Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, June 08, 2012

Sandomir: Nader Criticizes Ads on Yankees Radio Broadcasts

When’s the first Center for Audio Safety advocacy group meeting? Count me in!

Ralph Nader, famous for his consumer crusades and presidential campaigns, has found a new target for his advocacy: ads read on WCBS-AM during Yankee games by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

In a letter Friday to team executives Randy Levine and Brian Cashman, Nader listed 22 in-game ads that ran during the June 1 Yankees-Tigers game; he said they served to “disrupt the flow and excitement of the game broadcast and undermine your responsibilities as a guardian of the national pastime.”

...“Have you no boundaries or sense of restraint?” Nader wrote, in his position as the founder of the sports advocacy group League of Fans. “Have you no mercy on your play-calling broadcasters?”

Nader recalled growing up in Connecticut listening to Mel Allen call Yankee games “when the commercials were reserved for the commercial breaks—between half-innings.” Now, he said, the between-the-batter and between-the-pitch ads “have become a significant part of the broadcast.”

He listed the sponsor and the copy for each ad read by Sterling and Waldman, including: “Tonight’s umpire alignment sponsored by Levy, Phillips and Konigsberg, a leader in asbestos litigation. If you or a loved one suffers from lung cancer or mesothelioma, call 1-800-MESOLAW or visit lpk.com.”

Repoz Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:14 PM | 97 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, media, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. depletion Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4151958)
I can't handle very much Ralph Nader, but ...
“Tonight’s umpire alignment sponsored by Levy, Phillips and Konigsberg, a leader in asbestos litigation. If you or a loved one suffers from lung cancer or mesothelioma, call 1-800-MESOLAW or visit lpk.com.”

..this is pretty bad.
Hey Ralph, why don't you run for president again? What could possibly go wrong?
   2. Craig Calcaterra Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4151960)
"Nader recalled growing up in Connecticut listening to Mel Allen call Yankee games “when the commercials were reserved for the commercial breaks—between half-innings.”


Dude must have fallen asleep every time Mel Allen called a "Ballantine Blast" or a "Getty Goner." Such a shame.

/Nostalgia sucks
   3. AndrewJ Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4151966)
You did more than enough in 2000 Florida, Ralphie baby.
   4. Dan Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4151974)
Finally a reason to actually like Ralph Nader.
   5. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 08, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4151976)
Fun fact: Ralph Nader did not cause Al Gore to lose his home state.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4151983)
Nader Criticizes Ads on Yankees Radio Broadcasts
I think the ads are better than the broadcasts, myself.
   7. DA Baracus Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4151985)
Have you no mercy on your play-calling broadcasters?


Sterling and Waldman don't deserve any mercy.
   8. TerpNats Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4151986)
I'd like this better if Nader, who apparently is a Yankees fan, blasted Sterling and Waldman purely on aesthetic grounds.
   9. Morty Causa Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4151991)
and they would burst into flames like bowls on cereal on The Simpsons.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4151993)
"This car tends to roll over and kill you" seems like a more compelling subject for consumer advocacy than "hearing these ads is annoying."
   11. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 08, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4152004)
How dare Nader run for president! How dare people vote their conscience! We need to ban these third parties.
   12. Buzzards Bay Posted: June 08, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4152055)
He's right
but it really is an old saw
now
   13. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4152086)
I'd like this better if Nader, who apparently is a Yankees fan, blasted Sterling and Waldman purely on aesthetic grounds.

I am entertained merely by the idea of Nader as a Yankees fan.

“Tonight’s umpire alignment sponsored by Levy, Phillips and Konigsberg, a leader in asbestos litigation. If you or a loved one suffers from lung cancer or mesothelioma, call 1-800-MESOLAW or visit lpk.com.”

If this is a real thing, I am finding that very entertaining as well.

They certainly did ads on old-time radio broadcasts, but it seems like there were fewer, and the announcers were better at weaving in and out of them smoothly: "Well it's a close game as we end the eighth inning, and when you want a good close American shave, you should reach for a Zipzap Razor, the only razor with 'zipzap,' the throw goes down to second and we're about ready to start the visitors' Ninth," etc.

Anyway, Bill Hicks was right.
   14. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 08, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4152103)
Frick man, Remy advertised the open house on Jenny Dell's place in Connecticut tonight.
   15. winnipegwhip Posted: June 08, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4152137)
As a Yankee fan, I would vote for more pre-recorded advertisements if it meant less Waldmyn and Sterling talking.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4152166)
"Nader recalled growing up in Connecticut listening to Mel Allen call Yankee games “when the commercials were reserved for the commercial breaks—between half-innings.”


Dude must have fallen asleep every time Mel Allen called a "Ballantine Blast" or a "Getty Goner." Such a shame.

Or a "White Owl Wallop".

Not to mention that if Nader had ever caught himself listening to something as trivial as a baseball game, he would have immediately sentenced himself to 30 days of riding shotgun in a Corvair.
   17. Morty Causa Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4152176)
Nader strikes me as someone who has no place for small take, and although I greatly admire him, and appreciate all he has done, I'd bet that if he were confronted a subject outside his area of expertise, he'd still be very serious and absurdly sure of his views--like Einstein on God.
   18. bobm Posted: June 08, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4152186)
Some of these ads are pretty awkward and strained.

FTFA:
A second ad Nader cited was: “Safely at second is Jones. And your family can be safe and secure with financial protection from New York Life Insurance Company.” And, a third: “And the pitch is called a strike as he threaded the outside corner. And that is painting the corner. And painting the corner is sponsored by Certa Pro Painters because painting is personal.”


For a so-called "classy" organization that, for example, did have enough integrity not to sell off stadium naming rights, this kind of advertising is just petty and low class. But, what can you expect from a team that blares the "P.C. Richard" appliance whistle at inescapable decibels over the Stadium P.A. after every strikeout by a visiting batter?
   19. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 08, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4152193)
But they have to do this. Stubhub is stealing all their money!
   20. zachtoma Posted: June 09, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4152221)
Fun fact: Ralph Nader did not cause Al Gore to lose his home state.


