More Republicans, maybe, but what about Guam? (video)

In case you missed it, here’s that silver tongue of Capitol Hill, DeKalb County Democrat Hank Johnson, arguing for the passage of campaign-finance restrictions on the grounds that it will keep Republicans from getting elected:

That’s right: Let’s pass laws with the expressed intent of hurting one political party over another one.

But even that argument is completely specious. Just note the irony of the corporate examples Johnson used: BP, whose employees have given more money to Barack Obama than any other politician over the past 20 years, and Goldman Sachs, whose PACs and employees gave Obama nearly $1 million in 2008, compared to about $230,000 for John McCain.

I could of course go on, but it hardly seems sporting.

How much longer before DeKalb residents start wondering whether Vernon Jones — or, heaven forbid, one of those evil Republicans — really could be any worse than Hank “capsize” Johnson?

63 comments Add your comment

CJ

June 25th, 2010
11:11 am

Let’s pass laws with the expressed intent of hurting one political party over another one.

Johnson should have said that if campaign-finance restrictions aren’t enacted, then more plutocrats (synonymous with Republicans) would be elected.

While we’re on the subject, Georgia’s voter identification laws, passed during the Bush administration, were passed precisely for the purpose of hurting one political party over another (note that most, if not all, voter fraud in Georgia arose out of absentee ballots—a problem that the Republican-led legislature did absolutely nothing to resolve since Republicans disproportionately vote absentee).

Morrus

June 25th, 2010
11:18 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

Kyle Wingfield

June 25th, 2010
11:19 am

Right, CJ. Keep pretending that Democrats only get their contributions from middle-class individuals.

CrazyInGA

June 25th, 2010
11:19 am

Yes, a republican could do a lot worse and I could start a list of those who have.

Fix-It

June 25th, 2010
11:28 am

Is this guy for real, who are the idiot’s that voted for this guy?

Exactmerob

June 25th, 2010
11:30 am

If the legislation is really about trying to keep corporations and their PACs from influencing the political process, then how would this bill impact Republicans vs. Democrats overall (taking the focus off of President Obama for a moment)?

BP’s total political contributions (source: Opensecrets.org)

2010
Total Spent – $173,781
Contributions to Federal Candidates – $75,550 (42% to Democrats, 58% to Republicans)

2008
Total Spent – $619,255
Contributions to Federal Candidates – $198,500 (41% to Democrats, 59% to Republicans)

2006
Total Spent – $601,696
Contributions to Federal Candidates – $219,500 (34% to Democrats, 65% to Republicans)

2004
Total Spent – $678,337
Contributions to Federal Candidates – $220,499 (38% to Democrats, 62% to Republicans

If you agree that corporate donations inappropriately impact the political process, it’s pretty clear which party is the main “beneficiary” of BP’s largesse. If you think corporations should be running the country, then heck, apologize for all this rough treatment of BP by voting Republican.

tar and feathers

June 25th, 2010
11:33 am

No one can fool all the people all the time – that is why we have two political parties.

Last Word

June 25th, 2010
11:36 am

Dang, KW, tough crowd, huh?

Last Word

June 25th, 2010
11:37 am

Drew

June 25th, 2010
11:42 am

Y’know, I’m thinking about moving out of Hank’s crime-ridden district, but now I’m certain I’ll stay long enough to vote his *** out. What an unmitigated moron.

Democrat voters = retardation

June 25th, 2010
11:46 am

“passed during the Bush administration, were passed precisely for the purpose of hurting one political party over another”

Please explain that asinine comment please.

washedup

June 25th, 2010
11:46 am

Hank should consult with someone, anyone, before speaking. If good for nothing else, our politicians in Georgia are good for a chuckle now and again.

Democrat voters = retardation

June 25th, 2010
11:48 am

“Keep pretending that Democrats only get their contributions from middle-class individuals.”

Democrats get their contributions from: Oil companies(BP), Unions, Hollywood, Banks, Wall Street……….

Democrat voters = retardation

June 25th, 2010
11:50 am

Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

Jefferson

June 25th, 2010
11:51 am

Money, the root of all evil…

Whacks Eloquent

June 25th, 2010
11:51 am

Congress always has a village idiot – I just wonder why it always has to be from the GA 4th District…

CJ

June 25th, 2010
11:53 am

Right, CJ. Keep pretending that Democrats only get their contributions from middle-class individuals.

I’m less concerned about where they get their money from than how they legislate. The GOP legislates on behalf of big business.

David S

June 25th, 2010
11:55 am

Impeach Johnson.

And by the way, the Democrats and Republicans conspire every day to pass campaign finance laws and ballot access laws to insure that only incumbents and if not incumbents, only Dems and Reps ever have a chance at getting elected. Just look at Georgia, which has some of the most restrive ballot access laws in the nation.

For Congress (you know, to replace this IDIOT), there has not been a 3rd party candidate able to qualify for the GA ballot since 1935!!!!!! And you thought the Soviet Union was bad.

You may not support the ideas of 3rd parties, but just look at how many races in GA go unopposed in the general election. It is generally more than 50%! That’s over 50% of the problem, never having to do anything more than show up to get re-elected. Even independents have a serious challenge getting on the ballot.

Our state and our nation did not get this way because folks other than Democrats or Republicans got elected. It is clear where the problem lies, yet we continue to vote for the two parties while they claim that the only thing positive about them is that they are not the other party.

Wow, there’s a program you can really get behind.

Kyle Wingfield

June 25th, 2010
11:56 am

Keep pretending on that, too, CJ. Democrats just pick different businesses as winners.

Bubba

June 25th, 2010
11:59 am

Who’s loonier: Hank Johnson or Cynthia McKinney? Vernon Jones would look like Thomas Jefferson next to those two.

CJ

June 25th, 2010
11:59 am

I’m not “pretending” anything Kyle.

And if your thinking of renewable energy vs. fossil fuels (that’s a good example), then yes—but in the interest of their constituents, not in the interest of the businesses themselves (Dems tend to believe that the climatologists of the world didn’t get together at a secret conference and agree to execute a hoax on the rest of the world).

Kyle Wingfield

June 25th, 2010
12:01 pm

Jefferson: Properly quoted, it’s the “love of money…”

David S: As it happens, I had breakfast with a Libertarian candidate for state-wide office this morning and talked about ballot access. (Since we were just chatting, I won’t mention his name here.) The signature-on-a-petition method is archaic at best. A somewhat higher qualifying fee would be far preferable. Galloway had a great column about this on Political Insider this week (http://bit.ly/9MtM0o), so I’ll leave it at this — for now.

Kyle Wingfield

June 25th, 2010
12:02 pm

I wasn’t only talking about cap and trade, CJ, but since you brought it up…if you think the Democrats’ C&T proposal is really about renewables vs. fossil fuels then yes, you are pretending.

ChrisK

June 25th, 2010
12:10 pm

Thanks Kyle, now I know where all those Dekalb idiots are. Right here on AJC.com posting comments. And thanks CJ, you’re a banner child for your city. ‘Keep on votin for Hank’, he reflects on you so well.

Van Jones

June 25th, 2010
12:25 pm

Fix-It, Dekalb county did. ‘Nuff said.
CJ, can I have some of what you’re smoking?

TBradshaw

June 25th, 2010
12:33 pm

Clearly Mr. Johnson got his “Use On The Floor” and “What This Legislation Accomplishes” talking points notes mixed up. If you pay attention they’ll tell you what they’re up to.

The real issue with the legislation is the different standards of transparency that are set for preferred Democratic constituencies…primarily unions. Transparency of campaign contributions should be full and universal. The Dems’ blatant favoring of a huge source of their cash should not be tolerated. Particularly when they make it clear just what they’re doing. Thanks, Hank.

Democrat voters = retardation

June 25th, 2010
12:33 pm

“Money, the root of all evil…”

Money is the root of all KINDS of evil.

FTY, ma’am.

Democrat voters = retardation

June 25th, 2010
12:34 pm

“I’m less concerned about where they get their money from than how they legislate. The GOP legislates on behalf of big business.”

Hypocrite much?

Get Real

June 25th, 2010
12:40 pm

Hank Johnson keeps forgetting to take his medication before he opens his mouth! Says a lot about the idiots that elected him!

Swami Dave

June 25th, 2010
12:42 pm

CJ

The only way that voter identification laws would “hurt” Democrats is if Democrats are depending on illegal / fraudlent voters for a large enough block of their political support. For legal / legitimate voters, providing evidence of your legal qualifications is a small effort.

Americans are required to prove identification for a myriad of other daily activities (from driving cars -to- cashing a check -to- obtaining medical care -to- applying for a job -to- registering for government benefits). The supposition that requiring evidence of identity to vote in elections is somehow a “burden” for a large bloc of Democratic voters is quite frankly insulting to those whom your nonsensical assertion claims to defend.

However, IF your point had any legitimate basis, then the only way that it would rise to something as blatantly political gamesmanship would have been for some Republican officeholder offering damage to Democrats as the REASON for passing voter identification laws.

I will patiently await until you can provide a similar YouTube link.

-SD

barneyb

June 25th, 2010
12:48 pm

DeKalb gets what they deserve…Vernon, Hank, and the rest

Fix-It

June 25th, 2010
12:59 pm

Well said Swami

Bill Campell

June 25th, 2010
1:01 pm

Dekalb County politics are the laughing stock of the State!

booger

June 25th, 2010
1:29 pm

If dems. were really serious about curbing outside influence in elections, unions would not be exempted from the reform. This is clearly a bill aimed at limiting donations to repubs. and to CJ, so far no one has found a single person in Georgia who wanted to vote and was turned down because of voter I.D.

And lets not forget, dems. already benefit from the legal gerrymandering designed to assure minorities, thus dems., votes.

C from Marietta

June 25th, 2010
1:35 pm

To Bill Campell :

It is no laughing matter. They are ruining a once great county.

