“Ladies and gentlemen the next President of the United States”, brought to you by the good folks at General Electric. This is really a parody. However a recent Supreme Court decision has made it possible for such a scenario to become a reality.
The Supreme Court ruled Jan. 21, 2010 in a 5-4 decision that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
The case came to light when a conservative political group, Citizens United, wanted to air ads for a movie they made that was critical of Hillary Clinton during her attempt to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. The federal courts ruled that the movie was a campaign ad and should be regulated like one.
WWJ Newsradio 950 reports:
“It’s the Super Bowl of bad decisions,” said Common Cause president Bob Edgar, a former congressman from Pennsylvania.
Congressman Pete Hoekstra, (R) Michigan, believes that the decision would alleviate some of the unintended consequences of McCain-Feingold.
The McCain-Feingold Bill, formally known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was introduced to the United States Senate in 2002 by Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold in an attempt to reform campaign financing in the United States.
The Washington Post is reporting:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), co-crafter of landmark campaign finance legislation in his career, said he thought not much could be done to counter the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to lift long-held restrictions on corporate donations to political candidates.
“I think that there’s going to be, over time, a backlash,” McCain said. “Because, when you see the amounts of union and corporate money that’s going to go into political campaigns — but, in the short term, the Supreme Court has spoken. I respect their decision.”
Senator Chris Dodd, (D) Connecticut issued the following statement:
“What a terrible day for American democracy. With this 5-4 decision, a deeply divided Supreme Court has essentially given corporations free rein to drown out the voices of the American people, rejecting the sacred democratic principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ By overturning the century-old cornerstone of our campaign finance laws, they have opened the floodgates of direct corporate spending, allowing our political discourse and the legislative process to be further corrupted by huge corporations. I intend to pursue every legislative option – including a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the states to put appropriate limits on campaign spending – to restore the trust and voice of the American people.”