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Old 09-15-2012, 08:10 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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What Citizens United Has Brought

Who could have seen this trend coming.

Color me shocked.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/us...tors.html?_r=1

Obama Grows More Reliant on Big-Money Contributors
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Published: September 12, 2012

Kirk Wagar, a Florida lawyer who has raised more than $1 million for President Obama’s re-election bid, had his choice of rooms for the Democratic convention at Charlotte’s Ritz-Carlton or Westin hotels and nightly access to hospitality suites off the convention floor.

Jay Snyder, a New York financier who has raised at least $560,000 for Mr. Obama, was entitled to get his picture taken on the podium at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

And Azita Raji, a retired investment banker who has raised over $3 million for Mr. Obama — more than almost anyone else during the last two years — could get pretty much anything that she wanted last week in Charlotte: briefings with senior Obama officials, invitations to post-speech parties, along with “priority booking” at the city’s finest hotels.

In the race for cash, Mr. Obama often praises his millions of grass-roots donors, those die-hards whose $3 or $10 or $75 contributions are as much a symbol of the president’s political identity as they are a source of ready cash. But his campaign’s big-dollar fund-raising has become more dependent than it was four years ago on a smaller number of large-dollar donors and fund-raisers.

All told, Mr. Obama’s top “bundlers” — people who gather checks from friends and business associates — raised or gave at least $200 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election bid and the Democratic National Committee through the end of May, close to half of the total up to that point, according to internal campaign documents obtained by The New York Times.

The documents provide a detailed look into the intricate world of presidential fund-raising, which Mr. Obama and his team have mastered, and donor-stroking, which some supporters complain they have not. The campaign closely monitors its top bundlers, rating them by how much each individual or couple has raised and donated each year going back to 2007.

Officials used that amount, in turn, to offer donor packages of access and entertainment for the convention last week, themed to the location in North Carolina: “OBX” (bumper-sticker shorthand for the Outer Banks) for those raising at least $1 million, down to “Carolina on My Mind” for those who have donated merely $75,800 to Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee, the maximum allowed under federal law.

“It confirms everything we’ve always believed about the role of big money in politics,” said Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group that tracks political fund-raising. “The more you give, the more you gather, the more you get.”

Each individual or couple is also assigned a lifetime Obama total. Topping the list is Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood producer, who, along with his fund-raising partner, Andy Spahn, has brought in at least $6.6 million combined for the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, according to the documents.

The top fund-raiser for 2011 and 2012 is Andrew Tobias, a Miami-based author who is treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and a major bundler for Mr. Obama among gay donors. Terry McAuliffe, a former party chairman and Bill Clinton loyalist, shot into Mr. Obama’s top bundler ranks this year after he and Mr. Clinton agreed to hold a Virginia fund-raiser for Mr. Obama. He has raised about $2.2 million for Mr. Obama, according to the documents, more than all but a few supporters.

Because not all of Mr. Obama’s bundlers are represented through the end of May, the documents may understate the total that top supporters have raised for Mr. Obama. But even so, they reveal how dependent even Mr. Obama — whose grass-roots fund-raising machine is unrivaled in political history — is on a relative handful of wealthy individuals raising millions of dollars on his behalf, often while having significant business or legal interests before the Obama administration.

Among the top 10 fund-raisers on the list for 2012, for example, are Steve Spinner, a former Department of Energy official who pushed the White House to approve a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, the failed solar power company.

DreamWorks Animation, the studio Mr. Katzenberg leads, is among several in Hollywood that earlier this year were notified of an investigation into whether entertainment companies had made illegal payments to officials in China in connection with their dealings there.

Mitt Romney has fielded an equally formidable high-dollar fund-raising machine this year and could raise as much or more than Mr. Obama during the election cycle. Like the Democrats, Republicans offered big donors an array of perks at their convention, held in Tampa, Fla., last month, including choice hotel access, boat trips and access to Mr. Romney himself.

Mr. Obama already makes public the names of his bundlers, along with ranges for how much they have raised, a practice not required by law. Mr. Romney has declined to release such information, though monthly disclosures filed by his campaign suggest that he is even more dependent than Mr. Obama on big bundlers and donors who have given the legal maximum.

