Follow the money (cont.)

By Christopher B. Daly

Is political spending the same as political speech? Does it deserve the same constitutional protections? Is there anything that can be done to undo the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court?

Those are some of the questions raised by the 2012 elections. In the Times, Nicholas Confessore has been doing a good job keeping an eye on the money in politics, and today he weighs in with a “political memo.” (Is that reporting? analysis? opinion?)

One point the memo makes is that if you have a huge number of donors each giving a small amount, you can raise all the money you need to counter the impact of a small number of huge donors. Look at it this way:

100 wealthy donors give $1 million each.

100 x 1,000,000 = 100,000,000

1 million ordinary donors give $100 each:

1,000,000 x 100 = 100,000,000

So, it’s a tie. That shows the power of a million people acting together.

A question remains: How are we better off as a society with all that spending?


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