Corporate Cash Won't Ruin American Democracy

Supreme Court's ruling on political spending matters less than thought
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2010 1:38 PM CDT
Corporate Cash Won't Ruin American Democracy
It was feared that the Citizens United ruling would allow corporations to exercise undo influence in American democracy, but the truth is more complicated.   (Shutterstock)

Barack Obama and many others would have you believe that the flood of corporate money that was unleashed after the "Citizens United" ruling will drown American democracy. But just how valid is all their moaning? Not very, writes the Economist in its Lexington column. Though special interests are spending five times more money than in the 2006 midterms, the US political system is better protected against this so-called contamination than progressives would have you believe.

For one, money is not a cure-all—Meg Whitman has spent $120 million of her own money, and yet polls behind Jerry Brown, a relative pauper (he's spent $11 million). Once a candidate has spent enough to have strong name recognition, research suggests that the value of each additional dollar falls. The DNC managed to rake in a respectable $16 million last month, and though they've been outspent, trade unions have been doing what they do best: fighting the get-out-the-vote "ground war." "In other words," writes the Economist, it remains "a pretty fair fight." (More Citizens United stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.