Jason T

June 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

Is DeKalb capable of capsizing? Maybe there’s an underground lake, river, or something.
The same District that gave us the other intellectual scholar, Cynthia McKinney, has given us this moonbat.

Attila

June 25th, 2010
1:41 pm

The ignorance of Democrat politicians never ceases to amaze me. Nothing short of mind boggling.

Kena

June 25th, 2010
1:49 pm

It’s time to stop wasting the 4th district’s time and elect someone who will bring jobs to this district. In attending a lot of the forums, Vernon Jones is the only candidate that has clear ideas on how to do that. The last forum I attended by the Dekalb League of Women Voters, he made a powerful statement, like him or hate him, his record shows he can get the job done. By the way, Hank continues to be a no show.

Jason T

June 25th, 2010
1:50 pm

Attila

June 25th, 2010
1:41 pm
The ignorance of Democrat politicians never ceases to amaze me. Nothing short of mind boggling.

Well said, Attila…but what about the ones that vote them into office?

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 25th, 2010
1:57 pm

It’s all lip service. Neither party in Congress wants to see the system changed. It’s serving the incumbents very well.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 25th, 2010
2:03 pm

barneyb, I didn’t do anything to deserve McKinney and this dunce. I only get one vote. I’m not a member of Acorn.

David S

June 25th, 2010
2:09 pm

Kyle, thanks for the comment on ballot access. Just a last point that I think is critical to the discussion. You say a higher filing fee. Just what exactly does that achieve except exclusion of candidates? Seriously.

I ran for office in California on the Libertarian Party ticket. In California at the time, everyone registered with a specific party or with no party affiliation when they registered to vote. When you ran for office, you had to get a certain percentage of the total number of registered voters for your specific party. For Dems and Reps this meant a lot of signatures, but for Libertarians, Greens and others, it was not that difficult.

As for the filing fee, there was one that was a percentage of the salary of the office. In California, even house and senate jobs paid better than GA since they meet year round (part of their problem – too much legislation). But there was a way to offset the costs of the filing fee with additionally collected signatures. I guess the state felt that additional registered voter support was worthy of ballot access in lieu of the filing fee.

The name of this process was “signatures in lieu of filing fee.” There is a similar route you can take in GA. Here it is referred to as a “pauper’s petition.” See the obvious bias against any candidate who would rather use their hard-raised campaign funds on the campaign instead of giving it to the state???

So I am going to have to heartily object to any suggestion that an increase in filing fees is an answer to ballot access bias. However in this world where nobody will sign anything, signatures are just about as difficult to obtain as money. Seems to me that any bill that restricts access for any candidate is just a measure put in place by fearful government types who want to protect their monopoly position on force.

David S

June 25th, 2010
2:10 pm

Oh, and just to reiterate – Impeach Hank Johnson! and Barry Obama too!

Independent Voter

June 25th, 2010
2:13 pm

Nothing Johnson ever said is worse than apologizing to BP. Wheres the column on that?

Tommy Maddox

June 25th, 2010
2:15 pm

I’m all for folks who throw their hat in the ring and run for office but how is it that the 4th District continues to elect folks that can’t find their hat?

CJ

June 25th, 2010
2:17 pm

Swami Dave “The supposition that requiring evidence of identity to vote in elections is somehow a “burden” for a large bloc of Democratic voters is quite frankly insulting to those whom your nonsensical assertion claims to defend.

The supposition that voters didn’t have to provide evidence of identity to vote before the voter ID law was passed is quite frankly disturbing to those whom your nonsensical assertion claims to defend (I guess that if Swami Dave can speak for what others find insulting, then I can too).

Kyle Wingfield

June 25th, 2010
2:26 pm

David S: I think some sort of hurdle is desirable so that we don’t end up with 100 candidates per office. I’m told (but haven’t double-checked) that in Florida there is no signature requirement but candidates have to pay a qualifying fee equal to 6 percent of the annual salary of the office they’re seeking, and that here it’s 3 percent plus the signatures.

For statehouse and congressional races, for which third parties currently need signatures, I feel confident the Libertarians (and the Greens, et al. for that matter) could come up with that kind of cash fairly easily.

Independent Voter: See here: http://bit.ly/8ZXfbZ

Whacks Eloquent

June 25th, 2010
2:27 pm

Independent Voter, this is an Atlanta newspaper and website, and Johnson is from the metro area. Barton is from Texas…the only idiots Georgians can vote out are their own!

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 25th, 2010
2:28 pm

Up here in the Hills, I’ve been asked to show my ID, when I vote, for at least 20 years. I’m usually asked by a person who is asking about all the various members of my family (They known me). I don’t see the big deal in being asked for ID when you vote.

Old DeKalb Hand

June 25th, 2010
2:37 pm

Kyle, you are distorting the congressman’s comments. He said Republicans oppose limits on corporate campaign spending because more corporate campaign spending will benefit Republicans. Did you make any effort to accurately understand his remarks, or did you merely regurgitate the spin placed on them by right wing bloggers and Andrew Brietbart?