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Bernie Sanders is talking about introducing a constitutional amendment. I know! We're talking Bernie Sanders here.

Wow. That's perhaps the worst version of this amendment I've seen. And that's saying something.

At a minimum, he's barring every advocacy group from politics altogether - groups like the NAACP, NARAL, Emily's List, the Sierra Club, Justice Democrats, ActBlue, Sunrise Movement, etc. would all be prohibited from doing anything that involved spending money to influence an election. That would include not just candidates but referenda - if the local billionaire wants to put a referendum on the ballot to turn some wilderness into condominiums, he can spend as much money personally as he wants but environmental groups can't spend any money to defeat it.

But it's worse than that. The amendment probably prohibits the Democratic and Republican parties from spending any money to run elections as well - the plain text would even prohibit the candidates themselves from having a campaign organization. The amendment doesn't just give Congress the power to regulate these things - it denies non-natural persons the 'ability' to make such expenditures or contributions.

No more endorsements by newspapers, of course; or op-eds in favor of or against those referenda either. But arguably no more media coverage of elections at all, either, since such would likely constitute expenditures by non-natural persons to influence the outcome of elections. The entire purpose of press reporting on elections is to influence the election, by providing information to voters that they will then (presumably) take into account in making their election choices. The language doesn't use the 'promote the success or defeat' terminology usually in election laws like this - merely to influence the outcome.

I know, it's just a messaging effort. But it's just terrible.

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