Related fun fact: It was never Ralph Nader's responsibility to ensure that a Democrat was elected in 2000 in the first place.
   21. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 09, 2012 at 05:17 AM (#4152235)
The baseball is only there to dress up the ads folks. They could give a #### if the particulars of the game are conveyed, make sure you read the copy.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4152243)
Fun fact: Ralph Nader did not cause Al Gore to lose his home state.


Related fun fact: It was never Ralph Nader's responsibility to ensure that a Democrat was elected in 2000 in the first place.

Related not so fun fact: If Ralph Nader had croaked in 1999, George W. Bush would be known as just another former Governor of Texas, and we never would have been blessed with Citizens United. I don't know whether Nader is a complete fool or an insufferable egomaniac, but in reality it doesn't really matter, since either way George W. Bush is his most lasting legacy.
   23. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4152248)
I don't know whether Al Gore is a complete fool or an insufferable egomaniac, but in reality it doesn't really matter, since either way George W. Bush is his most lasting legacy.


Much more accurate.
   24. TerpNats Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4152252)
And let's not forget the "Members Only" scoreboard. Yankees broadcasts featured this kind of stuff even when the team had good announcers.

Regarding Bush vs. Gore, and Nader: If the Florida Democratic party in 2000 had been more aggressive that day in getting out the vote among the black community -- a group the white, conservative party establishment generally kept at arm's length -- Gore wins Florida by several thousand votes (at least) and none of this would have happened.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4152254)
Related not so fun fact: If Ralph Nader had croaked in 1999, George W. Bush would be known as just another former Governor of Texas, and we never would have been blessed with Citizens United. I don't know whether Nader is a complete fool or an insufferable egomaniac, but in reality it doesn't really matter, since either way George W. Bush is his most lasting legacy.

I don't know whether Al Gore is a complete fool or an insufferable egomaniac, but in reality it doesn't really matter, since either way George W. Bush is his most lasting legacy.

Much more accurate.


Regarding Bush vs. Gore, and Nader: If the Florida Democratic party in 2000 had been more aggressive that day in getting out the vote among the black community -- a group the white, conservative party establishment generally kept at arm's length -- Gore wins Florida by several thousand votes (at least) and none of this would have happened.


Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign on many levels (keeping Clinton at arm's length; being a terrible public speaker), and the Dems could've gotten out the vote better in Florida and Ohio. Neither of those counterpoints negates the fact that Nader's colossal ego gave us George W. Bush.


   26. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4152257)
Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign


This. End of story.
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4152259)
Related fun fact: Samuel Tilden carried Louisiana in 1876.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4152260)
Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign


... and still won the popular vote.
   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4152264)
... and still won the popular vote.

Which along with $1.70 will get him a ride on a Nashville bus. Unfortunately moral victories don't count.
   30. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4152266)
Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign

... and still won the popular vote.


Actually, nobody can "win" the popular vote in a presidential election, since getting more popular votes doesn't, in itself, mean anything (I'm looking at you, Mr. Tilden). The idea is to get more Electoral College votes, which Bush did.

I remember in early 2001 when a lefty acquaintance of mine fumed that Bush shouldn't be allowed to take office, since "most of the country voted against him". I pointed out "most of the country" voted against Gore, too. She glared at me for a moment then stalked off. Priceless.

we never would have been blessed with Citizens United.

Geez, I've seen those words so many times in the last week I should really start a drinking game. Per wiki:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions.


Wait...doesn't union money usually go to Democrats? Yes, but all that evil dirty corporate money goes to Republicans, so it's not fair!
   31. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4152268)
doesn't union money saually go to Democrats? Yes, but all that evil dirty corporate money goes to Republicans, so it's not fair!


I believe the argument is that it's not fair because there's a lot more evil dirty corporate money than evil dirty union money. Not to mention evil dirty nazi billionaire money. Of course, the real argument shouldn't be about whether anything is fair, but about whether the first amendment protects the spending of money in the first place. Union leaders and corporate CEOs were already free to ring as many doorbells and write as many letters to the editor as they wanted to.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4152270)
we never would have been blessed with Citizens United.

Geez, I've seen those words so many times in the last week I should really start a drinking game. Per wiki:


Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions.


Wait...doesn't union money usually go to Democrats? Yes, but all that evil dirty corporate money goes to Republicans, so it's not fair!

So I guess your point is that Citizens United is "fair". Fine, but my only point was that it was the result of George W. Bush's replacement of O'Connor with Alito, and that Gore would've been far more likely to replace her with a justice who would've cast the key vote the other way.
   33. Morty Causa Posted: June 09, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4152281)
Nader claimed he was running because there was no difference between the parties and the candidates. I wonder if he still feels that way, given those godawful eight years of George W. Bush.

I think the popular has a bearing on whether Gore ran a good campaign or not. There's a lot of second-guessing, of course, but the bottom line is that despite a third party candidate that siphoning off of his constituents, he still beat Bush in the popular vote by 550,000 votes. Those vote just happened not to be spread quite as they could have been. Sometimes, very rarely, it happens. Kind of like the 1960 World Series. No reason to blame a team that outscores its opponent 2 to 1, then it still takes two miracles in the ninth inning to insure defeat. Gore didn't run a perfect campaign--no one does, but he was clearly the preferable candidate--at least he would be if people meant anything in this country.
   34. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4152287)
Does anyone know why there hasn't been a (recent) significant effort to remove the Electoral College? Putting aside the "winner takes all" electoral votes if a candidate wins the state strategy (I know Nebraska and another state is different) its fundamental problem is that a vote in Montana, Alaska and other small population states is overrepresented.
   35. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4152289)
For a so-called "classy" organization that, for example, did have enough integrity not to sell off stadium naming rights, this kind of advertising is just petty and low class. But, what can you expect from a team that blares the "P.C. Richard" appliance whistle at inescapable decibels over the Stadium P.A. after every strikeout by a visiting batter?


