April 2, 2014

"The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time."

"The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and most likely increase the role money plays in American politics," reports Adam Liptak in the NYT.
The decision, by a 5-to-4 vote along ideological lines, was sort of a sequel to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. But that ruling did nothing to disturb the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.
This is extremely important. The case is McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

ADDED: Chief Justice Roberts writes for 4 members of the Court — himself and Justice Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito — but the 5th vote from Justice Thomas would go even further. Roberts writes:
[T]he aggregate limits prohibit an individual from fully contributing to the primary and general election campaigns of ten or more candidates, even if all contributions fall within the base limits Congress views as adequate to protect against corruption....

It is no answer to say that the individual can simply contribute less money to more people. To require one person to contribute at lower levels than others because he wants to support more candidates or causes is to impose a special burden on broader participation in the democratic process....

The dissent advocates a broader conception of corruption, and would apply the label to any individual contributions above limits deemed necessary to protect “collective speech.” Thus, under the dissent’s view, it is perfectly fine to contribute $5,200 to nine candidates but somehow corrupt to give the same amount to a tenth....

The line between quid pro quo corruption and general influence may seem vague at times, but the distinction must be respected in order to safeguard basic First Amendment rights. In addition, “[i]n drawing that line, the First Amendment requires us to err on the side of protecting political speech rather than suppressing it.” Federal Election Comm’n v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 551 U. S. 449, 457 (2007) (opinion of ROBERTS, C. J.)....

The Government has a strong interest, no less critical to our democratic system, in combatting corruption and its appearance. We have, however, held that this interest must be limited to a specific kind of corruption—quid pro quo corruption—in order to ensure that the Government’s efforts do not have the effect of restricting the First Amendment right of citizens to choose who shall govern them. For the reasons set forth, we conclude that the aggregate limits on contributions do not further the only governmental interest this Court accepted as legitimate in Buckley. They instead intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise “the most fundamental First Amendment activities.” Buckley, 424 U. S., at 14.
Justice Thomas would overrule Buckley v. Valeo, which distinguished spending one's own money from contributing money to someone else.
Buckley is a rule without a rationale. Contributions and expenditures are simply “two sides of the same First Amendment coin,” and our efforts to distinguish the two have produced mere “word games” rather than any cognizable principle of constitutional law…

This case represents yet another missed opportunity to right the course of our campaign finance jurisprudence by restoring a standard that is faithful to the First Amendment.
Justice Breyer writes the dissenting opinion — joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan:
[T]he First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters….

What has this to do with corruption? It has everything to do with corruption. Corruption breaks the constitution­ally necessary “chain of communication” between the people and their representatives. It derails the essential speech-to-government-action tie. Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard. Inso­far as corruption cuts the link between political thought and political action, a free marketplace of political ideas loses its point….

[This] is a decision that substitutes judges’ understandings of how the political process works for the understanding of Congress; that fails to recognize the difference between influence resting upon public opin­ion and influence bought by money alone; that overturns key precedent; that creates huge loopholes in the law; and that undermines, perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform.
AND: I wrote about this case last October, here:
"Will the Supreme Court Allow the Richest Donors to Corrupt American Politics Even More?" That's a front-page teaser at Slate leading to "Poor Little Rich Guys/The Supreme Court clamors to protect the right of Richie Rich, Scrooge McDuck, and the Koch brothers to further corrupt American politics." The article is by Dahlia Lithwick, who's been describing Supreme Court oral arguments for years. She's reporting on yesterday's argument in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which is a challenge to the limit on how much a person can donate to various candidates. It's not about how much you can give to any single candidate, just the ceiling on total contributions, when you're spreading money around to many candidates. (The limit is $48,600 every 2 years.) Richie Rich? Scrooge McDuck? Will Slate allow the stupidest bullshit to erode American minds even more?

113 comments:

Carol said...

Cue the outrage! Cue the handwringing!

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

This frees the unions and Tides Foundation and George Soros to purchase all the elections money can buy. Why are the lefties hysterical?

Brennan said...

The minority acted stupidly. Take Justice Breyer's conclusion.

Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U. S. 310 (2010), today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaignfinance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing withthe grave problems of democratic legitimacy that thoselaws were intended to resolve.

