Twenty-two other states and John McCain recently joined Montana to defend its 1912 law against unfettered corporate campaign contributions, which had been passed because legislators were controlled by corporate money. In an extension of its 2010 Citizens United decision, the U.S. Supreme Court just went further to say that states cannot have laws that contradict it.
Besides the obvious perils of anonymous, unlimited, corporate money flooding American politics, there are two things here that really bother me. The first is that labor unions — even in their heyday — had only a fraction of the money of corporate America, and Republicans are out to eliminate them — as evidenced by the 10-1 spending in Wisconsin’s recall election, which was prompted by Gov. [Scott] Walker’s attempt to weaken and eventually kill the unions.
Second, the big-government-hating Tea Party is deafeningly silent about the Supreme Court’s obvious trampling on Montana’s (et al) state’s rights. They seem outraged by big government only when it suits them — like trumping up bogus fears over imaginary plans to take away their guns.
I doubt if we’ll hear a peep out of Robert Schilling, since he had already received $6,000 from the Koch brothers in January. But Cheri Bustos values the integrity of our votes. She has said she will fully support campaign finance reform. Let’s give her a chance to do that next November. This may be the signature issue of our time.
From the July 11-17, 2012, issue