Well when you have over $100 million in fairly-earned revenue siphoned off the top each and every year you probably look to add new streams of revenue when you can. Nothing obnoxious or classless like selling the naming rights to your stadium or advertising comic books on the bases, but the tentacles of confiscatory Budshovism force the New York Yankees, America's most beloved and successful sports franchise, to find new streams of income wherever they reasonably can. As much as Bolshevik Bud and his cronies want the Yankees to serve as the sow with 30 teats, Young Masters Steinbrenner are actually trying to run a business.
   36. Morty Causa Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4152290)
Because nothing gets done in this country unless you outscore your opponent two to one, then you still need two miracles in the ninth, to get anything important and significant done.
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4152293)
Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign on many levels


Even the librul media couldn't bail him out after his claiming to have invented the internet, discovered Love Canal, and written "Love Story", but what do you expect from a guy who grew up in a fancy hotel and had to hire a woman to teach him how to be a man? Obviously he just wasn't the sort of regular guy who you'd want to have a beer with, which as we all know is one of the most important and oft-discussed character traits in political campaigns.
   38. Zoppity Zoop Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4152294)
Nader claimed he was running because there was no difference between the parties and the candidates. I wonder if he still feels that way, given those godawful eight years of George W. Bush.


You apparently don't read nader.org. Nader's written extensively on Obama's tendency to not only dial back the civil rights violations of the Bush administration but to actually build upon them.

Even Darth Cheney never had the imagination to plan assassinations and having the justice department say that the "due process" was in the form of Dubya and Darth's "decision-making." Or reclassify civilians as terrorists if they happened to get killed in the drone attack on the target.
   39. Morty Causa Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4152300)
Just think: the last time any radical change to our system of governing (A Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act with a plethora of peripheral supporting programs) took place was under LBJ. You needed the positive feed back from the assassination of a popular president making an adroit in-game manager president, and momentarily extremely popular, which he immediately capitalized on. Then you still needed overwhelming support of two houses of Congress and a very sympathetic Supreme Court (to confirm an application of the constitution to civil rights legislation that applied to the private sector--we're faced with something similar in the Court right now; how you think this Court will decide?). How often is all that serendipity likely to come together? Just too much is needed for this country to respond on a macro scale. So, instead, since then it's easier to just deficit spend like crazy and spend our wheels pointlessly.
   40. BDC Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4152302)
Does anyone know why there hasn't been a (recent) significant effort to remove the Electoral College?

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is quite serious, though who knows how practical its effects will ever be. It doesn't do away with the EC (which would take a Constitutional amendment, of course), but it tries to express the popular will better via the EC.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4152308)
You apparently don't read nader.org. Nader's written extensively on Obama's tendency to not only dial back the civil rights violations of the Bush administration but to actually build upon them.

Even Darth Cheney never had the imagination to plan assassinations and having the justice department say that the "due process" was in the form of Dubya and Darth's "decision-making." Or reclassify civilians as terrorists if they happened to get killed in the drone attack on the target.


Talk about selective targeting, as if that's the only issue in the world. Just to take one other civil rights example, look at the efforts of the Obama Justice Department to block those GOP-controlled state efforts to limit voter registration, and imagine what a Republican Attorney General would be doing to aid those states instead. And when Nader starts complaining about Citizens United, I'd like to take about 3000 copies of that decision and feed them to Nader for dinner for about 8 years.
   42. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4152309)
Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign on many levels

Does it never occur to anyone who supported a losing candidate that, gee, maybe the winner was a better candidate?

No. It's always either:

1) Voters are idiots.
2) The other guys cheated.
3) They outspent us, with dirty money, no less.
4) We couldn't get our "message" out.
5) Did we mention voters are idiots?

I actually don't like the idea of corporations/unions spending gazillions of dollars and potentially influencing elections...but I do like the First Amendment. It's the price we pay: people we don't like have freedom of speech, too.

Look, no one complains about the Yankees more than I do, but you can't blame them for knowing how to work the system. They're a famously successful franchise in America's biggest city with ancillaries (YES, marketing, etc.) that produce enough coin to buy the best players. That's the free market. That's life.
   43. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4152324)
Does it never occur to anyone who supported a losing candidate that, gee, maybe the winner was a better candidate?


Well sure, but we're talking about Dubya Bush here. You know, they cowboy who can't ride a horse.
   44. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4152331)
Yeah, Gore ran a terrible campaign on many levels

Does it never occur to anyone who supported a losing candidate that, gee, maybe the winner was a better candidate?


No question that Bush ran a better and more focused campaign than Gore did.

No. It's always either:

1) Voters are idiots.
2) The other guys cheated.
3) They outspent us, with dirty money, no less.
4) We couldn't get our "message" out.
5) Did we mention voters are idiots?

I actually don't like the idea of corporations/unions spending gazillions of dollars and potentially influencing elections...but I do like the First Amendment. It's the price we pay: people we don't like have freedom of speech, too.


All well taken points. I'm not in love with the idea of megabucks from any sources (including unions and Hollywood players) having disproportionate influence on fundraising, but I'd be a lot more sanguine about it if all contributions from any source over a minimal amount ($2000 to $5000) had to be fully disclosed in an easily searchable public place, with no dodging and ducking behind "non-profit" or "charitable" dummy fronts.

Personally I'd like to see four face-to-face 90 minute debates, with two of them having no moderator and NO STUDIO AUDIENCE to distract home viewers. I'd also like to see all broadcast networks and all cable news stations be required to provide at least 30 minutes a day of free advertising to each of the two major candidates between Labor Day and election eve. They can afford it, and they benefit tremendously from the laws that enable them to operate.

Combine that with full disclosure for large contributions, and much of the negative effects of Big Money would be modified. It wouldn't be a perfect setup, but it'd be better than what we have now.

Look, no one complains about the Yankees more than I do, but you can't blame them for knowing how to work the system. They're a famously successful franchise in America's biggest city with ancillaries (YES, marketing, etc.) that produce enough coin to buy the best players. That's the free market. That's life.

I don't blame the Republicans for knowing how to work the system. I blame Democrats and liberals for often losing focus on what's important and what's secondary, as was perfectly illustrated by that Nader vanity campaign.
   45. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4152347)
Personally I'd like to see four face-to-face 90 minute debates, with two of them having no moderator and NO STUDIO AUDIENCE to distract home viewers.

A great idea, which the candidates/parties would never agree to.

