Third Party & Independents Archives

Are we going to surrender the battlefield now that we've won it?

Remember when the joke was, “There ought to be a law!”?
Remember that?

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people ...

to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The most logical conclusion to the statement, "There ought to be a law!" is to write the law. Why should we wait for someone else to write a law that may, or may not, address our grievance? Why don't we write it ourselves?

This is a training exercise, if you will. This is our chance to formulate a position and make an argument for passage of our law. A law that will make a difference. A law that can be implemented on the local level, where it should be.

I'm talking about a law that amends the current voting process. I've mentioned the basis of this law in previous comments. I would like to petition my local government to pass a law that makes it illegal for a candidate to accept campaign contributions from any source not eligible to vote for that candidate. From Township Trustee to the senate of the U.S. government. It will be a violation of campaign finance law to accept anything of value from a source not eligible to vote for that candidate.

What do you say, guys? We have WatchBlog all to ourselves right now! Are we going to just sit here and wait for the left to come and take it back? I say, "No way!".

Let's use this opportunity to create something that every community can use, a law that communities can rally around that forbids outside sources from influencing local elections.

Let's work together on this, yes?

Posted by Weary_Willie at September 15, 2018 12:04 AM
Comments
Comment #431477

WW, how can we pump up a proposed law when there is a readership of six people? How do I know that? Because there are about six writers who use WB.

But, hey, I’m in …

And, right out of the gate I can tell u, u are nuts. ‘Great Green Gobs of Grimy Greasy Gopher Guts’, WW. Ain’t it so that folks have been ‘proposin’ campaign finance laws since 12k BC and what has happened? NOTHING.

Just take this latest Google issue. A monopoly company makes a ‘silent donation’ to the dims

https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/10/silent-donation-corporate-emails-reveal-google-executives-efforts-to-swing-election-to-hillary-clinton-with-latino-outreach-campaign/

““Ultimately, after all was said and done, the Latino community did come out to vote, and completely surprised us,” Murillo wrote. “We never anticipated that 29% of Latinos would vote for Trump. No one did. We saw headlines like this about early voter turn out and thought that this was finally the year that the ‘sleeping giant’ had awoken.” END QUOTE

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/5/7/17325486/citizens-united-money-politics-dark-money-vouchers-primaries

From ‘reclaimdemocracy.org’

The Court majority (Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas) argued:
1. barring independent political spending amounts to squelching free speech protected by the First Amendment.
2. the First Amendment protects not just a person’s right to speak, but the act of speech itself, regardless of the speaker. Therefore the First Amendment protects the speech of corporations and unions, whether we consider them people or not.
3. although government has the authority to prevent corruption or “the appearance of corruption,” it has no place in determining whether large political expenditures are either of those things, so it may not impose spending limits on that basis.
4. the public has the right to hear all available information, and spending limits prevent information from reaching the public. END QUOTE

So, WW, it seems the conservatives (Koch Bro’s) are the folks pushing unlimited campaign money from any source, human or otherwise. And, it’s the conservatives complaining about Google making a ‘silent’, but legal, donation.

But, really, this battle over CFR is not dim vs rep. It is the people vs corporations/establishment/big money interests. Now, with the Rep’s controlling the SC it seems any reform proposal is right up there with ‘an ant crawling up an elephants leg’ … and so on …

Being a ‘people’ in the equation, I like any idea of limiting money in CF. But, IMO, you block one path and two more open up and so on …

WW, you must agree there are certain things the ‘people’ can’t do. One, is to control the money going to finance political candidates. Two, is to exercise Article V, Part II of the Constitution, as in convene a convention of states to propose amendments to the constitution. I have a letter here somewhere from my ‘used to be senator’ telling me why the US gov’t won’t allow a convention of states to be held. I think right now some 29 states are signed up to support calling a convention.

That would be a great path for CFR.

So, WW, are you convinced that our local gov’ts will stand up against the states and the SC?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 15, 2018 6:33 PM
Comment #431478

Changing laws is a political process requiring political will.

Political will comes from shaping the views voters have.

Voter views are shaped by many things, mostly by campaigns spending money to shape those views.

A majority of voters will nearly always be influenced by campaign spending.


Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2018 6:56 PM
Comment #431479

That’s a rather pessimistic approach to use to address any problem, Roy Ellis. My word! Why even try?

Do you know who tried to write CF laws? Politicians. Not a very respectable group to dictate their own self interests, right?

I individuals can present grievances to our local government and that grievance must be put into the system. The first amendment dictates it must be so.

If our proposal was written to be considered by every local government, it could be adopted by others, and others, until it affects state governments. Once a majority of states have adopted this plan it can then be considered a possible amendment to the constitution.

Voting is a local matter. Campaign finance should also be a local matter. My township trustee represents my township, not a corporation in a neighboring city. Only citizens in my township should be able to contribute to my trustee candidates. If a majority of townships agreed with this law they can force the city to adopt it. Enough cities can insist the county adopt the plan. When enough counties do the same the state will fall in line.

A candidate can listen to a corporation in a neighboring city if he considers its position relevant to his constituents. The corporation can spend any amount of money stating its position in the public square. They have no reason to contribute to a candidate’s campaign.

Defeat is certain if you choose to surrender before the battle begins, Roy Ellis. I also believe there are more than six people in our audience. Some contribute, but I believe the endless partisan bickering preempts any meaningful discussion that would prompt the silent majority to contribute. That’s why I think we should capitalize on the brief respite from the meaningless blather and do something constructive with this platform.

What will it hurt?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 15, 2018 9:07 PM
Comment #431480

Back from a trip to Prague. Wonderful city, a medieval Disneyland. Sorry to say this, and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it is shocking to come back to this country and see just how fat Americans are. Not just overweight, either. Obese. Too much sugar and bad food, not enough exercise.

As for money in politics, the obvious solution is to publicly finance elections. The Democrats might offer an avenue through the Supreme Court. As long as corporate shills like Gorsuch, Alito, and Kavanaugh sit on the court, campaign finance reform will remain impossible.

If corporations are people, money is free speech, and unlimited amounts can be given to politicians ‘anonymously,’ we will keep seeing exactly what we are seeing now: a Congress full of millionaires, robbing the Treasury with tax cuts and giving it to their donors, the richest of the rich and corporations, who in turn will make the politicians even richer. The corruption is rank.

The GOP and Trump are increasing the annual budget deficit by over $200 billion. We are about to see a $1 trillion deficit this year, not next. They increased the military budget by an astronomical amount for no discernible reason. The Navy didn’t want or ask for the money.

Posted by: phx8 at September 15, 2018 9:25 PM
Comment #431481

Royal, a little something on evil vs good, please.

Money in politics is synonymous with the volume control on a loud speaker.

Pooling money is synonymous with shooting a bullet from a 22 cal vs a 45 cal.

If ‘one man, one vote’ is a viable concept should we believe that corporations/institutions should be allowed to have all the votes they can afford?

If I, in good faith, believe I’ll be treated fairly by Google and they use profits from my purchases to act in a solely partisan way politically, is that ok?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 15, 2018 9:27 PM
Comment #431482

I’d like to discuss the idea that the federal government should be involved in campaign finance at all.

Voting is an issue controlled by the state. Only in certain states are election laws supervised by the federal government. At no level is the federal government supposed to be involved. Electing a president is the responsibility of the state’s electors, not the citizenry.

The state has every right to formulate its own campaign finance laws. One of the fundamental understandings in every state should be that there will be no outside influences affecting our elections. Isn’t that what Russia Russia Russia was all about? Why are local elections exempt from this reasoning?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 15, 2018 9:59 PM
Comment #431483

The Federalists- Hamilton, Washington, Adams, and others- believed a strong central government was the best way to guarantee rights and liberty and freedom.

There is no right to vote in the Constitution, although the 15th amendment and others effectively recognized it at a later time. This is one of the curious weaknesses of the Constitution, since the entire exercise in democracy and representative government is pointless without that right. In addition, the construction of the Constitution did not take into account the rise of political parties.

Without a strong central government to guarantee rights and liberty and freedom, such as the right to vote, states have a long history of abusing it; slavery, poll taxes, Jim Crow laws, denying women the right to vote all provide examples of the necessity for a strong federal government intervene. Political parties can do the same thing. Today, we see similar attempts to deny the right to vote by states that have been taken over by the GOP through various vote suppression tactics such as unwarranted purges of voter registrations, restrictive voter ID laws, gerrymandering, and so on.

