Democracy belongs to those who can afford it

From the Give ‘Em Enough Rope and They’ll Hang Themselves Department, Darren McKinney of the American Tort Reform Association eloquently makes the conservative argument against public financing of elections:

The Jan. 24 letter to the editor from Nick Nyhart and Chellie Pingree (“Full public funding of elections proven to work in states, cities,”), respective presidents of Public Campaign and Common Cause, lament the lack of public financing for all American political campaigns: “A democracy should be about all of us and not just about those who can write huge checks.”

But if Nyhart and Pingree had their way, black helicopter conspiracy theorists off their meds, the dysfunctionally unemployed, irresponsible young men and women who have multiple babies out-of-wedlock, repeat felons and various other burdens to society without means might have as much to say about our nation’s political leadership and direction as folks who soberly get up every morning, lovingly raise their children, productively hold jobs, responsibly pay taxes, and occasionally write checks, huge or otherwise, to the political campaigns of their choosing.

[…] There’s a lot to be said […] for having most of our big political decisions influenced in greater measure by those who have succeeded in life and thus have a better sense of what it’ll take for our nation to succeed in the future.

Well… um… you gotta respect his honesty.

Conservatives like to accuse liberals of being elitist, but as we continue to debate Governor Gregoire’s proposal to publicly finance state Supreme Court races, remember that at least some of the opposition stems from the concern that us average folk simply aren’t as qualified to participate in the democratic process as the wealthy. Uh-huh.


  1. 1


    off topic, but i have to ask……does this story mean that all democrats are sex crazed perverts now too?
    “Democratic Sen. Dan Sutton had admitted sharing a bed with the page last winter but denied groping him”

  2. 4

    proud leftist spews:

    The American Tort Reform Association hates democracy in all its forms. Simply, the ATRA believes that corporations should rightfully dictate public policy. Common citizens do not count from the ATRA’s perspective, hence its attack on the most democratic of American political institutions, the jury. Jurors, of course, occasionally determine that corporate sinners must be held accountable for their sins. I just ran across a quote from John Adams which would make Mr. McKinney’s skin crawl: “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them, we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle, and fed and clothed like swine and hounds.” Well-said, Mr. Adams.

  3. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Don’t ever forget that “Tort Reform” is merely a front for the insurance industry, despite their attempts to use doctors or small manufacturers as their “face”.

    The peddle lies and gross exaggerations, distorting the facts behind cases beyond all recognition, in order to try to convice people that the jury system needs “reform”. What they really want is to make it darn near impossible for injured people to ever collect upon a claim, legitimate or otherwise, while still collecting enormous premiums from the medical and manufacturing community (and blaming those high premiums on “frivolous claims” by injured people represented by attorneys on a contingent fee basis. They argue that if you outlaw the contingent fee, then it will reduce frivolous cases.

    In fact, attorneys taking a case upon a contingent fee have absolutely no incentive to take on a frivolous case. In fact, they would soon be out of business if they did so. It is hard enough to finance a valid case, working for months (or years) with no pay, while expending substantial costs for records, investigators, tests, deposition transcripts, etc., not to mention office rent & staff expenses. Taking a frivolous case would just be taking the road to bankruptcy.

    In truth, there are far more insurance defense attorneys asserting frivolous defenses, which serve merely to delay the case and expend valuable court resources, only to have them make their first serious settlement offer at the last moment.

    What the “Tort Reform” advocates want is to basically make it impossible for victims to pursue a lawsuit.

  4. 6

    rhp6033 spews:

    Apparantly what Darren McKinney pines for is the old days (the late 1700’s) when the vote applied only to white male free men who owned a significant piece of property. I suppose he also thinks our Senators should be selected by our state legislature, as was the proceedure for quite some time.

  5. 7

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    rhp6033@6 He seems to have a great deal in common with that other leading conservative intellectual heavyweight who declared: The Constitutuion is just a damn old piece of paper. . .

  6. 9

    proud leftist spews:

    A moment of silence for an American original. May her soul rest in peace. And may we all stir up a little shit in her memory.

  7. 10

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Yes Roger, sadly, another Slochid Licht. We should strive to carry on her wit and intellect.

  8. 11

    proud leftist spews:

    rhp @ 5
    You get the whole “frivolous lawsuit” crap even better than many lawyers I know. As someone who lives and dies contingently, let me give you a tip of the hat.

