The much-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision in the pivotal campaign finance case, McCutcheon v. FEC, was issued earlier this month, and once again the court ruled on the side of big money in knocking down aggregate campaign contribution limits. The case challenged the limits on the total contributions from an individual donor to candidates and political committees that were designed to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption.
The importance of this decision cannot be overstated. While McCutcheon dealt with a technical and arcane matter of campaign finance law, in the end it is all about more money and more influence. As a result of this decision, another loophole in campaign finance laws has opened allowing political parties and PACs to become huge funnels for corrupting elected officials across the country.
The court has used the McCutcheon decision to continue dismantling the wall of protection against big money dominance in our political system — case by case, brick by brick. As in previous decisions by the Roberts court, the chief justice ignores the corruption he is turning loose in America’s election system.
Simply put: The McCutcheon decision means more power for big money and more corruption for the rest of us. Now more than ever, we need to fight to make every vote count and give every eligible voter free and fair access to the polls. In the end, the only reliable response to a flood of money in our elections is a flood of voters at the polls.
The writer is a member of the board of the League of Women Voters of Central Vermont.
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