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Alan Grayson's Latest Proposals

 
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Alan Grayson's Latest Proposals Reply with quote

As many of you know, the Supreme Court could quite possibly rule in favor of corporate rights to spend as they wish with regards to political campaigns. In response to this, Alan Grayson has introduced a number of bills.

Quote:
The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act would impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act would require public companies to report what they spend to influence public opinion on any matter other than the promotion of their goods and services. The End Political Kickbacks Act would restrict political contributions by government contractors.

The other measures would apply antitrust regulations to political committees and bar corporations from securities exchanges unless the corporation is certified in compliance with election law.


Obviously not perfect solutions (the real answer is to prevent anyone who can't vote from funding political activity), but not bad at all either. Criticism has been raised that these bills specifically target corporations, while they should target unions as well:

Quote:
Jeff Patch, a spokesman for the Center for Competitive Politics, an organization that advocates for lifting campaign finance restrictions, said Grayson's bills were too focused on corporate spending. "These are totally targeted at corporations, but Citizens United is widely believed to affect corporations and unions and nonprofits equally."

Grayson disagreed. "One year's profit for Exxon is greater than the entire political expenditure of all unions put together," he said.


I would say that at the very least "The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act" should apply equally to unions. Although they represent a lesser threat to our political system, they represent a threat none the less. Just as with corporations, they have substantially more money availible to them than the average citizen and interests which do not coincide with those of the average citizen. They should be pushed out of our political system too. However, as they do represent a far lesser threat, dealing with them is also far less pressing, so I don't think it's a deal breaker if they aren't included in the bill.

I really like this guy.
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Supreme Court on Thursday opened wide new avenues for big-moneyed interests to pour money into politics in a decision that could have a major influence on the 2010 midterm elections and President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

The long-awaited decision overruled a 1990 ruling by the court that allowed the government to bar corporations from spending corporate funds on ads expressly urging a candidate’s election or defeat.


http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31786.html#ixzz0dGPYVNWq

More special interest money should clear up the system a bit.
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thecount



Joined: 10 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy is an idiot. He voted for the hate crimes expansion act, which turns what should be demonstrable racism into an unnecessary burden of proof.
It mandates that racism be assumed, evidence or not. Only the brainless can support a thought-crime law.

When people talk about Grayson, they bring up the "K-street *beep*" comment or the "[Republicans] want you to die quickly" or his likening living without health care to the holocaust.

That rhetoric is all just obscuring the truth about who Grayson is and what he represents: He is a small-minded person who thinks very little of the freedoms we hold dear.

It's demonstrable not only in the hate crimes expansion act, but in his interaction with Attorney-General Eric Holder, where he personally requests that Angie Langley, the owner of mycongressmanisnuts.com, a website parodying Grayson's congressmanwithguts.com, be "fined and jailed."

Grayson is attacking free speech and even free thought. It's mind-boggling. Beyond the far left, who are frothing in orgasmic delight about Grayson "sticking it to the man" (although they controlled the House, Senate and White House at the time and were technically "the man"), I believe Grayson is doing much more harm than good to his chances of reelection. He already lost the Orlando Sentinel - I remember the issue where they ripped him for how petty and unconcerned with constitutionality he was.

He's on his way out.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree with his vote regarding hate crimes. Hate crime is a silly classification that should be removed, not expanded. However, it's merely a black mark on an otherwise strong list of policy positions.

Regarding his reelection, that's up to his constituents to decide I suppose. If they feel he's representing them poorly, they should certainly vote him out. If they feel his support for hate crimes legislation outweighs his work towards things like holding the Federal Reserve accountable, keeping corporations out of our politics, and so forth, then their choice will be an easy one.

Regarding his complaint to the Attorney General, that's precisely what it is: a complaint. If Angie Langley has broken laws whose penalties are as Congressman Grayson describes, then surely the law should be applied as written. If she has not, then it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to dismiss Grayson's complaint. Given he was an attorney himself, and thus quite familiar with the law, I have to wonder if there isn't a genuine legal basis behind his complaint. Reading his complaint here, it does look like the woman in question has been committing outright falsehoods in her political pursuits against him. Whether that is associated with any law whose penalty is 5 years imprisonment, I don't know, but gathering political contributions through fraudulent means is probably not legal.
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mises



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Location: retired

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hate crimes law as described by Holder is racist. And AG shouldn't support it. But we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect choices. AG is solid on the Fed, on the wars, on the rule of law and big firms and on the issue of corporate and union money in elections.

