@WolfPAC_NY retweeted @WolfPAChq 2014-06-23 17:40:13 -0400
California becomes state #2. Passed Wolf-PAC resolutions to #GetMoneyOut. #tlot
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-09 00:44:05 -0400 · Flag
Paul, It seems to me that “For anything to change, the” bought two-party political system has to change, not necessaryily the “economic system that underlies all the corporate money grabbing.” Free enterprise as an ecomonmic system is not the problem, a corrupt financial system that runs the governemnt is the problem. It is a monopoly that dictates all public policy and legislation. Greed has become the end goal, and not a healthy economy. Certainly McCutcheon makes it easier for greed to buy the system.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-08 21:31:21 -0400 · Flag
Rich I believe the McCutcheon decision effectively raised the aggregate individual contribution limit per election cycle to $5.9 million, I’m told.

William, your recollection of the history of the “press” and the “news” sounds right to me too. But I would add that when TV first started, the deal was that the price we paid for TV was that the broadcasters would be permitted to air advertising (and get paid for it). The “deal” was that we would have to tolerate the ads because the programming was “free” (broadcast television: you put up an antenna and you can get all broadcast stations (and the ads) at no charge.)

Now we have to pay close to $100 a month for 699 channels of crap, and there are more commercials than ever! What happened to that deal?

“Might such a system then reverse the entire evolution of political campaigns back to the altruistic societal function our forefathers envisioned. " That sounds like a stretch to me. The original FCC deal under the economic structure we have now got us to the point where we are at today… the media make fortunes at our expense and we are the victims, left literally in the dark.

For anything to change, the economic system that underlies all the corporate money grabbing is what has to change.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-08 06:46:40 -0400 · Flag
William it seems to me you put forth a pretty good history of the evolution of news coverage. It is corrpupted by advertising. Good ideas in your comments. Paul, maybe they want to lift the $2600 individual contritution limit on Congressioanal campaigns. Oh, is that already done by McCutcheon? Hard to keep up with the corruption supported by the Supreme court.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-07 14:27:44 -0400 · Flag
Get a load of this (Came in today.): “WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee on Friday sued the Federal Election Commission for the ability to raise unlimited cash from individual donors.”

What does this even mean?!?!?!? I thought the McCutcheon decision already gave them that. Are we to believe that they don’t think $5.9 million per individual per election cycle is not enough?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-07 09:33:55 -0400 · Flag
Can somebody help me out here? I’m a little fuzzy on the history of America’s Free Press and the traditions thereof. Weren’t local newspapers the original place to argue the merits (or scandals) relative to candidates’ fitness for public office? Then came radio and TV (which required a government license issued by FCC or such?) In exchange for those licenses, were they not required to broadcast a daily hour-long news program (thus operating a full -on news departments at their own expense. Did they not then bend that rule by selling advertising "space"on the “Evening News”? Is that not when the broadcast news veered away from news reporting ……….(just the facts mam) ……….to become a new form of entertainment, wherein news “anchors” got paid Hollywood salaries for telling The People what they wanted to hear and not what they needed to hear? Could we not go back to the original FCC deal and force broadcasting companies to to pay for the evening news out of their own pockets? Might such a system then reverse the entire evolution of political campaigns back to the altruistic societal function our forefathers envisioned. Like I said; the idea needs help in the explanation and I’m not the one to research a topic so rich in our heritage. It would be a great book (and it probably already is). Comments?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-05 22:05:26 -0400 · Flag
Stephen, it might be more effective to tie political contribution limits to the median income level as it is an easily accessible and publicly known figure, just as Albert Amador has suggested, to a week’s pay at minimum wage. But either of these might, when multiplied by the number of taxpaying voters, result in either not enough money or more likely too much money flowing into an election. There must be a constitutionally decreed way of keeping any excess cash in the election till from being used by any candidate.

It’s clear to me that a constitutional amendment should not delegate these decisions to Congress, but must stipulate in the amendment itself who gets what so that Congress has little leeway in implementing the intent of the amendment.

This discussion has prompted me to think specifically about the issue of money in the political process: assuming that elections do cost money, specifically what is the fairest way to fund an election without allowing money to influence the outcome?