I'd also like to see all broadcast networks and all cable news stations be required to provide at least 30 minutes a day of free advertising to each of the two major candidates between Labor Day and election eve. They can afford it, and they benefit tremendously from the laws that enable them to operate.

Except that it's not the job of broadcast networks and cable news stations to do this; their job is to attract eyeballs and make money. Ladling out free airtime does not help them achieve this goal. (And aren't the major candidates already being shoved down our throats 24/7 anyway?)

I don't blame the Republicans for knowing how to work the system. I blame Democrats and liberals for often losing focus on what's important and what's secondary, as was perfectly illustrated by that Nader vanity campaign.

Obama spent $513,557,218 last United States presidential election; he's likely to spend upwards of a billion dollars this time around. To which I say, hooray for him. But please don't pretend only one side is spending the Big Money and thus causing Bad Things to happen.
   46. Johnny Slick Posted: June 09, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4152349)
The biggest issue with full disclosure - and I am by the in 100% agreement with you on the need for them - is that by setting up these "superPACs" and all that had to be done to skirt existing election laws, we've provided organizations with an easy means to launder money. At this point, you don't see, at least first-hand, that Massive Ad Campaign X is funded by the Koch Brothers. All you see is that it's paid for by Americans for a More American America. It requires some extra digging, which unfortunately our so-called liberal media isn't fond of doing and which besides will be attacked as muckraking by the right anyway so the "scandal" would only affect those who already disagreed with the ad campaign. Allowing unfettered, direct access to money by the campaigns only shifts the issues with the ads to issues with the donors.

That being said, I'd still rather do it that way. As it stands, the limits on campaign contributions greatly empower the party system, because it's only through making 10,000 connections giving you $5,000 apiece (or more people giving even less money) that you can fund a campaign. That means relying on your party for networking, and it also means telemarketing on your own time. In fact, said telemarketing, and not just telemarketing but being really good at telemarketing, is a flat-out requirement for membership in a committee.

You allow, for instance, Paul Allen to fund his very own candidate but be forced to disclose this, that funding can be attacked in the election ad nauseum because it's out in the open. If a constituency is okay with someone being in the pocket of a wealthy benefactor - and I suspect people around here would be A-OK with a Microsofty doing this, for instance - then that candidate is no longer beholden to the party power structure and can vote with their conscience on every issue that doesn't directly influence their benefactor. That may sound corrupt but it's actually far *less* corrupt than the current system, which involves calculations like "okay, so I'm getting $50k from several parties to vote against this bill but $55k to vote for it."
   47. Kurt Posted: June 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4152351)
Obama spent $513,557,218 last United States presidential election; he's likely to spend upwards of a billion dollars this time around. To which I say, hooray for him. But please don't pretend only one side is spending the Big Money and thus causing Bad Things to happen.


I don't think that's what he was saying - the Nader campaign had nothing to do with money.
   48. bobm Posted: June 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4152365)
As much as Bolshevik Bud and his cronies want the Yankees to serve as the sow with 30 teats, Young Masters Steinbrenner are actually trying to run a business.


Too bad no one wants to buy tickets to watch 162 Yankee intra-squad games each year.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4152380)
Personally I'd like to see four face-to-face 90 minute debates, with two of them having no moderator and NO STUDIO AUDIENCE to distract home viewers.

A great idea, which the candidates/parties would never agree to.


I said "personally I'd like to see...", not "I expect to see..."

I'd also like to see all broadcast networks and all cable news stations be required to provide at least 30 minutes a day of free advertising to each of the two major candidates between Labor Day and election eve. They can afford it, and they benefit tremendously from the laws that enable them to operate.

Except that it's not the job of broadcast networks and cable news stations to do this; their job is to attract eyeballs and make money. Ladling out free airtime does not help them achieve this goal.


What of it? There are times when there are more important goals than enriching the owners of cable companies.

(And aren't the major candidates already being shoved down our throats 24/7 anyway?)

It's actually more like negative ads are being shoved down our throats. Romney and Obama show up more in their opponents' ads than in their own.

I don't blame the Republicans for knowing how to work the system. I blame Democrats and liberals for often losing focus on what's important and what's secondary, as was perfectly illustrated by that Nader vanity campaign.

Obama spent $513,557,218 last United States presidential election; he's likely to spend upwards of a billion dollars this time around. To which I say, hooray for him. But please don't pretend only one side is spending the Big Money and thus causing Bad Things to happen.


I've never said that this was the case, and if you look at what I just wrote above (in #44), you'll see that I included unions and Hollywood players as being among the big spenders. My biggest complaint about Big Spending is when the Big Spenders hide under dummy "non-profit" rocks.

--------------------------------------------------------

The biggest issue with full disclosure - and I am by the in 100% agreement with you on the need for them - is that by setting up these "superPACs" and all that had to be done to skirt existing election laws, we've provided organizations with an easy means to launder money. At this point, you don't see, at least first-hand, that Massive Ad Campaign X is funded by the Koch Brothers. All you see is that it's paid for by Americans for a More American America.

Which is why you have to lift the lid on those phony front groups and disclose who's actually writing the checks. That's what I mean by "full" disclosure.

It requires some extra digging, which unfortunately our so-called liberal media isn't fond of doing and which besides will be attacked as muckraking by the right anyway so the "scandal" would only affect those who already disagreed with the ad campaign. Allowing unfettered, direct access to money by the campaigns only shifts the issues with the ads to issues with the donors.

I think here it's partly a matter of resources and partly what you say, but the Times has been able to uncover a few of them already, and it doesn't really matter what the opposition says.

That being said, I'd still rather do it that way. As it stands, the limits on campaign contributions greatly empower the party system, because it's only through making 10,000 connections giving you $5,000 apiece (or more people giving even less money) that you can fund a campaign. That means relying on your party for networking, and it also means telemarketing on your own time. In fact, said telemarketing, and not just telemarketing but being really good at telemarketing, is a flat-out requirement for membership in a committee.

