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Campaign Finance Bill September 21, 2010

Read the text of the bill via open congress (see info below).  Read more about this topic in article written by the Associated Press.  It would appear from Obama's words that this bill is a no brainier and that the republican's are clearly evil for opposing it.  Why did the supreme court rule against this in the first place?  What is actually in the bill?  At first glance it looks like there are some good things mixed in with some bad things.  For example this bill would prohibit foreign companies from spending money on "electioneering communications".  Generally that sounds like a good idea however, in the end the government would gain more control over freedom of speech on "internet communications".  So far this document appears to be thoroughly confusing to the average citizen, much like all the other legislation coming out of Washington these days.  Back in 2007 it was Obama who refused to limit his private campaign contributions, as John McCain proposed they both do.  Yet, now, just before the 2010 November 2nd midterm elections Obama realizes how important it is to make sure foreign (private) money doesn't effect the elections.  What's really going on here? 



    The wiki page on the supreme court decision has a nice little tidbit here:

    "On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court overturned the provision of McCain-Feingold barring corporations and unions from paying for political ads made independently of candidate campaigns. In September 2010, Americans United for Life Action - a 501(c)4 affiliated with Americans United for Life - ran radio ads[9] advocating that incumbent Members of Congress John Boccieri, Chris Carney, and Baron Hill be defeated. News reports at the time indicated that the ads were "among the first ads to capitalize"[10] on the decision."

    They are all democrats...

    I think it is important to see who are the special interest groups this bill is targeting. The supreme court decision allows for special interest groups and corporations to post campaign ads. If this is true then Republican who politically stand on the side of the prosperous gives them a full armada of oil and wall street companies to run their campaign ads. I am seeing this move as more of a political rather than a freedom of speech issue.

    That being said, it seems like the bill is both trying to disclose/expose all people who run campaign ads independent of party as well as limit spending. I wonder if the internet part is about limiting or taking away the legitimacy of emerging grass root groups. By naming yourself the framing of the issue moves from whatever issues are being highlighted to the author.

  2. I agree with your assessment. I think an important factor is the timing. There are so many bills moving through congress at different stages in the legislative process. President Obama is rallying around this particular bill at this particular point in time for a particular political reason. No doubt it is because he is on red alert for damage control in the up coming midterm elections. Now that his popularity has dwindled to 26% , I believe he is trying to limit the amount of money his opposition can spend. He is framing the issue by pointing to big oil, wall street and foreign companies and saying that they will be able to "buy" elections if there name is not posted at the end of their advertisements. It is the 501(c)4 non-profits that are able to advertise due to a loophole in the IRS. Shouldn't this bill be fixing the IRS? Instead it is targeting private business, mean while the 501(c)4 can still run-a-muck.