When the Supreme Court ruled that the law limiting corporate contributions was an infringement of the right to free speech, the conventional wisdom was–and is–that now big businesses will buy politicians by funding their elections. But it hasn’t turned out that way. Corporations aren’t giving much money at all to political candidates.
The ruling allowing unlimited “corporate” giving–”corporate” meaning collective organizations, not just business corporations–is indeed magnifying the reach of issue-driven organizations, which would be in accord with free political speech. And wealthy individuals, such as George Soros and the Koch brothers (notice how those who demonize one don’t demonize the other), can throw their weight around with their money. One might still worry about the influence of campaign contributions. But the point here is that business corporations are not, on the whole, giving many political contributions. They have found that giving money to politicians can just alienate some of their customers and that they can get more influence for their buck by hiring lobbyists. [Read more...]