Sunlight’s official statement in response to SCOTUS Ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court handed down its decision on the campaign finance case, McCutcheon v. the Federal Election Commission, ruling that aggregate limits of direct contributions to political candidates are unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Sunlight Foundation's official statement on the McCutcheon ruling:
Once again, the Supreme Court has given more power to special interests and a tiny percentage of the very rich. Its Citizens United ruling four years ago opened up the floodgates for unlimited spending in our elections, and now it might as well have tied a big bow around Congress and deliver it to the 1%. By striking down the long-standing cap on total contributions individuals may give to federal candidates and political parties, the Supreme Court has permitted the unseemly spectacle of a single donor being able to contribute more than $3.5 million to one party during an election cycle (or double that, if he/she wants to hedge her bets).
In light of the decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, we need now more than ever real-time transparency of political spending so the public can know whether their elected officials are representing their interests or special moneyed interests. It’s technologically possible, so there’s no reason Congress should not act fast to enact legislation to mandate disclosure of all contributions of $1,000 or more to parties, candidates and political committees within 48 hours.
What this court fails to recognize is the First Amendment rights of the 99.9% of citizens who cannot buy access to elected officials in order to give voice to their issues. Seven-figure contributions are not a megaphone merely amplifying the voices of the donors, they are a sonic boom, overpowering to the point of silencing all other voices. Real-time transparency can foster accountability, deter corruption and act as a bulwark against the unfettered and wholesale purchase of our elections by the wealthy.
As Mitch McConnell, no friend to campaign finance laws, noted in 2010, "We need to have real disclosure... why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure?"
Read all our posts about McCutcheon v. FEC on the Sunlight blog.The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable. Visit http://SunlightFoundation.com to learn more about Sunlight’s projects, including http://PoliticalPartyTime.org and http://influenceexplorer.com