Archive for April 5, 2014

Corruption in political activities is not a new concept, particularly with campaigning. Parties toss around attack ads rather than actually promote their beliefs and platforms with any legitimate detail. “Disconnected” groups make public claims to defame opposing candidates. Voters get turned away by threatening individuals. Parts of the Voting Rights Act have been stricken down in connection to a belief that racism has diminished or vanished, which creates more challenges against Voter ID laws. Large donors have found ways to use Super PACs to get around the $5,200 limit per donor. Money seems to be the most significant concern out of all of these, although there are some other elements that are used to represent this corruption.

Money…the element that influences politics. The Supreme Court has now opened the flood gates for more control of money from the wealthy. The former policy was that a donor could only contribute $5,200 total, but companies and organizations could donate whatever they wanted into Super PACs. The new ruling allows for individual donors to donate to as many candidates as they choose. They just cannot donate more than $5,200 to a single donor.

On the surface, conservatives can argue that this is just opening the opportunity for more people to participate in the process. The problem is that you have to have the money to contribute to multiple candidates, as the average American is never going to contribute more than the $5,200 allowed to one candidate. Average donors may contribute $5 or $10 to their favorite candidates, but they cannot compete with the available bank of the wealthiest 1%. Less than even a fraction of 1% of campaign contributors ever have hit the $5,200 limit. This leaves the playing field for candidates significantly on the side of the two-party system, particularly the conservative business connection part of that, and decreases the value of the average American.

Liberal/democratic candidates will be able to benefit from this as well, as they have some wealthy potential contributors at their disposal, but this means that moderate and independent candidates are now facing a steeper climb to have the opportunity to succeed in politics. It is too easy to imagine that corruption will breed expectations for quid pro quo for donors to candidates. Justice Scalia has stated that he believes that only that type of corruption would be of concern, but he somehow seems to fail to see that as a clear possibility in this case. All I can see happening is that the 646 wealthy donors that contributed the $5,200 maximum in the last election will spread their wealth around to more of their favorite candidates and/or those that cozy up to them for their money, like Sheldon Adelson.

I just hope that enough people pay attention to the significance of this change after others, like Citizens United, and find ways to keep the process as honest as possible.


To see the episode with Jon Stewart’s attack on the ruling…