It seems that funding elections through taxation is simple, but potentially frought with pitfalls because it gives those currently in favor at any particular time an unfair advantage over those who are not unless a mechanism is put in place to level the playing field around the issue of how election monies collected through taxation are spent.

The easy part is how to pay for the rental and staffing of polling places, etc (the administration of an election), but it also costs money for candidates to make themselves and their positions known to the voters. What is the right number for this, how should it be distributed and what should be permitted? It’s easy to delegate these tough decisions to Congress. Candidates for office and legislatures have been responsible for election funding rules from the beginning. The Supreme Court has not helped, and look where that has gotten us.

I like to keep in mind when thinking about this that service in congress was intended by the Framers to be just that: service to which one offers him or herself in an unselfish manner yet does not deprive a legislator of necessary income, but seats in Congress were never intended to become seats of power to be fought for with millions by the wealthy, which is what they have become.

My thoughts for now…. I still have many unanswered questions.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-06-05 12:36:58 -0400 · Flag
Would it not be more effective to tie the maximum allowed payments to the median income level? It would automatically adjust for inflation and hopefully improve the median income levels.
@WolfPacTX retweeted @WolfPAChq 2014-06-02 21:42:48 -0400
No more corrupt politicians. This is our country. Our democracy. It's time to #GetMoneyOut.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-28 03:57:26 -0400 · Flag
Robert Walker. You are working toward the thinking that will eventually lead to the needed language in the CA. A public system has to be designed detail and all by the career incumbents in office. The details can lead anywhere, and they will. The corruption will be written in to the pulic campaign finance laws in such a way as to guarantee thecontinuance of the re-election of career incumbents over 99% of the time choose to run for re-election. The money must come only from the voters, as the only players in the system with no reason to maintain the corrupt system as it exists. Our only substantial disagreement is on the point of public financing. You are grappling with the issues effectively, thinking them through. A CA can apply to all Elections on the local, state, and federal levels. Hang in there. Your efforts are worthwhile.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-28 03:37:52 -0400 · Flag
William Falberg, you make many good points in your last post. We have much reason for frustration at the corrupt two-party system and the power they are unlikely to give back to the people without a monumental effort. We can’t force them. We can persuade them that we will fire them if they do not solve our corruption caused problems. A huge task! Impossible? I hope not. If more than half the people took the pledge or elected people to replace D’sand R’s in a substantial amount, incumbents would have to see the writing on the wall. No choice but change must be their perception. The pledge: http://cs2pr.us/Voter_Pledge.html#99% , like shown below.

The constitution does not mention corporations, but the Pacific Railway case and case law since 1886 [sic] protects their rights (corporate personhood) consistently. Speech was equated with money in Buckley v Valeo in 1972 [sic] and has been supported with case law ever since. A lot of precedents have supported these problems for a very long time. That is a huge problem. We need an amendment to override the precedents in case law.

Both parties need to be treated like the self-serving entities they are. I am not sure they are incorporated as such. I just don’t know. They are their own self-serving self interests who support one another consistently. They are a 100% monopoly of our political system, a dictatorship in many ways, because they are a monopply.

Generating a consensus, like you state, is the problem, isn’t it? Yes, it is.
Frankly, it seems to me the Free Tools shown below may contain the means. http://cs2pr.us/FreeTools.html#Free . We need to create our own political system on our computer desktops to replace the bipartisan two-party system or to at least take their public office majority away from their career incumbents. Fire enough of them to persuade them to adopt the necessary changes to guarantee a more representive democratic republic.

