As if granting corporations protected status as people and allowing dark money to buy out legislative agendas wasn’t bad enough, a whole new Supreme Court case known affectionately as “Citizen’s United On Steroids” has gone before the justices, this time with the potential to completely eliminate aggregate financial donation caps to politicians and parties by wealthy individuals
At the center of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama businessman and member of the Republican National Committee who believes that his wealth should entitle him to as much political speech (power) as he can afford. In his diatribe posted to Politico back in October, McCutcheon argues that removing campaign finance caps for aggregate donations to parties and candidates is a essential to protecting the first amendment and democracy itself.
Now, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that McCutcheon, in addition to being a member of the RNC and chairman of the conservative SuperPAC “Conservative Action Fund,” is also a highly active member of the “ACA” or Alabama Coal Association, which at the very top of its main website page calls upon visitors to “Stand With Coal, Fight The Liberal Environmental Agenda!”
As any good industrial lobbying group would, it also states it’s first core goal (aside from fighting the liberal environmental agenda of breathable air, higher life expectancy and a reduction in CO2 emissions,) as being to:
…develop and maintain productive relationships with governmental bodies and agencies and to insure accurate and timely representations of the industry’s views on issues which affect it.”
Or, in other words, lobby elected officials to do their bidding, including eliminating environmental protections and regulations on their industry as well likely sprinkling a boat load of tax exemptions and loopholes on for good measure.
Now taken separately, these two issues – those of further Republican efforts to erode democracy and our electoral processes by further flooding them with money AND the issue of continued high pressure lobbying efforts from a red-state smog producing industry – should be frightening enough. But when one considers that the might of the coal and dirty energy industries, as well as financial interest lobbies have gone to court behind a wealthy RNC puppet like McCutcheon in an attempt to further expand their reach and influence in government, the end affects of a ruling in McCutcheon’s favor are utterly terrifying.
Activists from across the board are now scrambling to organize what defenses they can, both to raise awareness of the threat posed by McCutcheon and his corporate-conservative allies, as well as to urge Supreme Court Justices not to allow these wealthy corporate juggernauts to erode our democracy any further.