McCutcheon v. FEC v. Dibiase

As a fan of the odd worlds of politics and professional wrestling one cannot help on occasion comparing the WWE with the Beltway. In the late 80s, a bad guy by the name of ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted Dibiase was irking fans in their millions by winning titles not through pinning opponents in a match, but through paying others to take their achievements. His false prestige combined with a lack of real contest became universally despised.

Dibiase’s catchphrase, ‘Everybody has a price!’ is one that was effectively broadcast by the Supreme Court in its recent ruling on McCutcheon v. F.E.C.. The decision, which is essentially an extension of Citizens United v. F.E.C., serves to further reduce the limitations faced by corporations and wealthy donors to influence elections through spending. There are some who argue that, through the first amendment, individuals should be able to give as much money as they wish to candidates (or their Super PACs) however there is something fundamentally undemocratic in this principal. It essentially implies a pseudo oligarchic system where the wealthier in society have the right to influence elections more than the poor.

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks formed ‘Wolf-Pac’ in 2011 in an attempt to counteract court decisions of this nature. The main objective of the group is to pass an amendment to, ‘end corporate personhood and publicly finance all elections’. The necessity of an amendment specifically was compounded by McCutcheon v. F.E.C., both due to the growth in potential spending, and as the decision served as further evidence that the Federal Government would not act against the influence of money. An amendment which bypasses the Government is hence seen as necessary. The Supreme Court’s recent decision as well as the failure of the Disclose Act shows that neither the legislature nor the judiciary will act, while the executive, as the biggest beneficiary, will not act independently of the other party during elections or risk ruining their donation chances for the next cycle.

In short, the influence of money seems set to grow with groups such as Wolf-Pac still the sizeable minority. The door is therefore open for the likes of the comically evil Koch Brothers (who were accused of funding the government to avoid charges for leaking cancer causing chemicals) to decide elections, a fact which is too dastardly even for the whacky world of the WWE. Well, almost…


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