Convicted of a crime? Sold into chattel slavery

No, but if we choose between the money/no or limited money system the latter gives us family members of politicians. I think we can all agree that if we ranked the best people to be President from 1 to 1000, that Bush II, Hillary, nor Trump would make the list. Fair?

So why does our system work out where we get a 1/2 choice and in 2016 it was between two of them? And Hillary far outspent Trump.

But how would your system work? I say I want to run for Governor and the state gives me $500k? (depending on the size of the state).

You can’t cause->effect like that. There is a correlation between personal wealth and electability but by no means is it causation. The only thing that ultimately matters is the number of votes, and poorer politicians like me do sometimes run effective grassroots campaigns.


Which they do, or at least offer to. I think the govt. will match private fundraising 1:1 at least for presidential candidates, but if you take the money you promise not to spend more than X dollars overall. There’s a little box on… I think every federal ballot, and if you check it the govt. allocates $1 from the general treasury to a fund for this purpose.

This practice was also upheld in Buckley v. Valeo.


Fair enough, but if I’ve got $1M and you have $20.84, I have an advantage, and you had better have one hell of a better message than me to get elected. I never thought I would say this and my fingers hesitate to type it…Justice Marshall had a good point.

Yeah, the way it works in real life is you get endorsements from a local political establishment. Then you go out and hit the dirt to build up your own war chest, build up name recognition. If you’re lucky someone landed or maybe the national party will say, hey, this guy has a chance, and they give you support. In cash, logistics, etc. Ideally most of the money comes from individuals, small donations, but that’s a totally different problem. If you are a good salesman you will be spending mostly other people’s money, not your own.


Sure, that is the Jeffersonian ideal. But the guy who was a former president’s son or the wife of a former president can do all of that and win on name recognition. I understand that I could be Rocky and beat that person, but it seems that taking money out of it just replaces one form of unfairness for the other.

The reality is you’re not going to see a choice between a candidate who spent a million dollars on his campaign and a candidate who spent twenty dollars on his campaign. The choice will be between a candidate who spent a million dollars of his own money and a candidate who spend a million dollars that was given to him by special interests. I’d be more concerned about the guy who owes a million dollars’ worth of favors.

It’s funny that after telling me I was apparently wrong in thinking the Buckley decision was about giving money to politicians, you go on to explain how it was actually about giving money to politicians.

The problem with Buckley was not the specific rules it upheld or prohibited. The problem with Buckley was that it declared that giving money to politicians was a constitutional right. This gutted any attempts, then or in the future, to effectively regulate the role of money in politics. Later decisions expanded the problem of political corruption but Buckley was the foundation they were built on.

What page(s) are you looking at? Here’s a PDF(8.3 MB) of the ruling.

It was spending money on political speech that was considered protected; caps on spending are unconstitutional restrictions on the freedom of speech (starts on p.39).

Donating to a politician was declared part of the freedom to associate, which by precedent is itself implied by the freedom of speech. However, you seem to argue as if ignorant of the court declaring that the government’s interest in limiting the appearance or actuality of quid pro quo outweighs the individual’s freedom to donate more than a set amount to politicians (p. 24, 26, etc). The right to donate to a politician was not ultimately protected.


You do realize Rocky didn’t win