David Cole has a piece in our new issue about how campaign finance reformers could get the controversial Supreme Court decision reversed using an incremental approach, starting at the state and local level—a strategy that proved successful for interest groups like the NRA for District of Columbia v. Heller and Freedom to Marry for Obergefell v. Hodges:
The place to start the fight against Citizens United is not the Supreme Court, or even Washington, D.C., but the hinterlands. When federal constitutional law is against you, you must look for alternative forums in which to press your case. And as with guns and family relations, most of the laws regarding elections are made by the states.
And Cole notes how bipartisan the support is among the American people: “A September 2015 Bloomberg poll found that about 80 percent of Republicans and Democrats alike oppose Citizens United.” But this reader isn’t one of them:
Why are we still talking about this when the current campaign has shown that the whole Citizens United hysteria was unfounded? Democracy is alive and kicking, and it turns out that the elites actually can’t make the people vote for their candidate.
Another reader agrees, citing the less-than-successful campaign from Jeb “Please Clap” Bush, among others:
Bush blew through $100 million and basically got nothing to show for it. Trump has spent very, very little and is the frontrunner. Hillary’s money hasn’t been able stop Bernie. This election proves that Citizens United is not causing the problems people said it would.
Yesterday The New York Times charted the ad spending of this campaign season so far, showing just how much the Bush and Rubio campaigns outspent their competitors to no avail, and how comparatively little money Trump has spent due to his massive advantage with free media.