Tomorrow marks the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s game-changing decision in Citizens United v. FEC, overturning a century of campaign finance law by allowing corporations to spend as much money as they want on ads and other means to influence peoples votes for or against a candidate.
At the same time, a group of 12 activists got together in Northern California to discuss what they could do to push back against the idea that money equals speech and the corporations are people, and Move to Amend was formed.
Meanwhile, the Citizens United decision didn’t affect individual contributions. Individuals were still limited to donating to any single candidate ($5,200 per election cycle), PAC ($5,000 per year), or national political party ($32,400 per year)- WITH THE MAXIMUM AGGREGATE LIMIT -in 2014 – of $48,600 TO FEDERAL CANDIDATES, $74, 600 TO PARTIES AND PAC’S. That’s an overall limit of $123,200, or more than twice what average American families make in a year.
On October 8th, 2013, lawyers for Shaun McCutcheon and the RNC argued before the Supreme Court that these aggregate limits should be thrown out, and the court ruled in their favor.
I interviewed Shaun McCutcheon once before and, though I vehemently disagreed with virtually everything he said, he was willing to come on the show to talk with me. And when I proposed the idea of debating David Cobb live on this show, he didn’t hesitate.
That said, despite my best efforts to remain calm and neutral during the debate, I did have one outburst when I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. But I soon recovered and just let the two of them do the talking (which I should have done earlier!).
So, for the last hour or so of today’s show, they had at it… The Clash Over Campaign Cash, a debate between Move To Amend‘s David Cobb, and the Alabama businessman who took his case all the way to the Supreme Court, Shaun McCutcheon. The debate begins at 1:21:17.