Tag Archives | Campaign Finance

Citizens United 2.0: Major Supreme Court Ruling Will Further Expand Reach Of Money In U.S. Elections

supreme courtThe Supreme Court’s conservative majority feels that any limit on the flow of money into political campaigns is a violation of free speech, the New York Times reports:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down some limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time. The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and most likely increase the already large role money plays in American politics.

The decision, by a 5-to-4 vote along ideological lines, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority, was a sequel of sorts to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. But that ruling did nothing to affect the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.

Dissenting from the bench, Justice Stephen G. Breyer called the decision a blow to the First Amendment and American democracy.

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Gary Johnson Quiet on Campaign Cash Questions

Gary Johnson, 2012′s Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor, recently hosted a post-election AMA

(Ask Me Anything) on Reddit and things didn’t go, perhaps, quite as planned. His top question (receiving 180 “up votes” … 117 more than the second most popular question) was ignored by the former candidate:

“I’ve read your campaign manager used $2.3 million of the $2.5 million you raised to pay his own company. If I donated money to your campaign, where do I write for a refund?”

Parapolitical reported on the situation:

“Johnson’s campaign ended 2012  $1,134,602 in debt of which $1,051,637 is owed to the consulting company owned by the campaign manager presumably responsible for accruing that debt … the debt is on top of millions already paid to the firm. Of roughly $2.5 million raised and spent by Johnson prior to the election, more than $2.3 million of his supporters donations and federal matching funds were disbursed to campaign manager Nielson’s company.”

There’s also the matter of a lawsuit filed by a former Ron Paul fundraiser who went to work for the campaign and since claims he was stiffed on his invoices while the campaign manager’s company was paid “first and in full.” Still, Johnson appears unfazed by the clamor for information about the opaque millions.

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The Real Loss in the Midterm Elections

Citizens UnitedAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Now that the polls have closed and American voters are either flaunting their victories or crying in their post electoral concession beers, voters can rest easy that they helped facilitate some change or did their civic duty.

Major corporations, “super” PAC’s and the candidates they backed can run at least one victory lap though, even if their horse actually lost the race. Meanwhile, once the balloons shrink and the cocktails go flat, expect more Americans to feel marginalized. Partially thanks to the Citizens United decision, this mid-term election season saw record spending on campaigns nationwide. Between party spending and independent interest groups it’s possible campaign spending will top $4 billion.

Nearly half a billion dollars (over 12%) of that money came from private interests, many of which did not disclose their political interests thanks to the GOP blocking legislation that would’ve required disclosure.… Read the rest

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Supreme Court Ends Democracy With Single Decision

Frequent disinformation commenter 5by5 wrote to us with thoughts on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding campaign financing:

Just when you thought they couldn’t do anything stupider…..

Critics: ‘Destructive’ Supreme Court decision ‘empowers corruption’

I never thought I’d say this, but man, Roger Ebert of all people, NAILED this one with a single sentence:

“Supreme Court relaxes limits on Satan’s campaign donations.”

Why would Candidate X listen to the people in his district when they can only give $200 each (if that), but the corporation who’s major shareholder is a Saudi billionaire can give the candidate $2,000,000 in order to say…..”encourage” him to remove women’s rights? Or abolish the minimum wage? Or limit religious speech? Or end child labor laws? Or allow toxic waste dumping in the district?

Those corporatist hacks Alito, Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, and the ever incurious Thomas (who has yet to even bother to ask a single question — EVER) basically ruled that money equals speech.

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