The Instigator
baconandcheese
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Juris_Naturalis
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Should Corporations be allowed to donate money to U.S. political campaigns?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
baconandcheese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/24/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,860 times Debate No: 44526
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

baconandcheese

Con

In my mind, corporations shouldn't have any place in politics. Their involvement in politics means that American elections these days are not just between candidates, but for corporate interests as well. I'm willing to hear the other side of this argument, and I hope this can be a well thought-out, intelligent debate.
Juris_Naturalis

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
baconandcheese

Con

Ok then, thank you for accepting this debate.

- Corporations should not be represented as people in any matter, political or not.
- SuperPACs should be dissolved and also not be involved in politics due to the fact that corporations can donate unlimited amounts of money to campaigns, thus causing corporate interests to be intertwined with the candidate's interest.
- From barring SuperPACs, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act should be reinstated and the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling should be rendered null and void.
Also, here are things to consider when making an argument based on the First Amendment:
1. The First Amendment protects only individual speech, not speech by associations of individuals.
2. The public has the right to hear all available information, and when corporations spend money individuals can"t match, messages from corporations drown out messages from others, and that information fails to reach the public.

Sources: http://reclaimdemocracy.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Juris_Naturalis

Pro

"- Corporations should not be represented as people in any matter, political or not."

I disagree. Corporations have their own desires in politics just like any one person. The only difference being, richer. If Corporations had no voice, than they would be essentially defenceless against the ill-will of those who would do away with Corporations.

"SuperPACs should be dissolved and also not be involved in politics due to the fact that corporations can donate unlimited amounts of money to campaigns, thus causing corporate interests to be intertwined with the candidate's interest."

This is impossible. There is only so much money a PAC can give before it goes broke. The BCRA was rendered unconstitutional, therefore it cannot be re-instated. The 1st does apply to corporations or associations of people, it doesn't say anywhere in the constitution or in court rulings that the 1st doesn't apply to corporations. If it does, prove it.

"The public has the right to hear all available information, and when corporations spend money individuals can"t match, messages from corporations drown out messages from others, and that information fails to reach the public."

Are you talking about directly financing a politician or simply advertising their position? Because if you're talking about the first, then it doesn't drown out anything.

Essentially, there is no difference from a corporation with XYZ political belief and a rich person with the same XYZ belief. Should we ban rich people from donating to politics? After all, they can out donate any one as well.
Debate Round No. 2
baconandcheese

Con

Corporations shouldn't have political desires. They are there to provide their customers a service of some kind, be profitable, and innovate in their field. Also, what politician is going to say that all corporations should be disbanded?

The First Amendment was meant for people (meaning human beings), not business entities. Also, the BCRA was intended for this: "to stop circumvention of existing law and closes loopholes through which hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed." It was also meant to address the perception of impropriety that casts a shadow over everything Congress does, and it meant to do so in a way consistent with our constitutional rights.

Corporations shouldn't be able to finance any part of any politician's campaign, since their influence on the making of the advertisements could be used to persuade the public to accept a "candidate's political ideology" that's really meant for their own benefit, and not the people's.

I have no problem with rich people donating money, but donation limits per person should be installed and those donations should be publicly visible.

Source: http://cqpress.com...
Juris_Naturalis

Pro

"Corporations shouldn't have political desires. "

Why not? They care about what they deem best just like anyone else. There are radicals of all types. Maybe disbanding was an exaggeration, maybe something more realistic would be creating environments unfriendly to big business.

The First amendment protects free speech of all people. You insist this is not so, but you don't prove it.

"Corporations shouldn't be able to finance any part of any politician's campaign, since their influence on the making of the advertisements could be used to persuade the public to accept a "candidate's political ideology" that's really meant for their own benefit, and not the people's."

Politicians make their own advertisements that do the exact same thing. Just turn the tv on during election week. It doesn't make that big of a difference if ONE corporation does the same thing.

"I have no problem with rich people donating money, but donation limits per person should be installed and those donations should be publicly visible."

That's usually how it is corporations too. It's not hard to find who funds who.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by blaze8 3 years ago
blaze8
And tylergraham95, Corporations and Unions are specifically prohibited from directly contributing to Federal PACs. Any PAC that is formed by a corporation is completely independent of it, and may only solicit contributions from board members and their families in the corporation. Citizens United did not change this.
Posted by blaze8 3 years ago
blaze8
@tylergraham95, if you refer to Citizens United, Citizens United did not allow corporations to directly contribute to any campaign. Rather, it held that independent expenditures, the act of spending money on a political ad advertising the corporation's position, was Legal. This is completely different from directly contributing to a campaign.

@mydinosaurhands Not precisely. There are a number of factors that go into defining a Corporation Legally. First, it is a contract. It consists of individuals, shareholders and boards, but is not an individual in and of itself in the Law. That's why a corporation cannot vote. Yet, Corporations are affected by laws just as much as individuals, which is why they have the ability to voice their opinion on the matter through independent expenditures. The ruling on Citizens United and the reasoning behind it are fairly easy to find. I debated this very topic recently, with no one voting on it all.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
I am inclined to agree with you. I believe we badly need campaign finance reform in this country that can align with and survive the Citizens United decision.

But I think you need to be more specific in your resolution. Any company with a incorporated tax status can be considered a corporation. Perhaps you should argue in favor of a universal donation limit of $1,000-10,000. for any and all campaigns, PACs, and SUPER PACs.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
I am inclined to agree with you. I believe we badly need campaign finance reform in this country that can align with and survive the Citizens United decision.

But I think you need to be more specific in your resolution. Any company with a incorporated tax status can be considered a corporation. Perhaps you should argue in favor of a universal donation limit of $1,000-10,000. for any and all campaigns, PACs, and SUPER PACs.
Posted by tylergraham95 3 years ago
tylergraham95
@blaze8

As of 2010, yes they can. Corporations can directly donate to superPACs who donate to specific politica candidate exclusively.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
@Blaze8
Aren't corporations considered to be individuals under current US laws though?
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
@Blaze8
Aren't corporations considered to be individuals under current US laws though?
Posted by baconandcheese 3 years ago
baconandcheese
Corporations still have influence in the political process through Super PACs. Besides, who's to say all corporations follow the law? We don't know what happens underneath the tables of politicans....
Posted by blaze8 3 years ago
blaze8
Corporations and non-profits are not permitted to directly contribute to campaigns, and therefore have no direct say in the political process. Your premise is incorrect. Individuals are the only ones who are allowed to directly contribute to political campaigns. Current laws, in the US at least, set up a barrier preventing any money from corporations directly or indirectly being contributed to political campaigns.
Posted by baconandcheese 3 years ago
baconandcheese
You're right, I should probably reword that.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
baconandcheeseJuris_NaturalisTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Not a very comprehensive debate from both sides, but Pro tried to just grant Corporations the status of "people", without giving any cause to do so. SCOTUS used the "they're made of people" argument, but Pro didn't use that here, attempting to assert corporate personhood without giving sufficient grounds. I found everything else equal enough...Though Con had sources, I didn't find them quite enough to award points. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by Swagmasterpoopoo 3 years ago
Swagmasterpoopoo
baconandcheeseJuris_NaturalisTied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had sources. Pro didn't