  9. 12

    sgmmac spews:

    RightEqualsStupid ,

    Homeland security agents didn’t do anything other than praise Boston, so how do you know what the fuck they did that makes us fucked? Boston police officers arn’t homeland security………

    And what do YOU expect from the commonwealth of Massachusetts, or Boston for that matter?

  10. 13

    ArtFart spews:

    8 “Author and journalist Molly Ivins has died.”

    Indeed…and the world is now a somewhat quieter, lonelier and less amusing place.

    We would all do well to honor her memory by doing what she long advised:


  11. 14

    proud to be an ass spews:

    Goldy is spot on. McKinney trots out front what true conservatives believe, the “masses” know shit, and can’t be trusted. Conservativism is an ideology resting on the facile assumption that “if you’re there, you deserve to be there”, and spirals downward endlessly into self-justifying hypocricy.

    They cry money should equal “free speech”, but the bottom line is an unyeilding insistence on a rigged market. They have no shame. Remember folks, these are the same people who, 400 years ago, executed hundreds of thousands to preserve the divine right of kings.

  12. 15

    proud to be an ass spews:

    Molly’s editorials were such a breath of fresh air on the Times’ editorial page. I suppose the fuckers will inflict more Jonah Goldberg and numbnutzs Krauthammer on us instead, or replace her with nitwitz Malkin.

    God bless, Molly.

  13. 16

    GS spews:

    I don’t want my tax money going to elect judges. So I will of course get to opt out of this cesspool funding scheme, and get a tax refund.

    Where do I sign up for this with the Queen of spending?

    PS Where’s the Property tax relief the Queen promised to offer solutions for immediately after the new session started?

  14. 17

    ManofTruth spews:

    This is in the same vein as the free press belongs to those that have one

    At least he IS honest about what he is up to

    Bless Molly !

  15. 18

    ManofTruth spews:

    I don’t want my tax money going to elect judges

    Who actually cares what people like you want ?

    Pay up or leave

    Get it ?

  16. 19

    janet s spews:

    What about free speech? The Supreme Court has ruled that money is speech. Therefore, using my mandatory taxes to pay for the campaigns of people I don’t support is a violation of my first amendment rights.

    I’m betting unions will run up against this when their case is decided. They want opt out, so members have to jump through massive hoops to get their mandatory dues to not go toward political issues they disagree with.

    The true elitists are the left who want government to decide who gets funding and who doesn’t. Someone has to decide. In socialist countries, it is those who have the control of the state. Make it mandatory to reveal the source of all donations, and then step back. Let the actual people decide, not some faceless bureaucrat.

  17. 20

    Dan Rather spews:

    proud leftist says:

    A moment of silence for an American original. May her soul rest in peace. And may we all stir up a little shit in her memory.

    01/31/2007 at 5:56 pm

    You go Leftist. Nothing like a liberal funeral to get the old political juices flowing. ehehee

  18. 22

    2nd Amendment Democrat spews:

    Sorry to hear about Molly.

    re; GS @ 16—Property tax relief will happen when state income tax is adopted.

  19. 23

    Dan Rather spews:


    The only way to get tax relif is to vote for republicans who are against taxes. There is no other way.

  20. 24

    Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

    Molly Ivins was a hate filled evil bitch. The world is a better place without her.

    Now she can do some great interviews with Hitler and Stalin though…

  21. 27

    Poor Richard spews:

    This “tort reform” propaganda is insidious. It sounds at first blush (Which is about as blush as most people get)like some sort of Progressive Reform that is going to help MD’s by squelching “frivolous” lawsuits. Then they won’tneed to pay for all that malpractice insurance!

    Nobody would be against that, right?

    The insurance industry doesn’t work like that. They willraise the rates anyway.

  22. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    ” …. burdens to society without means might have as much to say about our nation’s political leadership and direction …”

    Guess what, wingnut assholes! That’s exactly what the Founding Fathers intended. They gave each of us — rich or poor, smart or dumb, natural born or naturalized — one vote. Count ‘em, one (1), no more or less!

    So who the fuck ordained you shitheads to decide who is worthy of voting — or not?

  23. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 They ought to arrest the fucking idiots who freaked out over these harmless devices, not the hapless schmuck who ws hired to distribute them. The panic was caused by those idiots, not the artist or advertising.

