Supreme Court Ruling on Aggregate Campaign Funding - Emily Bazelon

  • Aired:  04/03/14
  •  | Views: 9,533

Slate's Emily Bazelon describes how the McCutcheon v. FEC decision could place a large amount of influence in the hands of a few wealthy donors. (4:41)

( LAUGHTER )THE POINT IS EVERYONE IN AMERICA

SHOULD CELEBRATE THIS RULING.

HERE NOT TO CELEBRATE THISRULING IS LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR

FOR "SLATE," EMILY BAZELON.

EMILY, THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMINGBACK TO SEE YOU.

( APPLAUSE )ISN'T THIS WONDERFUL NEWS FOR

OPPRESSED MINORITIES IN THEUNITED STATES?

>> LIKE RICH PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: YES.

THE 1%.

THERE'S NO MINORITY SMALLER, ANDWE ARE THE ONES WHO HAD OUR

VOICES STIFLED BY THESE CAMPAIGNDONATION LIMITATIONS.

>> NO, I DON'T THINK RICH PEOPLEARE THE ONES WHO HAVE HAD THEIR

VOICES STIFLED.

WE HAVE PLENTY OF INFLUENCE OFRICH PEOPLE IN POLITICS.

>> Stephen: NOT AS MUCH AS WECOULD.

THAT IS WHAT JOHN ROBERTS ISSAYING, WHILE WE HAVE INFLUENCE

NOT AS MUCH AS WE COULD POSSIBLYHAVE.

>> RIGHT, BUT FOR YOU, THE RICHPEOPLE, TO HAVE ALL THE

INFLUENCE YOU COULD POSSIBLYHAVE, YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE

REST OF US WITH NO INFLUENCEBECAUSE --

>> Stephen: YOU ARE FREE TOHAVE COLLECTIVE ACTION.

GET TOGETHER OR GET RICH.

>> BUT WE-- WE -->> Stephen: HAVE YOU EVEN

THOUGHT ABOUT IT?

>> NOT SERIOUSLY.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TOCOMPETE SO IT WOULD BE SO EASY

FOR CANDIDATES AND PARTIES TO GOTO THE FEW PEOPLE WHO CAN

QUICKLY FUND CAMPAIGNS THATTHERE'S NO REASON TO RAISE MONEY

OR REALLY CARE ABOUT THE VIEWSOF EVERYBODY ELSE.

>> Stephen: BUT, I THINK IT'SBETTER FOR AMERICA BECAUSE LET'S

SAY-- WHERE DO YOU LIVE,CONNECTICUT?

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: OKAY, YOU'RE INCONNECTICUT, AND IN YOUR

DISTRICT, YOU'RE SUPPORTING THECANDIDATE YOU LIKE FOR CONGRESS.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: AND LET'S SAYTHIS PERSON GETS ELECTED AND

YOU'RE REPRESENTED IN CONGRESSBY THAT ONE PERSON, ALL RIGHT?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: SHELL ADELSONLIVING IN LAS VEGAS GIVES MONEY

TO HIS CONGRESSMAN AND ISREPRESENTED BY THEM, AND THEN HE

CAN GIVE TO EVERY OTHERCONGRESSMAN AS WELL, AND HE IS

THEN REPRESENTED IN EVERYDISTRICT OF AMERICA.

ISN'T THAT MORE DEMOCRACY?

>> NO, BECAUSE--( LAUGHTER )

MY CONGRESSWOMAN-- WOMAN--SHOULD BE REPRESENTING THE VIEWS

OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN HERDISTRICT, IN MY CITY.

AND THE NOTION THAT YOU CAN HAVEA FEW WEALTHY PEOPLE FROM ALL

OVER THE COUNTRY WHO GIVE TOEVERYONE AND WHO ARE GOING TO BE

INCREDIBLY COURTED BY THEINSIDERS AND THE PARTY, THAT

WILL GIVE THEM SO MUCH MOREPOWER.

