A government “of the money, for the money and by the money”… the Roberts Supreme Court once again ignored legal precedent and ruled to eliminate any campaign spending limits on individuals. Justice Thomas even went out of his way to write an opinion advocating for eliminating ANY restrictions on money. Their rationale (if one could even suggest there was any rationality) was that money given for political campaigns was free speech and protected by the Constitution. I agree with many analysts that this ruling paves the way for the destruction of the American electoral system. This is not hyperbole.
We may all share the right of free speech, but at what point does the “speech” of the .0001% extinguishes the speech of the 99%? What if … the Koch brothers decided to buy up every minute of media advertizing in a campaign for their candidate because they can afford it? Doesn’t that restrict (if not eliminate) the speech of the other candidate and their supporters? What if Sheldon Adelson decided that he would spend .001% of his wealth to bankroll every single election in a given state to the point where no opposing candidate could compete? I guess he could rename the state after himself afterwards. When does “free speech” simply become bribery?
President Obama and Mitt Romney each spent about $1 billion in the last campaign. Since that campaign ended, the Koch brothers’ industries have profited over $12 billion, thanks in part to tax law changes and government contracts awarded to them. It would make good business sense for them to take $6 billion of that profit to overwhelm the next campaign for president and congress. Bye-bye EPA … bye-bye NLRB … bye-bye any obstacle to unbridled profits for them.
The immediate effect of the Court’s ruling will be to change the fundamental nature of political elections: from now on candidates for elections will be pre-determined NOT by their ideas or principles, but by their capacity to get funding. That means a very few individuals in this country will determine who will be nominated and ultimately, who will be elected.