You allow, for instance, Paul Allen to fund his very own candidate but be forced to disclose this, that funding can be attacked in the election ad nauseum because it's out in the open. If a constituency is okay with someone being in the pocket of a wealthy benefactor - and I suspect people around here would be A-OK with a Microsofty doing this, for instance - then that candidate is no longer beholden to the party power structure and can vote with their conscience on every issue that doesn't directly influence their benefactor. That may sound corrupt but it's actually far *less* corrupt than the current system, which involves calculations like "okay, so I'm getting $50k from several parties to vote against this bill but $55k to vote for it."


That's pretty much my take on the whole question of campaign financing. Much as I'd like to see Big Money taken out of the picture in an ideal world, since we know that it'll never happen the least we can do is to make sure that it's tagged onto a specific person's name and background, make those names public and widely known, and let people draw their own conclusions.
   50. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4152394)
Except that it's not the job of broadcast networks and cable news stations to do this; their job is to attract eyeballs and make money. Ladling out free airtime does not help them achieve this goal.

What of it? There are times when there are more important goals than enriching the owners of cable companies.


Not if you run (or own stock in) a cable company, there aren't.

Much as I'd like to see Big Money taken out of the picture in an ideal world, since we know that it'll never happen the least we can do is to make sure that it's tagged onto a specific person's name and background, make those names public and widely known, and let people draw their own conclusions.

I'm of two minds about this. Generally, I think full disclosure is the way to go...but don't people have a certain right to privacy concerning their money? I mean, would you want everyone knowing how you spend your paycheck? What if people came to your house and caused a fuss because you supported the "wrong" candidate?

Massive Ad Campaign X is funded by the Koch Brothers. All you see is that it's paid for by Americans for a More American America. It requires some extra digging, which unfortunately our so-called liberal media isn't fond of doing

Considering the media has caused the public to equate "Koch brothers" with "evil incarnate", I'd say they're doing an effective job on this score. (George Soros? Never heard of him.)
   51. Johnny Slick Posted: June 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4152398)
Which is why you have to lift the lid on those phony front groups and disclose who's actually writing the checks. That's what I mean by "full" disclosure.
I don't disagree with this. Still, this is a door that, once opened, cannot be closed easily. I don't think it's an insurmountable obstacle but neither is it easily conquerable.

That's pretty much my take on the whole question of campaign financing. Much as I'd like to see Big Money taken out of the picture in an ideal world, since we know that it'll never happen the least we can do is to make sure that it's tagged onto a specific person's name and background, make those names public and widely known, and let people draw their own conclusions.
The real reason why this is not going to happen, and by the by the real reason why I think John McCain is kind of a scumbag, is that if you do this you leach power away from the parties, and the parties will do everything in their power to prevent that. Every single so-called attempt at campaign finance reform in the last several decades has in fact been an actual attempt at increasing the power of the two parties.

To that end, I'm not nearly as wary of Citizens United as some are. I know that I'd prefer publicly financed campaigns but I don't see a way of doing this that, in the current system, makes the Democrats and Republicans all but government entities at the expense of any other 3rd party. Since public financing is not really an option, that leaves that kind of wide-open, public-knowledge private financing we're talking about.

FWIW one thing the Obama campaign did splendidly well in 2008 was curry small donations from millions of people. Although this kind of networking needed a political party to back it, this is a. not necessarily something I have an issue with at all, and b. not even something that will necessarily require a big backbone of support in even 4 years' time. Amazon.com doesn't need thousands of programmers to maintain their website, and a site that is set up to garner campaign contributions is going to be exponentially less complicated than Amazon.
   52. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4152404)
Does anyone know why there hasn't been a (recent) significant effort to remove the Electoral College?
Since it is part of the Constitution, removing it would require a Constitutional amendment. Amending the Constitution is difficult, especially in a situation like this, because passing such an amendment would cause small states to lose power, and those small states have significant input on whether or not the amendment would pass.

However, there is a recent, significant, and ongoing effort to remove it in practice, called the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact". Several states (and DC) have recently passed laws saying something like "If enough states pass laws like this such that the electoral votes of those states would total to more than half of the electoral college, then this state will assign its electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote". This wouldn't require an amendment, because the Constitution requires very little regarding how the states assign electors. Just essentially that it's the responsibility of the state legislature to assign them, and stuff like they need to be citizens of the state in question.

Currently the states and DC that have passed laws like this account for 132 electoral votes, which is slightly less than half of the number (270) needed for the laws to take effect.

See Wikipedia's article on this for more information.
   53. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4152411)
I blame Democrats and liberals for often losing focus on what's important and what's secondary, as was perfectly illustrated by that Nader vanity campaign.

What a weird thing, to still see people going after Nader for Al Gore blowing it in 2000. It's like blaming Frederick Fleet for sinking the Titanic.
"If he hadn't... then they wouldn't've... and then... and then..." Bah.
alcoholics : alcohol :: Dems : Nader. At least they have something to blame everything on.

if you do this you leach power away from the parties, and the parties will do everything in their power to prevent that.

Also the answer to the quadrennial question, "Why are the debates so ####### terrible, and stupid, and terribly stupid?"
   54. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4152413)
don't people have a certain right to privacy concerning their money?


Well, if money = political speech, maybe they don't.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4152420)
I knew two Florida voters who both voted for Ralph Nader, and each regretted his/her choice in the following days. One was my roommate, and he was embarrassed to even admit that he had voted for Nader. He felt like a ####### idiot.

And this was before Bush was revealed to be such an ambitious fellow, when it was supposed that there wasn't much difference between he and Gore.
   56. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4152424)
he was embarrassed to even admit that he had voted for Nader.
I find this a strange comment. But I'll bite, why was he embarrassed?

   57. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4152425)
Also the answer to the quadrennial question, "Why are the debates so ####### terrible, and stupid, and terribly stupid?"

Because they're not designed to impart information; they exist to make the candidates look good. Everyone's scared of the gotcha! moment, so the two parties design debates to eliminate all potential negative factors. Also, the moderators are taken from the news media; they're not going to ask any really tough questions, for fear that the guy they ask might win and restrict access to them in the future. (And, of course, Obama's never faced a tough question in his life. After all, if you're a newscaster/pundit, do you want to be the guy who makes things tough for the first Black president? No, you don't.)
   58. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4152426)
1) Voters are idiots.
2) The other guys cheated.
3) They outspent us, with dirty money, no less.
4) We couldn't get our "message" out.
5) Did we mention voters are idiots?


