quote: In my opinion, it is the lack of direct involvement of the employees that makes corporate lobbying look like corporations are paying for laws.
quote: Also, if I could summarize the above, I think the voice of the many needs to finally be louder than the voice of the privileged few.
quote: As much as possible, big money needs to be taken out of politics, especially campaigning.
quote: If an employee doesn't like that their employer lobbies for something, they make a value judgement. Is the employment worth the moral/value cost?
quote: I believe the voice of the many is infinitely louder today. Unfortunately that voice is all to often left unspoken.
quote: I'd be more inclined to allow unlimited money, with 100% disclosure. If Candidate Z is John Doe's puppet, that's fine by me as long as the voters know they're voting for John Doe's agenda and Candidate Z's face.
quote: I think this is true in an ideal world where one could quit an start a new job without financial penalty, but few people are willing to risk their family's financial well-being. The barrier to opposing your employer's lobbying efforts (eg. leaving your job) is currently much higher than it would in an alternate system where only independent citizens could lobby on behalf of an industry (eg. volunteering outside of work).
quote: This is the unorganized, "have a day job and a family" masses vs. highly paid political lobbyists with their hands in every politician's pocket. It's an unfair fight that and the people are losing badly these days.
quote: Theoretically that is a sound idea, but I would much rather contributions be limited to reasonable amount ($500-$1000) and the temptation removed altogether.
quote: I'd rather see funding operate more like voting. Give every citizen a $100 income tax credit if they donate $100 to a political campaign of their choice.
quote: I don't dispute that a barrier is present, but I don't see how it is any different than any other employer action you may disagree with. At some point you have to either suck it up for the time being, or get a new job.
quote: The only reason lobbying works, and the only reason citizens would need to protest in the first place is because the government has too much power and too much control.
quote: The fight is fair...
quote: If you have $5000, and I use the power of government for force where you cannot spend it, I've just limited your freedoms.
quote: Limiting the donation amount to $100 is a freedom-limiting action.
quote: People/corporations are free to spend their money on propaganda ladled TV, radio, and newspapers. If they can convince the people to fight for their cause, then good for them. That should be the extent of free speech that money can buy.
quote: My point here is that the power is with the wrong people... the lawyers, the corporation's lobbyists, and the board of directors. The action should be on the people, the employees. It should be independent of corporate money and influence, which may or may not be form a domestic source.
quote: Yes, decrease the size and power of government, but you can also reduce/eliminate corporate lobbying. They are not mutually exclusive. I'd be happy to see both happen simultaneously.
quote: It really isn't. There is an army of full time, well funded lobbyists whispering in the ears of every politician they can find. Who is representing the people? Not the lobbyists and not the politicians once they've accepted all of their contributions.
quote: A limit on political contributions is merely a limit on legalized bribery - unless you think bribery is a legitimate form of free speech (and unfortunately it seems the Supreme Court ruled it as such).
quote: So by limiting contributions maybe some people lose their "freedom" to individually dictate government policy
quote: Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean that they should limit to $100, I mean they when you give a political donation, you get a tax credit on your income tax for that year.
quote: The power to lobby on a corporation's behalf lies squarely where it should - in the hands of the shareholders.
quote: If you reduce the size/power of the government, it makes corporate lobbying irrelevant.
quote: How is that any different than giving the money to a campaign or a PAC?
quote: No individual is dictating government policy! Come on now.
quote: I reject the premise that campaign contributions are bribery