SCOTUS Rules on State Campaign Contributions

In a two-paragraph opinion, the Supreme Court refused to revisit Citizens United and ruled 5-4 that Montana’s 100-year-old law limiting corporate campaign contributions was invalid, reversing the Montana Supreme Court.  Twenty-two other states had joined with Montana.

So efforts to restrict corporate spending in local and state elections have failed.

The case was American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock.

Thanks a Lot, Citizens United

The NYT is reporting* that more than 500 Super PACs have registered with the Federal Election Commission.

Very rich people used to show off with their Gulfstreams and Ferraris — a Super PAC is the new status symbol.

So now the whole point of limiting the dollar amount of campaign contributions, such as $2500 per person for a presidential campaign, is meaningless.  You just shift your money away from the campaign to its Super PAC.

That’s why Mitt’s Super PAC, Restore Our Future, has spent twice as much on ads so far, about $45 million, as Mitt’s campaign.  And those ads don’t have the tempering effect that the words “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message,” should have.  A candidate can be more shameless and outrageous when he doesn’t have his name on the thing.

If Citizens United protects “speech,” it’s pretty obscene speech.

Between the lobbyists and the campaign finance laws, We the People really don’t have a chance.

“Super PACs Let Strategists Off the Leash,” Nicholas Confessore

Will Romney Pay to Keep Bachmann, Santorum, and Paul Afloat?

Typically when you’re running for president, your aim is to get your opponents to drop out as soon as possible.  But in Mitt “I’m Also Unemployed” Romney’s case, he needs Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul to stick around to help him against Rick Perry.  They do this both by their Greek Chorus attacks on Perry and by draining far-right votes away from him in early contests.

We know that Mitt agreed to help Tim Pawlenty retire his campaign debt in exchange for an endorsement.  Given the loosey-goosey state of soft money allowed under Citizens United, Mitt can direct money to help Bachmann, Santorum, and Paul.  He can promise them jobs in his Administration, not to drop out, as you’d normally expect by promising someone State or Defense, but to stay in until he sticks a fork in Perry.

Mitt may have to support not only his campaign, but also selective opponents’.  This is his last shot at the nomination, and, if “it takes a village” to get him there, he won’t hesitate.