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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Is Quid Pro Quo the only kind of corruption that Government can regulate.

Roberts in his MCCUTCHEON v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMM’N decision asserts:

“Moreover, while preventing corruption or its appearance is a legitimate objective, Congress may target only a specific type of corruption—“quid pro quo” corruption. As Buckley explained, Congress may permissibly seek to rein in “large contributions [that] are given to secure a political quid pro quo from current and potential office holders.” 424 U. S., at 26. In addition to “actual quid pro quo arrangements,” Congress may permissibly limit “the appearance of corruption stemming from public awareness of the opportunities for abuse inherent in a regime of large individual financial contributions” to particular candidates. Id., at 27; see also Citizens United, 558 U. S., at 359 (“When Buckley identified a sufficiently important governmental interest in preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption, that interest was limited to quid pro quo corruption”

The dissent focuses on the reality that permitting large scale contributions to candidates historically is tantamount to legalizing quid pro quo corruption. But quid pro quo historically hasn't been the only kind of corruption visible in government, nor the only kind that government has sought to regulate. In my previous post I talked about how the founders feared "undue influence" and "improper access" as well. If the problem were mere "general influence" the majority decision could be respected, but "undue influence" is a real problem and eventually amounts to bribery, extortion, and outright buying of elections through propaganda and lies. The first amendment protects the right to lie. Now it protects undue influence it seems. And Breyer calls them out on it:

“corruption does not include efforts to “garner ‘influence over or access to’ elected offi­cials or political parties.” Ante, at 19 (quoting Citizens United, supra, at 359). Moreover, the Government’s efforts to prevent the “appearance of corruption” are “equally confined to the appearance of quid pro quo corruption,”

Breyer goes on to eviscerate the record of the courts evisceration of anti-bribery laws and evidentiary requirements. So based on the courts decisions even evidence demonstrating clear "quid pro quo" bribery will never be heard. Best to read the decision, especially the dissent and some of the articles on the subject explaining. It reading the majority arguments I'm simply astounded at how corrupt Roberts et all are. For them only quid pro quo corruption can be regulated -- and they make regulating that corruption impossible.

This is a follow up to my post earlier: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-expected-corrupt-decision-by.html

Daily Kos says it better than I can:

[Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Kennedy & Thomas's] conclusion:
* rests upon its own, not a record-based, view of the facts.
* Its legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake.
* It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions.
* It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. ...

And concludes:

"Today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve."
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/03/1289339/-Arm-yourself-read-Breyer-s-dissent-in-McCutcheon-v-FEC
Further Reading
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-536_e1pf.pdf
http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/mccutcheon_about.php?mv
Breyers dissent explained here:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/03/1289339/-Arm-yourself-read-Breyer-s-dissent-in-McCutcheon-v-FEC
Bill Moyers Comments:
http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/02/a-blistering-dissent-in-mccutcheon-conservatives-substituted-opinion-for-fact/
Bill Moyers makes case that court is corrupt.http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/14/cant-we-just-say-the-roberts-court-is-corrupt/
Related Posts by Me:
A Corrupt Court, Tuesday, June 26, 2012: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/06/corrupt-court.html
A corrupt decision blind to corrupt access and influence October 8, 2013: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-corrupt-decision-blind-to-corrupt.html
Corruption, Racketeering and the Supreme Court, Wednesday, October 16, 2013: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/corruption-racketeering-and-supreme.html
Corrupt judges on the Supreme Court. October 23, 2013: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/corruption-judges-on-supreme-court.html
Corrupt Court and Undue Influence and access according to Founders, Thursday, March 27, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/03/corrupt-court-and-undue-influence-and.html
The Expected Corrupt Decision by a corrupt court, Saturday, April 5, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-expected-corrupt-decision-by.html
Is Quid Pro Quo the only kind of corruption that Government can regulate. April 5, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/is-quid-pro-quo-only-kind-of-corruption.html
Undue influence and Dependency Corruption or why the Supreme Court Decision was so corrupt, April 21st, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/undue-influence-and-dependency.html

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