In January 2010, the Supreme Court made it easier to
steal buy an election. Whaaaaa? Nooooo, not possible you say?? HA!
Quick background, in a case called “Citizens United” (I would link to wiki but…) the Supreme Court ruled that “the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.” Prior to this decision there were laws in place that RESTRICTED the amount of money any one corporation or union could spend on a campaign or specifically on a candidate.
However, they did NOT change the bans restricting the amount of money that can be directly donated to a candidate. “But wait!” you say. If a corporation can donate unlimited amounts of money to a candidate’s campaign then what the hell does it matter if it can’t be donated DIRECTLY to the candidate because the candidate still benefits no matter what.
And THIS is the first presidential election where we get to see the results of the Supreme Court’s folly. To be fair to the entire court, there was pretty much an ideological split down the middle. The case was decided 5-4, with the conservative wing of the court leading the charge. The 4 dissenters were plenty unhappy with the result and Justice Stevens wrote a 90 page missive explaining exactly why this was a f*cked up ruling. (btw, he didn’t use the “f” word, that is me paraphrasing, just wanted to go ‘head and clear that up right way). But no matter, his opinion was in the minority and thus him and his crew lost.
Funny how when I see/hear/type the word “minority” I immediately think of someone or someones “getting screwed” – go figure.
Continuing, this ruling led to what we now call “THE SUPER PAC” (ooooo, ahhhhh, ooohhh). “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife!!!”
Defined: “The superPAC is like a traditional PAC (political action committee) without many of the restrictions.” As I noted above, a SuperPac “can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money for the sole purpose of supporting or opposing political candidates.”
Wait there’s more: “a superPAC” can directly attack a political candidate. The only caveat is that a “superPAC” is not allowed to coordinate directly with candidates or political parties.” Yes, you may LOL here. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Better yet, watch the vids below as Stephen Colbert beautifully highlights how this works.
First vid – skip to 2:35
Second vid – longer but worth it (relevant section ends at 6:36)
So now we have ish like this: Billionaire Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million dollars to a SUPERpac that supports his good friend Newt “babyface” Gingrich (talk about unwise financial moves – gee whiz).
Honestly I think this money was given because he really hates Romney and was like “oh I get to help fund ads attacking that a*shole from Massachusetts? Bet!” Nice how we share at least that much in common.
Here’s a current list for your review:
Honestly, clearly wealthy people have been trying to buy elections since like forever AND clearly they had figured out ways around the restrictions that were in place BUT this ruling dropped all pretenses. Now there is no need to figure out a way to discreetly hook up your homey, you can just pull your pants down and – alright I won’t finish that thought but you get where I’m going.
One unintended comedic benefit, Stephen Colbert gets to run ads like this:
The takeaway: STAY INFORMED AND ABOVE ALL ELSE VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!! #obama2012
*This message was crafted by the committee to keep Crescent’s blog online.