Freedom of speech versus international interests

I saw a headline about Romney collecting however many millions of dollars in campaign donations in Israel and it got me to thinking. Not about Romney since I'm sure everyone takes international money, but rather about the mental gymnastics required to justify this sort of thing.

From what I understand, it goes a little like this:

Americans believe freedom of speech is not an American right, it's a universal human right.
The courts believe that donating money to a political campaign is a form of free speech.
Therefore, the courts believe that donating money to a political campaign is a universal human right.

When you think through it, it doesn't sound so bad, but in context it is literally a foreign interest influencing the outcome of our election. If Israelis don't get to vote for our president, why is it OK for them to donate to any campaign? Are we denying them their freedom of speech by not letting them vote? Is it not OK but we simply lack the legal grounds or jurisdiction to deny them the right to donate?

Is there any way to look at this situation without it seeming at least a little bit skeevy?

Well, Israel has a large number of people with dual American citizenship, and they do vote.

As far as how campaign finance goes. Our state of federal accountability for campaign finance violations is a joke. The most that seems to happen is a stern talking to and then the senator has to think about what they did. Of all the short sights of our founding fathers, was giving congress large powers to police themselves. This goes to raises, discretionary spending, health insurance, and their own rules.

I doubt anything short of a constitutional amendment would have any teeth, and we do not exactly live in a toothy era of lawmaking.

Isn't there also a clause/rule whereby your freedom of speech is not allowed to incite or unfairly influence the lives of others (in a negative manner)?

Wouldn't foreign donations basically be that exact thing? Imagine if Cuba got someone elected and then the US started down a path of subservience to Russia? Seems to me that this is "okay" because it's from a current ally - if it was from an enemy (or adversarial state) then I doubt it would be looked upon in such a mild way...

All I know is, Obama's campaign could deliver a hilarious retort by running a fundraising campaign in Kenya.

Foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to local, state or federal elections - this began in 1966 with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and was rolled into the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) in 1974.

Maybe Romney will just accept those contributions retroactively to 1965, when they would have been legal?

I think the basic assumption is flawed (Not yours, Lobster, you're just discussing the flawed assumption). Money != speech, corporations != people.

Now, outside of that, it's an interesting question. Does, or should it matter which country the donor lives in? In an ideal world, not really. It's perfectly reasonable for someone to have an interest in the highest office of a country that has a habit of sticking our noses where perhaps we shouldn't.

In the real world, I lean towards that it shouldn't be allowed. The practice of "buying" a politician is well known and established. Politicians should be beholden to their constituates, not those with the most money, and definitely not to people not even in the country. Ideally, this would be covered by campaign finance laws.

Does anyone know if the sources that feed to bundlers are limited by the FARA? I linked this story previously, and I am curious as to whether the money can actually come from foreign sources instead of ex-pats.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

Foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to local, state or federal elections - this began in 1966 with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and was rolled into the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) in 1974.

Maybe Romney will just accept those contributions retroactively to 1965, when they would have been legal?

Aren't foreign businesses contributing tons of money to political campaigns? I'll have to dig up the article I read.

Businesses are only considered people when it benefits them.