by John Nichols
June 28, 2011
John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Beat since 1999.
The US Supreme Court’s conservative majority continued its project of bartering off American democracy to the highest bidder with a decision Monday that will make it dramatically harder to counter free-spending attack campaigns funded by billionaire donors and corporate spin machines.
With a 5-4 vote, the Court has struck down a matching-funds mechanism in Arizona’s Clean Elections Law that allowed candidates who accepted public funding to match the spending of privately funded candidates and independent groups that might attack them. Under the Arizona law — which has long been considered a national model for using public funds to pay for campaigns — candidates who accept public funding are limited in what they can spend.