And Rummy said, you go to war with the army you have and not the army you want. AG is a net-positive congressman.
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thecount



Joined: 10 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Fox, Grayson's filings go way beyond the boundaries of merit.

His arguments simply are not there.
As you said, he has a background in law, and this is PRECISELY WHY this is so troublesome to me.

Let's examine one of his claims, specifically, that Langley claims to be a constituent.

His argument:

"By choosing the name "My Congressman is Nuts" for her committee,
Ms. Langley is indicating that I am her Congressman. I am not her
Congressman, and I have never been her Congressman. Ms. Langley resides at 969 W. Lakeshore Drive, Clermont, FL 34711 (Ex. A-2), This is manymiles outside my district Ms. Langley lives within FL-5, not FL-8."

In this one argument, Grayson not only ignores well-defined rulings regarding parody (which apply to the website name, mocking his), but also seems to believe that the website/committee name is equivalent to a statement. It has been legally ruled that they are different things.
One can name their website or corporation "Superior Plumbing" without having to qualify it. Pizza Hut is not, in fact, a hut. In fact, the website itself claims to be "Floridans outraged and embarrassed by Alan Grayson’s leftist positions and childish behavior.” - the use of "Floridians" would automatically legitimize the "My," if Grayson actually brought this to argument.

By legal statute, Grayson's arguments about Langley claiming to be a constituent of his are legally distinct from the name of the committee.
Yet he combines them.

More disturbingly, he seems to be blissfully ignorant that his complaints are ALL superseded by the first Amendment, which takes priority in this case. Why do we have someone helping make laws when he advertises the breadth of his incompetence (or rash egotism, which is not much better) when it comes to prosecution/enforcement?

What we have here is no less than a congressman trying (and failing) to find a legal loophole to stifle free speech. Indefensible.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said, to be honest, I don't know the applicable laws very well; I'm no legal scholar at all. If his case truly has no merit, I hope it's thrown out. I do know that the first amendment isn't unlimited in its applicability. If this woman had merely created a website to mock Alan Grayson, I agree it would quite easily protect her. But when she branched into political fundraising, she began operating under what I understand to be a different set of rules. Whether she broke those rules, I'm not sure. Congressman Grayson seems to believe she did.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act would impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act would require public companies to report what they spend to influence public opinion on any matter other than the promotion of their goods and services. The End Political Kickbacks Act would restrict political contributions by government contractors.

The other measures would apply antitrust regulations to political committees and bar corporations from securities exchanges unless the corporation is certified in compliance with election law.


A pretty worthy set of proposals. I hope Congress picks up on these. Soon.
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bacasper



Joined: 26 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Quote:
The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act would impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act would require public companies to report what they spend to influence public opinion on any matter other than the promotion of their goods and services. The End Political Kickbacks Act would restrict political contributions by government contractors.

The other measures would apply antitrust regulations to political committees and bar corporations from securities exchanges unless the corporation is certified in compliance with election law.


A pretty worthy set of proposals. I hope Congress picks up on these. Soon.

They are EXCELLENT proposals. What are the odds that ANY of them will become law?
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bacasper wrote:
Ya-ta Boy wrote:
Quote:
The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act would impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act would require public companies to report what they spend to influence public opinion on any matter other than the promotion of their goods and services. The End Political Kickbacks Act would restrict political contributions by government contractors.

The other measures would apply antitrust regulations to political committees and bar corporations from securities exchanges unless the corporation is certified in compliance with election law.


A pretty worthy set of proposals. I hope Congress picks up on these. Soon.


They are EXCELLENT proposals. What are the odds that ANY of them will become law?


It's entire up to the Democrats. John McCain and Olympia Snowe have both indicated that they're against the ruling of the Supreme Court in this case, which would give potential for Democrats to avoid a filibuster on this issue in the Senate despite the new Republican 41 vote "majority". If the Democrats come together on this, they can pass these bills into law. If they don't, then they're passing up an excellent opportunity to truly champion the people.
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