orwell were warning against.
Turow owns my respect as a novelist. He has been a successful attorney. Therefore, I'm surprised that he has failed to understand the nature of the OWS protesters. The leadership consists of cult-like anarcho-terrorists who want not to modify capitalism to make it more "fair" but to abolish it. The followers are disaffected youth who haven't been able to go door to door to submit job applications, much less get out in communities away from the urban core to ask their fellow citizens to sign a petition.The fact that OWS gets news coverage at all speaks to the delusional vision of news managers and editors and the scarcelt concealed wishes of liberals like President Obama to whip up class warfare and divert attention from his failed policies. Ironic, isn't it, that Obama donations from Wall Street billionaires helped put him in office?
I don't think Turow is naive, or that his proposal might have unintended consequences. All the obvious consequences are very foreseeable and, from his perspective, very desirable. More government control over speech? Ambiguous words that allow graft, favoritism, suppression? Control over political campaigning by right-thinking elites? None of these are unintended, they are the heart of the proposal.All the people I know who consider themselves liberal or progressive share one thing in common: every one of them is strongly opposed to free speech. Without exception.
In what bizarro world do you live?Check out Herb's link to OpenSecrets.orgTop All-Time Donors, 1989-2012: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.phpLots of unions, more than corporations and, of the top 20, only one, number 19, predominantly Republican.Or, this link at OpenSecrets.orgTop Ten Heavy Hitters: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/index.phpTopped be ActBlue, a group that funnels money to Democrats. Sounds a little suspicious. The list includes 5 unions:American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees, Service Employees International Union, National Education Assn, and the Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Laborers Union which gave over $132 million since 1989.Both list include Goldman Sachs, which, gasp, gave almost double to Democrats than they did to Republicans.It's a bizarro world called reality. Try it some time.
Freddo, Bizzaro world?http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php17 of the top 20 donors in since 1998 are Unions or special interests like Trial Lawyers. All overwhelmingly to the Democratic party.
Freder Frederson said...In what bizarro world do you live?Your ignorance is comical.
I know this Turow type. He's the nerdy kid who, upon losing a game on the playground, wishes to change the rules in his favor.I seem to enjoy the construction "Congress shall make no law." We need more of that.
A surprisingly imbecilic argument. Embarrassing. Surely fellow legal minds, sympathetic to him, are privately shredding his reasoning and his proposal.OK, here goes from a non-lawyer:> Money is to speech as the "necessary and proper" clause of the Constitution is to the commerce clause. Regulating the use of money in pursuit of speech is a marvelous way for the government to shut down speech. I.e., speak all you want, but you can't buy a microphone...or postage for letters...or a tv ad...> Regulating speech through the use of money for speech doesn't just hit the big players; if anything, the big players somehow always manage to come out ok. It hits the little guy, whose one leverage is to go find lots of like-minded people and band together. Liberals despise the NRA (and I do too, but because they actually sell out gun rights more than people know), but their clout doesn't come from Fortune 500 companies; it's from a vast number of ordinary people who cling to their guns. And, unlike the AFL-CIO, as far as I know every penny of the NRA's money comes from voluntary contributions.> Turow laments the vast sums of money spent on politics. As compared with what? How does it compare with money spent annually on marketing any particular consumer product? Or on various forms of consumption that may be relatively less momentous than who makes public policy.> The proposed amendment is noteworthy in its perniciousness, in that it doesn't merely permit Congress to regulate this area, it mandates it, until such time as influence is no longer "unequal."So now we know where all the money will go: to lawyers who will endlessly litigate this. Under such an amendment, would not ever-escalating intrusions and regulations become not only lawful, but mandatory? And would they not be upheld? Would not this amendment ultimately lead to the effective repeal of other portions of the Constitution, insofar as they impede the carrying out of this mandate?> And of course, what in the world determines what's "unequal"?If five million citizens band together to seek a law, and 10 million citizens band together to oppose them, should the two groups' influence be "equal"? I might agree with the smaller group, but what's so awful about the larger group prevailing? Ultimately, it's the job of the legislators to decide if they will listen to those voices, or rebuff them, on the basis of their own judgment of the common good. > There is an obvious answer that avoids any amendment to the Constitution: reduce the government's role in everyday life. As others have pointed out, the more what someone in D.C. can do to affect your life, the more reason you and everyone else has to spend lots of time and money trying to sway that decision-maker. The problem isn't too much money but too much government responsibility.
Turow was an AUSA when we lived in Chicago. I never had any dealings w/ him. But 2 people I know did and they independently say he was an asshole.
I repeat my ongoing query: When did the pinheads gain a majority?
OK, if the idea that the most money always wins were true, we'd be entertaining the prospect of John McCain taking another shot at the Republican nomination after Romney went down to defeat against Barack Obama.Second, the banks the Occupation hates so much could never devote cash to Lefty Demos ever again.(not a bad idea in itself, but it shows Turow hasn't thought this out very well)Third, spending money constitutes speech, how? An idea only the Federal courts could entertain.PS Herb, don't confuse Freder with facts. His mind just can't handle the stress.
Turow's modest proposal isn't swift enough to be funny. His proposal does tell us he wants the government to regulate peaceful political activity, yet the Federal Government can't regulate its own spending.He's a fascist masquerading as a progressive.
One of the nice things about free speech is the Commies, the Klan, the racists, and all the other awful people expose themselves. Scott Turow wants a society where people are put in jail for speaking out against the government. He is an authoritarian. What's wonderful about free speech is now we know exactly what kind of fascist Turow is. And he--I think correctly--identifies the occupy movement as a bunch of fascist thugs, the brownshirts of our day. He is calling on them to use legal means to overturn our Constitution, to do away with free speech, and empower an elite progressive, authoritarian government that can punish anybody for speaking out against it. I assume that Scott Turow is thinking this government will be progressive and Marxist, but he is such a moronic lawyer at this point that it has apparently not occurred to him that the people in power if and when his amendment passes may be utterly right-wing. And liberals will have a hell of a time getting them out of office, since their attempts to do so can now be outlawed. This may be the single best example of artist-as-moron I've ever come across. Charlie Sheen is Eistein next to this guy.
educhter - in 2009, more that 9 out of 10 Senate and House candidates that had the most money won.http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and.html
Einstein. Don't know who Eistein is. Charlie Sheen is probably closer to Eistein, actually.
The true road to fascism; does Turow really believe that politicians would be even handed in their regulation of speech?Does he not see that his own advocacy of this amendment violates it?
DADvocate said...educhter - in 2009, more that 9 out of 10 Senate and House candidates that had the most money won.http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and.htmlI don't doubt it; my point was that it still isn't a guarantee.Saint Croix said...Einstein. Don't know who Eistein is. Charlie Sheen is probably closer to Eistein, actually.You know, Norman Einstein, the genius Joe Theismann talked about.(proof why the term "athletic scholarship" is an oxymoron)
Turow is in favor of gratis free speech. Gratis free speech is the free speech that occurs in movies when J. Edgar Hoover is presented as a transvestite and Che as a visionary. That is the kind of free speech our founders had in mind.....This wish by oil companies and utilities to present themselves as something other than evil entities must be curtailed. We need more movies celebrating the valor of tort lawyers such as was found in Eric Brockovich and explicating the evil of oil barons such as was presented in There Will be Blood. In general, people should form their opinions based on Hollywood movies and Jon Stewart monologues. The people who have reached different conclusions about life than Scott Turow have had their minds manipulated by corporate interests. This must stop.
Give Congress more power to regulate its own re-elections.So, the goal of OWS is more corruption? Here's a tactic. Let all the money be spent that anyone wants to spend. Then hold politicians accountable for taking and using that money. OWS wants to hold everyone responsible except the corrupted politicians themselves. That's a good sign the goal isn't to end corruption but to make sure that they reap the benefits of corruption. And it's very sad to see.
I thought the unions in Wisconsin and Ohio were fighting to preserve "middle class" jobs and thus narrow the widening gap.Shows you what I know.PS. Someone should tell the "Occupy (your city)" organizers. There seem to be a lot of union folks in their crowds.