Really? How the hell do you know Justice Breyer?

If you're going to point to facts to make your argument then how are you going to support your opinion with a litany of other opinions? That is all that exists to support that statement. "They said they had good intentions."

Brennan said...

Does this mean that the indictment of Dinesh D'Souza and Bunny Mellon was a complete waste of time?

The caps are a restriction on speech. However, could an act of Congress make a law that restricted campaign contributions to candidates to political office to only those that live or have business interests in the district or state boundaries?

rhhardin said...

Corruptionwise, the problem is that the government is too big and so has a lot worth selling, advantage, licenses, regulations (in particular more regulations to keep competitors out) as well as the usual slush funds.

SJ said...

Legislators are writing laws about how their competition can be funded when election season comes.

Should we call "Campaign Finance Reform" laws "Incumbency Protection Laws"?

The Drill SGT said...

looks to me like no big deal. The limits to any one candidate stay in place. What is tossed is the total camp of 46,000. Before, a donor could give $46,000 to individuals and then $46 million to a PAC. Now, they can give to more pols directly, at the same max individual level, but less to a PAC.

more transparency, no more funding.

Seeing Red said...

We have technology. Make all organizations report their contributions online within 72 hours. Remove that stupid law that protected the communists from being ID'd.

If all our Deposits are now being tracked because df "money laundering," these should be also.

Let's see where it's all coming from.

Seeing Red said...

We have technology. Make all organizations report their contributions online within 72 hours. Remove that stupid law that protected the communists from being ID'd.

If all our Deposits are now being tracked because df "money laundering," these should be also.

Let's see where it's all coming from.

mccullough said...

Always a good day when a government regulation is struck down.

If lawmakers were serious about corruption, they would not act corruptly.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Since Leftists are quicker to lie/cheat in order to circumvent laws this ruling helps conservatives compete.

Lefties should be screaming mad as they will be less able to control/define the narrative.

Discover the networks.

Bob R said...

Thomas remains the best friend the first amendment has on the court.

Brennan said...

Should we call "Campaign Finance Reform" laws "Incumbency Protection Laws"?

The "Public Office Job Protetion Act of 20##" sounds difficult to pass.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Is that an explosion I just heard? Did I just get spattered with Garage skull fragments?

Hey...no brains are on these pieces of skull...

AJ Lynch said...

What Carol said!

RecChief said...

"Thomas remains the best friend the first amendment has on the court."

And not just the First Amendment

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, campaign financing and corporate influence in politics truly animates Left-liberal friends and family I have.

It's deeply emotional, a raison d'etre. Often, it's a response to injustice and perceived injustice.

If roped-in, I usually just try and hit voluntary association, self-interest in human affairs, the natural tendency towards mercantilism, and/or some the costs/benefits of environmental laws.

I try and keep 'em off the hard- stuff, the collectivist moonshine that can make people go blind.

RecChief said...

"Ugh. Now the Kochs will attempt to buy the country, and ram through gay marriage, reform of the PATRIOT Act, and the legalization of drugs." - Charles C. W. Cooke

RecChief said...

Lefties should view this as a victory for Billionaires like Tom Steyer and George Soros, not to mention all those on the West Coast

Todd said...

and that undermines, perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform.

Thank God! Let us rid ourselves of this piece of junk once and for all!

All that campaign finance reform accomplished was to make it harder to see where the money came from. It did not reduce the money. It is also so convoluted that it allows any politician to be indicted on violating finance laws, which means mostly "R"s.

David said...

Of course the real corruption begins after then election is over, with the dispensing of jobs, business opportunities, keys to power levers etc. These gifts go both ways, and are never classified as "campaign contributions."

If we are really worried about corruption in government, we should be looking at things other than above the board campaign contributions.

El Camino Real said...

The only way to curtail money for influence to DC is to stop the Federal Government from being a candy store for rich donors.

As long as there are favors to be bought, the money will find its way in.

Corporatism is what corrupts the body politic. We must do everything we can to root out corporate welfare at all levels.

And we must not do this by stifling political speech.

David said...

"Thank God! Let us rid ourselves of this piece of junk once and for all!"

