Original Proposal

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Original Proposal

Post by johnkarls »

Money in Politics: Michael Bloomberg & Tom Steyer, et al.
Originally posted by johnkarls – Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:08 pm – 21 views before being transplanted here

I propose that we focus for our March meeting on “Money in Politics: Michael Bloomberg & Tom Steyer, et al.”

This would be one of those occasions when we do NOT focus on a book, but instead focus on a documentary movie.

The DOCUMENTARY would be “Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes” starring, inter alia, Robert Reich (U/Cal-Berkeley’s “Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy” at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy) and Lawrence Lessig (Harvard Law School’s “Roy L. Furman Professor of Law”).

The documentary is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB81q6-3z0s.

[NB: IAW long-standing policy, first-time attendees who just want to give us a try, are not expected to have read the focus book or, in this case, the focus documentary.]

The PUBLIC-POLICY issues on which I would like us to focus are why self-financing of political contributions by wealthy people is NOT currently restricted vis-à-vis amount*, whether the lack of any limit vis-à-vis amount* is desirable and, if not, whether such a limit could be imposed by statute vs. a constitutional amendment -- AND WHAT WE SHOULD DO ABOUT IT.

[Footnote – Although there is no limit on the amount of campaign self-financing, there are reporting requirements which we have studied in the past in connection with the payments made by Trump attorney Michael Cohen to “Stormy Daniels” and the FEC rule that a “dual purpose” expenditure (e.g., buying silence NOT ONLY for campaign reasons BUT ALSO for preserving marital/family secrecy) is NOT a campaign expenditure.]

Some preliminary thoughts are posted simultaneously in the “Participant Comments” section of the bulletin board - viewtopic.php?f=581&t=1894&sid=60369b0d ... 29be298edc.

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