  24. 30

    Dan Rather spews:

    Punitive damage should not be outlawed. If someon needs punishment than we should have laws set up to throw them in Jail. Also we need a “windfall legal fees tax” for excessive jury awards. This would greatly reduce frivolous lawsuits.

  25. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 Can anyone in the Boston police bureaucracy explain why THEY went berserk — when nobody in any of the other nine cities did?

  26. 33

    Dan Rather spews:

    Now there is a tax the conservatives would support, a “windfall legal fees tax” I love it.

  27. 34

    Dan Rather spews:

    I am also for increasing the minimum wage for Democrat party volunteers to $20.00 an hour. Any of you union liberal hypocrites with me? heehehehe

  28. 35

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 “What the “Tort Reform” advocates want is to basically make it impossible for victims to pursue a lawsuit.”

    Human nature being what it is, if victims can’t get redress in the courts, some undoubtedly will resort to good-old-fashioned revenge.

  29. 36

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The people who want to keep victims from suing tortfeasors just don’t understand how the legal system functions as a safety valve for otherwise uncontrollable emotions.

  30. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Take the speeding Republican in an SUV who squished my mommy (sniffle), for example. Rabbits don’t have standing to sue in the civil courts, so I disemboweled the motherfucker.

  31. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    16 I can see where someone having your experience with judges wouldn’t want to pay for electing them.

  32. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 I personally don’t like “opt out” rules. Businesses should have to “opt in” before selling my name and address to mailing list vendors. When that happens, I’ll support an “opt in” rule for unions. Until then — fuck you!

    Hey Janet Slut — the Bush admin. opposes “opt in” rules for banks and other businesses. They only want “opt in” rules for unions. Can you explain the double standard?

    Conservatives are two-faced hypocrites!

  33. 40

    Poor Richard spews:

    I just don’t know what to say to a blockhead who fights for a “tort reform” that is clearly targeted at people like him.

    It’s like they are setting themselves up as martyrs to money.

  34. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @32 I agree that businessmen who knowingly sell dangerous toys to toddlers shouldn’t pay punitive damages. They should be lynched instead.*

    * Just kidding! Wingnut humor, y’know? Ann Coulter does it, so why can’t I?

  35. 42

    janet s spews:

    Gosh, Roger, why are you in favor of oppressing the working guy? Union dues are required as a condition of employment. Seems to me that if the union is going to extort dues, it should be as frugal and cautious with the money as possible. Otherwise it is just taking advantage. But instead, the unions use the money as a means of gaining power, even as their numbers dwindle.

    You, on the other hand, have a choice of which businesses you want to work with. If one doesn’t live up to your standards, you just move on. Not the same at all as a union dues.

  36. 43

    Richard Pope spews:

    Sanchez Accuses Democrat of Calling Her a ‘Whore,’ Resigns from Hispanic Group

    By: Josephine Hearn
    January 31, 2007 07:29 PM EST

    Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has quit the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, accusing the chairman, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CACA), of telling people she’s a “whore.”

    Baca denied the charge.

    In an interview with The Politico Wednesday, Sanchez, a California Democrat as is Baca, also cited concerns about whether Baca was properly elected Hispanic Caucus chairman in November and about his general attitude toward female lawmakers. The caucus represents 21 Hispanic Democrats in Congress.

    “I’m not going to be a part of the CHC as long as Mr. Baca illegally holds the chair … I told them no. There’s a big rift here,” Sanchez said. “You treat the women like shit. I have no use for him.”

  37. 44

    Richard Pope spews:

    Campaign manager confronts mayor, who is ‘in shock’

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s (D-Deep Caca) re-election campaign manager resigned Wednesday after confronting the mayor about an affair Newsom had with his wife while she worked in the mayor’s office, City Hall sources said.

    Alex Tourk, 39, who served as Newsom’s deputy chief of staff before becoming his campaign manager in September, confronted the mayor after his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, told him of the affair as part of a rehabilitation program she had been undergoing for substance abuse, said the sources, who had direct knowledge of Wednesday’s meeting.

    Reports of the affair come at a particularly sensitive time for Newsom, who is embarking on his campaign for re-election in November. The mayor’s personal life has come under scrutiny in recent weeks. In December, several witnesses at a late Friday night vigil for a mortally wounded police officer at San Francisco General Hospital reported that Newsom appeared to have been drinking when he arrived. A spokesman for the mayor declined to comment on those reports.