“Our major volunteer fund-raisers, as well as the ranges of contributions they raised, were previously made public because unlike Governor Romney, we disclose them on our Web site,” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama’s publicly disclosed categories stop at the $500,000-and-up level, however. The internal documents show that at least 60 individuals and couples reside in an even more elite club, having raised more than $1 million for Mr. Obama and the party.

They include Frank White Jr., a technology entrepreneur who has raised $2.3 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign; Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, who has raised $2.7 million; Robert Wolf, a former executive at UBS Americas, the banking company, who has raised about $1.3 million; and Reshma Saujani, a lawyer who is running for New York City public advocate next year and is active among young larger donors, who has raised about $1 million.

About 260 of the bundlers did not raise any money for Mr. Obama during his 2008 campaign, according to the document. That reflects the extraordinary effort Mr. Obama made to recruit new fund-raisers for his re-election effort, as former supporters lost enthusiasm or moved on to other pursuits.

But it also reflects the number of former fund-raisers whom Mr. Obama appointed to ambassadorial and other posts, leaving them barred from political activities.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
That's all fine and good and everything, but that doesn't respond to more salient responses made as recently as post #55:
Because my post clearly doesn't say what you think it does about 'practical reality' and Im fine with letting that obvious fact stand on its own merits.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:06 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
Because my post clearly doesn't say what you think it does about 'practical reality' and Im fine with letting that obvious fact stand on its own merits.
You don't believe that flooding the market with your moneyed interests will earn you more support?
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:10 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
You don't believe that flooding the market with your moneyed interests will earn you more support?
There has been a beer ad made that makes Bud Light taste better.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:05 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
There has been a beer ad made that makes Bud Light taste better.
Obtuseness is an excellent way to dodge being pinned against a bullshit argument that YOU MADE.

But its resistant to further grilling, so in that sense, "mission accomplished" for you.

Use your reply this post to either open the argument back up or send another trendy rhetorical dart my way. Until you choose the former, I am officially bored.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:17 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Obtuseness is an excellent way to dodge being pinned against a bullshit argument that YOU MADE.

But its resistant to further grilling, so in that sense, "mission accomplished" for you.

Use your reply this post to either open the argument back up or send another trendy rhetorical dart my way. Until you choose the former, I am officially bored.
My apologies, that was a typo.

should have read "There has never been a beer ad made that makes Bud Light taste better."

And cut the bullshit that simply calling my argument bullshit is an actual refutation. My point is clear, unambiguous, and coherent. Asking me if I actually believe it is of no value whatsoever. If I type it, unless I'm clearly being sarcastic or coy, I believe it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:29 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Well hey, if you want to rebut the low-hanging fruit ideas, allowing the more potent truths to go undiscussed, than that is your right as a time-wasting American.

Removing limits on the financing of elections empowers the few over the many.

It is anti-democratic. It is anti-productive.

And it is corrosive to a healthy middle class, a minimally subsisting lower class, and really everybody else in the 99% I've neglected to mention.
Feeling charitable and chilling while watching SNF, officially bored of thinking up new ways to express my disdain for the chefs.

Even if one were to grant every single one of your criticisms, you need to realize that your criticism is nevertheless the criticism of the First Amendment itself, not some wacky new idea the SC came up with.

'Money isn't speech' is a snappy slogan. But it elides the issue. To a didact, nothing that doesn't directly involve the passing of air over vocal chords in a purposeful manner isn't speech. Writing isn't speech, flag lapel pins aren't speech, placards aren't speech, mass gatherings aren't speech, colors aren't speech, nor are paintings, sculptures, cartoons, etc., etc. etc.

But the Constitution doesn't say 'Government must allow individuals to speak.' It forbids the government from making any "law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

So the question isn't 'is this speech." It's 'is the government restricting this in an effort to abridge the freedom to speak.' Never in the history of the SC has there been an effort to deny that the expenditure of money to distribute information is the exercise of the right to speak. 'Money is speech' is not something they created, it's something they've never attempted to deny.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:33 AM   #82
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I still remember the state of the union. When Obama said that the Citizens United decision would lead to corperations and individuals being able to give unlimited anounts of money to campaigns. You have a Supreme Court justice shake his head and mouth "thats not true". Republicans jumped all over him, He's a justice, Obama was just a proffesor of Constitutional law. He doesnt know shit in the real world. Wellll we all know who was right.

This has corupted our political system. The ability of the rich and corporations to give umlimited money secretly has changed our political system so much that it will eventually endanger the whole process.

