Berkeley, CA - Daniel G. Newman, President and Co-Founder of MapLight, a nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics, says the Supreme Court decision on McCutcheon v. FEC, "puts American democracy in peril." Prior to the decision, a wealthy donor was limited to a contribution cap of $123,200. Now, that same donor can give more than $3.5 million directly to favored candidates, parties, and committees.
"The Supreme Court majority handed further control of our government to the super rich," said Newman. "It expanded the power of the few hundred Americans who will now spend millions of dollars paying for their favorite candidates to get elected, at the expense of everyone else."
From Justice Breyer's dissent, "Today's decision eviscerates our nation's campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve."
The Supreme Court based its decision in part on the absurd notion that relentless fundraising and special access by campaign contributors don't influence lawmakers' decisions," said Newman. "MapLight has shown, on issue after issue, that how lawmakers vote correlates with what industries contribute to their campaigns. Though the Court's logic comes from a fantasy 'through the looking glass' world, it is all of us in the real world that unfortunately have to live with the consequences."
"Americans are already forced to lived in a post Citizen's United environment," said Newman. "Today's majority decision has aleady galvanized millions across the country to fight for public funding of elections and other changes needed to make our legislators work for we, the people."