Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Supreme Court Ruling on Campaign Finance.

Don't miss Jeff Zeleny's blog post at the NYTimes on today's disastrous ruling on campaign finance. With this decision, the corporate buying of candidates has gone from terrible to worse. Zeleny writes:

Today’s ruling upends the nation’s campaign finance laws, allowing corporations and labor unions to spend freely on behalf of political candidates. With less than 11 months before the fall elections, the floodgates for political contributions will open wide, adding another element of intrigue to the fight for control of Congress.

At first blush, Republican candidates would seem to benefit from this seismic change in how political campaigns are conducted in America. The political environment – an angry, frustrated electorate seeking change in Washington – was already favoring Republicans. Now corporations, labor unions and a host of other organizations can weigh in like never before.

But the populist showdown that was already brewing – President Obama on Thursday sought to limit the size of the nation’s banks – will surely only intensify by the Supreme Court’s ruling. The development means that both sides will have even louder megaphones to make their voices and viewpoints heard.

Mr. Obama issued a statement – a rare instance of a president immediately weighing in on a ruling from the high court – and said his administration would work with Congressional leaders “to develop a forceful response to this decision.”

“With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics,” Mr. Obama said. “It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

Republicans, of course, hailed the ruling as a victory for the First Amendment.

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