All true, in some way--but did these things lead to one candidate getting elected over the other? Who knows.

The U.S government is a megacorp that loves Dem-GOP squabbles, because it obfuscates their system of taking all the money.
   59. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4152429)
As much as Bolshevik Bud and his cronies want the Yankees to serve as the sow with 30 teats, Young Masters Steinbrenner are actually trying to run a business.


Too bad no one wants to buy tickets to watch 162 Yankee intra-squad games each year.


Well that holds true for every teams, does it not?
   60. Johnny Slick Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4152446)
Because they're not designed to impart information; they exist to make the candidates look good. Everyone's scared of the gotcha! moment, so the two parties design debates to eliminate all potential negative factors. Also, the moderators are taken from the news media; they're not going to ask any really tough questions, for fear that the guy they ask might win and restrict access to them in the future. (And, of course, Obama's never faced a tough question in his life. After all, if you're a newscaster/pundit, do you want to be the guy who makes things tough for the first Black president? No, you don't.)
Also, after the Perot campaign in 1992, the folks that handle the debates made it all but impossible for another 3rd party candidate to participate in them.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: June 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4152447)
he was embarrassed to even admit that he had voted for Nader.
I find this a strange comment. But I'll bite, why was he embarrassed?


I think that he probably viewed his vote for Nader as something like a protest or a political statement. And then when it became clear that his vote was actually really important in determining whether Gore or Bush would be the next president, he felt shameful for throwing it away.

The story was "Florida liberals that voted for Nader threw this election away," and I think he felt stung by it.

I knew other Nader voters that were unrepentant, but they were from other states.
   62. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4152465)
Thanks Fish. It's too bad he didn't stand by his convictions.

I had a feeling of immediate regret after voting for Obama the first time. It was a foregone conclusion he would win my state (California) and I voted for Obama strictly so I could tell attractive young Obama supporters that I had voted for him. So, yeah, I felt dirty almost immediately afterwards, for not voting my principles. (Other than the principle of getting laid baby!, which is a pretty good one too.)

EDIT: of course I could have just lied and told people I voted for Obama, but then (ironically) that would be against my principles. Whatever. I vote in local elections which are the most important IMO.








   63. Johnny Slick Posted: June 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4152473)
In fairness, nowadays most races come down to "vote for the one of the two candidates who makes you want to barf less, or else waste your vote on a third party so you can feel like a hipster." I wish it wasn't this way either but it is (and yeah, I voted for Obama as well).
   64. zachtoma Posted: June 09, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4152509)
Nader claimed he was running because there was no difference between the parties and the candidates. I wonder if he still feels that way, given those godawful eight years of George W. Bush.


After 3+ godawful years of Obama, I'm inclined to think that he was right. But regardless, blaming Nader for running against Gore is like blaming George W. Bush for running against him.
   65. bobm Posted: June 09, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4152516)
[59] Well that holds true for every teams, does it not?

Point taken. However, some of the revenue that the Yankees share with the league derives from the Yankees' membership in the league. ISTM MLB would do just fine without the Yankees, but not vice versa. (The NFL has been fine without a team in LA for years.)
   66. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 09, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4152519)
As much as Bolshevik Bud and his cronies want the Yankees to serve as the sow with 30 teats, Young Masters Steinbrenner are actually trying to run a business.
After all, they worked so hard to build it up from nothing.
   67. zachtoma Posted: June 09, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4152523)
Talk about selective targeting, as if that's the only issue in the world.


And I say there is no issue more important than the people we kill with no oversight or judicial process.
   68. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 09, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4152528)
After 3+ godawful years of Obama, I'm inclined to think that he was right.

Glenn Greenwald has argued that Obama has been MORE right-wing than McCain would have been able to get away with, since his fake-progressive image gives him so much cover with liberals.
   69. Delorians Posted: June 09, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4152529)
'And I say there is no issue more important than the people we kill with no oversight or judicial process.'

I agree. Which is why I am prolife.
   70. Lassus Posted: June 09, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4152553)
Does it never occur to anyone who supported a losing candidate that, gee, maybe the winner was a better candidate?

Oh christ, please. If people can endlessly and legitimately discuss when teams choke, a possible conclusion of Gore choking shouldn't cause this kind of whining. Also, you won.


Glenn Greenwald has argued that Obama has been MORE right-wing than McCain would have been able to get away with, since his fake-progressive image gives him so much cover with liberals.

I assume Greenwald includes things like DADT, gay marriage, and Obamacare in this argument.
   71. zachtoma Posted: June 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4152581)
I assume Greenwald includes things like DADT, gay marriage, and Obamacare in this argument.


No, his argument is about his foreign policy, executive power, and the war on terror. I don't think saying he's cool with gay people getting married is any kind of salve for the new abuses O has inaugurated. I kind of think the Dems are now playing the culture wars the same way the Repubs did in 2004, and with the very same issue - make a lot of noise about gay marriage in order to mobilize the base.

PS Sorry for politics, but then again this is a thread about Ralph Nader.
   72. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4152618)
Does it never occur to anyone who supported a losing candidate that, gee, maybe the winner was a better candidate?

Oh christ, please.


I'll put you down for a "no", Lassus. Bitterness does not become you.

make a lot of noise about gay marriage in order to mobilize the base.

Is gay marriage really the best way to do that? Is Obama going to pick up a lot of swing voters by doing this?
   73. winnipegwhip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4152620)
The electoral college vote vs popular vote debate can be compared to someone saying that Team A should have won the game because they had 15 hits to Team B's 6 hits although the Team B got won 4-3. If Team B knew the victor was based on hits not runs, they would have rather gone down swinging instead of taking walks.

The election scorecard was based upon electoral college instead of popular vote. Therefore candidates forget about the people of the Dakotas etc. and if they can't win a state they forget about it in its entirety. In an all or nothing result the strategy is made accordingly.
   74. Lassus Posted: June 09, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4152621)
I'll put you down for a "no", Lassus. Bitterness does not become you.

I considered (and consider) myself more pissed than bitter about that election.

I did include an argument that you ignored regarding your specific point, though.
   75. winnipegwhip Posted: June 09, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4152629)
Is gay marriage really the best way to do that? Is Obama going to pick up a lot of swing voters by doing this?


Is gay marriage really the best way to do that? Is Obama going to pick up a lot of swinger voters by doing this?

Fixed
   76. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 09, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4152630)
I'll put you down for a "no", Lassus. Bitterness does not become you.

I considered (and consider) myself more pissed than bitter about that election.


Pissed + 12 years = bitter.
   77. UCCF Posted: June 09, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4152640)
Nader: Sterling and Waldman, Unsafe at Any Volume
   78. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 09, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4152663)
if they can't win a state they forget about it in its entirety.

Or, as in California or New York, they just treat it like an ATM.
   79. zachtoma Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4152676)
Is Obama going to pick up a lot of swing voters by doing this?


I don't know if GWB got many swing voters by virtue of the R's going all-in against gay marriage that year, I think the bigger benefit was that it deflected attention from the failures of the invasion of Iraq.
   80. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4152678)
So I guess your point is that Citizens United is "fair". Fine, but my only point was that it was the result of George W. Bush's replacement of O'Connor with Alito, and that Gore would've been far more likely to replace her with a justice who would've cast the key vote the other way.
I don't care whether CU is "fair"; it's right, and that's the important thing. In any case, Alito (and Roberts, Bush's other appointee) were nominated in Bush's second term. Had Gore been elected, he would have done such a poor job that he wouldn't have been re-elected, and a Republican would have nominated the replacements for Rehnquist and O'Connor. Giving us CU anyway.
   81. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 09, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4152698)
Nader claimed he was running because there was no difference between the parties and the candidates. I wonder if he still feels that way, given those godawful eight years of George W. Bush.


Of course he was right. And I presume he still feels that way. Gore, not being a wet-brained idiot, presumably would've been a better president per se than Cheney's pathetic puppet, but when one looks at his decision to make the reprehensible not-so-cryptofascist Lieberman his running mate, one has to wonder what sort of other idiotic crap he would've pulled had Antonin "Three-Finger Tony" Scalia decided that he should be president.

In the interest of disclosure: Yeah, I voted for Nader. I would've been ashamed to have done otherwise. That was actually the 3rd straight presidential election I voted in; I don't know what came over me. I certainly haven't bothered since.
   82. Lassus Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4152742)
Pissed + 12 years = bitter.

Bitterness is for people with limited conviction.


In any case, Alito (and Roberts, Bush's other appointee) were nominated in Bush's second term. Had Gore been elected, he would have done such a poor job that he wouldn't have been re-elected, and a Republican would have nominated the replacements for Rehnquist and O'Connor. Giving us CU anyway.

This is worse than anything Brian Herbert has come up with.
   83. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4152765)
However, there is a recent, significant, and ongoing effort to remove it in practice, called the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact". Several states (and DC) have recently passed laws saying something like "If enough states pass laws like this such that the electoral votes of those states would total to more than half of the electoral college, then this state will assign its electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote".

The Constitution requires Interstate Compacts to be approved by Congress, and it's doubtful this could get through (for the same reason the Electoral College is here to stay), so even if enough states agreed to this Compacf (unlikely, IMHO) it would just trigger litigation that would make Bush v. Gore look like a traffic case.
   84. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 09, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4152779)
I've been around long enough to remember when the liberal position was that the 1st Amendment should be broadly interpreted. It may be a surprise to some, but the core purpose of the 1st Amendment isn't protecting dirty books (not that it shouldn't) but prohibiting the government from regulating political speech. In Citizens United, the government tried to suppress a film that took a negative view of a particular candidate, by trying to require that the film be classified as an "electioneering communication" that corporations and unions weren't allowed to make close to an election. As the government conceded, the same logic would apply to a book. I'm amazed that anyone, much less a bookseller, would think that was a good idea, or consistent with the 1st Amendment. Virtually every newspaper and book is published by a corporation, so those suggesting that corporations be stripped of their 1st Amendment rights are making a truly radical argument that isn't consistent with prior law or history.
   85. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: June 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4152788)
I'm actually a big fan of the EC. It's a substantial firewall against voter fraud in presidential elections (no matter how many fraudulent votes are cast in a state, they can only win the number of Electoral votes in that state and if they can actually accomplish the fraud, it's likely a state they control and would win anyway).

Now you could, theoretically, work it so that each state's EC numbers are as close to proportional as you can make it to limit the extra benefit smaller states currently have, but I'd still prefer the EC system to a pure popular vote election.
   86. Downtown Bookie Posted: June 10, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4152803)
Personally, I prefer our system of using electoral votes rather than the overall popular vote to elect the President. However, I am not a fan of the Electoral College; that is, bringing an actual human elector into the equation.

To explain: If Candidate So-And-So carries the State of Whatever, then that candidate should receive Whatever's electoral votes (or however the State of Whatever chooses to apportion its votes). I don't think that Candidate So-And-So should receive the State of Whatever's electors, who, while pledged to his cause, are free to vote however they choose when it comes time for the real election.

Granted, in actual practice, electors who have voted for a candidate other than the one they were pledged to have been few and far between. But why even allow for the possibility of having a few electors switch their votes and change the result of a Presidential election? It just seems much, much better to change the possibility of such a potential national nightmare actually occurring from "practically zero" to "actually zero".

At least, in my humble opinion.

DB
   87. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 10, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4152816)
The Constitution requires Interstate Compacts to be approved by Congress, and it's doubtful this could get through (for the same reason the Electoral College is here to stay), so even if enough states agreed to this Compacf (unlikely, IMHO) it would just trigger litigation that would make Bush v. Gore look like a traffic case.
Frankly, I think you know what you're talking about only to the degree of the armchair autodidact. That is, you don't. You know a surface level thing - the "approved by Congress" clause that you're referring to. But that's all.

The Supreme Court long ago decided that that clause is only applicable in situations where the interstate compact would interfere with federal authority. This one pretty clearly does not - there is nothing that the federal government gets to say about how states choose their electors, except for random little stuff like the electors must be citizens of the states they serve as electors for.
   88. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 10, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4152822)
Frankly, I think you know what you're talking about only to the degree of the armchair autodidact. That is, you don't.

