The Supreme Court added another potentially game-changing case to their docket last Tuesday: campaign finance. The high court will hear arguments challenging federal limits on the total amount an individual can contribute to federal campaigns over two years.
A New York Times editorial called the move by SCOTUS “deeply worrisome,” saying the case “threatens to demolish even the modest control that government has over direct contributions.” These federal limits—which cap individual spending on federal elections at $123,200 over a period of two years—have in some ways become the bedrock of electoral politics after the Citizens United ruling in 2010 opened a floodgate of corporate money into the political system.
And although President Obama may have called for a reversal of the Citizens United ruling in the past, he seems to be embracing it these days. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the pro-Obama advocacy group, Organizing for Action, is giving special privileges to big donors.
It looks like pay to play may be here to stay.
Fred Wertheimer, President and CEO of Democracy 21, joined the NOW panel to discuss the brave new world of campaign finance. Wertheimer had some harsh words for President Obama, calling the move “unprecedented.” “This is taking business as usual to new heights in this city,” Wertheimer said.
As for the Supreme Court ruling, Wertheimer said that “as bad as this system is now, this will make it much worse.”