Prohibitions against rampant corporate spending in our elections were championed by Theodore Roosevelt. They were written in reaction to the untrammeled political power of the “robber barons,” who used their money to bend the national agenda to their interests, and were strengthened after the Watergate scandal, which involved secret campaign spending by corporations. By reversing long-established safeguards, the Supreme Court has turned back the clock.
There is still time for the media to shine a light on these front groups. There is still time for an aroused public to rise up against this ominous special-interest hijacking of our elections. There is still time for candidates on both sides of the aisle to take the side of average Americans and challenge these groups to disclose their secret funders. And there is time for Republicans to stop blocking a law that would require these groups to disclose who is influencing our elections.