The New York Times, among others, reacted with wild-eyed dismay to a court’s recent decision to strike down the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations to candidates. Obviously, reading legal opinions is hard work – especially on a Saturday. But The Gray Lady’s sky-is-falling analysis is nonsense, and would have benefited from some reflection on what the court actually did.
Bemoaning the “spree of big-money political campaigning – and the corruption that comes with it,” the Times noted that:
Judge [James] Cacheris’s ruling struck down part of an indictment accusing two businessmen of illegally reimbursing employees for their donations to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns for president and the Senate. They are charged with paying more than $180,000 to 43 fake donors in an effort to evade donation limits.
Pretty terrible, right? Almost $200,000 of illegal donations, funneled from corporate executives through their employers! Surely that sort of behavior raises corruption concerns and should be illegal?
Well… of course.