Friday, June 25, 2010


LOCATION: Benjamin Hooks Library - 3030 Poplar Ave - Memphis

Facts and Implications of the recent Supreme Court Decision allowing
unlimited Corporate Contributions to Campaign Finance.


Dr. Heather Larsen-Price is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Memphis where she teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in American politics and research methods.  Her broad research interests include American political institutions, public policy processes, as well as decision making and information processing.  She specializes in presidency studies.  Her research has been published in American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly.

Steve Mulroy is a tenured professor at the University of Memphis School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law, criminal law, constitutional criminal procedure, and civil rights.  He has published scholarly articles in the areas of voting rights and election law.  He also serves as a Shelby County Commissioner, first elected in 2006, and has worked on election reform issues both locally and nationally as an advocate and litigator.  Before coming to Memphis, he did voting rights litigation for the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C.  Both his blood type and his chirpy personal motto are "B positive."

        There will be time for questions.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

The Public Issues Forum is a Memphis voluntary association, which sponsors programs to inform and educate the public on current issues and seeks to reinforce the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States.

Public Issues Forum
P.O. Box 241011
Memphis TN 38124-1011. -


callmeishmael said...

So how will public financing fix this issue? Will it force the free press to stop pursuing money and cheap stories at the expense of public discourse? Will federally- financed elections somehow enable the Silent Majority to start paying attention to politics and public concerns with sufficient lead time to campaigns, elections and candidates so as to make informed decisions? Just what is, in that sense, "sufficient lead time?" Or will the Great Omniscient Benevolent Frederal Government force the Silent Majority to pay attention for either their own good? Perhaps make them pay attention through the sheer exertion of power? Makes me want to rant about the inefficacy of do-gooderism, but I've too much else to do.

Steve Steffens said...

So what's YOUR solution? You ramble on and on about government, but you have YET to provide a solution.

The situation as it is is untenable, and yet you provide NO solutions.

Let's hear it, toots, give it a shot, how do we make this better?

callmeishmael said...

I've advocated on several occasions for the free market, which you dismiss ("toots" is little more than silliness rather than substantive argument since you believe none is ncessary)as either "insane" or uninformed or other, more provocative, labels. We have had, as you know, public financing of Presidential campaigns since 1976. In the last three cycles, the "winner" (2000 is, well, you know) has ignored both the funds and the limits that accompany them. You now wish to spend more billions (from what source? More deficit spending?) on Congressional campaigns somehow believing that those funds will magically level the playing field and enable voters to access "progressive" candidates, come to their senses and usher in an age of presumed "justice" as defined by you and your fellows. How exactly will spending more billions within a system that anyone with enough money can avoid somehow make "democracy" more democratic? How will public financing eliminate the ambiguous reality of anyone seeking public office? How will it eliminate the seeking of power for personal ego or, worse, for its own sake?
You once again assume that anything originating from the federal government will be automatically benevolent and devoid of the very realities of greed, narcissicism and avarice that you so loudly decry within the market. By way of contrast, the market assumes that people are avaricious, greedy, power mad and narcissistic. As such, it creates competition to lessen the possibility (no guarantees of utopia here) that somneone or a few someones will accumulate all power in their hands and use it accordingly. Given, as you will be tempted to say, that such power has become accumulated through deregulation and insidious conservative machinations, I would be equally as tempted to remind you of what occurs in left wing regimes that accumulate the same--and actually more--forms of power that you oppose. Given the choice between a market-based system that at its best allows for the free expression of ideas within the context of free markets or the unaccountable, unremoveable centralization of governmental, police, economic and social power within the hands of ruthless, amoral and monstrous power mad SOB's, I'll take the market any day and any time. There it is goob, whatcha got to say?

Steve Steffens said...

Goob? That's kinda funny in an endearing sort of way.

First, the market not only assumes that sort of behavior, it ENCOURAGES AND REWARDS that behavior, which is why in order to maintain capitalism and prevent it from eating itself (and all who practice it) alive.

This is why we need to break up the banks, and break up companies with antitrust procedures. if it's too big to fail, it's too big to exist.

The Goob.

Steve Steffens said...

"which is why in order to maintain capitalism and prevent it from eating itself (and all who practice it) alive" did not finish that thought.

It needs to be highly regulated. Create an equal playing field, You can create a market that allows for innovation and creative destruction without grinding everything to a halt.

It also may require that we look inward as a nation, there's no reason we have to control the markets of other countries, or allow them to control ours.

The Goob.

callmeishmael said...

Regulated by whom? How can people who work for the central government be separated from the same type of self-interest that you suggest, imply, state and assert leads to the market "eating itself?" You once more and always assume that the second someone leaves private enterprise for government work, they will stop being self-serving, capricious and willing to take care of those who tend to them. Government on four legs: good; capitalism on two: bad. Remember how ANIMAL FARM ends? That's the point.