The free tools are way out of the box and hard to wrap your arms around unless studied in a profound way. The tools are near completion. Final edits are underway. Very hard work. A completion date cannot be stated with certainty. I’ve been working on the projects for sixteen solid years.
It seems to me the tools may be the means to taking our country back for the common good.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-27 13:29:05 -0400 · Flag
Thank you for clarifying that. I never envisioned my proposed CA being presented to the U S Congress, nor to any State legislatures, for that matter, so House rules won’t ever apply in any case. I wish I had saved an article I once read outlining a procedure whereby a certain majority of citizens could force state legislatures to present the US Congress with a proposed amendment, but my question at the time was: “Exactly what authority does a body of citizens need to be considered a Constitutional Convention?” Is there a minimum number, or percentage? (IIRC, there was.) If that’s true, you must be drawing some encouragement from the recent trend toward states-rights activism and the push-back being offered by state attorneys general in regard to the flood of federal usurpations of states’ rights in the past 6 years. I think Americans are beginning to see the inherent danger posed by all forms of over-centralized concentrations of power; both political and financial.
Nowhere does the Constitution mention corporations; but it does clearly refer to “the Press” as being vital to the function of a democratic republic. In that context I’d like you to reconsider your phrase about freedom of the Press. Let’s define “the Press” as it exists today and “The Press” as it existed in 1787 . The "press’ in those days was comprised of hundreds of local/ main street entrepreneurs with their own ideas about how the country should be run, and by whom. Collectively, I suppose, they represented the voice of the average American and criticized the political establishment accordingly. Politicians who ignored “the Press” probably didn’t last very long in office.
Today, however, “the Press” is comprised of a few and ever diminishing number of traditional print newspapers, big-city TV stations, and cable companies. They’re all corporations; they’re all profit -driven. They’re immensely powerful because they have a monopoly on what news and information gets distributed to the People. They control how Americans spend their money and who they vote for. While ya’ll go on about campaign financing you should ask yourselves how much it cost to get a whole staff of cable news anchors and contributors to endorse the candidacy of a fellow neo-feudal aritsocrat for an entire electoral cycle 24/7; year in and year out. When you think about the Press as a tool of said neo-feudal government, the last thing you want is for them to have “untouchable” status under the Constitution. Maybe we could substitute “free investigative journalists” or “free scholastic publication’’ or ’free political reporting” to separate the constitutionally vital human journalists from the politically ambitious, monopolistic, and manipulative corporate executives behind them with the carrot and the stick.
Here’s the Big Dilema we now face and must correct with a draconian CA: I think we have 120 years of corporate news and educational publication to re-write before Americans will understand the true beauty and wisdom incorporated in the constitution of the United States of America and take responsibility for maintaining it (i.e. initiating a Constitutional Convention). It hurts to say : BUT, it wasn’t perfect. They forgot to erect the legal firewall between Business and State like they did between Church and State. (Same reason: they corrupt each other.)

PS: Both major political Parties need to be treated like the corporations they are and regulated mercilessly by a well regulated militia. It would be a good place to start if we had the means to generate sufficient consensus amongst ourselves. That’s the dilema, isn’t it?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-27 11:24:38 -0400 · Flag
Any Constitutional Amendment adopted would probably apply only to Federal Elections. An amendment providing for public financing would be better than the bribery system that we have now, but I would like to keep the Government out of our lives as much as we can. I think we need an Amendment that: 1. Restricts political donors to being Registered Voters. This means no corporate donors, no union donors and no PAC donors. AND 2. Sets a cap on the size a donation can be with some kind of allowance for inflation and/or deflation. AND 3. Requires prompt, complete and public disclosure of all donations received by candidates.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-27 07:46:01 -0400 · Flag
Paul, Public financing will have all the details framed by legislatures. No other way to set up any system of public finance. It will not appear out of thin air. Legislatures are controlled by what I consider to be a very corrupt bipartisan two-party system. Therefore I see no hope of them setting up a less corrupt campaign finance system public or private. The larger problem and first in line for solution is to fire all the D and R career incumbent public office holders. We all need to take a pledge to do so. 80% of people do not bother to vote, or even register to vote. We have given up participating in elections. Take the pledge, http://cs2pr.us/Voter_Pledge.html#99% , as a first step to clean up the legislatures in order to have any hope of clean elections. Elect nonpartisan and minor party candidates to solve the chronic problems caused by a corrupt system bought by special interests.

