[Political Contributions] 20, 97 04:27:22 pm

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
Date: 08/20/97

On Wed, 20 Aug 1997, AxL wrote:
>         How is this  different from that law that does not allow a person
> to donate more than $1000 to a political candidate?  No, this law does not
> prevent the person from _donating_, but it prevents the candidate from

The opinion of the law student I was refering to has nothing to do with
political contributions -- that's another story entirely. =)
The idea, as I understand it from what I heard, is that a person has
the basic right to do what he/she wants with his/her money, and that
includes give it away. A license that prevents the owner from accepting
the money of a bunch of people who want to give it to him may be
considered unreasonably restrictive and contrary to public policy
in the eye's of the law.

Unfortunately, people keep responding to this thread trying to "prove"
that the license is valid, and I would like to end this here and now.
Daniel finally realized what I've been saying all along: I am not
trying to prove the license is valid or invalid, I am merely asserting
that the license is questionable and you ought to see a lawyer to be
sure. I'm not asserting it based on my own personal reasoning but
on the reasonable opinion of a law student. Therefore, please stop trying
to respond to me "proving" the license is valid, because you're not
addressing my point! (Unless you're not responding with an opinion you
just pulled out of your ass but an opinion from some authoritative
source that would, therefore, address my reasons for doubt.)

I am well aware that many people are making the irrelevant distinction
between a license that prevents the players from sending money, and
a license that prevents the admin from accepting it. If you read
what I've written about the opinion I heard, you'll notice that it
does not claim the license is actively trying to keep the players
from donating money, instead it is claiming that following the
license results in the players not being able to give money, and
therefore the license would be unreasonable restrictive and
contrary to the public policy. Once again, please don't ask me to
"prove" it one way or the other, because I can't do anything more
than express the opinion I heard and then assert my belief that
it raises enough doubt to justify seeing a lawyer for yourself
if you want to know for sure.

As for limits on political contributions, I'll quote what I said to
someone in private e-mail:

        [...] campaigns are a special situation. That's why
    you hear all the fuss about it. It's one of those cases
    where people's basic rights (the right to give money)
    are superceded [sp?] by a more important cause (keeping
    the government of this country honest). Notice, I can
    donatate as much money as I want to a large coorporation,
    a non-profit organization, or even just another individual.
    The special case is donating money to people who run the
    country, and the reasoning is: what's the difference between
    a donation and a bribe? There certainly is a difference,
    of course. However, it's too hard to tell when it comes
    to gifts made to such important leaders. Consequently,
    limits are put on the donations so some of people's right
    to contribute to the leader they believe in is still intact,
    but at the same time "bribes" are curtailed.

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