A Supreme Court decision issued on Wednesday is likely to fundamentally reshape the political terrain for the 2014 elections and beyond, further increasing the influence of large donors, but also opening the door for each party’s establishment to reclaim some power from “super PACs” and other outside groups.
The decision, which flowed from a legal challenge by Shaun McCutcheon, a wealthy Alabama businessman and Republican donor, erased a decades-old limit on the total amount any one person can give to federal candidates and parties in any two-year election cycle. The limit had meant that no donors, no matter how large their bank account, could make the maximum contribution to more than a handful of candidates and PACs each year.
The ruling most empowers two groups of people: those with the wherewithal to spend millions of dollars on campaign contributions, and those with access to them, including party leaders, senior lawmakers and presidents. ...
Corporatism on speed and steroids. The end game will likely be -- after the Roberts court strips away the rest of 20th century reforms -- that there are no constraints on what the Chosen Few can spend to influence elections, from county and city elections on up to federal. And we can anticipate smaller infrastructure spending, tax shifting onto wage-earners in the $30,000 to $90,000 range, smaller Social Security benefits and Medicare payments over time, less social welfare and educational spending.
I'll be interested to see what impact this has on the 2014 elections, and the Presidential contest in 2016.