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Post Citizens United, Again: Response to Tor Guimaraes
Created by John Eipper on 09/20/14 3:50 AM

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Citizens United, Again: Response to Tor Guimaraes (Randy Black, USA, 09/20/14 3:50 am)

In response to Tor Guimaraes's request (17 September) for my opinions on a variety of his concerns:

Tor (TG) asked: "For now, would Randy be willing to focus his comments on my statements? Are they right, wrong, etc., and why? In summary, my post contained the following statements:"

TG: That a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United is one of the most strategically important issues to a healthy democracy in the US.

RB: I do not agree with Tor's position.

TG: I have never been or have any inclination to be politically partisan, because both parties stink in different ways.

RB: No comment. I would have to examine Tor's record in WAIS and I don't really have an inclination to devote the time it would take.

TG: Senate Republicans just refused to allow the Senate to have a final up or down majority vote on a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United. This is an outrage, since a majority of Americans, and even a majority of Republicans, want to see it overturned.

RB: I understand Tor's position that he is outraged. I do not understand how he concludes that a majority of Americans and a majority of Republicans want to see it overturned. You cannot overturn a US Supreme Court decision. And as far as an Amendment of the Constitution, it ain't going to happen. The nation has far bigger fish to fry.

TG: Senate Republicans are choosing to empower big corporations and billionaires to buy our elections. If that is allowed then there is no hope for our nation; efforts to address the need for balancing budgets, illegal immigration, the stagnant economy, etc. will go nowhere.

RB: In contrast, rich Democrats are doing what? The same thing. See George Soros, Warren Buffet, Google CEO Eric Schmdt, Tom Steyer, Fred Eychaner, James Simons, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Mostyn, Michael Bloomberg, Anne Cox Chambers, Reid Hoffman, Jon Stryker, David Shaw, the Pritzker family, the list of rich Democratic fat cats is almost endless. That the Republicans are somehow the "wealthier" of the two parties is myth.

In fact, of the top 22 billionaires in the USA who donate politically, 13 are Democrats, according to Open Secrets.

When one looks beyond the Democratic fat cats who donate directly to liberal candidates and to Obama, to the corporations they control, the picture is even more concerning.

In the last election cycle, PACs at Google, Oracle, Apple, Cisco, Intel, Adobe, Yahoo!, eBay, Intuit, Netflix, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tesla and a host of other Silicon Valley mega-corporations donated as much as 99 percent of their millions to Barack Obama. Many of the donations came from the same person running one of those PACs and to skirt the law and its $2500 per donation limit from individuals, made multiple donations in the same day but kept each check to that minimum limit. For instance, Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer donated $5,000 to Obama in the form of two $2,500 donations made in the same day,

Source: San Jose Mercury News.

See: http://peninsulapress.com/2012/11/06/silicon-valley-bets-right-on-obama/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/jun/23/do-many-billionaires-support-democratic-party/

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?id=N00009638

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/04/barack-obama-warren-buffett-campaign-cash

JE comments: Michael Bloomberg is a Republican, although he's probably not seen that way in Texas.  I heard the Mayor speak this May at the Harvard commencement, and his entire address was an attack on the prevailing "liberal" discourse on US university campuses. Likewise, Meg Whitman (eBay, now Hewlett-Packard) is a Republican.

I have read all of Tor Guimaraes's WAIS posts for eight+ years, and politically I'd call him a Libertarian-leaning Independent.


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  • Michael Bloomberg's Political Party (Randy Black, USA 09/21/14 3:40 AM)
    When commenting my post of 20 September, John E wrote that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a Republican. John is mistaken. Bloomberg lists himself as Independent. He left the Republican Party in 2007. Prior to that date, he was listed as a Republican for only six years. Prior to 2001, he was a Democrat.

    JE comments: Yes, I'm wrong. I'm not sure how I overlooked (or forgot) Bloomberg's defection from the GOP in '07. He did sound like a Republican when I saw him speak at Harvard in May.  He was criticizing the culture of elite college campuses, where conservative voices tend to be silenced.  That often is the case, but his message was directed more at the Harvard administration than at the Class of '14.


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  • My Political Views (Tor Guimaraes, USA 09/21/14 3:04 PM)

    Randy Black (20 September) does not agree "that a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United is one of the most strategically important issues to a healthy democracy in the US." Further, he does "not understand how ... a majority of Americans and a majority of Republicans want to see [Citizens United] overturned," even though that is precisely what the new legislation (Constitutional Amendment) was trying to do before being blocked by Senate Republicans. This logic seems convoluted at best.



    I clearly think Senate Republicans are choosing to empower big corporations and billionaires to buy our elections. If that is allowed then there is no hope for our nation; efforts to address the need for balancing budgets, illegal immigration, the stagnant economy, etc., will go nowhere.


    Randy, as I understand it, thinks this is OK, since rich Democrats are doing the same. So let's compound the problem? The Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United would put the brakes on both parties which now allow big money to unduly influence the democratic process. Our wise Founding Fathers chose a democratic form of government with one vote per citizen.  I doubt they intended for huge corporations to be manipulating the electoral process. Citizens United represent a misinterpretation of the Constitution, and the American people are wise enough to want it overturned by a Constitutional Amendment.


    JE added: "I have read all of Tor Guimaraes's WAIS posts for eight+ years, and politically I'd call him a Libertarian-leaning Independent." John is right that I am an Independent and abhor partisanship when both parties stink in different ways. I have strong tendencies toward libertarianism and Ron Paul was my choice for President in 2012. However, as history has shown, while government policies can be right or wrong, government must play many important roles in society, probably more than Libertarian dogma preaches.


    JE comments:  The closest WAISdom comes to a true Libertarian, by my understanding, would be our Chair, Cameron Sawyer.  But Cameron might resent my pigeonholing him.  I hope he'll join this conversation.


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