Without public financing for the right to vote, we see… well, exactly what we are seeing today- a plutocracy, and a corrupt one at that, with the richest of the rich and corporations using the megaphone of money to overwhelm everyone else’s voice, to shape public perceptions to accept and even applaud it.

Posted by: phx8 at September 15, 2018 10:51 PM
Comment #431484

The Federalists also insisted on a Monarchy and a central bank. You failed to mention the resistance to those ideas. That resistance resulted in the Bill of Rights. It also resulted in a government that wasn’t controlled by banks and corporations. Corporations and a central bank were despised by the same people who insisted on those guarantees enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

The problems you seem to believe preventing any alteration of the status quo, slavery, ect., are all problems this county has already conquered. All of them, and then some. They were all subdued before the internet, before Kennedy was assassinated, even before the Progressive movement! Women’s suffrage came from the state and local level and an amendment was proposed after a majority of states had already adopted the practice. The federal government was the last to adopt Women’s suffrage. Woodrow Wilson’s administration led the way in segregating white and black in the military and the federal government. Living in the past is no way to prepare for the future. I refuse to use past problems as an excuse to ignore present ones.

Purging voter registrations is a normal maintenance procedure. ID’s are used in all facets of life in this country. Your argument against voter ID is preposterous and hides an ulterior motive. I agree with your views on gerrymandering, and if the constitution was used as guidance there would be a representative seated in the House of Representatives for every 30,000 people. The HOR would consist of over 11,000 representatives if the constitution was adhered to. The HOR itself modified the truth and limited the size of the House to 435. Constitutionally, we have again taxation without proper representation!

You admit money in politics is overwhelming everyone else’s voice, but you are fighting tooth and nail to maintain the practice and defend it. Why? You’d think you would support suggestions, not dominate the conversation with knee jerk condemnation.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 15, 2018 11:30 PM
Comment #431493

“The Federalists also insisted on a Monarchy…”

No. Washington, Hamilton, Adams, and others did not want a King. That is just wrong, and obviously wrong, if you think about it for two seconds.

So I am going to stop right there. I am not going to waste my time. It is impossible to debate if you do not know basic US history.

Posted by: phx8 at September 16, 2018 8:44 AM
Comment #431494

Hamilton wanted the English form of government. England had a king.

What does Hamilton have to do with voting in the 21st century anyway?

See! This is why people don’t want to participate in these discussions! They get sidetracked with extraneous bullshit designed to distract and disrupt.

Thanks a lot, phx8. Why didn’t you stay in Prague so the rest of us can have a decent discussion about the subject proposed instead of being subjected to your distracting minutia.

Does anyone else want to try living in the present?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 16, 2018 9:04 AM
Comment #431495

I expect Liberals to take their ball and go home. I didn’t expect conservatives to go with them.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 16, 2018 8:32 PM
Comment #431522

“Today the federal government is the nation’s largest creditor, lender, employer, consumer, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, healthcare provider, and pension guarantor: Does that sound like limited government to you?” — Mark Levin

Mark is calling for a convention of states under Article V part II. He says 34 states need to be on board to call a convention. Nineteen have signed up so far.

I think that’s where we should be, WW. We need to support a large org that can move the needle.

I’m not sure CF is a big problem at the local level in rural counties. Like, the board of supervisors, 7 gentlemen, in my county get $200/mo for their service. Just recently went up from $100/mo.

I think you may be attacking the problem the wrong way. One could spend years trying to get each county to adopt some sort of CF rule and still have not touched the source of the real problem. Seems starting at the state level makes more sense.

Better yet, I think we should support Mark Levin and his organization. That is the way our Founders provided to give power to the people.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 17, 2018 9:57 AM
Comment #431534

Welcome home phx8…glad you had a safe and interesting trip. Travel to foreign lands is great fun and educational.

Obesity in the United States is hardly a new problem. In 1963, when I was drafted into the Army, many draftees could not pass the physical due to obesity. It grows worse each year. Take a look at what our children do for exercise. Take a look at what they eat.

