Supreme Court Put An Even Bigger "For Sale" Sign On Capitol Hill
Today primary results were influenced by tens of millions of dollars flooding into districts at the last minute to smear grassroots candidates like Erica Smith and Nida Allam in North Carolina and Summer Lee in Pennsylvania. Yesterday, in an all-to-predictable 6-3 decision, the illegitimate and thoroughly corrupt Supreme Court sided with Ted Cruz and against a federal policy seeking to prevent bribery by banning third parties repaying a candidate's campaign loan to himself after an election. The 6 far right justices/corporate whores called it a violation of free speech.
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, explained the little trick the Court just pulled off for America's most wealthy and most corrupt politicians: "The money is going directly into the pocket of the officeholder, so its not really a campaign contribution, it's a financial gift... a continuing pattern of extreme hostility by the Supreme Court ever since Chief Justice Roberts came on the Court. They have really tilted the system to the very wealthy in this country."
Last night, reporting for Axios, Lachlan Markay wrote that the court "boosted high-dollar donors' abilities to personally enrich candidates-- including ones like the wealthy individuals pouring millions into their own campaigns this year-- if they prevail on Election Day.
Wealthy candidates who lend millions to their campaigns can secure public office, then go to their top donors for sums that could reach the millions.
They can seek contributions to repay themselves and then deposit the money directly into their personal bank accounts.
While the donations are capped at the amount of the candidate's campaign loan, the risk of corruption is "self-evident and acute," according to the Campaign Legal Center.
The good-government group filed an amicus brief in the case.
Markay reminded his readers that this cycle has seen a huge number of wealthy self-funders, almost the norm now among Republicans. "Ninety-five House and Senate candidates have already loaned their campaigns more than $250,000, according to Federal Election Commission records. In the GOP primary in Pennsylvania today Dr. Oz "loaned nearly $15 million to his own campaign. [Hedge fund manager David] McCormick has loaned $11 million and [Carla] Sands has chipped in $3.9 million for her race. In Arizona, Republican businessman Jim Lamon has loaned his Senate campaign $13 million. In Alabama, Republican Mike Durant has loaned about $2.6 million to his Senate campaign. In Wisconsin, Democrat Alex Lasry has loaned his Senate campaign more than $7 million. His primary opponent Sarah Godlewski, has loaned hers nearly $3 million. Under prior campaign finance rules, candidates could only raise up to $250,000 after an election to reimburse themselves. On Monday, the high court struck down that cap."
Under the court's ruling, a candidate who lends millions to his or her campaign is now in a position to solicit that-- plus far more in traditional donations-- after they've been elected and hold office.
While individual donors are still bound by the per-election contribution cap-- $2,900 in 2022-- the Supreme Court decision means candidates can collect far more from them on aggregate to repay their own loans.
Wealthy candidates often argue they will avoid any conflicts of interest while in office by self-financing their campaigns. Now, they have an unfettered way to make themselves whole after voters have gone to the polls.
There are too many multimillionaires in Congress already. This ruling will make it even worse. Eventually Congress will be completely bought and paid for by the very rich, the way the GOP already is.