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.
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.