Feature

How to fight unlimited contributions

Liberals should stop whining about Citizens United and do something about it.

Michael KinsleyBloomberg.com

Liberals should stop whining about Citizens United, said Michael Kinsley, and do something about it. That 2010 Supreme Court decision, allowing outside groups, corporations, and wealthy tycoons to spend unlimited money to influence elections, may be hard to swallow, but “it was correctly decided.” Even liberals concede that media companies such as, say, The New York Times, CBS News, or Fox News have a constitutional right to spend whatever they’d like to exercise their right to free speech. How can it be constitutional, therefore, to limit the speech of some corporations and not others? It isn’t. Predictably, Citizens United has unleashed a deluge of political contributions from corporations and the wealthy. But there is a way of evening the playing field: “Make money a voting issue.” That means stigmatizing any politician who tries to use “an offensive amount of money” to win an election. As public disgust over such spending rises, and a senator or two is defeated, it will “change the relationship between dollars spent and election results.” And the right to free speech will remain intact.

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