"SCOTUS ruling not so bad?"
New money will flow into campaigns this year as a result of Thursday’s Supreme Court decision, but will the impact be as dramatic as all the hyperventilating in Washington suggests?
Experts say probably not.
“It’s time for everybody to calm down,” said Ken Gross, a campaign finance expert at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, who, like other lawyers in the field, thinks the possible repercussions of the decision have been exaggerated.
The court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission clears the way for corporations and unions to use their general fund cash to run sharp, targeted ads in political campaigns.
It’s a ruling that advocates of campaign finance reform claim will allow businesses to tap into their vast treasuries and flood the airwaves with hard-hitting ads – commercials that Democrats fear will be aimed mostly at them.
That’s certainly possible and, even if corporations hold off initially, they could unleash their cash in the future if relations with Congress truly go bad. In addition, there could well be some ideologically-driven firms that decide to target particular candidates – just as some wealthy individuals have done in the past.
But the reality is likely to be something more modest, mainly a shifting of cash that’s already in the system away from so-called 527 groups.
In the last decade, corporations have actually been trying to get out of the business of big political giving. They sided with reform advocates when the McCain-Feingold law was first challenged in 2003 and testified on behalf of its ban on unlimited corporate giving to the political parties, which were dubbed “soft money” donations.
The reasons for this reluctance were complex. Some executives hated the way politicians always had their hand out, making appeals that were difficult to turn down for fear of retribution in the legislative process. Others didn’t like the lack of control they had over how their money was spent. . . .
Meanwhile the NY Times is hyperventilating: "Campaign Finance Case Calls 24 States’ Laws Into Question."