Nice.

States can't amend the Constitution by Interstate Compact. There is plenty of doubt about whether an interstate compact allocating electoral votes based on elections in other states would be valid. The method of electing a President is a core Constitutional provision and precedents about state boundary disputes may not be dispositive. There is at least one law review article arguing that the NPVIC would require Congressional approval. Probably an academic issue, since it's not likely, IMHO, that enough states will ever opt for such a compact.
   89. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 10, 2012 at 02:13 AM (#4152824)
This would not be amending the Constitution. The Electoral College would still exist and its vote would still determine who becomes president. Again, the Constitution has essentially nothing significant to say about restrictions on how states choose electors - but it does quite clearly say that the manner is up to the discretion of each individual state legislature. There is at least one law review article arguing every possible opinion on everything in the universe.
   90. Greg K Posted: June 10, 2012 at 03:38 AM (#4152829)
You guys are really missing out, all these "fun facts" could easily be sponsored by local businesses. Also, some of you have weird definitions of the word "fun".

[this message has been brought to you by Uncle Hamish's Bay of Fundy Family Fun Centre, where fun is the only fact!]

*Disclaimer - 3% of customers drowning each year may also be a fact.
   91. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: June 10, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4152850)
I think that he probably viewed his vote for Nader as something like a protest or a political statement. And then when it became clear that his vote was actually really important in determining whether Gore or Bush would be the next president, he felt shameful for throwing it away.

So he was happy to use his vote to make a protest or political statement as long as it was completely meaningless and innocuous and didn't effect the candidate that he really wanted to win? Smart guy.
   92. BDC Posted: June 10, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4152858)
I don't see how third-party votes – or, alternatively, primary votes for candidates out on an "unelectable" wing of a major party – are "thrown away." If nobody will ever desert the Republican ticket in a rightward direction, or the Democrats to the left, then both parties drift toward the center. Right-wing activists seem much less troubled by this principle than leftish ones. Goldwater, great. Reagan instead of Ford, I'm on that. Tea Party, let's see if we can't get this tail wagging the dog. Meanwhile, a Democrat will vote for George McGovern or Jesse Jackson or Ralph Nader once and feel conflicted about it for the next 40 years. "Oh, gosh, I'd better not vote for anybody I actually agree with again, or somebody I agree less with might not win."

   93. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 10, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4152863)
Votes are like trades -- it's only fair to judge them on the basis of what was known at the time they were cast.
   94. Zoppity Zoop Posted: June 10, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4152865)
>So he was happy to use his vote to make a protest or political statement as long as it was completely meaningless and innocuous and didn't effect the candidate that he really wanted to win? Smart guy.


That's true courage, like the time I went to Reflecting Pool in DC to join the protest of The March For Nothing or the time I went on a hunger strike, only agreeing to eat after either world peace broke out or I got really, really super-duper hungry.

I guess it's better than the ultra-meta confab the Occupy movement has become, in which people march, hold protests, and file lawsuits on behalf of the cause of...Occupy protests.
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4152867)
I don't see how third-party votes – or, alternatively, primary votes for candidates out on an "unelectable" wing of a major party – are "thrown away." If nobody will ever desert the Republican ticket in a rightward direction, or the Democrats to the left, then both parties drift toward the center. Right-wing activists seem much less troubled by this principle than leftish ones. Goldwater, great. Reagan instead of Ford, I'm on that. Tea Party, let's see if we can't get this tail wagging the dog. Meanwhile, a Democrat will vote for George McGovern or Jesse Jackson or Ralph Nader once and feel conflicted about it for the next 40 years. "Oh, gosh, I'd better not vote for anybody I actually agree with again, or somebody I agree less with might not win."

Third party votes aren't thrown away IF you take the time and trouble to think for more than two minutes about the real differences between the two main parties**, and can honestly tell yourself with a clear conscience that these differences are not important enough for you to base your decision on. How Ralph Nader ever passed that smell test in 2000 is something I'll never be able to understand.

**the importance of the social safety net; the makeup of the courts; the extension of the franchise; restrictions on abortion and (in some cases) family planning; the attitude towards basic scientific facts concerning the environment; the attitudes towards consumer protection laws; the obvious agendas held by the chief financial backers of the two parties; etc.

   96. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4152875)
The Constitution requires Interstate Compacts to be approved by Congress, and it's doubtful this could get through (for the same reason the Electoral College is here to stay), so even if enough states agreed to this Compacf (unlikely, IMHO) it would just trigger litigation that would make Bush v. Gore look like a traffic case.
Even though they call it a "compact," it isn't. Each state has just passed individual legislation. There's no actual agreement between the states.
   97. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4152881)
Cheney's pathetic puppet

cryptofascist Lieberman

Antonin "Three-Finger Tony" Scalia


Let it go.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Vegas Watch
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
(1125 - 3:35am, Oct 01)
Last: Zach

NewsblogSpector: Stats incredible! Numbers from the 2014 MLB season will amaze you
(34 - 3:03am, Oct 01)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8173 - 2:55am, Oct 01)
Last: baudib

NewsblogThe Economist: The new market inefficiencies
(19 - 2:21am, Oct 01)
Last: David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Discussion
(14 - 2:17am, Oct 01)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(4079 - 2:01am, Oct 01)
Last: Joey Bot

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(13 - 1:55am, Oct 01)
Last: neilsen

NewsblogWSJ: Playoff Hateability Index
(15 - 1:45am, Oct 01)
Last: if nature called, ladodger34 would listen

NewsblogBrown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate
(33 - 11:27pm, Sep 30)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(76 - 11:27pm, Sep 30)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogESPN: Ron Gardenhire out after 13 Seasons with Twins
(42 - 10:49pm, Sep 30)
Last: The District Attorney

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Discussion
(6 - 10:35pm, Sep 30)
Last: MrC

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(110 - 10:25pm, Sep 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(455 - 10:08pm, Sep 30)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(19 - 7:51pm, Sep 30)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

Page rendered in 0.9669 seconds
52 querie(s) executed