-- Ladies and gentlemen take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. -- Satisfaction GUARENTEED!!!! or you owe me ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! -- Ubermonkeys is a TOOL, please kick him in the JUNK. R-D-Z
"The Republican House leadership fought hard against the bill, with Speaker J. Dennis Hastert warning that it could lead Republicans to lose control of the chamber. But with the Enron scandal pushing the bill forward, 41 Republicans broke with their leadership to join an overwhelming majority of Democrats in favor of final passage. "
hopefully the senate votes it in. bush2 can't do shit to it after that.
this could be the silver lining to the enron debacle.
It's just you against the group mind. I like weiners.
Well, Shays-Meehan technically means that there will be no more large sum soft money to the national parties from corporate contributors. Of course, PAC's and individuals will still be able to donate to local individuals or parties IIRC which still leaves a loophole big enough to drive Enron through. In addition, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, Shays-Meehan probably won't make it out of the Senate due to some seriously unconstitutional limits on political speech. I fully expect a filibuster on the bill and don't anticipate that supporters can find enough votes to break the filibuster especially given that Bob Torricelli, who was one of the stronger supporters of the similar Senate bill from last year, has already raised some questions about parts of Shays-Meehan. While campaign finance reform is desperately needed, Shays-Meehan is not the way to go about it.
A wife with a copy of CIV III and her third different bar exam in as many years is a bad combination. "Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_: Based on the back cover of the book by Robert Heinlein."
"This bill should have been named the Incumbent Protection Act of 2002, because everything in this bill was tailor-made to benefit the most powerful special-interest group of all -- sitting Senators and Congressmen. Not that they need the help: The re-election rate for the House is a stratospheric 98%, and Senators have averaged 90% since 1986."
Nevertheless, Shays-Meehan will make the world even safer for incumbents by:
1) Shutting off funding for challengers.
"Even though soft money is relatively insignificant, much of it goes to challengers -- which explains why incumbents want to ban it," Dasbach said. "In contrast, most contributions from political action committees are funneled into the campaigns of incumbents, which explains why politicians who pretend to be appalled by the role of money in politics left PAC money untouched."
Other goodies for incumbents left unreformed by Shays-Meehan: Free mailings; House and Senate recording studios, which are used to produce ads promoting incumbents; and taxpayer-financed budgets for office, staff, and travel that are worth a staggering $1 million per year to House members, and several million to Senators.
2) Stifling criticism of incumbents.
"In order to gut the effectiveness of opponents' advertising, Shays-Meehan makes it a crime to mention the name of a federal candidate in any radio or television ad run by a corporation or labor union within 60 days of an election," Dasbach said.
"This gag-the-opposition strategy isn't just unconstitutional; it's positively un-American. Unfortunately, the First Amendment is no obstacle for Congressional representatives on a mission to make the world even safer for incumbents.
"So, does your House representative want his lifetime job so badly that he is willing to sabotage the competition and vandalize the Constitution in order to get it? If he votes for Shays-Meehan this week, the answer is yes."
Preach on, Steve Dasbach. Most of the political money in this country, "soft" or otherwise, is going to major-party candidates. I don't see how this bill changes the political landscape in this country, other than to make the world safer for incumbents, like our buddy Steve Dasbach says. Who cares if the Republicans and Democrats spend 15 million apiece of 5 million a piece? There's still a relative monopoly on the American political scene.
"I'm crazy, but I'm not crazy like that. I might want to have sex in a crazy place, but I'm not gonna rape somebody." "Iron" Mike Tyson
The CJR report is, ironically, shoddy journalism in defending shoddy journalism. What's really sad is that the Columbia School is the most respected school in journalism, which may explain why this sort of behavior a la CBS, Jason Blair, is tolerated.