You think a lefty majority would not overturn these in a heartbeat. Think again. Think again. Begin your thought process by listening carefully to the tone of the dissenters.

garage mahal said...

The Roberts era will be remembered by limiting voting rights and increased money into politics. Huzzah!

El Camino Real said...

And needless to say, the same applies for Trade Union influence and money. Double for Public Sector Unions.

David said...

The left now controls the law schools, and has strong influence on the judges and justices of the future. This is a long war and the left has big guns on the high plateau of legal education. You need only to look at the grandly educated people like Toobin and Lithwack to see the result.

El Camino Real said...

Yes Garage Mahal, voter ID is just like Jim Crow poll taxes. Nincompoop.

Levi Starks said...

It's just such a shame there aren't any rich Democrats.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

The Roberts era will be remembered by limiting voting rights and increased money into politics. Huzzah!

Limiting voting rights to one per person. Oh the horrors!

Todd said...

overturns key precedent

Funny how this is never EVER a problem when the left does it but is a HUGE problem if it can even be hinted at against the right.

cubanbob said...

[This] is a decision that substitutes judges’ understandings of how the political process works for the understanding of Congress; that fails to recognize the difference between influence resting upon public opin­ion and influence bought by money alone; that overturns key precedent; that creates huge loopholes in the law; and that undermines, perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform."

This guy just doesn't get it. It's not his job to uphold policy. It's his job to determine whether or not the constitution permits the policy.

Lance said...

Lefties should view this as a victory for Billionaires like Tom Steyer and George Soros, not to mention all those on the West Coast

That's right, now Michael Bloomberg can stop hiding behind those 501(c)(4)'s and donate directly to anti-gun candidates like Leland Yee.

David said...

Garage: garage mahal said...
The Roberts era will be remembered by limiting voting rights and increased money into politics. Huzzah!


Ooops. Revealed yourself. Voting is a "right" that can never be regulated to prohibit abuse, but spending money to exercise a right can? Unfortunately our jurisprudence has reached that conclusion. You want to broaden that limitation, because you really don't see it as a right at all, do you?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Barely made it through high school retard tries to make a funny.

Step away from the girl scout cookies and get on a treadmill, fatass. Leave the thinking to your betters.

cubanbob said...

The Roberts era will be remembered by limiting voting rights and increased money into politics. Huzzah!

4/2/14, 10:49 AM

Huzzah indeed! Limiting the vote to actual live citizens of the United States in full possesion of their civil rights and keeping foreigners from donating to Democrats using unverified and unauthenticated credit cards is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Street Corner Guy Off His Meds Says:

I see through you, I see through all of you: your money has corrupted your souls, corrupted, you live your lives as rotting meat. You walk by me thinking your money protects you from me, that it makes you different, but it doesn't, it is a lie. It is too late for you and you don't even know it, I see the End hovering over your heads, black clouds, black clouds, I can see them and you can't, you're too busy being rotting meat to notice, you don't even smell your own stench: even with urine on my pants and dog shit on my shoes I am more pure then you will ever be. I will cut open your stomachs and let the rabbits out.

chickenlittle said...

To be honest, I can't remember how much I was paid for my last vote. I bet garage is a cheap date though.

Mike said...

The Roberts era will be remembered [for] limiting voting rights to live US citizens and increased transparency of the money [in[ politics. Huzzah!

There.

FIFY.

mccullough said...

I do feel for those lucky few who can afford to give away so much money to politicians. Now you can't say, "I've hit my limit" to the campaign of the next one in line.

It will be interesting to see if the DNC and RNC haul in less money as they now have to compete with more candidates for the dollars of the heavy donors.

Paco Wové said...

"campaign financing and corporate influence in politics truly animates Left-liberal friends and family"

What chrisnavin said... I suspect this will prove to be a big spur to D. turnout this fall.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't go nearly far enough and yet, there will still be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Look on the bright side, now you have another excuse for why the democrats are going to get crushed in November. Anything to keep yourself from facing the reality of their failed and unpopular governance.

Anonymous said...

"The Roberts era will be remembered by limiting voting rights and increased money into politics. Huzzah!"

If only they would go further. Right now they haven't gone far enough.

Robert Cook said...

