January 22, 2010

The best legislature money can buy

I thought it was always the case that American politicians could spend as much as they could muster on electioneering. Well apparently not. But they can now according to this LA Times report:
Reporting from Washington - Overturning a century-old restriction, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations could spend as much as they wanted to sway voters in federal elections.

In a landmark 5-4 decision, the court's conservative bloc said that corporations had the same right to free speech as individuals, and for that reason the government could not stop corporations from spending to help their favored candidates.

The ruling, which will presumably apply as well to labor unions and other organizations, is likely to have an effect on this year's congressional elections. Many political analysts and election-law experts predict that millions of extra dollars will flood into this fall's contests, much of it benefiting Republican candidates.

Republicans praised the decision as a victory for wide-open political speech, but Democrats slammed it as a win for big money.

President Obama called the ruling "a major victory for Big Oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."
Hmm, I didn't know he cared.

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