OK, let's make speech illegal when the King says that it is illegal.So a total reversal of the King's surrender at yorktowne is possible after all. I bet that is why the First Amendment was inserted as a condition of ratification of the Covenant Document we live by.But with deniers still at large blowing whistles on the CO2 Climate Warming Farce, something must be done.To hell with Kings!
How about an amendment that forbids congressmen and senators from taking money from anyone outside their district or state? At this point I'd like to see both parties Rico'd and have all their assets confiscated. There will never be any reform with them in place.
Turnow is what, a socialist? Karl Marx wannabe? Yea restrict free speach, at least the speach YOU want to restrict!I say if we want to restrict speach, restrict Turnow's first.
You'd think a trial attorney would have more faith in the value of a good argument.
One may as well call for an amendment limiting the price at which novels can be sold to a penny per word.I suppose it should be shocking that someone who makes a living as a writer would advocate constitutional limits on commercial expression. It's just that after the 20th century the standard for what's "shocking" has become so high that nothing can clear it.In any case, although he argues for limiting the paid speech of everyone, it's impossible not to see this drifting into Marcusian "repressive tolerance" wherein government finds ways to discriminate based on the content of speech.Of cousre, I am biased. I've tried to read Turow's novels all the way through and I've never been able to make it to the end.
What with the old politicians at risk for losing their seats ... The way Russ Feingold got kicked out the door. AND, you saw the election results in Spain ...I don't think a Constitutional Convention will be opened. And, I don't think our old Constitution will undergo any drastic change.Blame it on the litmus paper the right's kept waving in the air.Sure. Scott Turow went to Harvard. He wrote ONE L. But if he doesn't know OCCUPY WALL STREET actually failed ... He should have gone back to Harvard Yard ... to see the locked gates. So that they only had one protestor. Instead of a whole shitload of tents showing up ... put there by people who'd then brag ... "They went to Harvard." In one gate, and out. You know, if you have "Harvard" on your resume these days? I think personnel gets to ask you if you thought it was worth it?Doesn't get you the job! I think Obama ruined their certification process.Free speech? It's gone beyond getting published, ya know? Do you know how Amazon is handling this war?
Blogger DADvocate said...educhter - in 2009, more that 9 out of 10 Senate and House candidates that had the most money won. http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-house-and.htmlYes, but correlation is not causation.Without even looking at the data, it is a reasonable surmise that politicians who look to be likely winners attract the money. That shouldn't need any explanation.So does the linked study factor out gerrymandered districts, and races in jurisdictions that tilt so heavily to one party? Even then...it is still as likely, is it not, that money gravitates to those candidates who--apart from party ID that lines up with the tilt of the district--look like winners.So how do you test the theory that money--apart from all other factors--exerts an improper influence?
@FrFox--There are techniques that can be used to try to disentangle the impact of spending on election outcomes when it's understood that donors want to back winners.Here's a link to the abstract of one attempt by a respected political scientist. The money sentence:The findings suggest incumbent campaigns failed to increase incumbent vote share, whereas the challenger campaign was effective.IOW, campaign spending limits generally protect incumbents from challengers.
The problem there, Chip, is that you're linking to people that consider poly sci, "science". I'm a reformed poly sci major myself. Horrible stuff if you breath it directly or get it on exposed skin.
True, Scott, but I vetted the link before posting it. The guy is actually an MIT-trained economist trying to clean out the stables at Yale's Poli Sci dept.
Chip:That would be my expectation, but if someone asked me to prove it empirically...I don't have any studies.And I am always skeptical of claims about proof--no offense to Dad--but the usual error is equating correlation to causation.
I don't want to get snarky with a priest, but the people who research this issue for a living are well aware of the difference between causation and correlation. And they've come up with a variety of ways to estimate causal relations.Such as in the paper you just dismissed.
Chip:I wasn't dismissing anything. I didn't mean to pass judgment on any particular paper. I was attempting to explain my method.And my point about misunderstanding correlation and causation was not meant as a criticism of those who do the actual research so much as a comment on how its reported, and chatted about in conversation by a lot of folks.Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.
