The U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that overturned restrictions on corporate and union spending on political campaigns mirrors the free-flowing, cash-for-politician-support-groups system already in place in California.
" ... The decision appears to create a national system that mirrors the one in existence here in California since voters approved Proposition 34 almost ten years ago -- a system where contributions made in support or opposition of a candidate, but independently of that candidate's campaign, aren't subject to any limits," writes John Myers at KQED's Capital Notes blog.
And what has been the effect in the Golden State? About $88 million in political contributions have been spent from 2002 to 2008, with $61.7 million of that representing contributions that would be over the limit if they had gone directly to candidates instead of to third parties supporting those candidates, according to KQED.
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California, Myers notes, is the political "wild west," and soon the rest of the nation will be without much of a political sheriff in town too.