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Old 11-04-2013, 05:16 PM  
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Out of State Contributions

So we have an election tomorrow in Colorado, and one of the issues on the ballot is a massive tax increase to give money to K-12 schools. It's got all sorts of groundbreaking features, such as:

a) the largest state tax increase in Colorado history
b) the introduction of an income tax to fund schools, on top of property taxes
c) the introduction of a progressive income tax in Colorado that taxes higher incomes at a higher rate

Obviously, it's pretty controversial.

What really annoys me is that we heard recently that the mayor of New York (Bloomberg) gave $1 million to the campaign to pass this tax, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $1 million to the campaign to pass this tax.

They're both promoting it as education reform, and whatever. The reason doesn't matter.

But why do we allow out-of-state interests who will not pay the tax to get involved and help get the new tax passed? I've got some rich guy in New York and some rich guy in Washington saying, "Well, hey. Let's get those people in Colorado to pay more taxes." Is there some rationale for doing this that I don't understand?
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:28 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
In principle maybe but this isn't a candidate we're talking about.

What's the difference? I don't understand.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #47
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Okay, now we're talking.

Anyone care to argue why this is a bad thing? Because I sure think it would be a good thing.

I guess, though, that to argue with myself, the challenge is in enforcement. It's very easy to launder money in political campaigns. You just rent an apartment or start a nonprofit and channel it through there. Or you give your money to an ally in the state and they "make a contribution".
It is not a bad idea but I am sure there is some constitutional issue with outright banning out of state, out of district money..
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #48
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The problem in restricting money from outside sources to promote a law is that you'd also succeed in restricting money from outside sources to defeat laws.

Consider how many times a political majority has pushed for a referendum to restrict the freedoms of a minority group in a state, be that for things like gun control in blue states and anti-abortion controls in red states.

Sometimes that external money is critical to defeat discriminatory measures. Frankly I'd support preventing external money supporting measures while allowing external money to fight measures. But the simple reality is it will be impossible to enforce and would never happen anyway.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:38 PM   #49
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The biggest laugher is tax increases for 'X' regardless of what 'X' is. They are universally a giant scam, because it almost never adds any money to the funding of 'X'. Since 'X' has more money naturally from the tax it no longer needs as much money from the state's general budget. Net net the overall funding doesn't tend to change much.

Hey if you want to raise taxes that's your choice, but lets not lie to the american people about what it's used for. It's a tax increase that will be used for ANYTHING. Not for the children, nor for education. It's just as likely to pay for a staffer job for reps/senators mistress as it is to pay for new books at your school.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:38 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by CrazyPhuD View Post
The problem in restricting money from outside sources to promote a law is that you'd also succeed in restricting money from outside sources to defeat laws.

Consider how many times a political majority has pushed for a referendum to restrict the freedoms of a minority group in a state, be that for things like gun control in blue states and anti-abortion controls in red states.

Sometimes that external money is critical to defeat discriminatory measures. Frankly I'd support preventing external money supporting measures while allowing external money to fight measures. But the simple reality is it will be impossible to enforce and would never happen anyway.

The tough thing is that we'd all approve bringing in outside money if it supports our viewpoint. But if it's a local area with local autonomy, it seems like they should have control over it, assuming that it's not a violation of federal law or some such thing, in which case it shouldn't be an election issue.

It seems like it would be pretty cool if different states and counties could have different policies. If one county bans guns and another one requires everyone to carry one, that's a great experiment on what works. If one county has big marijuana jail sentences and another one offers it for free next to water fountains, that's another great experiment. If something works well, then voters in other counties or states will see it and perhaps change their thinking.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by dirk digler View Post
It is not a bad idea but I am sure there is some constitutional issue with outright banning out of state, out of district money..
Please tell us twhat this is, since you're sure.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by CrazyPhuD View Post
The biggest laugher is tax increases for 'X' regardless of what 'X' is. They are universally a giant scam, because it almost never adds any money to the funding of 'X'. Since 'X' has more money naturally from the tax it no longer needs as much money from the state's general budget. Net net the overall funding doesn't tend to change much.

