Sunday, February 14, 2010

1st Amendment Rights For Me, Not For Thee

New York Institute for Special Education, Class Picture 2009
Surely if you've been living above ground for the last three weeks you recall the utter conniption the lefties had when the Supreme Court overturned the McCain Feingold legislation banning unregulated donations to the national parties. The law also explicitly denied the ability of large corporations to directly donate to candidates and advertise in an election for or against any candidate or issue. Democrats decried the court's decision as allowing corporations (including foreign) to spend without limit to influence elections here in the United States. This is of course a claim which has no basis in the actual understanding of law. Quoteth I from ABC News, emphasis mine:
Under current law, foreign nationals cannot donate to political candidates or pay for campaign ads. Concerns that other countries might try to influence American elections are not merely academic. In the late 1990s the Justice Department and congressional investigators uncovered efforts by foreign donors to infiltrate the American political system through donations to the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton. Among those implicated was Johnny Chung, a Clinton fund-raiser who told Federal investigators that a large part of the nearly $100,000 he gave the Democrats in the 1996 campaign came from China. According to published reports, Democrats had to return another $1.6 million brought in by another prominent Clinton money man, John Huang, after questions were raised about the source of the funds.
So, you're saying that the only ones to ever exploit the system in place by accepting donations from foreign companies was the Democrats?! Say it ain't so! Anyhoo, looks as though the party of law breakers found another loophole to exploit. From Hot Air:
"...the New York Times reports today, one select group of Democrats have had no problem cultivating corporate influence, and doing so by working around the McCain-Feingold restrictions their party claims to champion:

When the Congressional Black Caucus wanted to pay off the mortgage on its foundation’s stately 1930s redbrick headquarters on Embassy Row, it turned to a familiar roster of friends: corporate backers like Wal-Mart, AT&T, General Motors, Coca-Cola and Altria, the nation’s largest tobacco company.

Soon enough, in 2008, a jazz band was playing at what amounted to a mortgage-burning party for the $4 million town house.

Most political groups in Washington would have been barred by law from accepting that kind of direct aid from corporations. But by taking advantage of political finance laws, the caucus has built a fund-raising juggernaut unlike anything else in town.

It has a traditional political fund-raising arm subject to federal rules. But it also has a network of nonprofit groups and charities that allow it to collect unlimited amounts of money from corporations and labor unions.

From 2004 to 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus’s political and charitable wings took in at least $55 million in corporate and union contributions, according to an analysis by The New York Times, an impressive amount even by the standards of a Washington awash in cash. Only $1 million of that went to the caucus’s political action committee; the rest poured into the largely unregulated nonprofit network. (Data for 2009 is not available.)
Now, consider that $55 million in light of the outrage expressed over the last few weeks over the court’s Citizens United decision.
Color me completely shocked. Be sure to read the rest and watch the attached video. The effort here is to keep the status quo, in other words allow Democrats to continue to collect large sums of money from corporations to fund their political activities, while explicitly denying corporations from donating to groups and individuals with differing ideologies. Keep in mind that the Congressional Black Caucus is the same group of morons who visited Fidel Castro in Cuba last year and proclaimed him a great and compassionate leader.

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