As well as the fawning adulation of the people who voted for him and aren't willing to admit that it was a mistake.Are groups only going to be held equal to other groups? Or are groups going to have to hold their influence to that of some individual in or for it not to be unequal? Or was he counting on the odd-numbered SCOTUS to figure that out?
Yes ,why not? it worked in Germany. There , with public funding, Kohl received money from a arms dealer( still undisclosed) and Schoeder is on Putin´s payroll.By the way, an unlimited right is the source of its own destruction( Hayek).Freedom of speech has been limited by the Court and the Congress since 1791( Insurection Act),Libels law, Copyright, Obscenity , in schools,etc.It is better that limits are imposed by the Congress than the Court.The proposal is bad but hardly is a preposterous idea
But Mr. Turow, without free speech, how would we spot the idiots like yourself?
Yes, but correlation is not causation.Of course not, and I didn't say it was. Working at a top notch marketing research firm, I have some of the best statistical analysts you can find sitting withing ear shot. (They're generally a quiet bunch.)Correlation also does not mean there is not causation. It's foolish to think that money has no impact on elections. Sure, money may gravitate to the more electable candidates. But, often, you have two electable, opposing candidates.If money played no role, fundraising, etc wouldn't be the big deal it is. It's an advertising campaign. Like any product, especially a product you must sell to a majority of people within a set time frame, you must get the word out. And, that cost money.
Dad:OK, but without spending a long time analyzing the article you cited, I didn't see that it really demonstrated any causation. It seems to me it just demonstrates correlation or coincidence. And yes, I tend to be very skeptical of most of what gets reported on this subject because that's what almost everyone who reports on this, in the popular media or 'think tanks,' makes the same mistakes over and over.Again, I can't know your own experience, so I'm not commenting on it; but in my own experience, the vast majority of talk and even coverage of this subject fails to be at all careful about actually demonstrating causation.
Dad:Obviously money is important to politics.I'm just resisting the idea that money drives outcomes.Politicians win for a lot of reasons, some of which have to do with making fewer mistakes. (Obama v. Clinton for example.)Money gravitates to politicians for lots of reasons, but I'm just very skeptical of the conventional idea--which Turow takes for granted if not believes in passionately--that money drives outcomes.
FrMartin - Can you have causation without correlation? I don't see how. Correlation is one of the factors that signals the possibility of causation. Sometimes, there is a another factor that drives the correlation, such as the correlation between ice cream consumption and the murder rate in San Antonio both being driven up by heat.Obviously, money is not the only factor. Unfortunately for all of use, too often the factors influencing most votes have no rational foundation. Some people in my family always vote Democratic. That's not rational.In case you misunderstand me, I disagree completely with Turow's suggestion.
Mr Turrow thinks like the typical liberal - what he is really saying in essence is:"Too Much Freedom! I can't handle this much liberty!Let's restrict everyone else's!"
Dad:No, I agree, I don't see how you have causation sans correlation.But based on your familiarity with the subject, I think you understand my skepticism. In my experience, most of what's written, or asserted, about 'money and politics' either asserts, or assumes, some very questionable causation. And studies are cited that simply do not show what they would need to show to justify the argument they are being used to buttress.
I think you understand my skepticism.I do and I hope you're correct.
It's often a sound strategy to eliminate Constitutional rights because one is not fond of a decision.You know, Turow can just sacrifice HIS and not complain about the decision. You know, since it's purely political speech and all, he has money, and is therefore able to contribute to the corruption of the government.
Another plump mogul pulls up the ladder behind him, calls down to the raging mob below to advise them on tactics to keep the rest of us securely pinned under the boot heel of the state. In the name of fairness, of course, or social justice, or equality or some such pabulum. Same old shit.
Not enough nightstick.
It's often a sound strategy to eliminate Constitutional rights because one is not fond of a decision.The left doesn't care about Constitutional rights. They pretend when it suits their purpose, but they don't.Amartel - I nominate you for comment of the day/week/month/year.
Christmas decorations won't be the only thing hung in DC. Approval ratings can't go below zero, so go for it.
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