Thanks to the conservatives on the Supreme Court:
New York Times:
Donors will now have a wide array of choices in where to spend their political dollars, thanks to the Supreme Court. The 2010 Citizens United decision, combined with lower-court rulings, opened the door to giving unlimited amounts of money to “super PACs” and nonprofit political groups, money that was spent on electing and defeating specific candidates.
The court’s McCutcheon decision on Wednesday allows donors to give as much as $3.6 million to joint fund-raising committees set up by the parties, which can be used to benefit individual candidates. That makes the parties players in the big-money race for the first time, since an individual’s contributions to party committees had been limited to $74,600 per election cycle. But the parties will be competing with the super PACs for those six-figure checks, and the check writers know it.
For that kind of money, donors expect something beyond a nice table at a fund-raiser and a photo with a party leader. And the parties, which are controlled by the top lawmakers, are in a position to provide it — tax benefits, special clauses in regulatory bills, spending that helps a particular industry.
America has seen some impressive winning streaks -- the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan, the New York Yankees for half the 20thcentury, Tiger Woods until his wife caught him with his putter on the wrong green --– but few can surpass the string of wins being racked up by rich people. And now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservatives, the super-wealthy can take another victory lap. [...] By the presidential campaign in 2020, the role of money in American politics is likely to have returned to the unencumbered condition of the 1890s Gilded Age when rich robber barons could spend freely to buy a compliant Congress that would look after their interests.
The Boston Globe:
The decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission pays no heed to how special-interest money corrupts the democratic process and is sure to magnify major donors’ already immense influence over Congress. [...] In his dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer described how a complex web of allied political committees would allow like-minded donors to write multimillion-dollar checks while staying within Roberts’s legal framework. That dissent, sadly, may now become a road map for donors who would use the McCutcheon case to expand their influence over congressional races.