Monday, June 27, 2011

Clean Elections Ruling: The Roberts' Supreme Court sides with deep pockets against average citizens

From the Arizona Republic, written by Mary Jo Pitzl -
In a 5-4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down a key provision of Arizona's public campaign-finance law.

The court's decision means candidates running under the Arizona Clean Elections system in next year's state elections will not be able to tap public dollars to match the funds raised by their opponents.

Matching funds were created to try and level the playing field between candidates running with public funds and those funding their campaigns with traditional fund-raising tactics.

"I'm delighted," said state Sen. John McComish, R-Phoenix, who was celebrating the court's ruling with attorneys at the Goldwater Institute, which challenged the Arizona law during the 2008 campaign cycle.
Linda Brown, executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, said regarding the decision “Voters want elected officials to be accountable to them, not wealthy donors.  Unfortunately this Court favors the money over the many.  They are pushing our country, and more importantly our democracy, down a dangerous path.”

In the dissent portion of the court's decision, Justice Elena Kagan wrote "So they are making a novel argument: that Arizona violated their First Amendment rights by disbursing funds to other speakers even though they could have received (but chose to spurn) the same financial assistance. Some people might call that chutzpah."

Justice Kagan is a lot more tactful than I am.

I would have just called it what it is.


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