God forbid that we ever have a president elected by popular vote and not the electoral college.

Our founders knew for certain that when enough Americans discovered that they could vote themselves largess from the federal government it was all over. We would quickly spend ourselves into oblivion.

It seems our elected national representatives have been busy voting for just such largess. We have over $20 Trillion in national debt despite an estimated $6.21 trillion US government revenue for FY 2018.

There is no evidence of government spending restraint when such spending is demanded by the voting public.

It is called “pandering”.

Can anyone even begin to imagine how much would eventually be spent on national elections if they were paid for by tax payer money? Even phx8 can’t imagine a number that high.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 17, 2018 5:10 PM
Comment #431572
One could spend years trying to get each county to adopt some sort of CF rule and still have not touched the source of the real problem.

What is the real problem, Roy Ellis?

I think that’s where we should be, WW. We need to support a large org that can move the needle.

What does it take to create a large organization? Wouldn’t a number of small organizations all with the same goals do that? What would it take to create a large organization out of thin air? My guess would be money, lots of money. How much money would it take to create this large organization? Could you contribute enough money to influence your state government? Or, could you influence your local government with much less? You, yourself. The question goes to you, Roy Ellis, not some fictional third party that hasn’t got a chance in a two party system such as ours. What level of government would you be able to influence on your own? How much more successful would your endeavor be if there were not outside influences and outside money countering your efforts?

I would think that any law written to curtail outside influences in local elections would already include every elected position up to U.S. Senators.

Tell me the following situation couldn’t, Roy Ellis. Let’s assume California and Texas are competing for population growth and there is a proposal for Texas to entice citizens to immigrate from California to Texas. Let’s assume also that California is against this migration and does this:
California gets a person to migrate to Texas and run against the pro immigration indigenous candidates. Then California dumps money into these local campaigns favoring the migrant candidates with the sole purpose of defeating the proposal. This money has nothing to do with the success of Texas and everything to do with protecting California’s tax base.

Should Texas wait for a constitutional convention and the process of ratification to take place before it can counter the assault? Should it just wait around for some powerful group to suddenly appear, or should they combat the assault with local, targeted campaign finance reform at that level?

Texas could pass laws at the local level prohibiting outside money from being used in it’s local elections. There. Problem solved. California no longer has the ability to influence local elections in Texas. Period. No need to wait out the long and difficult process of a constitutional convention that hasn’t happened in the history of our nation. No need to wait out the expensive and tedious process of amending the constitution. A simple law passed at the local level in the targeted municipalities will suffice in much less time and much less effort and much less/perhaps no money expended.

Are you still waiting for that third party to solve your problems, Roy Ellis?

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 18, 2018 11:23 AM
Comment #431589

phx8’s first comment upon reentry to the U.S. and Watchblog.

and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it is shocking to come back to this country and see just how fat Americans are. Not just overweight, either. Obese.

Then, lo and behold, I start hearing news reports about how fat Americans are!

What a coincidence?

Thanks, phx8.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 19, 2018 12:03 AM
Comment #431590

Why do you do that, phx8?

I remember my vacation when I went to an amusement park on a lake shore. It was 1992. I sat in the bar overlooking the beach and I contemplated the number of people on that beach who would be able to run a mile defending this country. It wasn’t optimistic.

There weren’t many people complaining about how much fat walked along the beaches of America in 1992!

After years of the left explaining to us how much more important it is to accept fat, why are you now remarking on how prevalent fat is?

It’s like the plastic bag dilemma we’re experiencing now. We used to not have plastic bags, then we did. Then the left insisted we use plastic bags to save the trees. Now the left is saying we must discontinue using plastic bags because…

Because what? Do you have another product you now demand we all use???

..and you wonder why we doubt your philosophy!

Why don’t you consider fixing your own home instead of trying to fix everyone else’s home? The American experience is rooted in the individual, phx8, not your preferred pet peeve project of the moment.


Posted by: Weary Willie at September 19, 2018 12:30 AM
Comment #431632

Weary, there will never be a perfect world for liberals. They couldn’t stand it. Perhaps that is why so many are professed atheists. They would hate heaven.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2018 4:20 PM
Comment #433266

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