While most people point to Citizens United as the case that opened the door to big money in U.S. elections, the lesser-known 2010 appeals court ruling in SpeechNow.org v. FEC is perhaps just as blameworthy—one legal scholar says the decision "gave birth to the super PAC takeover of American politics."
It is going to be a rough and rugged road. It used to be that a crook or lobbyist had to sidle up to a Senator, Congressman or other government official and whisper what they wanted done, and slip some money under the table.
- Nowadays, he/she just walks in the front door of the office, tells the government entity what they want done and throws a bundle of shrink wrapped $100s on the desk. And, it gets done.
Sounds good but then what pretense will the elite have to buy the elections? We know they are but they will have to find another way to do it. I don’t have any confidence a judge would rule against the elite at this point, the take over is almost if not completely done.
A judge ruled against big money spending in politics in Washington State just the other day. While that is not sufficient to assuage my despair about what can be accomplished in this toxic political climate, this, and a few other sane incidents are helping. It does seem as though there are some positive indicators. Not that I’ll hold my breath! It will take time to dispossess the elite. Every step helps!
Laws should be written so simply that a child can understand them. Before enacting a law, it should be approved by the public in a referendum. All laws should be subject to popular approval. That would be democracy.
The problems with our elections and political system go well beyond whatever method is chosen to finance campaigns. With the implicit consent of liberals, we now have a rigidly class-based society and political system, rich vs. middle class vs. poor. With or without PACs and super-PACs, the rich will have full representation, the middle class will have quite a lot, and the poor will have no representation whatsoever.
Or it would be a “tyranny of the majority” that gladly strips all other factions of fundamental civil and human rights. The US has already embraced too much of this, with some quite ugly consequences.
Clear sailing with a fair wind.