Davis' Millionaire Amendment

22 Apr

I’m always tickled by the argument that money = free speech in politics. It was the argument made by opponents of McCain-Feingold, and it’s being used by curmudgeonly obnoxious Jack Davis in the Supreme Court.

Under the “millionaire’s amendment”, if a candidate for congress self-finances by more than $350,000, his opponent can raise more money from individual donors than would otherwise be permitted. In Tom Reynolds’ case in 2006, it would have been triple the amount legally permitted.

Except for one thing.

Reynolds did not avail himself of the law. Really, Davis has nothing whatsoever to complain about.

Using Davis’ logic…

“Political expression is at the core of the First Amendment,” said the lawyer, Andrew D. Herman, who said the law inhibited Davis’ right to express himself by giving Reynolds the right to raise three times as much from individual donors as normal candidates could raise.

…bribery is nothing more than an exercise of protected political speech. If I bribe my congressman to do something on my behalf, what could be more political speechy than that?

So go for it, Jack. Protect the right of millionaires to self-finance election campaigns and call a leveling of the playing field violative of your first amendment rights.

I can only dream of having $7 million to piss away over the course of 6 years.

3 Responses to “Davis' Millionaire Amendment”

  1. Historical Pessimist April 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    I’ve never quite understood how our right to free speech is the same as the right of the rich or monied special interests to a megaphone. I so hope Buckley v. Valeo gets overturned in our lifetimes.

    The Millionaire’s Amendment certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got. As far as I’m concerned, the fact that Jack Davis wants to get it overturned so that he buy a seat unimpeded is more than enough to keep me from supporting him for a 3rd run at NY26.

  2. Jackson Smiles April 22, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    i also saw a lovely email that was forwarded to me today from alice kryzan about her “love of earth day”… that’s interesting since she didn’t really seem to love the earth on the Love Canal!

  3. millionaire May 13, 2008 at 1:11 am #

    Many feel that in order to become a millionaire and have a successful business you will need to start strong and make all your money right away so you don’t have to wait. However, the best millionaire businesses are willing to start out small sized and grow at a slower rate.

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