"Since Leftists are quicker to lie/cheat in order to circumvent laws this ruling helps conservatives compete."

Hahahahahaha! Yeah...isn't it funny how basic human nature skews mostly "left?" Stupid lefties!

Wait...you're serious?

Hahahahahaha!

"Lefties should be screaming mad as they will be less able to control/define the narrative."

You think "lefties" "control/define the narrative" now?

Hahahahahahaha!

Mark O said...

Speaking of bullshit:

"the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters…."

Andy Freeman said...

> [This] is a decision that substitutes judges’ understandings of how the political process works for the understanding of Congress;

Congress may well understand how the political process works better than the Supremes but that doesn't imply that the rules that Congress comes up with are constitutional, let alone good.

Congress, like all organizations, is self-serving first. It's pretty much the last organization that should be trusted with regulating itself, let alone deciding what its opponents should be allowed to do.

Andy Freeman said...

> democratic legitimacy

Since when do the Supremes allow concerns of legitimacy to influence their decisions?

Anthony said...

Dahlia Lithwick writes about "Richie Rich, Scrooge McDuck, and the Koch brothers". Appropriate. In her writing, all three are fictional characters.

MarkW said...

We have technology. Make all organizations report their contributions online within 72 hours.

That's a really bad idea -- anonymity is critical to prevent retribution by those in power against those donating to political opponents. Incumbent pols really, *really* want to know who's supporting their challengers -- that's not information we want them to have.

Patrick O said...

As a Californian, I've long known that some are more equal than others. And a lot of my friends have the privilege of paying for political speech they disagree with (teachers who pay into the state controlling teacher's union).

Campaign finance laws just forced the money to go through hidden streams, and gave more power to the management of collective institutions, and those wacky PACs. It gave rise to IRS control of political speech as it gave some the right to speak freely and denied others such rights.

Now, it's back to being a visible playing field. Money has always defined politics. It's either out in front or in a back room. Out in front is better.

Tank said...

Breyer:

The First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters….

Some sort of emanation from penumbras adding up to limiting speech. How does this square with the "make no law" language? It doesn't. It's more made up BS, as is much of our Supreme Court law.

Charlie Martin said...

Will Slate allow the stupidest bullshit to erode American minds even more?

You bet. It's their job.

Anonymous said...

rennan asked...

The caps are a restriction on speech. However, could an act of Congress make a law that restricted campaign contributions to candidates to political office to only those that live or have business interests in the district or state boundaries?


No. I don't like your Representative. It's trampling my First Amendment rights to prevent me from giving money to his opponent.

Anonymous said...

garage mahal said...

The Roberts era will be remembered by limiting voting rights and increased money into politics. Huzzah!


The Roberts era will be remembered by enhancing voting rights, by keeping vote fraud from destroying the value of your vote, and actually following the 1st Amendment. Huzzah!

FIFY

garage mahal said...

Anything to keep yourself from facing the reality of their failed and unpopular governance.

Republicans are so confident that the public agrees with them that they need to keep as many people from the polls as possible and more free flowing money.

donald said...

Is this more transparent?

I think all the money you can raise is fine.

But every thing and body needs to be identified. And they need to be citizens.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
Anything to keep yourself from facing the reality of their failed and unpopular governance.

Republicans (Democrats) are so confident that the public agrees with them that they need to keep bring) as many (dead and illegal) people from (to) the polls as possible and more free (Soros, Hollywood etc) flowing money.

4/2/14, 12:36 PM


David53 said...

The best comment from a NYT reader,

Isn't there some way this ruling can be appealed? I don't understand why the Supreme Court, which is appointed by partisan presidents, should have the last word in deciding whose free speech is better and more worthy than someone else's.

Matthew Sablan said...

I call BS. That's... people aren't that dumb. Please, dear God, tell me that's not a real comment.

Auntie Ann said...

Justice Breyer: "[T]he First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters…."

Professor Umbridge: "I will have ORDER!!!!"

Democracy is messy. I know some people hate that it is, but it wouldn't be democracy without the mess.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Justice Breyer: "[T]he First Amendment advances not only the individual’s right to engage in political speech, but also the public’s interest in preserving a democratic order in which collective speech matters….""

