If you live in Washington State and you watch any television at all, then you like me are sick of the non-stop negative campaign ads about Dino Rossi, Patty Murray, Dave Reichert, and all of the ballot intitiatives. There have never been so many, they’ve never been aired as frequently, and they’ve never been so negative and mendacious. And it’s only the mid terms.
Timothy Egan says it’s even worse in Colorado, and he explains the effects of the Citizens United decision:
But the Citizens United decision of the Roberts court has fundamentally changed how we choose our leaders and our laws, all for the worse.
Here’s what’s happened: Spending by interest groups in this fall’s senate races has gone up 91 percent from the same period in 2008, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. At the same time, spending by political parties has fallen 61 percent.
So corporations, whose sole purpose is to return money to shareholders, were given the legal right to be “natural persons” in our elections and are now overwhelming them. But political parties, which exist to promote ideas and governing principles, have seen their voices sharply diminished.
Though Republican-leaning special interests are currently outspending the other side by a 9-to-1 ratio, Democrats will soon follow Karl Rove’s lead and learn to bundle and hide wealthy contributors.
I can’t wait until 2012.