Emcee Campaign Finance Reform – Money Is Speech LyricsFollow
"I made my mistakes... but in all my years of public
Life, I have never profited, never profited
I earned every cent..."
"Money is speech"
"The more speech the better"
"I don't like all the influence of money in politics"
When people think of Watergate they think of a break-in
But they don't mention the money that Nixon was takin
From wealthy donors to help him get re-elected
Nixon paid them back in favors just like they expected
To battle corruption Congress passed a new law
Capping contributions to a candidates haul
The source of the donations had to be disclosed too
And the F.E.C. was formed to enforce the new rules
Some who felt the law went against the Constitution
Saying limits on money limited free speech too
So the courts kept a limit on how much you can donate
But said spending was umlimited by an outside group or candidate
The more spending limits to promote a cause
Or to point out a rival campaign's flaws
Candidates once snuck with brown paper bags
They now raised money publicly or to PACs
"We should also curb the roll of big money in elections
By capping the cost of campaigns"
Now in the 80s and 90s there was a new gimmick
"Soft Money" that's disclosed but had no limits
It's supposed to cover each party's expenses
But guys like Clinton used it to help their election chances
There was just one problem: Clinton's party was broke
So he asked for more money every time he spoke
And in return for 100 million cash
He let donors use the Lincoln bedroom to crash in
Then the "scandal and reform" cycle happened again
And legislation was proposed by Feingold and Mccain
It capped donations to parties ?
And banned corporate/union issue ads right before elections
But with each new reform comes new loopholes
Tax exempt 527s arose
Because they weren't explicit about whom they supported
Many still raised money without limits to thwart them
"I don't think american elections should be bankrolled
By America's most powerful interests..."
But the most outside money was yet to be spent
Some argued spending limits broke the 1st Amendment
Corporations and unions are entitled to free speech
They took it to court, the Supreme Court agreed!
Super PACs can raise as much money as they want
They can also use union and corporate funds
The only rule is: they cannot coordinate
With a specific party or a specific candidate
But reform opponents weren't quite done yet
They found new uses for 501-c-4 non-profits
Which are a lot like super PACs with more mystery
They haven't had to disclose donors ever in history
Whether Republican or Democrat, you might believe
That spending limits jeopardize the freedom of speech
But with each new cycle of deregulation
More money's being injected into our elections
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