-- Funny how that "collective speech" always seems to squelch the same people the people in power don't like.

Mitch H. said...

garage mahal is a true Burkean: he believes fervently in the "democracy of the dead", as interpreted by industrious Democratic ward-heelers of every walk of life.

Drago said...

garage: " that they need to keep as many people from the polls as possible and more free flowing money."

Would it be too much to ask to name a few names of people who were legally entitled to vote and were kept from voting due to "the Republicans"?

I mean, can you imagine the lawsuits that would inspire if that actually occurred?

So, go ahead, time to name names.

Brando said...

Campaign finance reform is a lot like gun control. To really have its intended effect, you need to make the regulations so stringent that you'd need to amend the Constitution to put them in effect.

Individual donor limits are completely meaningless in a world where you can still make an "independent" expenditure, or self-fund your own campaign, or use bundlers, or PACs. If anything, such limits only make it harder for the non-wealthy to challenge incumbents or rich candidates, because it's just that much harder to raise the money without an organized network or donors who know how to game the system.

I don't even see why the left would want to favor such limits from a practical standpoint--they seem to be doing quite well funding their own candidates. Obama I think broke all sorts of fundraising records.

Chuck said...

A sidebar to the holding of McCutcheon, which is indeed an important ruling: this was the first big "free speech" election law case in which the ACLU decided to sit it out.

Previously -- including very significantly Citizens United v. FEC -- the ACLU took the side of fewer restrictions on political speech. After the ACLU sided with Citizens United (in what was certainly one of the worst-reported aspects of the Citizens United decision, which is itself one of the worst-reported stories in modern American journalism), the ACLU quite apparently faced an internal division of crisis proportions. The ACLU-lefties versus the ACLU-legalist technocrats. And so the ACLU filed no brief in McCutcheon.

Good discussion at SCOTUSblog:

http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/03/the-aclu-the-mccutcheon-case/

The ACLU seems to have finally found a First Amendment case it didn't like. Nazis marching in Skokie are one thing; but Republicans buying tv commercials to espouse their candidates' views? Well you just gotta draw the line somewhere, dontcha?

Todd said...

I don't even see why the left would want to favor such limits from a practical standpoint--they seem to be doing quite well funding their own candidates. Obama I think broke all sorts of fundraising records.

You answered your own question. They like what is in place currently because they know how to work in that framework, not that they care as rules are not for them. Look at all of the "outside of the country" money that Obama raised KNOWING it was illegal and why not? What trouble did he get into? All these rules just stop the honest. They like it that way.

Mike said...

Garage is right vote fraud never happens. So less free speech is obviously the answer.

Richard Dolan said...

The disagreement over what counts as 'corruption' for purposes of evaluating the Gov't's supposedly compelling interest is quite telling. CJ Roberts defines it narrowly as 'quid pro quo' corruption, i.e., the sort of corruption targeted by criminal statutes prohibiting bribery. Breyer defines it broadly as, essentially, buying access -- he thinks that the Gov't has a compelling interest in trying to make sure that no one gives so much that the candidate will want to listen more closely to the big givers than others.

Despite the occasional statements in the Roberts opinion that speculation is not enough to show that the Gov't has a compelling interest, that's all there is even to support the concern about 'quid pro quo' corruption, especially when it is defined as not including the sort of 'buying access' Breyer is concerned about. Campaigns for most federal offices today in any competitive district -- and that's the only situation where any of this even makes sense -- cost millions of dollars. And in those campaigns there are already plenty of 'bundlers' actively raising lots of money from friends (mostly business associates who owe them a favor or depend on them for business). So if 'quid pro quo' corruption is a real-world problem and occurs with enough frequency to warrant an infringement on everyone's First Amendment rights, surely there will be instances of it involving 'bundlers' who go too far. In fact, what you find are cases where bundlers violate campaign finance rules by, e.g., reimbursing supposedly independent donors for the cost of their 'donation,' but (to my knowledge) almost no cases at all about 'quid pro quo' corruption.

