NY Times:Lobbyists Get Potent Weapon in Campaign Ruling

Written by admin on January 22nd, 2010

The New York Times points out the direct effect of the Supreme Court decision for lobbyists of all stripes.

Story here: (NYT registration required)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22donate.html?ref=us

The Supreme Court has handed lobbyists a new weapon. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: if you vote wrong, my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.

“We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you — whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The decision seeks to let voters choose for themselves among a multitude of voices and ideas when they go to the polls, but it will also increase the power of organized interest groups at the expense of candidates and political parties.

Fred Wertheimer, a longtime advocate of campaign finance laws, said the decision “wipes out a hundred years of history” during which American laws have sought to tamp down corporate power to influence elections.

 

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