Hey if you want to raise taxes that's your choice, but lets not lie to the american people about what it's used for. It's a tax increase that will be used for ANYTHING. Not for the children, nor for education. It's just as likely to pay for a staffer job for reps/senators mistress as it is to pay for new books at your school.
That's one of the issues here. This is an enormous tax increase, and people are skeptical about how it'll be used. Even if the intent is good, there's too much risk that the money will just go toward beefing up the pension fund so school employees can retire even younger. The supporters say that it won't be used "directly" for that, but it's too easy to shuffle the money and use general fund money for that.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #53
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I am shocked at Gates. He may know computers but his understanding of our system is just bad. Jobs was the opposite. He didn't get wrapped up much with govt things...unless he had to for his own interests. He was more libertarian leaning.
Actually, Gates and Microsoft pretty much stayed out of politics until the Microsoft anti-trust case. Then they learned the unfortunate truth about what the Anti-trust law is all about: You gotta grease someone's palm even if you make a product that the majority of market accepts.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #54
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dirk,

The only Federal Constitution issues I can see would be the Reconstruction Era Amendments such as the 14th and 15th Amendments which concern the denial some groups the right to vote or equal protection of the laws. This doesn't apply here based on the data provided. Gates and Bloomberg wouldn't be voting here which is my main point. So they're not being denied because they would vote in their own states. Since they're not women, the 19th wouldn't apply either.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #55
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What's the difference? I don't understand.
I'm not saying either way is right but I can see the difference in law limiting contributions to a politician compared to a law on a ballot.

Say a law is proposed in North Dakota prohibiting fracking. Would eliminating outside dollars mean BP couldn't make commercials showing the benefit of it?
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #56
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That's one of the issues here. This is an enormous tax increase, and people are skeptical about how it'll be used. Even if the intent is good, there's too much risk that the money will just go toward beefing up the pension fund so school employees can retire even younger. The supporters say that it won't be used "directly" for that, but it's too easy to shuffle the money and use general fund money for that.
And this is marketing 101(or misdirection 101 depending upon how cynical you are). Always point and say it's for something noble even if it's not. Just like gun laws are 'anti-crime' measures even though 95+% of the people affected by them aren't criminals. Or voter ID laws are about preventing fraud even though 95+% of the people impacted by them are just trying to vote....

10% of the time Politicians tell the truth 100% of the time.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #57
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Actually, Gates and Microsoft pretty much stayed out of politics until the Microsoft anti-trust case. Then they learned the unfortunate truth about what the Anti-trust law is all about: You gotta grease someone's palm even if you make a product that the majority of market accepts.
Well, that's true about the time relationship. I think Gates is going off the deep end though. He is concerned and involved with education---not a bad thing. However, he'd be better off and get more results for those he purports to help, if he didn't entwine that with politics. Maybe he feels he has to play the game to be left alone. Only thing is he's making a deal with the devil. Or perhaps he feels squeezed or extorted indirectly and he's really trying to protect himself and his interests.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #58
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Alaska passed a law that restricted candidates to not receive more than $20,000 from outside money and it was upheld by their Supreme Court.

http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/faqs/faq-...on-limits.html
They're allowing contributions though.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #59
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Good lord. Where did you learn about the constitution? Your understanding of the Commerce Clause is very progressive... as in so progressive that it would have been laughed at outside of radical circles prior to 1930 or so.
You dope. The Commerce Act and the Antitrust Act were implemented several decades before the 1930s and were extremely progressive actions taken to further the Fed's oversight of commerce.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:03 PM   #60
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You dope. The Commerce Act and the Antitrust Act were implemented several decades before the 1930s and were extremely progressive actions taken to further the Fed's oversight of commerce.
The Commerce Act isn't the Constitution necessarily though. And most limited govt types think it was expanded in meaning under the "living Constitution" guide for interpretation, and not per strict construction never mind original construction. That's like saying we need no Constitution at all. Jefferson would agree too.

Still, it's not relevant to this topic.
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