January 21st, 2010
06:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Analysis: Ruling a game-changer for campaign spending

Washington (CNN) - Campaign 2010 is in full swing: Massachusetts elected its new U.S. senator this week, and the first congressional primaries are just days away.

Now the first task for every federal candidate in this midterm election year will be to read the Supreme Court's ruling Thursday on campaign finance for a reality-check road map to their political future. The 183-page decision promises to completely change the way independent spending on elections is conducted.

In Citizens v. Federal Election Commission, the justices in a large sense have erased the subtle but important distinction between corporate donors, which are subject to regulation, and individual donors, who largely are not.

Full story


Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Angry Vet

    The end of our democracy.

    January 21, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. MikeH

    America is doomed to turn into a Plutocratic Oligarchy where 1% of the population controls 99% of the nation's wealth, all of the nation's political power, and will soon begin the process of shutting down all public institutions.

    Public education a thing of the past. Interstate highways privatized into tollways reserved for the priveleged. Public utilities sold of to multinational consortiums. Gasoline filling stations will be membership only.

    The working poor will have no choice but to just lay down and die.

    January 21, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Minnesota gal

    Well we are just going out and incorporate ourselves and then we can get to support a candidate with as much money as we can. We are going to let people all over the country join our corporation....and donate money. So supreme court what more damage will you try to inflict on the American people.

    January 21, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Ethan

    GOP: Judicial activism is BAD. (Unless its done by us to give corporations more power, then its GREAT!)

    January 21, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. malclave

    McCain-Feingold and its assault on the 1st Amendment was the most compelling argument for not voting for McCain in 2008.

    January 21, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. Shelly

    As I am waiting to pay for my underwear and Beef jerky at the register at Scam Mart, the TV screens will transmit flashy, subliminal messages suggesting I vote for the empty headed pin up guy with the green truck. that conglomerate Scam Mart endorses. And because I am immediately taken by the pearly teeth and smile and the truck( but having NO clue about his agenda) I will head to the nearest voting booth to vote for this idiot. Thanks Scam Mart!!!!

    January 21, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. jimmm

    Political candidates may as well start wearing a "Sponsored by" sign on them.

    Time to take the $$ out of politics...this is the opposite of that.

    January 21, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. Ethan

    When has the Republican Party ever done anything to help the MIDDLE CLASS? The 5 judges who just destroyed the idea of giving the Little Guy a voice in elections? ALL APPOINTED BY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS. WAKE UP, AMERICA.

    January 21, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Carl Justus

    . If those five who voted to open up the political campaigns to outright bribery are suppose to be good judges, someone does not know have any idea what a judge is suppose to do.

    If they try to tell me that money is SPEECH, THEY MUST BE GETTING THEIR POCKETS FILLED. MONEY, WHEN GIVEN IN A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IN LARGE QUANTITIES TO A CANDIDATE IS DONE BY THE RICH AND POWERFUL AND THEY EXPECT AND GET A RETURN ON THEIR MONEY FOR IT NOTHING MORE THAN BRIBERY, OR IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT AN INVESTMENT THAT WILL ACTUALLY PRODUCE A PROFIT-–A NICE WAY TO SAY BRIBERY.

    January 21, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Best government money can buy

    This is a giant step backwards as we sink into the "Buy a vote" era of American politics.

    If the Supreme court had outlawed any outside contributions for elections, we could take the money and use it instead to end the recession and erase the deficit. But then we would not get the best government that money can buy.

    Question: Did the Supreme Court require any sort of warranty on elected officials we finance?

    January 21, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. They call me "tater salad"

    Looks like all of those Bush appointed Justices know what money smells like..........Some body's major financial investments are finally beginning to payoff ,apparently.......Welcome to The United States of AMERICORP. LLC......Better start teaching your children how to say please, thank you, and will there be anything else sir in Chinese!

    January 21, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. John, Brooklyn, NY

    It is appalling that the Reagan/Bush/Bush justices have confused guranteed rights for citizens with guranteed rights of corporations. Beware...it is only a slippery slope before they declare that corporations are inherently exempted form the Civil Rights Act of 1964 since it requires corporations to protect their employees from discrimination on the basis of religion. If a corporation declares that it has the right to declare its faith which, like speech, is protected by the constitution, then it could argue that it has the right to bar religious minorities from employment.

    January 21, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Ray E.

    No Political Ad has ever changed my mind on anything. Pepole aren't stupid. Well maybe for a little while but then they make a change.

    January 21, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  14. AJ

    This is the most corrupt, politically motivated court in modern history. This ruling underscores why we need an amendment taking politics out of judicial selection. This right wing court is attempting to help hijack future elections with corporate cash.

    January 21, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. rodeo clown

    With this ruling that has come down from the Supreme Court, we might as well consider "politics in America", forever changed. I feel it is time to throw out the two party system as we now know it and do what the Europeans do - Elect a Prime Minister!!

    I surely am not going to be sitting in front of the "Tube", or "surfing the Web", seriously watching any political campaigns from this day forward!! For me, it is a complete waste of my precious time! And now, with this ruling, MONEY AND POWER surely will be the WINNERS!! NO candidate who wins will have a chance to promote his platform, even when he is elected! The big CEO's and Corporations, will eat up the CANDIDATE AND THE PLATFORM, just like swallowing an M & M!!

    January 21, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |