Muddying the Playing Field
The havoc that its 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v.
The millions of dollars unleashed by the court's declaration that, as
Gingrich's super PAC assault on Romney in the
The court's narrow majority decision lifting the previous ban on corporate and union campaign contributions rationalized that independent expenditures devoid of collaboration with a formal campaign "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption" of the sort that would warrant such a ban.
But two liberal Democrats who voted against the decision, Justices
The highest federal court has blocked that local ruling, but Ginsburg says such expenditures in
Similarly disingenuous this election season is the ludicrous contention that simply because the operatives of a super PAC do not "consult" or "collaborate" with a formal candidate campaign, collusion will not occur. A candidate's formal campaign can simply leave a certain essential function undone, such as buying and airing advertising, knowing the super PAC will move in and fill the gap.
This wink-and-nod arrangement enables a candidate to insist he has no control over what the "unaffiliated" super PAC is airing. At the same time, formal candidate campaign strategists argue that this "independence" can lead to decisions detrimental to their candidate, and that they'd rather to have money contributed directly. Nevertheless, the fact that former campaign or staff aides of the candidates are running the various super PACs make a further mockery of the notion that the two entities are not in cahoots.
In any event, President Obama's recent announcement that his campaign is obliged to encourage big-money supporters to give to the super PAC working in his behalf, rather than committing unilateral disarmament in the money war, puts him on the same low road being traveled by the Republican candidates. And it suggests that what up to now has been mostly a Republican alley brawl will become bipartisan trench warfare, to the detriment of what should be a competition of ideas, policies and qualities of leadership.
Obama's own direct fundraising, while maybe not on a pace to match the
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Muddying the Playing Field | Politics
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