The confusion is in existing Constitutional law and resultant case law over the past 120 years. To have equal political speech it must come from the only people we can trust to not have any vested interest in the continuation of the corruption, voters, citizens like you and me. Take the bill of rights and equal protection under the law away from artificial legal entities, so that only natural citizens are protected by the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment. The only people I can trust to make change happen is the American people. Voters must be given the power to elect people to public office who will represent them and solve the problems ignored for decades by the corrupt two-party system. Fire D’s and R’s. Kick them all out. I have twenty years into working steadily on that problem. Congressional incumbents will never shoot themselves in the foot except under extreme pressure from the people. Fire them and they will pay attention to our problems. There are excellent solutions to every problem.The solutions are ignored to satisfy the financial needs of special interests. Free tools is another one of my political writing projects, http://cs2pr.us/free_tools.html . The CA is my top priority as I know the right CA will change everything in politics to a more democratic republic for everyone, for the people.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-27 06:29:53 -0400 · Flag
william Falberg, the form it must take to be introduced in Congress is a Joint Resolution, that must be passed by 2/3 of both houses. See Article V of the Constitution. If passed by 2/3 of the states in conventions, it would probably be written in a similar form to be accepted into law by the Congress to formalize adoption of the resolution on a date certain. I wrote my proposal in the Joint Resolution format last year in a pdf. I am not certain that it has my latest edits, not sure, but you can see the format here: http://cs2pr.us/CitizensUSHouseJointRes.pdf . Some minor edits are not done at this point. I created a html today of my proposed text, with some explanation of the language, inspired by some of the questions arising from our conversations on this on this thread. http://cs2pr.us/28th_AmendText.html . By the way I am a retired draftsman who served as a Special Agent in Army intelligence for a few years. I am a college grad, but am a working guy who worked for hourly pay and overtime. I have been writing on political reformmatters for over 20 years. I am beginning to get the hang of it a little. I am looking to improve my proposed CA. Many heads are better than one, mine.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-26 15:15:59 -0400 · Flag
When you live in a world where black is white it’s easy to confuse “edit” with “discredit” but most folks use words the way they’re used by most folks. That’s how we can talk and write and be understood by each other. Most folks would interpret “interference” to mean “interference”. That’s the beauty of having a common language. Most folks , excluding yourself and I presume most other corporate lawyers, would find that a relatively clear and simple concept. At the risk of sounding snide, I’ll leave it at that.

In your mind, does the Constitution have any meaning? Has it ever changed anything; or has it always been too easy to “get around” for you? Is this all just word games? Am/are I/we wasting our time talking to you? (That’a a simple yes/no question.)
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-26 13:15:49 -0400 · Flag
William, snide remarks and name-calling will not accomplish anything constructive. Please stop.

If you expect to have any chance at all of passage, I believe you will have to completely re-write your proposal so it does not attempt to legislate and does not attempt to dictate the behavior of private citizens. This issue of the constitution dictating private behavior is where I had to back away from my own idealized vision of the role of business & money in society in general, change I personally would like to see. But thus far, no constitutional amendment that hasn’t been revoked (prohibition failed) has done that. Being the first to do that poses a new and uncharted challenge.

If you actually want to see your text accepted as an amendment to the constitution, I believe your challenge will be to do that in a way that does not dilute your intentions, yet is also acceptable to 3/4 of the state legislatures, or it will fail to become an amendment. You may not care whether what you want becomes a constitutional amendment or not. If not, that’s your right but this discussion is a waste of time. But if you actually hope to achieve passage, I believe you will have to deal with a number of issues. Not the least of which is the attempt here to dictate private behavior as opposed to dictating how the government should behave, which is what the 27 existing amendments address.

Here’s what you posted (my comments IN CAPS):
“28th Amendment

Corporations are not persons in any sense of the word and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. [PROBLEM: MEMBERS OF CONGRESS MAY BE GENUINELY INTERESTED IN THEWELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE”. BUT I BELIEVE THE MAJORITY ARE MOST INTERESTED IN THE WELL-BEING OF THEIR PRIMARY FUNDERS (BIG DONERS, NOT THE AVERAGE VOTER.] Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; [“ACCORDING TO THEIR PURPOSECOULD MEAN ANYTHING. EITHER YOU MUST DEFINE AN ACCEPTABLE CORPORATE CHARTER IN A THIS CA, OVERRIDING ALL EXISTING STATE LAW ALREADY DEFINING AND REGULATING CORP CHARTERS.] which shall include, but are not limited to:
1, prohibitions against any corporation;
a, owning another corporation, [EASY TO GET AROUND]
b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic, or [VAGUE]
c, otherwise distorting the general economy;
2, prohibitions against any form of interference in the affairs of;
a, government, [VAGUE]
b, education, or [VAGUE]
c, news media, and [VAGUE]
3, provisions for;
b, the establishment of a state and municipal-owned banking system
c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives for violation of the terms of a corporate charter. [HAS BEEN LAW FOR DECADES, AND EXISTING LAWS HAVE FAILED TO STOP THIS KIND OF CHEATING. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU EMBODY SOMETHING IN A CA, THAT SUDDENLY ALL THE CHEATING WILL STOP?]

commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-26 10:35:44 -0400 · Flag
I suggest you try editing my amendment because I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. What “form” is acceptable? (and “acceptable” to whom?) Did some secret new government bureau publish secret new rules for officially sanctioned government lawyers to propose amendments? For Whom? Congress? On what authority? Should I add the part about: “2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”? Does that make it official?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-26 08:29:37 -0400 · Flag
I have indeed read your proposal carefully several times. I see 2 problems with your Section 2:

(1) The 1st paragraph of your Section 2 says [truncated for brevity], “Federal, State and local government shall regulate…campaign contributions…to provide for equal political speech….The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections or to support political campaigns to be speech under the First Amendment.” These 2 paragraphs of your Section 2 appear to contradict each other. The first statement implies that money is indeed speech (the ability to donate to a candidate for public office implies that the donor supports that candidate), while the second says it’s not. Which is it?

(2) The task of defining what campaign financing limits are is delegated to the legislature, which in my opinion will make sure that any CA they pass will ensure that their gravy-train is not cut off… cutting off the gravy-train is exactly what is needed. The setting of campaign finance limits must be taken away from the legislature. The current Supreme Court has already demonstrated it’s predilections in this area, with which millions of us disagree. As long as the make-up of the SCOTUS is determined by elected officials, it should not be given the task either. And the Executive branch is elected. So, that leaves only the Constitution to make this determination fairly. After much thought, I think the answer to campaign funding is that it must be totally public, the amount of money allocated determined by constitutional decree with NO private contributions permitted.

The founders envisioned the holding of public office to be a form of public service. It has become something else. It’s now up to the people to return the political process to the intent of the framers.

I object to the idea you propose that natural persons living within the jurisdiction of an election can make political contributions in any amount to that election. A political donation is an expression of support for the recipient’s viewpoint or cadidacy. Money is not speech. We must remove money from the election process entirely. Publicly funded elections with NO private contributions permitted is the way to go.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-26 07:37:52 -0400 · Flag
Given that I’ve at least temporarily concluded that the Constitution cannot (and should not) dictate social behavior in general (the failure of prohibition is a glaring example), but must limit itself to the behavior of government, perhaps a 28th amendment should limit itself to defining defining the role of money in the political process.

It seems to me that you are going after the thorniest aspect of this problem: how to finance elections fairly. I agree completely with your thoughts that no organization of people regardless of purpose should have any ability whatsoever to influence the outcome of an election. I agree 100% with the notion that only natural persons should be able to influence an election (The Citizen’s United decision was wrong.) and that even natural persons should not be able to use their money to influence an election (The McCutcheon decision was also wrong.).

May I ask for a few clarifications:
(1) You suggest that the maximum contribution that enyone could make to a political campaign be an amount equivalent to 40 hours pay at minimum wage. I’m curious how you came up with 40 hours at minimum wage. Are you saying that individuals can donate up to 40 hours x the federal minimum wage (which today is $7.25) or $290 per candidate, or are you saying something else? If so, what are you saying?
(2) You also say that all elections should be publicly financed. How would your vision of public financing of elections work? I’m not challenging you. Because I also think publicly financed elections hold out the most hope for fairness in the process. But the devil is in the details, so the method of implementation is critical.
(3) Also, is the “40-hours @ minimum wage” donation limit you refer to in addition to public financing?
(4) Finally, to your last point re districting: If elected officials should not be able to do that, how should it get done? Do you think districting should be automatically assigned somehow to eliminate meddling?
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