All of these people are much brighter than I
In any fair system they would flourish and thrive
But they barely survive
They eke out a living and they barely survive

When I was a young boy, maybe thirteen
I took a hard look around me and asked what does it mean?
So I talked to my father, and he didn’t know
And I talked to my friend and he didn’t know
And I talked to my brother and he didn’t know
And I talked to everybody that I knew

It’s money that matters
Now you know that it’s true
It’s money that matters
Whatever you do

It’s money that matters
Hear what I say
It’s money that matters
In the USA

–Randy Newman “It’s Money that Matters”

Today, I attempted to talk with the poster child of the money=speech gang. Shaun McCutcheon is the guy who was outraged that he could only contribute

a total of $123,200 to candidates, national party committees and certain political committees, including a $48,600 limit on what individuals can give to candidates. There are also other limits. For example, an individual can only give $2,600 to a specific candidate for federal office, per election per cycle. While this case is focused on the aggregate limits, it’s important keep all the limits in mind.

McCutcheon v. FEC was roundly referred to as “Citizens United on steroids,” and that’s a pretty apt description, as it,too, was based on the flawed money=speech totally absurd premise.

In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court ruled that independent political expenditures by corporations and unions are protected under the First Amendment and not subject to restriction by the government. The Court therefore struck down a ban on campaign expenditures by corporations and unions that applied to non-profit corporations like Planned Parenthood and the National Rifle Association, as well as for-profit corporations like General Motors and Microsoft.

McCutcheon dealt with individual donations. SCOTUS ruled in his favor, finding that

Because aggregate limits restricting how much money a donor may contribute to candidates for federal office, political parties, and political action committees do not further the government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption, while at the same time seriously restricting participation in the democratic process, they are invalid under the First Amendment.

And the aggregate limits were thrown out, though the restrictions on how much money one individual (read: human being actual person) can give to any particular candidate remain in force.

Shaun McCutcheon inserted himself into a Twitter discussion I was having with a listener following the SCOTUS rulings on the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality, prompting me to invite him on the show.

I attempted to have a reasonable discussion with him, but he kept raising his voice and cutting me off, though frankly that’s what I expected. He just tweeted that he enjoyed talking with me. Really? And yes, he is a Donald Trump supporter. Yikes!

For our Flashback Friday segment today, we went back to this week in 1994. My station in LA had just launched, and David Byrne was our very first guest! And I got to interview him. And after a quick look at his website’s most recent post, “Growth, Austerity, Debt,” I’d love to talk with him again!

Back then, he had just released his self titled album, and even autographed a limited edition version of it for me, which will be included in the Radio or Not Fundraiser auction, kicking off next week, so watch this space for details.

David Byrne front

David Byrne insideDavid Byrne autograph

I’ll be back Monday to take on a whole new week, radio or not!