I’m not taking sides on republican vs. democrat. My point is just that the judge in the Inman case was appointed by one of the Bush presidents (W. I think but I’m not going to look it up again), and he’s finding a way to squint sideways and pretend that the Citizen’s United ruling means that politicians can demand bribes for votes.
Wait what now? Oh the Citizen’s United ruling, which has been used to blame everything on everything when it was really a pretty narrow opinion. The only thing the Citizen’s United case said was that the government couldn’t limit corporations/labor unions and the like from making unlimited campaign contributions. The case said nothing about politicians being given the green light to ask for cold, hard cash in exchange for votes.
Citizen’s United did not throw limitations on speech, even political speech, out the window. Think about all of the kids of speech that are illegal or civilly actionable: inciting a riot, threatening someone, defamation, slander, disturbing the peace. Citizen’s United did not greenlight any of those types of speech, nor did it green light corruption in office. (You would think the way that some people comment on this site that politicians think it’s illegal to have an anonymous government accountability website. It’s not, based on Citizen’s United. Okay maybe based on actual cases that have long decided in favor of the constitutionality of anonymous leafletting.) But that’s not the point. Citizen’s United had nothing to do with bribery. It had to do with limits to campaign finance, not promises for votes in exchange for campaign donations.
So my question is, if asking for bribes in exchange for votes is legal, isn’t there a problem with Blagojevich being in prison? Isn’t that essentially what he tried to do? How is it any different to demand bribes to choose a political appointee compared to demanding for bribes for a vote? They seem the same to me.
I see this about the Inman recall petition, but I still don’t see how to go about signing the petition. If anyone knows, feel free to comment.