Democratic group sues to enforce Citizens United

posted at 8:01 am on May 2, 2014 by Gabriel Malor

The number 2 boogeyman for Democrats these past few years has got to be the Citizens United decision, right after public enemy number 1, the Koch brothers. So fraught was the President over the idea that people could exercise their rights to association and speech at the same time, that he ignorantly called out the Supreme Court justices to their faces. Democrats recently mobilized to push a constitutional amendment to turn back Citizens United by curtailing the First Amendment. But that’s all just for show, right? No Democrat is going to forgo campaign funds no matter what form that funding takes.

Now a Democratic group is suing to make sure Citizens United is enforced at the state level in places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where state governments have been slow to acknowledge that campaign finance law has moved on.

General Majority PAC, created last year by longtime Reid Senate chief of staff Susan McCue, has won legal challenges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over the past year to enforce the Supreme Court ruling permitting unlimited corporate and union spending.

The successful lawsuits essentially have created the equivalent of super PACs at the state level and are part of a larger transformation of election law in the past few years as the dizzying changes at the federal level eventually creep down into state election law. [...]

“Regardless of what one may think of Citizens United, these lawsuits were an important effort to clarify the law in those states that did not amend their statutes after the decision,” said Marc Elias, an attorney for General Majority PAC.

That’s a pretty big change for the case that the President once described as “not just a threat to Democrats — that’s a threat to our democracy.” This is being run by some of Sen. Reid’s people, so of course they’re happy to tie it all together:

General Majority is working “to counteract the bottomless pockets of people like the Koch brothers,” Levy said, referring to the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who have helped finance Republican groups. “Led by our partners from labor, we beat them in New Jersey, and we expect to keep taking the fight to them wherever it’s needed.”

Hypocrisy, you understand, is for little people. Democrats want the money. They’ll pretend to dislike Citizens United, rail against it publicly, and then go back to quietly forming super PACs of their own.

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Pay no attention to those unions and enviromental groups.

“Good for thee but not for me”

acyl72 on May 2, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Yaaaaawwwwwnnnnnnnn!

Campaign funding issues is inside baseball stuff. Politicians understand it, know how to manipulate the laws, and care about it. Outside the beltway or state house…… not really an issue.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Hypocrisy, you understand, is for little people. Democrats want the money. They’ll pretend to dislike Citizens United, rail against it publicly, and then go back to quietly forming super PACs of their own.

It’s more craven than that. They would prefer to have everybody except their Presstorian Guard shut up, but to make that happen, they need to continue to outspend Republicans in the open political market.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:12 AM

There is nothing in Citizens United that cannot be bypassed with a few million anonymous credit cards with $198.87 on each. We cannot even pretend that the law works until this glaring loophole is jammed shut.

Rix on May 2, 2014 at 8:15 AM

“Equality for all! But uh…can you keep the darkies out of my Malibu neighborhood? Thanks much.”

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 8:18 AM

It’s more craven than that. They would prefer to have everybody except their Presstorian Guard shut up, but to make that happen, they need to continue to outspend Republicans in the open political market.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Yep. Those ads claiming that Republicans cause cancer don’t buy themselves.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:18 AM

“Equality for all! But uh…can you keep the darkies out of my Malibu neighborhood? Thanks much.”

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 8:18 AM

You upper Midwest people, where a black family moving to the state noticeably moves the needle on the state’s demographics, forget a really important point. We self-segregate in America.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Yep. Those ads claiming that Republicans cause cancer don’t buy themselves.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Rethuglikkkans cause AIDS, not cancer, you bigot.

Read a math book sometime.

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Sorry way off topic but I think someone should ask Chelsea if she is considering an abortion. I would love to see the left react to, in the left’s view, a question involving a perfectly acceptable procedure.

Strike Twice on May 2, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Erika will have the jobs report shortly – she beat me to the editor. I’ll have commentary in the comments.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Dude, like, can’t we just all get along, Dude?

(In which I finally discover the new vernacular).

esr1951 on May 2, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Democrats are so weak…..

Sue for Utopia…..!!!!

Electrongod on May 2, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Maybe instead of money, all political donations should come in the form of tar and feathers. If we like you and you’re actually working for the people and not your bank account, then maybe you won’t be so sticky.

BKeyser on May 2, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Erika will have the jobs report shortly – she beat me to the editor. I’ll have commentary in the comments.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:34 AM

But let’s talk about what’s really important.

Will the home page feature Fiona, the dude with a sign, or Obama and the world’s largest screw?

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:47 AM

But let’s talk about what’s really important.

Will the home page feature Fiona, the dude with a sign, or Obama and the world’s largest screw?

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 8:47 AM

That’s Erika’s call – it’s her post. I would have used the “Now Hiring – Must Have a Clue” because CNBC (outside Rick Santelli) didn’t have a clue.

Steve Eggleston on May 2, 2014 at 8:50 AM

funny how when railing against CU people don’t know it cemented unions ability to use their money too.
bring that up and see lefty heads explode.

dmacleo on May 2, 2014 at 9:22 AM

There is nothing in Citizens United that cannot be bypassed with a few million anonymous credit cards with $198.87 on each. We cannot even pretend that the law works until this glaring loophole is jammed shut.

Rix on May 2, 2014 at 8:15 AM

No!
I choose one candidate to support each year with $199 so I can keep my name out of the public sphere (I have a job that is highly visible to the public and it would be more difficult if people were able to see who I donate to).

The amount we can donate directly to candidates anonymously should be INCREASED. My first amendment right to support candidates of my choosing are chilled because of fear of backlash from others. I am limited to less than $200 to candidates if I do not want to potentially lose my job. The only other choice is to donate to Super PACs, and I cannot trust that the IRS will not release my information from them.

Citizens who live within a candidate’s voting district (which would include only the district for Congressional candidates and all of the US for Presidential candidates) should be allowed to donate more to candidates without being added to a list that can be targeted by political opponents.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Koch brothers? If the Leftocrats are so equal opportunity minded, they shouldn’t omit George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. I have a feeling their pockets are much deeper when it comes to funding Leftocrat policies.

iamsaved on May 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Harry Reid’s “Koch” induced psychosis has manifested itself as he has developed paranoid delusions directly related to “Koch” use.

J_Crater on May 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Hypocrisy, you understand, is for little people. Democrats want the money. They’ll pretend to dislike Citizens United, rail against it publicly, and then go back to quietly forming super PACs of their own.

I wouldn’t call it hypocrisy. As long as its the law, they have every right to take advantage of it. Just as I would expect Republicans would take advantage of laws that we personally oppose. You make the enemy play by his own rules.

aunursa on May 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM

If the Koch brothers really wanted to put their money to good use they could use it to give this country what it desperately needs to solve this problem and many more with the left: a well-funded media watchdog that would attack the left from the left.

Knott Buyinit on May 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

…all those with names like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, etc. etc. … are going to be mad that their millions in small donations… aren’t good enough!

KOOLAID2 on May 2, 2014 at 11:20 AM

There is nothing in Citizens United that cannot be bypassed with a few million anonymous credit cards with $198.87 on each. We cannot even pretend that the law works until this glaring loophole is jammed shut.

Rix on May 2, 2014 at 8:15 AM

…didn’t see that ^ …they just want to double down!

KOOLAID2 on May 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM

There is nothing in Citizens United that cannot be bypassed with a few million anonymous credit cards with $198.87 on each. We cannot even pretend that the law works until this glaring loophole is jammed shut.

Rix on May 2, 2014 at 8:15 AM

…didn’t see that ^ …they just want to double down!

KOOLAID2 on May 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM

That’s how the Democratics’ favorite Nazi stooge George Soros did it. What do you think those phone banks in Gaza were for?

slickwillie2001 on May 2, 2014 at 11:36 AM

If the Koch brothers really wanted to put their money to good use they could use it to give this country what it desperately needs to solve this problem and many more with the left: a well-funded media watchdog that would attack the left from the left.

Knott Buyinit on May 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Exactly!! I’ve been saying this for years! The media and the “higher education system” are the two biggest indoctrination mechanisms there are – and conservatives seem to have given up on them.

KMC1 on May 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Bishop
AIDS is NOT in a math book…..its Calculus …you raaacist hater

Weiner_Holder on May 2, 2014 at 5:55 PM