Campaign Ruling Is a Bombshell—or Not

Washington is 'hyperventilating,' but the impact may not be that profound
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2010 9:53 AM CST
Campaign Ruling Is a Bombshell—or Not
Representatives from Common Cause discuss the ruling outside the Supreme Court.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Most of the reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling on campaign spending presents it as a bombshell that will open the spigots of corporate and union coffers and radically change how races are run. Today's New York Times, for instance, notes that the ruling calls into question laws in no fewer than 24 states, with one Rutgers professor complaining that Colorado's constitution has been turned into "wastepaper."

Politico, however, suspects that the impact is going to be nowhere near as profound as the "hyperventilating in Washington" suggests. "The reality is likely to be something more modest, mainly a shifting of cash that’s already in the system away from so-called 527 groups," writes Jeanne Cummings. One reason: Even before McCain-Feingold, many corporations were moving away from the big-donor political game. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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