News from MCFN: 04/02/2014
McCutcheon ruling is another blow to democracy
Statement of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network on McCutcheon v. F.E.C.
The 5-4 decision released today by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is one more step in the direction of monetizing American democracy. By abolishing aggregate limits on contributions individuals can make to federal candidates, PACs and political parties, the court has assured that individuals with the deepest pockets will have greater sway than ever in selecting who represents us and who drives public policy.
The court's narrow interpretation of the nature of corruption is out of touch with reality. When an individual can make an unlimited contribution to a political party, or make a contribution in the maximum allowable amount to every member of Congress, they are making an investment that demands a return on investment - engaging in bribery more than speech. The majority's ruling is contemptuous of the rights of the ordinary individual to participate in self-government.
In view of the fact that this ruling effectively removes all limits on money's privileges in politics, it is more important than ever that transparency and accountability must be reestablished in the political economy. When plutocrats are determined to purchase all benefits of government for themselves, we should make certain that they are forced to do so under the bright light of full disclosure. Citizens need to begin to reclaim democracy by ending the dark money era of American politics.
The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research and public education on money in Michigan politics.