    Jack Davis, a political consultant who helped elect Brown and former Mayor Frank Jordan and was looking for someone to challenge Newsom, said, “There is nothing new in that story that I haven’t been aware of for the last six months. Now that it’s public and out there, Gavin ought to resign and seek psychiatric help.”

  38. 46

    Puddybud spews:

    Darn Richard you beat me this time! I skip over the Moonbat! speak and I missed your great post!

  39. 49

    Puddybud spews:

    JSA: I know you can appreciate things because you can read and think:

    Who has called for this? Unprecedented laws over the country’s economic policies and defense department activities; impose greater state control over our oil and gas policies and place punitive taxes on the rich?

    Now read this:,,3-2576804,00.html

    “The National Assembly, which is entirely controlled by supporters of Mr Chávez, met this morning in the open air of the Plaza Bolivar in Caracas to approve the passing of the so-called “enabling law”, which will give the President unprecedented powers over the country’s economic, defence and energy policies for the next 18 months.

    The legislation, which Mr Chávez has described as the “mother law”, is intended to usher in what the Venezuelan leader has called an era of “maximum revolution”, in which he is expected to impose greater state control over the country’s vast oil and gas resources and place punitive taxes on the rich.”

    Do Congressional Moonbat!s follow Cesar Chavez’ lead? And you Moonbat!s call George Bush a dictator? WRONGO! Nancy Pelosi is your dictator!

  40. 51

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    pud @ 49:

    Comparing Pelosi to Chavez is farcical.

    That being said, Chavez is extraordinarily popular because Venezuela’s poor think he’s doing something for them after 500 years of being fucked over by blancos.

    History teaches us over and over that if you neglect the poor to the benefit of the rich, sooner or later, they’ll realize they’re being screwed and will do something about it. Where people like Lenin, Mao, Chavez, or Castro came from is not a mystery at all. Things were so bad that the masses rose up and said “ANYTHING is better than what we have now.”

    No, we don’t have Chavez here, but every year you throw your hands up and say “You’re poor because of lack of initiative and market forces. There’s nothing we can do but ask you to work harder and hope that tomorrow will be better.”, you are increasing the chances that you will have a real Chavez on your hands to deal with.

  41. 52

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    re 48:

    I generally don’t comment on how Canada does things. I see a lot of it, but most Americans resent getting an earful on how messed up their country is. Other countries are the same, and I just won’t play that game. I like hockey, I like single-payer health care, I like poutine. I’ll keep smiling until I’m done here.

    The article you dug up is a tongue-in-cheek part of a much larger discussion, primarily in Quebec, as to how much the local (French/Quebecois) culture should accommodate new immigrants from elsewhere, particularly the Islamic world. You should read up on it. I find the irony of the whole debate to be painful, but that’s all I have to say about that.

  42. 53

    Colonel Tucker "Biff" O'hanrahanrahan spews:

    re 47: If they replaced the actors on , “My name is Earl”,with Dave Chappelle and Cedrick the Entertainer you’d be screaming about racism and comparing the show to “Amos ‘n’ Andy”.

    Racism comes in different packages and I think you know very well that Biden is not some 1960’s Rat Pack kinda guy who views Obama as some kind of “well spoken” Sammy D. Jr.

    That having been said, both Biden and Obama voted for that awful bankruptcy bill. Politically, they’re peas in a pod — except Obama is cleaner, better looking, and speaks better.

  43. 54

    uptown spews:

    Inheriting money from your parents is such hard work and requires so much skill.

    I guess this why George W. was so popular among the “conservative” set.

  44. 55


    Sanchez IS a whore… now someone gets in trouble for stating the facts?
    and newsom cheating? with a WOMAN? come on guys….he’s G-A-Y…..where have you been?

    and JSA…i find it amusing [to say the least] that liberals are always making excuses for dictators. during the thirties the hollywood liberals entertained the nazis….because they thought they were swell too. liberals always seem to find some romantic attachment to criminals… it bonnie and clyde or chavez and lenin………or kennedy and byrd.

  45. 56

    rhp6033 spews:

    Dan Rather at 24: Punitive damages have never been allowed in Washington State. So, I guess we don’t have any frivolous lawsuits here, so no Tort Reform is necessary, is it?

    Pick one: Either we don’t have a frivolous lawsuit problem, or punitive damages have no causal relationship to frivolous lawsuits.

    Personally, I think punitive damages should be allowed in Washington state. Juries seldom award them, but when they do it is usually because the defendant was caught red-handed, calculating that they would make more in total profits if they didn’t make their products safe and occassionaly paid out settlements to individuals injured or killed by their products.

    That is typical Republican business strategy – tinker with the political and justice system so that they can make the maximum amount in profits for themselves, and then pass the risk along to the victims or to the American society as a whole. Then complain about paying taxes to try to fix all the problems that were created by that strategy.

  46. 57

    jsa on commercial drive spews:


    You’re getting close to my ignore list, but I’ll humor you a few more times in the hopes that something besides reflexive right-wing bilge comes out of your keyboard.

    I am not in Venezuela, I am not Venezuelan, I have never been to the place. I simply don’t give a flying fig who runs it. I think Chavez is an idiot. As far as idiots go, he’s more benign than many, but that’s not saying very much.

    I will say this real slow, so it makes sense to you. If a group of people, especially a smaller group, keeps working over another group, and keeps working them over, and does this over and over again, sooner or later, the group of people that have been worked over get tired of being fucked with and they fuck back. When they discover there are a lot more of them than there are of their tormentors, it frequently gets nasty as the mob turns on the few. This is history in a nutshell. It is how change happens, whether that change swings left, right, or otherwise. People like Chavez show up when the reigning gang of idiots keep ignoring large problems that are building. Chavez’s solutions are not good solutions, but when money is literally spouting out of the ground, and none of it reaches a large group of people, you wind up with people like Chavez who say “we’re going to take all this money, and dump it on the poor to make up for how you’ve been treated before.” Does it actually help the poor other than dumping money? Does it affect the ability for more money to be created so that this can continue? Will money keep falling from the sky if oil is only $35 a barrel? Nobody is asking these questions, which is why having idiots like Chavez at the helm is not healthy.

    Now go run off and read a book or something. If I want to read Ann Coulter, I can damn well go off to her website and read her. I don’t need you to channel her badly and ineloquently.

  47. 58

    Puddybud spews:

    Colonel Tucker: If any Republican even breathed that the libtard MSM Moonbat! patrol would be screaming high heaven. That’s why I posted it. To show just how two-faced the libtard MSM is!n


  48. 59

    Puddybud spews:

    JSA: My comparison between the calls of the Moonbat! party and Chavez holds. These screams for all those things are from your side of the vestibule, not mine. I think it’s pretty telling a social-communist is spouting the same words just like Congressional Moonbat!s.

  49. 60

    Aexia spews:

    That having been said, both Biden and Obama voted for that awful bankruptcy bill. Politically, they’re peas in a pod — except Obama is cleaner, better looking, and speaks better.

    No, he didn’t. This is the sort of misinformation that’s so easily verified as incorrect (much like the “Cantwell voted for it” business from last year) that you almost have to assume that someone’s being malicious in continuing to spread it.

  50. 62

    CandrewB spews:

    “Punitive damage should be outlawed. If someon needs punishment than we should have laws set up to throw them in Jail.”

    Yeah, that’ll happen. When push comes to shove, your Corporate Overlords would much rather write a $10 million check from the shareholder’s money than personally spend a couple years in prison.

  51. 63


    jsa…….”I think Chavez is an idiot. As far as idiots go, he’s more benign than many, but that’s not saying very much.”
    someday i hope you remember that you said that.[you will be in the same group that thought the taliban was swell…..]
    i don’t know how old you are but your grasp of history seems to be shaky at best and colored by partisan thinking. there is no such thing as a “good” the history of mankind i can’t think of even one “benign/good” dictators….can you?
    i hardly sound like ann coulter but if that is your barb for today…so be it. if you choose to ignore me….fine. no skin off my nose.i mean really! could you sound more arrogant if you tried? “You’re getting close to my ignore list, but I’ll humor you a few more times in the hopes that something besides reflexive right-wing bilge comes out of your keyboard”
    sheesh……..does this “i’ll take my toys and go home because i am not making you think the way i do” ever really work for you?
    have you ever had a moment on here where you said “hmm…i hadn’t thought of it that way!?” when presented with an opposing view? i have…and i have voiced it. funny, i don’t remember you being anything but ‘right’ always…….and you do love the foul language and character assasination…
    so, perhaps before dismissing people you should do a little self examination.