“It could lead to a situation where eye-popping amounts of money were being contributed to one side. It’s hard to even pass the laugh test when a plaintiff still maintains that raises no corruption concerns.”
~Tara Malloy, senior counsel with the Campaign Legal Center
Energized by the SCOTUS’s decision to uphold both the Citizens United ruling as well as the recent overturning of the Montana Supreme Court’s decision to prevent corporations from investing into political campaigns … the Republican National Committee has filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court in Washington on Friday to eliminate individual caps to political candidates. You can find more on the Montana ruling HERE and there is no question that we’re talking about investments here. Both of those cases were 5 to 4 decisions with the five conservative judges ruling that money is speech, corporations are people and trying to prohibit a corporation’s free speech is unconstitutional.
I want to be completely unambiguous here. Americans tend to view the American political system as being above the petty corruption and quid pro quo that hamper so many so called 3rd world economies due to bribes and a fundamental disregard for the law. We regard our nation as a country of laws with a proud heritage and an even brighter future; we are an inherently optimistic people when compared to so many other countries. But make no mistake – the more money there is in politics … the more corruption and quid pro quo we will see. And it’s already practically an expectation in government.
“This would set up a pipeline from Wall Street directly to campaigns. This is the one percent’s wet dream.”
~David Donnelly of Public Campaign Action Fund
America isn’t just an inherently fantastic country … each generation has to do their part to hand off better opportunities to their children than when they got it. And by that definition – the Baby Boom generation have been a selfish, disappointing disaster. Getting money out of our politics is THE issue of our time. As long as it takes $1 billion to run for president and Senate candidates are spending over $100 million to compete … we will either be electing many self funding ultra net worth individuals or we’ll be electing people who have no choice but to curry favor with one large industry or another. No candidate … no matter how brilliant or experienced or ready for the job that is elected government will be able to successfully run a campaign in American politics without having a sufficient campaign war chest. And you can’t build a sufficient campaign war chest without making deals.
And looking at the disaster that is the Citizens United ruling and what it has done to our country … conservatism has become synonymous with falling on one’s knees as quickly as possible. Apparently – quickly submitting to the will of banks, oil companies, hedge funds, insurance companies, defense contractors etc is worth the hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign cash the Republican party receives. And of course – not wanting to get outspent – Democrats quickly find a lap that isn’t occupied and look to arouse interest for those special interests in the hopes that they will be competitive in the money race. And in return for a special favor … Dems also find themselves having to make their principles malleable in order to earn a little campaign cash even if they can’t look at themselves in the mirror.
The Washington Post writes HERE:
Current law dictates that one person may give no more than $2,500 to a political candidate in one election, and $30,800 each year to one political party committee, such as the RNC. The new court case doesn’t challenge those limits, but targets another one: the overall cap of $117,000 in each election cycle, along with separate caps for the total amount one person can give to candidates and to parties. Contributions to super PACs are not included in the caps.
Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama conservative activist and businessman, brought the lawsuit along with the RNC because he is seeking to contribute more than the $70,800 limit to the RNC and the party’s House and Senate fundraising arms.
If McCutcheon and the RNC are successful, it would mean that one person could give more than $2 million to candidates and party committees if they divided the money among House and Senate members and various state parties.
There are a whole host of billionaires that would LOVE to give hundreds of millions to the Republican National Committee which the parties would be able to legally coordinate with individual candidates and build a national strategy with. Right now – existing law … as bogus as it is … says that these unlimited donations can go to 3rd party groups but these caps are still in effect at the party level. Republicans are trying to change that. As we’ve written before – 80% of all SuperPAC money comes from just 100 people … and most of that is going to the Republican party. Article HERE:
Right now, more than 80 percent of the money raised by superPACs has gone to pro-GOP groups. And, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, 80 percent of all the money raised by these groups has come from just 100 individuals — the wealthiest people in America. People like Texas billionaire Harold Simmons.
You wanna know what Mitt Romney thinks about political candidates getting unlimited donations? He’s for it. Surprise.
Greg Sargent found this beauty HERE:
“I think the Supreme Court’s decision was following their interpretation of the campaign finance laws that were written by Congress. My own view is now we tried a lot of efforts to try and restrict what can be given to campaigns, we’d be a lot wiser to say you can give what you’d like to a campaign. They must report it immediately. And the creation of these independent expenditure committees that have to be separate from the candidate, that’s just a bad idea.”
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