>> Stephen: YOU THINK THAT'SCORRUPTION?

DO YOU THINK THAT IS CORRUPTION?

>> I THINK THAT IS CORRUPTION,BECAUSE --

>> Stephen: YOU'RE WRONG.

JOHN ROBERTS SAID THAT DOESN'TAPPEAR LIKE CORRUPTION.

>> JOHN ROBERT'S DEFINITION OFCORRUPTION IS SO NARROW IT HAS

NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REALPROBLEMS IN OUR SYSTEM.

WHAT IS REALLY A PROBLEM IS ALLOF THIS INFLUENCE.

IT'S NOT BRIBERY, WHICH ISESSENTIALLY ALL WE'RE LEFT WITH

AND IS VERY HARD TO PROVE.

IT IS THE WAY IN WHICH MONEYSHAPES THE POSITIONS THAT

CANDIDATES TAKE, EVEN THIS THOSEPOSITIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO

WITH WHAT MOST AMERICANS BELIEVESHOULD BE THE LAW.

>> Stephen: MAYBE JOHNROBERTS HAS MORE FAITH IN

AMERICAN PEOPLE AND BILLIONAIRESLIKE THAN YOU DO.

>> HE HAS A LOT MORE FAITH INBILLIONAIRES THAN I DO,

BUT IN JUSTICE BREYER'S DISSENTYOU HAVE THE CONCERN OF ALL THE

OTHER CITIZENS OF THE COUNTRY.

WHEN THE FRAMERS WERE TRYING TOFIGURE OUT HOW THE ELECTIONS

SHOULD WORK.

THERE ARE WRITINGS HOW THEYWANTED TO MAKE SURE IT WAS

BROADLY DISTRIBUTED AMONG THECITIZENRY.

>> Stephen: THE CAP FORPRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION IN

EVERY TWO-YEAR CYCLE IS$5200.

I LIKE WHAT JUSTICE THOMAS HADTO SAY IN HIS ADDENDUM TO THE

DECISION, I ASSUME.

HE SAID THERE SHOULDN'T BE ANYCAP.

IS HE AHEAD OF HIS TIME-- BYWHICH I MEAN ABOUT MAYBE ONE

YEAR?

>> PROBABLY BECAUSE NOW THAT THEDEFINITION OF CORRUPTION IS SO

NARROW THAT IT'S ONLY BRIBERY,IT WILL BE RELATIVELY EASY FOR

THE CONSERVATIVE JUSTICES, ALLFIVE OF THEM, TO SAY THAT

THERE'S NO LEGITIMATE RATIONALEFOR CONGRESS TO IMPOSE EVEN THE

$5200 PER CANDIDATE, PER CYCLELIMIT.

IT DOES FEEL LIKE THAT IS AROUNDTHE CORNER.

>> Stephen: ROBERTS SAYSINGRATIATION IS NOT CORRUPTION.

DO YOU THINK INGRATIATION ISCORRUPTION, OR IS IT JUST

ENSHRINING THE CONSTITUTIONALRIGHTS TO GOOD MANNERS?

>> I DON'T THINK INGRATIATION ISTHE SAME AS GOOD MANNERS.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

IF SOMEONE GIVES ME $1 MILLIONFOR MY CAMPAIGN, A LITTLE NOTE

WOULD BE NICE.

>> BUT A LITTLE NOTE -->> Stephen: AND FLOWERS AND

MAYBE E.P.A. REGULATIONS BEINGCUT?

>> I GUESS IT'S THE STEP FROMTHE FLOWERS TO THE E.P.A.

REGULATION BEING CUT THAT IWORRY ABOUT.

I'M ALL FOR THE FLOWERS?

>> EMILY, THANK YOU VERY MUCHFOR JOINING ME.

EMILY BAZELON, "SLATE.COM"WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

EMILY BAZELON, "SLATE.COM"WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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