The Wealthy Just Got a Tiny Bit More Powerful
Hey, look! The U.S. Supreme Court decided to let corporations spend more money on elections. Says Ken Rudin:
The decision overturns a 20-year ruling — Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce — that prohibited corporations or labor unions to pay for campaign ads. Today’s decision removes spending limits for independent expenditure groups. It threatens to remove spending limits already established in 24 states. And it struck down part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that bars issue ads paid for by corporations or unions in the closing days of a campaign.
NPR’s Peter Overby adds that one limit remains intact: corporations still cannot give money directly to federal candidates or national party committees. That limit dates back to 1907.
Oh, I’m sure that little barrier can be quickly overcome. As ever there’s lotsa doom & gloom predicted, but it is hard for me to see how the floodgates can be more open than they already are. The last election cost the current President nearly $750 million. Total spending in 2008 by presidential candidates was $1.3+ billion — almost double the amount spent in 2004, which itself was a doubling of 2000 expenditures. Congressional races are getting more expensive, too, and it has been no secret that Congress critters serving on important oversight committees are well financed by corporations with a vested interest in the legislation those committees produce. Sometimes a Dodd gets punished, but he’s an exception to the rule — and hardly the worst offender.
Yes, the ruling is outrageous, but no more so than the entirely corrupt two party system of corporate toadies who have been running pseudo-democratic puppet shows all along. Let’s reach back in the time machine to dredge up a classic and still relevant George Carlin routine: