Campaign Finance Reform Crippled

January 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Posted in law, supreme court, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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I’m so mad I could spit.

The US Supreme Court has struck down campaign finance laws that limit the amount of money that corporations and special interest groups, like unions, can spend on campaign ads. They are still limited in the amount of money that they can contribute to the candidates, but they can create and run their own ads that endorse whatever candidate they wish which effectively nullifies that limitation.

What this basically does is allows groups that have the most money to have the loudest voice in the media. It is the capitalist equivalent of “might makes right” which is absolutely contrary to democratic values. Free speech should not be a justification for giving anyone the right to drown out other voices if they can buy a bigger megaphone.

This says to me that the majority of the supreme court (the vote was 5-4) believes that the USA is capitalist first and democratic second. I could not be more opposed to this ruling. I don’t care if the corporations and unions are in favor of a candidate/issue that I support or not. It’s just wrong.


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  1. Ya know, at the time, some people (mostly supporters of the ruling) said it would have very little effect on fund-raising or campaigning. Now, two years later, that seems at best foolish, and at worst, sinister. Derek’s instincts on this matter can now be seen to be spot on. This is a disaster.

    Say it with me, money is not speech. Even if you said that an individual can “say” what he wants and pay for any advertizing he wants, that is still far more benighn than this were tax-exempt organizations can pool money and worse, sell the influence that the money buys.

    Also, there is NOTHING in the constitution that says the law can’t require that every dollar of contribution and every dollar spent can’t be required to be spelled out specifically on the internet or somewhere. That is surely constitutional. And if we could see exactly where every dollar came from and what it paid for, it would go a long way to diffusing its overpowering influance, and ya know, letting all of the people and all of their ideas come out. Sort of like the Founding Fathers intended. And quite unlike this horrible ruling.

    • This so needs to be overturned. But how, when the ones who can overturn it, the legislators, benefit from the money it brings into the system? Too bad there’s only one Bernie Sanders.

  2. Ironically, or perhaps not surprisingling, this ruling came after Congress finally did manage to pass meaningful campaign finance reform, in the form of the McCain-Feingold (or technically Sheys-Meehan). Yes, that McCain, that ol’ Maverick. It raised the limit on Campaign contributions, but banned, so-called “soft money” and kept in place strict disclosure of who donated what. It was up-held by the Supreme Court, but this more recent ruling has effectively gutted it or at least made it easier to work around. I suppose new ledgislation could fill the new holes.

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