Actions that are legal can become illegal if money is involved
We have a constitutionally guaranteed right to say what we want, we do not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to pay other people to say/do what we want.
There are many actions that are legal and protected actions when done for free that become illegal if done for money.
- Free sex is legal. Sex for money is Illegal.
- Organ donation is legal. Organ selling is illegal.
- You can vote for whoever you want for free. You can’t sell your vote.
- A lawmaker can vote however they want. They can’t sell their vote.
- A judge can rule however they see fit. They can’t change their ruling for money.
- A child can be signed over to a new legal Guardian. You can’t sell a child.
- You can marry for love. Marriage for a green card is fraud.
- Jurists can rule however you think is best. They can’t sell their vote.
Notice, please, how many political actions are legal when done without the influence of money, and how they all become illegal when performed for cash. The US Constitution specifically mentions bribery as an impeachable offense. Bribery is where an individual performs an action they are legal allowed to perform, but for money. I am of the opinion exorcising one’s Freedom of Speech for money lesson’s the protections of that speech in a similar way. John Q. Public can go out and express his political opinions without interruption. But if Bobby A. Senator pays John a hundred dollars to say something John doesn’t agree with, John is no longer performing Free Speech, not to make a pun, but it is now paid speech.
This is because your rights can’t be sold, bought, or transfered. MSNBC (or any television channel) has a limited amount of time each day to broadcast. How they spend that time is important, that time is valuable. That time on the air is protected speech. If they are seling that speech though, that becomes a transaction that the US currently involves itself. That is why a political commercial has to say where the money comes from. The US government is forcing a commercial to say something, that is abridging free speech. That is generally considered a good law, and it’s legal because of the precedent that you can’t transfer your rights.
If MSNBC says something political, we know exactly who’s saying it. If they are letting someone else speak with their time, a legal hole is created through which the governmen is allowed to enter and pass legislation.
I make this point for a very specific reason. When discussing actions that are perfectly legal and constitutional, if money is directly involved in a quid pro quo fashion, the legalities can change. More specifically, the crime exists not with the action that was performed, but with the acceptance of money. That is a legal distinction that the Constitution is fully acceptable of. Voting is fine, voting for money is illegal. The distinction has legal precedent.
Allowing that it is legal for a corporation to speak about political matters, there is still a difference between the corporation expressing itself through news releases, it’s website and internal news letters, and a multi-million dollar commercial campaign attacking a specific candidate. That distinction has legal precedent and Congress is within their rights to make that distinction illegal. Exxon can create a commerical and can play it on their website, and NBC can play that commercial for free. But if NBC requires money for this speech, and if NBC is then the location that is showing this commercial, then that speech is less protected at the point of payment.
Therefore, if it’s decided that limiting the political power of Corporations is for the good of society, then the most constitutionally valid avenue of limitation is through the money. If the Congress decides that Corporations need to be limited, rather than having Congress designate how many minutes of commercials per day or billboards per street or Blimps per mile, they can put the limitation and regulation at the amount of cash expenditure and remain perfectly legal within the framework of the Constitution.
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