Meanwhile, a Sanders supporter recently demonstrated that the current campaign finance laws are already so burdensome that even relatively sophisticated Americans cannot comply with them. Ironically, despite the resentment Sen. Sanders has unfairly stoked against the Citizens United decision, this corporate supporter “feeling the Bern” ran smack into multiple legal obstacles that prevent political participation by mom-and-pop corporations.
Evidently unbothered by “the absurd notion that money is speech,” Joyful Noise, an independent music label, recently used its corporate resources to raise money for Mr. Sanders by creating and distributing an audio track on its website entitled “Feel It In Your Guts.” To download the track, visitors had to first contribute to the Sanders campaign and then upload proof of the contribution.
According to the download page, this Byzantine process was required because “Joyful Noise is a company … and that means Bernie won’t accept a check from us. True story. So, we can’t merely sell you the release and pass the donation to Bernie.”
The Center for Competitive Politics has identified at least four ways in which Joyful Noise apparently violated the misguided and complex campaign finance laws: