Is SCOTUS Gearing Up To Allow Unlimited Corporate Campaign Donations?


Over at Slate, Richard Hasen claims that the Supreme Court’s call for reargument of Citizens United v. FEC is a prelude to the Roberts Court overturning Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the decision that allowed limits on corporate spending in elections.

Some people believe that the influence of money in politics is, in Larry Lessig’s words, “not the most important problem, [but] the first problem,”—the problem we have to deal with before we can properly fix any of our other problems, just as an alcoholic needs to fix her alcoholism before she can fix her other, bigger problems. It almost goes without saying that turning a firehose of corporate money towards politicians’ campaign coffers would be akin to offering an alcoholic unlimited free drinks.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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