In his weekly radio address, President Obama showed his dismay at the Supreme Court’s decision to remove corporate campaign finance limits, warning of a pending deluge of special interest money into our democracy—a subject he knows quite well as he continues to fight for health care reform. —JCL
Obama’s broadside was triggered by a 5-4 ruling by the court’s justices on Thursday that removed long-standing campaign finance limits and allowed corporations to spend freely in campaigns for president and Congress. In the ruling, the court’s conservative majority said the limits had violated corporations’ constitutional right to free speech.
The ruling is expected to unleash a flood of money into this year’s congressional elections. Obama’s fellow Democrats face a struggle to retain control of the Congress amid voter unhappiness over double-digit unemployment, a record deficit, political gridlock in Washington and other matters.
“This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.
“It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way—or to punish those who don’t. This ruling strikes at democracy itself,” Obama said.