Among opponents: Bachmann.
Knowing what the hell you're doing is, sadly, not required.
This sentiment is exactly why they can keep doing it.
It reflects an implicit (and unfortunately, widely held) assumption that they're trying to get elected to help their fellow men, constituents and otherwise do good.
Sadly, there is no supporting evidence for this assumption, and endless supporting evidence against it.
Understanding the problems is an important first step towards solving them, but understanding alone is, obviously, not enough to fix the problems here.
> understanding alone is, obviously, not enough to fix the problems here.
Which problem? Are you implying that elected politicians are trying to fix things for the average citizen? if so, why do you think that?
Here is Bachmann's top sources of donations:
Notice no Movie/Music Industry in the top 5
Then here is Franken's:
Time Warner is his number one supporter. I would imagine that they are for it.
Chicken or egg?
OpenSecrets:"The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families."
The first clause is in red and bold.
(Edit:I apologize to the reader(s) who felt that directly quoting the links cited by the parent comment was objectionable.)
Unfortunately that is what it comes down to when I vote... the lesser of the two evils.
Johnson could benefit from an internet-savvy marketer. The campaign seems undermanned and underfunded.
I can understand why they might be staying quiet, but I think it is weak and cowardly.
This back and forth tedium is one of the reasons why Hacker News tries to avoid political posts in the first place. I'm afraid that legitimate criticism of the post requires you to actually debunk the claim.
So this is one of the problems I can see with politics today: politicians have no views or principles you can count on. Everything is depended on how much money they get (of course they all stick and talk about wedge issues such as guns, gays, and god which are really stupid).
That is one of main reason people like Ron Paul: you know what you get.
I think especially if the giants (Google, Facebook, etc) got significant amounts of employees to do it then our Congresspeople would take notice. Even if not I think there's enough influence on hackernews to maybe make a difference.
Of course this has potential in any state, but the concentration of software companies in California makes it particular interesting IMO.
That, presumably, is one of the reasons Johnson knew how screwed he was when he (reportedly) said "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."
Interestingly President Johnson's wikipedia page doesn't seem to make reference to the media holdings, but his wife Lady Bird Johnson's page does: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Bird_Johnson#Business_care...
Unfortunately many democrats live in areas where the Movie, recording industry is located...therefore they get lots of $$ from them. Thus the widespread support from both dems and republicans.
This depresses me even more:
Obama got almost $9 million from the Movie industry. I would suspect he would not veto it.
The people deserve to know it, and they need to be put against the wall for it, not only so they can't be re-elected again because of this, but also so others don't try to support it, too, fearing the backlash.
There's listings by state and by bill...so everyone in the House is at: http://sopaopera.org/sopa/
However, it's probably not good to assume that anything goes through congress unanimously without being sure: http://www.theonion.com/articles/ron-paul-promises-to-return...
Firstly, a boxplot with the quotient of entertainment contributions to entertainment & internet contributions.
You can see quite easily that there's a difference which is also significant (95%, t = -4.73).
I've also done a logistic regression correcting with age, party (is_democrat), seniority and quota of contributions (quota_ent).
support | Coef. Std. Err. z P>|z| [95% Conf. Interval]
age | .0258551 .0358136 0.72 0.470 -.0443382 .0960485
is_democrat | -1.252883 .6243361 -2.01 0.045 -2.476559 -.0292067
seniority | -.0262688 .0381962 -0.69 0.492 -.101132 .0485943
quota_ent | 5.839435 1.447732 4.03 0.000 3.001933 8.676938
_cons | -1.968467 2.01512 -0.98 0.329 -5.918029 1.981096
Edit: @adamtaylor: Here's a scatter plot with each contribution, transformed with log(1 + x) for readability:
This shows as a ratio (+$ from internet : no difference : +$ from movie).
23 : 3 : 55
0.28 : 0.04 : 0.67
15 : 0 : 6
0.71 : 0 : 0.28
So ~70% of people who received more funding from one party support the bill accordingly.
All of this happens across party lines...
He really does a good job characterizing the effects of money on politics, and outlines some cool ideas for sort of "shims" on the way to more complete campaign finance reform (which would take action from congress, and I guess a constitutional amendment or two).
But the thing that struck me the most was his point that fixing the corrupting influence of money on politics isn't like trying to do something like reverse a culture of racism: it's much easier. We just have to change the incentives.
Also, running an effective campaign for someone else without central coordination of the message is a lot more difficult than what's going on now. Such campaigns can easily backfire.
That's why I think the extent of political corruption could be reduced by banning donations.
As hokey as it sounds, people get involved in politics because they want to change the world. It is the natural end result of activism like we are seeing around SOPA. It's possible that at some point, someone fighting SOPA will decide to work for a candidate or run for office themselves. At that point they'll need to start raising funds. Will that corrupt them automatically? I don't think so.
Also, it's not unheard of that some politicians are opportunists without very strong convictions one way or the other. At least that's what I sometimes feel when I hear them talk about stuff in a way that betrays utter incompetence.
Politicians should be prohibited from direct investment, both during and sometime after serving. Doesn't stop someone from enriching some partners who agree to pay him back at some later date. There probably is no end to the corruption.
I think that letting foreign companies shape our legislation is such a manner ought to considered at best a stones throw from treason.
Like Chris Dodd becoming CEO of the MPAA who is reportedly being paid $1.5 million a year as his base salary.
How is it not corruption when senators and congressmens votes can be bought by companies or whole industries?
From this it follows that Corporations have the right to free speech. This is where the supreme court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny corporations the right to political speech.
The legal requirements are disclosures and that's why you hear "paid for by Americans for a better tomorrow" or something like that. Corporations don't directly give to campaign coffers, but through a series of transactions often via PACs (political action committees) it eventually gets to where it's going. It is illegal for PAC's to coordinate with the campaign, but this does happen in subtle and less than subtle ways.
Hard money donations are often given by corporations through PACs as well. The reason this is allowed? Corporations have personhood. Your other post is correct and I'm not down voting you, but if you really want to understand corporate money in politics you need to understand corporate personhood.
If anything the numbers are misleading, because all it really tells you how much people who identify their employer are really giving. That's just demographic data, not proof of a particular policy.
Also, surveys have shown that all those donors are giving because they already agree with the senators' views, not because they think they can influence them.
To answer the question, there is a grey area between bribery and lobbying. As long as the lobbyist does not violate the law by giving more money than is allowed to a member of congress, and by not explicitly saying that the money is for a vote (one way or another on a particular piece of legislation), it is not considered bribery.
Lobbyists will often take legislators on really fancy vacations that are called 'fact finding missions', where everyone stays at a really nice golf resort or something and the lobbyist hasn't actually given the legislator any money, so no laws have been broken. At the end of the day, the legislator can decide to vote however he/she wants, so again, they don't consider it bribery.
So, what is bribery of a legislator in the U.S.? You'd probably need someone on tape saying, "I'll vote yes if you give me 200 grand in this swiss bank account". (Or, more simply, see: Rod Blagojevich.)
How are political campaigns funded in Europe? And don't large businesses have influence over politicians there too?
Note that corruption is not necessarily linked to the source of "original" funds. Italian politicians are the best paid in Europe... I rest my case.