Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Supreme Court Delivers New Gilded Age Era to U.S. Democracy




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.



LA Times:

 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.

16 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

First we had "corporations are people". Then we had "money is speech". What's next?

skudrunner said...

Time to remove private money to fund a campaign. Of course that won't happen because our politicians are bought and sold by special interest and they like it that way.

okjimm said...

well, Jerry....I think it's gonna be, "Baseball teams are people,too" ... and if they want to make the visiting team play with only five players, they have that right. Home teams will be able to bat TWICE in the ninth if they are behind....and the Yankees should be able to have a designated Chief Justice of the Supreme Court call the balls and strikes. Gees, it's only fair. And as American as Apple Pie.

BB-Idaho said...

It is bad enough that politics is flooded with money; even worse,
it seems to influence voters.

Titan you're famous! said...

What's next?

The United States of Koch-Adelson!

Dave S. said...

Priest: "Lego Toys Are Tools of Satan"

Quick someone tell Antonin "Fat Tony" Scalia about this. He believes Satan exists and is responsible for the mess the world is in. That plus the fact that women sometimes use the "F" bomb.

Yep. That guy is a Supreme Court justice.

Could it be Satan?

okjimm said...

Skud gets it!!!! Kudos!!

Duckys here said...

I'll go so far as to say more proof that laissez-faire capitalism and popular democracy are incompatible.

The proble is deep.

Jerry Critter said...

"Time to remove private money to fund a campaign."

Seriously, skud? YOU are in favor of government-financed elections?

Dave Miller said...

Skud, I think you would find a lot of support of your expressed view about private money in politics from us libs and many of the people who comment here.

Do you think you will find support from the conservative/GOP side of the aisle?

Why, or why not?

Rational Nation USA said...

Dave Miller to Skud - "Do you think you will find support from the conservative... side of the aisle?"

Count me as a supporter.

Dervish Sanders said...

The World Net Daily email I received on this subject says "Constitution wins, lawmakers howl... Constitutionalists who've nearly given up on the Supreme Court defending the nation's founding documents are taking heart in a decision released today".

The WND article says John McCain predicts "scandals involving corrupt public officials and unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions that will force the system to be reformed once again". McCain is, BTW, the only Republican I am aware of who has spoken against the ruling.

Reince Priebus said "I am pleased that the court agreed that limits on how many candidates or committees a person may support unconstitutionally burden core First Amendment political activities. When free speech is allowed to flourish, our democracy is stronger".

More "free speech" for people with more money. No surprise the GOP supports this. According to a story I read on Yahoo recently (Voting Laws: The Last Stand of The Old and The White), "nativist white Americans [are] trying to hold onto political power for as long as possible as the demographics of the nation change".

Add campaign finance laws to the GOP's tool bag of dirty tricks.

Jerry Critter said...

It is interesting that money is equated with "free"speech. Seems like a bit of an oxymoron to me...at least the "free" part.

okjimm said...

I am not altogether adverse to private contributions to campaigns....or even SOME corporation donations....but there must be caps and limits and total transparency. Like the quoted remark from McCain..

"scandals involving corrupt public officials and unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions that will force the system to be reformed once again".,,,,,ok,,,AND add a window within which campaigning may occur. We do not need a 24 month campaign....sheesh...I wish they(politician/representatives) would spend just a little more time 'running' the country rather than running off the mouth.

The Preening Tower of Lisa said...

A new edition featuring Jeb, Ted and Rand will doubtless be forthcoming soon by way of Koch Adelson & Koch.

The faces may change, but the stench of ROT, CONCEIT, CUPIDITY and CORRUPTION remains constant.

Pardon me. I can no longer resist the urge to hurl.

okjimm said...

jerry C... if only 'free speech' equated with 'free beer'...aw, if wishes were horses, Pigs would have wings....or some such wisdom.

must go...Wisconsin plays in a few hours and I must go scrounge up for a pint or three.