Today's Supreme Court ruling removing overall limits on contributions to candidates for federal office by individuals restores some measure of freedom, and specifically freedom of speech.
Let's get something straight. Money equals speech. I can write all day long on this blog and nobody reads it unless energy is expended trying to attract readers. The more money I spend, the more energy I can exert, and the more readers I can attract. The same is exactly true for political candidates.
The crazies (including four Supreme Court Justices) will scream that the ruling increases the likelihood that those with money will have an advantage and potentially use that money to corrupt politicians. Baloney!
The fact is that the ruling keeps in place the $2,600 per candidate per election limitations on individual candidate contributions ($5,600 per election cycle, per candidate, split between primary and general elections). The ruling means that some rich guy like George Soros is now free to give $5,600 per election cycle to every left wing progressive growth destroying candidate he can find running for federal office. He can now, for example, directly contribute a total of $560,000 to 100 different candidates for Federal Office as well as contribute $32,400 per year to each of the three Democratic national committees.
OK, great, the Koch Brothers can do the same on the other side of the ledger and, taken together, more money will be legally available to candidates and political parties to get their message directly to the voters. Further, this change likely means more money directly supporting candidates and less money for PACs and Super PACs who cannot speak directly for candidates. MORE SPEECH IS ALWAYS BETTER.
Another factor needs to be understood here. Every voter has a vested interest in sending money to candidates and parties they support AND EVERY VOTER SHOULD DO SO!
In my small town I hear constant whining about how developers are the ones who contribute to local political candidates, supposedly swaying their decisions as elected officials. Funny thing is that my town has 17,000 voters, only about 300 people who contribute any amount to political campaigns, and typically less than 5,000 people who actually vote in local elections. If just 1,000 voters here gave $25 to a particular candidate it would make a significant difference in both who would want to be a candidate, how much they could communicate to the voters, and whose interest they would actually represent at city hall.
We need to thank our Supreme Court for affirming our right to free speech in elections. Our democracy needs to be a competition of ideas if it is to remain credible in the eyes of all voters. Let the games begin and may the best man or woman win. More speech! Please!
Regards, Pete Weldon