Majority of LFDA Members question political spending as free speech - 208 responses

Feb 11, 2015

A NH House committee recently tabled HB 371, which would have asked the state’s federal congressional delegation to support an amendment to the US Constitution that would have nullified the US Supreme Court ruling known as ‘Citizens United.’ Handed down in 2010, the ruling protects political spending by corporations or unions to support or criticize individual candidates in elections as a form of free speech under the First Amendment.

In asking the question, “Should the NH Congressional Delegation ‘do all in its power’ to reduce the influence of money in US elections by amending the US Constitution?” the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) received a generally positive response from Facebook members. 67% of respondents who directly answered the question expressed their support, 33% dissented, while 27% of all respondents discussed the subject in broader terms. In sum, the LFDA received specific comments from 75 individuals supported by 120 concurrences for a total of 210 citizen responses.

For the majority of respondents in favor of reducing the influence of money in US elections, big money was cited as equivalent to big problems. “It doesn't matter which side of the spectrum you're on,” remarked one gentleman. “Big money is drowning out us, the people. We are the ones who are supposed to drive this process.” Others cited the potential for corruption, as one respondent noted, “Corporate money is corrupting our politicians.”

On the other end of the spectrum, many expressed the sentiment that the Constitution simply be left alone. Others expressed no qualms regarding the influence of money in US elections with one remarking, “Money is freedom of speech.” Another gentleman elaborated, “If the only way you can win an election is by limiting the information available to the public by restricting free speech, you shouldn't win the election.”

For those respondents who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, several suggested political campaigns in general are slanderous. One respondent noted, “There's a sick side of people that love drama to help reinforce their own worth and modern politics has tapped into that.” Some respondents waxed philosophical, as one woman remarked, “The strength of a democracy is only as strong as the will of people to uphold it.”

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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