But Allison Hayward of the Center for Competitive Politics, which backs the rulings, said: “It’s about free speech. The notion that something bad is happening in the body politic is way overblown.”
Professor Lessig said the real problem with campaign finance was corruption. Not the corruption that could be punished under any existing statute, of course, but what he referred to as “legal corruption.” And what is “legal corruption” you might ask? Wealthy donors give most of the donations. Of course, the Supreme Court went out of their way to define corruption as being a quid pro quo, a direct exchange of money for a member of Congress’ vote.
American politics is generous with ironies. But here’s one to savor. Our Wild West campaign finance system – deregulated by the conservative bloc on the U.S. Supreme Court and embraced by Republicans for both ideological and strategic reasons – may be dousing the party’s hopes to win the White House.
There’s no mystery about why a business or industry group might be shy about how it spends money on election campaigns. Just ask department store chain Target.
The U.S. presidential contest is predominately about President Barack Obama’s stewardship of the economy and the political-cultural divide in the Republican Party. It is also about the huge sums of money sloshing around, after Justice Alito replaced Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court and provided the swing vote in the 2010 Citizens United case.
David Plouffe, a top political adviser to President Obama, is scheduled to appear at a West Coast fund-raising meeting Friday for the “super PAC” backing President Obama’s re-election bid, according to several people familiar with the event.
The crucial role the “super PAC” now plays in modern presidential politics has been on vivid display in the week before the Super Tuesday primaries, as these outside groups have all outspent the campaigns and become their de facto advertising arms.
Gail: One of the interesting things we’ve learned during this campaign is how many really loopy billionaires this country has. How could somebody who had enough judgment to make more than $20 billion come to feel that what this country really needs is President Newt Gingrich?
Several unions that back President Obama’s reelection bid are spending big in an effort to damage Mitt Romney in key GOP primary states.
NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Corporate political donations don’t really need policing on behalf of shareholders. As election-season spending soars, campaign finance largess from companies large and small has become a hot-button issue in the United States. The Securities and Exchange Commission is under heavy pressure to make firms disclose their contributions. But many already are, thanks to investor vigilance. A blanket rule would be an unnecessary venture into politics for the regulator.
Candidates and parties
Our campaign finance system has long needed reform. But the rampant inequality in America recently highlighted by Occupy Wall Street, combined with the supersized voice of the wealthy and corporations made possible by Citizens United, has cast even more doubt on the integrity, and the meaning, of our elections. Did Mitt Romney edge Rick Santorum in Michigan this week because the voters truly embraced him, or because he and his Super PAC outspent the competition by over $2 million? Is any win truly impressive when it is determined not by the voices of the many but the dollars of the few?
The rise of billionaire-driven super PACs that seem to take a loose view of the few rules they’re asked to follow has even late-night comics asking: Who’s in charge here?,
The FEC’s Republican Commissioners (Chair Hunter and Commissioners McGahn and Petersen) issued this Statement of Reasons in MUR 5879 (Harry Mitchell for Congress and DCCC), explaining their views on the proper application of the “republication of campaign materials” standard.
Further legislative votes are expected on a bill to strip so-called matching funds out of the Maine public campaign financing law.
New York City Comptroller John Liu’s campaign on Friday refuted allegations that it failed to disclose a complete list of intermediaries — people who collect donations on a candidate’s behalf – in a legally required report with the city’s Campaign Finance Board.
Rick Santorum, despite being outspent by chief rival Mitt Romney, has enjoyed a lead in the GOP presidential race in Ohio.