Corporations are not people. Giving money secretly is not free speech. You say money is speech, fine. If you speak out with your money, you should not be able to do that secretly.

This will eventually take the individual out of the political equation. I understand that already exists in some form. But, this will only end badly.

Question for the R's, how do you feel about foreign countries and foreign corperations being allowed to give unlimited secret money to political campaigns? Do you not see the harm that could do to our system?
Do you ever get tired of being wrong? Alito mouthed that what the President was saying was "not true" and it wasn't. It wasn't true that corporations can "spend without limit" in our campaigns nor was it true that it opens up the opportunity for foreign contributions.

BTW, shouldn't Direckshun have named this thread "What the US Constitution has brought"?

Edit: I should have read the thread before posting as it appears that BRC has already been roundly criticized on these points.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:35 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Do you ever get tired of being wrong? Alito mouthed that what the President was saying was "not true" and it wasn't. It wasn't true that corporations can "spend without limit" in our campaigns nor was it true that it opens up the opportunity for foreign contributions.
Willful naivete, thy name is patteeu.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
You don't believe that flooding the market with your moneyed interests will earn you more support?
Do you think flooding a market with politically-biased news articles and "fact-check" pieces can impact our elections? Should we ban newspapers too?

At some point in our democratic process, we have to take an obviously flawed leap of faith that the electorate can digest the imperfect information that is tossed in their direction and somehow come to a wise decision on how to cast their vote. If we can't take that leap of faith, it calls into question the entire premise upon which our electoral system is based.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:30 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Do you think flooding a market with politically-biased news articles and "fact-check" pieces can impact our elections?
Absolutely.

The difference is that anybody can do that.

Not so, however, with flooding the market with money. Only the 1% can do that, an inequality that Citizens United has further entrenched.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:47 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Absolutely.

The difference is that anybody can do that.

Not so, however, with flooding the market with money. Only the 1% can do that, an inequality that Citizens United has further entrenched.
Anybody can do that? Anybody can put out a newspaper like the NYTimes or start a news network like CNN? No, that's clearly not true. There is no difference other than the fact that, on balance, journalists and their editors heavily support your ideology.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:57 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
There is no difference other than the fact that, on balance, journalists and their editors heavily support your ideology.
Um, there's a distinct difference.

The money we're talking about is undiluted, unfiltered advocacy for a cause. Whatever your opinion of the news outlets out there, this is simply not true of news coverage, as even the most partisan shows like Hannity and Ed Schultz have to filter their material through a news organization that has to report the news of the earth to a viewer.

There is no such obligation for the advocacy fueled now almost exclusively by the 1% in the wake of Citizens United.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:06 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Um, there's a distinct difference.

The money we're talking about is undiluted, unfiltered advocacy for a cause. Whatever your opinion of the news outlets out there, this is simply not true of news coverage, as even the most partisan shows like Hannity and Ed Schultz have to filter their material through a news organization that has to report the news of the earth to a viewer.

There is no such obligation for the advocacy fueled now almost exclusively by the 1% in the wake of Citizens United.
You're jumping all over the place. Your initial claim was that the difference was that corporate advocacy requires someone with elite levels of money while media advocacy can be done by anyone. That's simply not true. There is no such difference.

Obviously there are other differences, but those aren't related to your initial objection. The biggest one is the one I pointed out already. In one case your ox is gored and in the other it isn't.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #89
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What Citizens United Has Brought?

Lets see:
Piles of trash!
Little piles of s__t!
Bed Bugs!
Fleas!
STD's!
Rapes, unreported,!
Muggings!
Robberies!
Large increases in Illegal drug sales, on a local level! You will probably say
"Its good for the economy!"
It does Keep the MSM reporters busy though, so I suppose it's a "Good thing"!

Huge amounts of tax dollars spent cleaning up after these scum bags!
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by driver2 View Post
Lets see:
Piles of trash!
Little piles of s__t!
Bed Bugs!
Fleas!
STD's!
Rapes, unreported,!
Muggings!
Robberies!
Large increases in Illegal drug sales, on a local level! You will probably say
"Its good for the economy!"
It does Keep the MSM reporters busy though, so I suppose it's a "Good thing"!

Huge amounts of tax dollars spent cleaning up after these scum bags!
LOL, you're thinking of Occupy Wall Street.
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