Despite the rhetoric in the Roberts opinion, the reality is that campaign finance laws are supportable, if at all, only on a Breyer-like theory. It's not 'quid pro quo' corruption that is relevant, but the appearance that the ability to give lots of money allows some people (Tom Steyer would be an excellent example) or the many bundlers (almost every non-diplomat ambassador appointed by Obama and Bush and Clinton and ... would be an example) to buy undue influence with elected officials. But even Breyer doesn't go that far. In short, the justifications for these campaign limitations on display, in both the Roberts and Breyer opinions, is a form of kabuki. It comes down to a desire to level the political playing field, a weird kind of equality argument that Roberts dismisses as illegitimate and Breyer never really embraces.

The only opinion that makes any sense in this case is the concurrence by Thomas. He is a terrific justice.

Drago said...

Hey, you've got to have an ID to simply buy food in the latest and greatest leftist peoples paradise in Venezuela and the lefties here love love love them some Maduro.

But the left here claims having ID's to vote stops people from voting?

Well.

Looks like people won't be eating in Venezuela then.

Anonymous said...

The minority worries about the influence of big money in elections? Fine, in response to this court decision Congress can eliminate the federal tax exemption of all 527 organizations. That might give big political donors and bundlers some reason to pause before opening their wallets wide.

Anonymous said...

garage mahal said...

Republicans are so confident that the public agrees with them that they need to keep as many people from the polls as possible and more free flowing money.


No, Republicans are so confident that legal voters agree with us that we want to keep vote fraud from affecting elections.

Democrats are so positive they can't win honest elections that they do everything in their power to make vote fraud easy, and impossible to detect.

Seeing Red said...

Keep as many people from the polls? How? Just mail the ballot in. Kali's Obamacare site has been really helpful filling in the blank already.

Seeing Red said...

My dad didn't vote cos they were on vacation and he still managed to do it somehow!

garage mahal said...

Republicans are so confident that legal voters agree with us that we want to keep vote fraud from affecting elections.

Republicans have investigated
"voter fraud" for a decade in Wisconsin. Nothing they have passed, or propose to pass, would do jack shit at preventing the fraud that they claim occurs. Photo ID? No. Restricting early voting? No. Eliminating weekend voting No. They are fucking liars.

Mike said...

Sentenced to five years for voter fraud in Madison County YESTERDAY.

Setenced to five years for voter fraud in Mississippi YESTERDAY. (Reduced to 5 months with 5 years probation.)

Setenced to five years for voter fraud in Mississippi YESTERDAY.

Woman sentenced to six months for voter fraud in Brownsville TODAY.

Check again tomorrow you'll see things you don't think exist -- happening every day around this great country.

Joe said...

Once again, why are liberals so afraid of free speech?

garage mahal said...

Check again tomorrow you'll see things you don't think exist -- happening every day around this great country.

Please tell me how restricting early voting and photo ID would have prevented any of this.

Mike said...


Please tell me how restricting early voting and photo ID would have prevented any of this

Please tell me why you keep saying voter fraud doesn't exist.

Carl said...

We know why the Evil Party likes campaign finance limits. Money is just the means by which you work for someone else by proxy. So campaign donations are just a way to donate your labor to someone you want to see elected, and the more money you donate, the more you are willing to work to see your wishes carried into power.

Imagine the threat this represents to a party that relies on low ambition, low information voters, whose only contribution to democracy is to drag themselves to the polls 5 election days out of 10, to spend an hour punching all the holes in the ballot marked Free Stuff At Someone Else's Expense!

Ye gods, in the absence of a gag rule like "campaign finance reform," someone with more ability, more interest, and more information might end up having a greater influence. That would be the death of the bread & circus style of governance.

Mike said...

Rutgers Expert testifies in WI: Voter ID would prevent about 5% of voter fraud.

Well what was Obama's margin of victory again? What about Bush in Florida?

There the local NBC affiliate uncovered 120 illegal aliens who have voted in the last 5 elections in ONE district in Florida, and only by checking voter rolls against jury excusal forms where the "I am not a US Citizen" box was checked. Pretty narrow criteria to net so many wrongdoers!

garage mahal said...

Rutgers Expert testifies in WI: Voter ID would prevent about 5% of voter fraud.


"None of the cases involved someone impersonating another at the polls"

Photo ID would have prevented 0.00%

There are 146 million registered voters in the United States. Since 2000 there are 10 documented cases of in-person voter fraud. One out of every 15 million voters.

Again, tell me how restricting early voting hours and requiring photo ID prevents voter fraud. You can't.

Mike said...

Nice obfuscation, Garage. She identified 21 cases that fit the model and said one (that is 4.76% or about 5% of cases she delineated) "could have been prevented" by photo ID. Even when you cherry pick you fail, Dude.

Why no comment on the guy in Madison county who got 5 years yesterday? Oh that's right, because he was just registering a felon, which didn't require ID but would be prevented by another GOP favored plan, removing convicted felons from the voter rolls completely. Liberals don't like that rule either and working to (1) not enforce it (see Justice Dept. in Florida) and (2) change the law so felons -- you're constituency! -- can vote.

Scott said...

If it pisses off Democrats, it can't be all bad.

garage mahal said...

She identified 21 cases that fit the model and said one (that is 4.76% or about 5% of cases she delineated) "could have been prevented" by photo ID.

Wait a sec, the one case [or 5%!] that would have been prevented by photo ID was which one again?

Birkel said...

Here, "garage mahal", let me help you get those goal posts up on that furniture dolly. Bend at the knees when you're trying to lift something so heavy.

1) There is no voter fraud!
2) There is voter fraud, but requiring IDs would prevent none of it!
3) Voter ID would only prevent 5% of the fraud identified by the expert, but because I can't identify which 5% that would be, it doesn't count.

This may be the worst internet drubbing I've ever witnessed.

Call the fight, ref.
Throw in the towel, coach.
Good Lord, the humanity!

Rocketeer said...

Good grief, GM. I'm embarrassed for you.

garage mahal said...

5% = one person, who we still dont even know exists. Mike?

Embarrassed for me? I completely annilated the argument for photo ID, and, my debate opponent even provided a handy link that buttressed my argument. You guys are too fucking much. For real.

Rocketeer said...

No, Garage, you didn't. You clearly think you did. You are totally deluded; you deny reality and think that ignoring when you've repeatedly been shown to be wrong somehow proves you're right.

So yes, I'm embarrassed for you. Genuinely.

Gahrie said...

I'm starting to believe that Garage is a moby. Its Karl Rove fucking with us.

damikesc said...

Garage, why no concerns about NY and its draconian voting laws?

damikesc said...

BTW, how did it feel to be humbled on Twitter garage? You even made Twitchy.

Real American said...

limit corruption by limiting government! if there's less to sell, there will be less to buy.

there's zero evidence that these campaign laws reduce corruption among public officials. The entire government is fucking corrupt and everyone knows it!

Matt said...

I'm not sure how this is considered a victory for free speech by anyone. It's a victory for a particular kind of speech yes but mainly for those who buy and sell politicians. Democracy works for those with deep enough pockets. That's not a victory for the rest of us who merely have the right to vote, which doesn't seem to have much meaning either way.

Rusty said...

35,500+ voters in N.Carolina have the same last name and the same DOB and they voted in two states.
Lets play a game.
Who can guess what party they're registered with.

garage mahal said...

So yes, I'm embarrassed for you. Genuinely.

No, you're not embarrassed for me. I once again destroyed another stupid right wing argument that isn't supported by any empirical data, pushed by people that are either drooling morons or professional liars.

damikesc said...

Matt, want to make government clean and moral?

Shrink it. Hard.

Anonymous said...

"Embarrassed for me? I completely annilated the argument for photo ID, and, my debate opponent even provided a handy link that buttressed my argument. "

Why yes, yes you did. Yes you did. Good boy. Yes you did. You did good.

Now here's a brownie.

Brew Master said...

Well now, isn't this interesting....

36,000 double voters in the state of NC alone.

http://www.wral.com/state-elections-officials-seek-tighter-security/13533579/

Isn't Scott Walker going to be indicted any day now?

Brew Master said...

But, vote fraud never happens. Double voting never happens. Voter ID wouldn't prevent anything from happening.

Brew Master said...

"Strach said North Carolina's check found 765 registered North Carolina voters who appear to match registered voters in other states on their first names, last names, dates of birth and the final four digits of their Social Security numbers."

