December 13, 2011

7th Circuit strikes down Wisconsin law limiting contributions to political action committees.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
Wisconsin has long had a $10,000 limit on how much one could give each year to political action committees. But the panel said that law is not in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last year in the Citizens United case, which determined that corporations and unions can spend freely in elections.

"Citizens United held that independent expenditures do not pose a threat of actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption, which is the only governmental interest strong enough to justify restrictions on political speech," Judge Diane Sykes wrote for the panel.

"Accordingly, applying the $10,000 aggregate annual cap to contributions made to organizations engaged only in independent spending for political speech violates the First Amendment."

30 comments:

rhhardin said...

Contributions would naturally limit themselves if government weren't all over everything, in a position to punish and grand favors.

Take away the business incentive, in other words.

There's the public interest.

Jake said...

Another victory for the First Amendment.

Scott M said...

Take away the business incentive, in other words.

Yes, but how would one slush someone's funds or kick someone's back?

Carol_Herman said...

Good for the 7th!

Watching people spending lots of money is GOOD for the economy!

It's like Christmas.

Or horse racing. (Yes. The horses are beautiful. At Santa Anita ... the jockeys riding their "beast" ... comes out ... before the race ... And, you've got to admire this. Even if it isn't worth a $2 bet.)

Gamblers make a lot of things possible. And, there's no law on how much you can bet, either!

The less government interferes, the better.

Oh, if you think you can buy popularity ... the way an ugly mogul buys a wife ... You're not paying attention.

So I will tell you about the Finklestein CURSE.

One beautiful woman was showing her friends her new GORGEOUS ... And, Liz Taylor's taste LARGE diamond ring. WOW, said all of her friends.

Alas, said she: It comes with the Finklestein Curse.

"What's that?" asked one of them.

Well, said the beautiful woman ... the man who gave this to me is really old and ugly.

Carol_Herman said...

Drudge's headline, today, is a real whopper of a teacher. Under a picture of Mitt, he says ... IF Mitt doesn't win in New Hampshire ... but it goes to Newt ... Then Mitt would fold his tent.

Mitt lives in New Hampshire. He's probably shaken at least everyone there's hand at least once. He's been a fixture in that state.

And, the Funny Underwear Man has spent a fortune trying to get New Hampshire voters to vote for him.

Imagine after this primary vote ... being Mitt ... And, coming in, in 2nd place.

Not that the GOP can't come up with tickets that put Dole on top.

Brent said...

Our Democrat friends are not truly interested in free speech, despite all of their clamoring against Citizen;s United. Our Democrat friends desire controlled speech.

Our Democrat friends are not truly concerned that money corrupts political speech. Our Democrat friends are only concerned that the viewpoints they prefer are the only viewpoints disseminated.

It can't be said enough: "Free speech for me, but not for thee"

Original Mike said...

"Contributions would naturally limit themselves if government weren't all over everything, in a position to punish and grand favors."

THIS is the only reform that will ever work. Everything else is window dressing.

cubanbob said...

Original Mike said...
"Contributions would naturally limit themselves if government weren't all over everything, in a position to punish and grand favors."

THIS is the only reform that will ever work. Everything else is window dressing.

12/13/11 8:48 AM

But if were to be done how could they justify their phony-baloney jobs? Or their sweetheart retirement benefits? Where would the democrat rich send their idiot sons and daughters?

Scott M said...

But if were to be done how could they justify their phony-baloney jobs?

Harumph.

garage mahal said...

Corporations are people. Money is speech. And pizza is a vegetable.

Paging George Orwell.

Original Mike said...

That's exactly the problem. Real reform would strip away politician's power. Which is why, i) this kind of reform would actually work, and ii) it's never seriously persued (by either party). Instead we get limits on contributions and prohibitions about lobbyists buying dinner.

Scott M said...

Corporations are people. Money is speech. And pizza is a vegetable.

You forgot penumbras and emanations.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
Corporations are people. Money is speech. And pizza is a vegetable.

Paging George Orwell.

12/13/11 9:04 AM

He is a regular contributor to:

PBSABCNBCNYTCBSCNNMSNBCLATWAPOTIMENEEWSWEEKNPR and the rest of the democrat-communist party house organs. What a busy guy!

PaulV said...

Garage supports book burning as any Liberal Fascist would. (as BO Solicitor General admitted.) Corporations are business entities used by people.

Chase said...

Corporations are people. Money is speech. And pizza is a vegetable.


Funny.

Got anymore?

caplight45 said...

I would like to ask Garage if the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, PETA and a host of other do gooder not for profit organizations that seek to influence public policy and government behavior should also be banned from political contributions. How about labor unions?

Yes or no would suffice.

Joe said...

To help preserve the nation, I will voluntarily give nothing to any politician.

Christian said...

Does this mean that Romneycare in MA would be overturned if Obamacare was struck down by the Supreme Court?

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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Sofa King said...

Corporations are people. Money is speech. And pizza is a vegetable.


Citizens United never said that corporations are people. Buckley v. Valeo never said that money is speech. And the recent bill on school lunches never contained the word "pizza."

You're living in a fantasyland. Garage, please, for yourself, for those who care about you. Please, come back to reality.

AJ Lynch said...

I predict a few librul cheeseheads will explode.

AJ Lynch said...

Right you are Garage! Afterall, the word "corporation" is derived from the latin "corpus" which means body.

caplight45 said...

Response to my question from Garage:

crickets

Scott M said...

crickets

It will be something along the lines that the amount of money the non-profits donate to campaigns pales in comparison, I'm sure, regardless that the amount doesn't appear to have anything to do with his initial problem with the issue.

Original Mike said...

Nah, I think it would be a distinction drawn between good and evil organizations.

Curious George said...

All I know is it won't be a OT comment regarding "WalkerGate".

Publius the Clown said...

I agree with Citizens United, but I don't see how its logic extends to campaign donations.

In Citizens United, the challenged statute prevented corporations from spending money on speech--which, as Justice Kennedy noted, is tantamount to saying that corporations couldn't speak. So then the only question was whether corporations were speakers for First Amendment purposes, and I think the majority was right that the First Amendment doesn't discriminate among speakers.

By contrast, limiting the amount of money given to a PAC doesn't impose any limitation on speech itself. So I think this case is clearly distinguishable from Citizens United.

damikesc said...

Contributions would naturally limit themselves if government weren't all over everything, in a position to punish and grand favors.

Indeed. In these situations, I routinely cite Microsoft andWalmart back in the early 90's. Both tried to avoid lobbying and had very small lobbying budgets.

Didn't work out well for them as the gov't interfered with them because their rivals had few qualms lobbying heavily.

Why would any company not spend money on politics? If you can give a candidate $10,000 and he'll give you a tax break worth millions, you'd not be doing your job not aiming for this.

Take the government out of money, not vice versa. Massive lobbying is a fairly new thing --- alongside a government that is involved in almost everything.

damikesc said...

By contrast, limiting the amount of money given to a PAC doesn't impose any limitation on speech itself. So I think this case is clearly distinguishable from Citizens United.

These rules are inherently restrictive since not all companies have to abide by them.

Why should GE have carte blanche to use as much speech as possible because they own a "media organ"? Why do they warrant this treatment when other corporations do not?