The campaign finance ‘reform’ group Common Cause has been waging a fierce crusade against wealthy libertarian donors Charles and David Koch and their supposed involvement in and benefit from the Citizens United decision. The anti-Koch campaign includes an effort to ferret out supposed links between the brothers and various other individuals and organizations, which perhaps most closely resembles a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon gone seriously awry.
As might be expected in such a witch hunt, facts tend to get overlooked and ignored. Just today, in a blog post promoting the efforts of Common Cause to funnel even more tax dollars into the campaigns of politicians in Los Angeles, they make the following claim:
We know Citizens United has unleashed a torrent of undisclosed corporate and union spending at the federal level. It overturned a century of laws and decades of legal precedent. Common Cause has decided to do something about it.
We filed a complaint with the Department of Justice asking for an investigation of Justices Thomas and Scalia for attending a strategy session hosted by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at the same time the Court was considering the case of Citizens United v. FEC in 2008.
The most obvious fact that Common Cause ignores is that the Tillman Act, the century-old law referred to here, is still alive and kicking, untouched by Citizens United. But I’m so used to this misrepresentation of the law by ‘reformers’ that I barely even notice it anymore.
More importantly is that Common Cause is simply wrong when they claim that Justices Scalia and Thomas attended Koch-hosted events “at the same time the Court was considering the case of Citizens United v. FEC in 2008,” as anyone even moderately familiar with the Gregorian Calendar could tell them.