Thursday, April 03, 2014

Supreme Court kills overall limits on individual political campaign donations

This is from the Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struck another major blow against long-standing restrictions on campaign money Wednesday, freeing wealthy donors to each give a total of $3.6 million this year to the slate of candidates running for Congress.
Rejecting the restriction as a violation of free speech, the 5-4 ruling struck down a Watergate-era limit that Congress wrote to prevent a single donor from writing a large check to buy influence on Capitol Hill. It was the latest sign that the court's conservative majority intends to continue dismantling funding limits created over the last four decades.
Under those limits, donors could give up to $5,200 to any individual candidate for Congress per election cycle, and no more than $123,200 to all candidates and political party committees put together.
Acting on an appeal from the Republican National Committee, the high court left the individual candidate limits intact but declared the overall limit unconstitutional.
As a result, individuals will be able to give the individual maximum to every candidate for Congress, either directly or through contributions to a political party. That in effect raises the new maximum that can be given to candidates and party committees during a two-year election cycle to $3.6 million.
We now have the very best political system that money can buy.  If you have $3.6 million dollars, you can give to every candidate and through both political parties to make sure that your political viewpoints are heard above everyone else.  Toss in the practically unlimited corporate campaign contributions of Citizens United,  and you can pretty much purchase your own congress-critter.  It seems like we're moving away from a one man / one vote, to a $1 / one vote.  What choice is there between corporate and ultra-rich sponsored Candidate A, and corporate and ultra-rich sponsored Candidate B, when both candidates have pretty much the same political opinion on business regulations, environmental regulations, labor, wages, and economic issues?  When both candidates support big business and the ultra-rich? 

No comments: