CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM OUT THE WINDOW

by

New York Times:

Sweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

Before we start lamenting the obvious, what are the arguments that advocates of campaign finance regulation will make to combat the right-wing logic that corporations should be treated the same as citizens. Its an idea that is very popular in America. In no other western country is the disproportionate economic power of a few so easily tolerated as in the United States.

Sen. Russ Feingold, one of the chief authors of current campaign finance regulations, shared a predictable response with the Times:

“Ignoring important principles of judicial restraint and respect for precedent, the Court has given corporate money a breathtaking new role in federal campaigns,” said Mr. Feingold, a Democrat.

The consequences of the ruling –– that corporations and other monied interests will pervert the political process more than they already do –– are important. But there needs to be a constitutional argument that accompanies the appeals to our sense of fairness. Feingold and others need to explain why corporations to not deserve the same rights that the constitution affords individuals.

Republicans are not the only ones who welcome this decision. They may be the only ones who celebrate it publicly, but I know of at least one top member of the state Democratic Party who opposes campaign finance regulation because he believes it hurts Democrats’ ability to raise money from unions.

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4 Responses to “CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM OUT THE WINDOW”

  1. pjmad Says:

    Corporations don’t deserve the same rights afforded to individuals because they’re *not individuals*. One would’ve thought this to be obvious. Inanimate objects and conceptual constructions aren’t afforded any constitutional protections. At the country’s founding, corporations weren’t even allowed to exist indefinitely.

    More disturbing is the ridiculous notion that money is speech. I’ve never seen anything even approaching a good justification for that sleight of hand.

  2. Madison Guy Says:

    Reform? What reform? Brown and SCOTUS ruling perfect excuse for Dems in Congress to sit back and do nothing?

    • Jack Says:

      You raise a good point. Democrats have set a very poor example when it comes to campaign finance, if the presidential election indicated anything. By “reforms” I meant the limited reforms put in place in the last decade.

  3. I'm not giving my name to a machine Says:

    Why do corporations get equal rights as citizens without equal restrictions, responsibilities, or even equal repercussions? Seems silly to me.

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