The issue of election campaign financing is fast becoming a hot topic in the run up to the presidential election. Although it can be argued that the Supreme court ruling allowing unlimited campaign funding provides a level playing field for both the Democrats and the GOP, many critics are now suggesting that the ruling favors the GOP in more ways than one.
In a recent article in the Alaska Dispatch, Jean MacKenzie raises some interesting questions about the Mitt Romney’s wealth, and his apparent reluctance to answer questions about it. Romney is so far avoiding questions about offshore accounts, tax havens and outsourcing jobs when he was CEO of Bain Capital. It must be noted that none of these alleged activities are illegal, just that his avoidance of answering these questions may have a detrimental impact on his presidential campaign bid.
If the race to see who can raise the most money is the single determining factor in the presidential election race the liberal critics who have blasted the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling might point the finger of blame solely with Chief Justice John Roberts. Ironically it was Roberts who cast the determining vote in the recent Affordable Health Care Act ruling. The conservative Justice Roberts has already come in for some criticism regarding his influential role in the Citizens United case, which appears to give the GOP the upper hand when it comes to raising much needed campaign funds.
With corporations now reclassified as ‘people’ the door of opportunity for Republican supporting corporations to make unlimited campaign donations is wide open. The Alaska Dispatch’s article offers an insightful view on questions about how Chief Justice John Roberts could have played a significant role in helping to boost Republican fundraising efforts.
In her article, MacKenzie references a quote from Jeffrey Toobin’s lengthy article in the New Yorker from earlier this year that suggests Chief Justice Roberts had motivations to help the Republican party. The quotes Toobin as saying “So, as the chief justice chose how broadly to change the law in this area, the real question for him, it seems, was how much he wanted to help the Republican Party. Roberts’s choice was: a lot.”
It is of course fair to note that the issue of unlimited campaign financing follows partisan lines. On the right the Republicans rally for their constitutional rights and freedom of speech. On the left the Democrats cry foul about the selling of democracy and the door being open for buying elections and corruption. One thing is certain though, the amount of money raised will only be worth it if it’s spent wisely and influences those undecided swing voters.