Keep in mind that is larger than the Bush/Gore margin in Florida.

But vote fraud never happens.

Brew Master said...

"The crosscheck also found 35,570 voters in North Carolina who voted in 2012 whose first names, last names and dates of birth match those of voters who voted in other states in 2012"

They were unable to get data on the SSN's for those, as not all states provide them.

But, vote fraud never happens.

paminwi said...

No voter fraud, really garage?

How about 35,570 voters with te same last name and DOB voted in North Carolina and another state.

** 35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.

No voter fraud nowhere, right?

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/04/massive-voter-fraud-in-north-carolina-35570-voters-with-same-last-name-and-dob-voted-in-two-states/

Brew Master said...

"Strach also said a "10-year death audit" found 13,416 deceased voters who had not been removed from voter rolls as of October 2013. Eighty-one of those individuals, she said, died before an election in which they are recorded as having voted.

Strach cautioned that about 30 of those 81 voters appear to have legally cast their votes early via absentee ballot and then died before Election Day.

However, she said, "There are between 40 and 50 [voters] who had died at a time that that's not possible."

But vote fraud never happens.

RecChief said...

where was garage quoted on Twitchy?

William said...

LBJ, when he was Senate honcho, owned some radio stations in Texas. His wife managed them. People with business before the Senate found it expedient to buy advertising time on his stations. The value of those stations increased to forty million dollars. The Post ran a piece on what a sagacious business manager Lady Bird truly was. Thank God for a free press or we would not have known about Lady Bird's business skills.......I understand that Hillary recently got paid $200,000 for delivering a speech at Goldman Sachs. Well, who wouldn't pay that much to hear her speak.......When I hear about corporations paying into campaign funds, I'm struck by their above board attempts to gain leverage for their views. So much other stuff goes on under the table or under reported.

Rusty said...

"No, you're not embarrassed for me. I once again destroyed another stupid right wing argument that isn't supported by any empirical data,


Two assertions not supported by facts in evidence.



pushed by people that are either drooling morons or professional liars."

Two conditions that you are intimately familiar with.




Rusty said...

"No, you're not embarrassed for me. I once again destroyed another stupid right wing argument that isn't supported by any empirical data,


Two assertions not supported by facts in evidence.



pushed by people that are either drooling morons or professional liars."

Two conditions that you are intimately familiar with.




garage mahal said...

No voter fraud, really garage?

I never said that anywhere. I said it's exceedingly rare, and that Republican laws do nothing to prevent the voting fraud that does occur.

Rusty said...

I said it's exceedingly rare,


Events are conspiring to prove you wrong.

The recall in Wisconin was solely a left ,liberal ,progressive undertaking, yes?
You yourself boasted that there would be over a million signatures gathered, yes?
The reality was less than 900,000 sintures gathered. If I recall correctly I posited that 20% of those signatures would be disallowed for one reason or another,yes? Statistacally it is normal for around 10% of signatures in this type of undertaking to be disallowed. In fact over 220,000 signatures were thrown out. Over 25%. The recall was run by the left.
No. Not rare at all. In fact we can look at the above and conclude that for progressives vote fraud is a political tactic.
Before you go claiming to have "destroyed" someones position you should be in possetion of all the facts.
I remember when you claimed that lying to promote your political agenda is a perfectly acceptable tactic. Do you remember that?
The conclusion that any reasonable person can draw from what you post is that you are perfectly comfortable lying to promote your own ends.


Mike said...

Garage has a NEW assertion that only ten documented cases of "in-person" voting fraud since 2000.

To extend your logic, any "undocumented" person also doesn't exist? Is that the new standard? TEN cases, you say?

I wonder, does the poll worker in Ohio who voted for Obama five times in 2012 count as only one instance of fraud or is she responsible for half of your fake number, Garage?

Joe said...

Okay, let's assume in-person voter fraud is rare. Isn't the inability to provide valid ID even more rare?

Anonymous said...

Joe wrote;

"Okay, let's assume in-person voter fraud is rare. Isn't the inability to provide valid ID even more rare?"

Very good point. Years ago they took a few cases to court and said they had standing, but discovered they had Voter I.D.

I think they have a very difficult time finding "victims" of Voter I.D. laws.