Update: Gingrich just got another $5 million from same donor, bringing total to $10 million from the Adelsons. Enough to buy another state?
Dr. Adelson’s check will bring the couple’s total contributions to Winning Our Future to $10 million, a figure that could substantially neutralize the millions of dollars already being spent in Florida by Mr. Romney and Restore Our Future, a super PAC backing him. Mr. Adelson’s initial check financed a high-powered barrage of negative ads against Mr. Romney in South Carolina, helping Mr. Gingrich to a shocking victory in Saturday’s Republican primary there…
The 5,000,000 “votes” of one millionaire.
Traditionally, Newt would have dropped out after New Hampshire, given his dismal performances in Iowa and NH. Or, if he continued, it would have been a limping, hampered campaign that couldn’t have lasted long.
But after NH, one rich old-timer gave $5 million to a pro-Newt PAC. Remember how individuals are limited to, say, a couple thousand bucks total? Not so corporations.
A $5 million pledge from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to the pro-Gingrich group Winning Our Future gave Mr. Gingrich a clear boost here in South Carolina. The group went on to savage Mr. Romney for his past positions on guns and abortion rights and, most notably, his work at the corporate takeover firm Bain Capital, painting him as a cold-hearted corporate raider who traded away jobs for profits.
The effect: democracy is no longer about votes. It’s about dollars, which make advertising campaigns and break candidates. the effect: democracy is no longer democracy.
Welcome to 2012:
President Barack Obama:
“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that, I believe, will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.”
Justice John Paul Stevens:
“The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court¹s disposition of this case.”
“In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it.
They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters.”
“The majority¹s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past. Congress has placed special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907”
“The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.”
Justice Elena Kagan (then Solicitor General):
“When corporations use other people’s money to electioneer, that is a harm not just to the shareholders themselves but a sort of a broader harm to the public that comes from distortion of the electioneering that is done by corporations.”
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield:
“I’m Ben, I’m a person. I’m Jerry, I’m a person. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Not a person.”
“Citizens United was so extreme that unless we take action to stop it, America will return to the Gilded Age — on steroids.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.):
“We are not going to let this decision to go unchallenged…At a time when Americans are worried about special interests having too much influence, this decision opens up the floodgates and allows special interest money to overflow elections and undermine our democracy.”
“If there’s one thing that Americans from the left, right and center can all agree on, it’s that they don’t want more special interests in our politics.”
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
“This decision enables larger financial interests to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens, allows foreign corporations to spend money through their domestic subsidiaries, and permits major recipients of taxpayer dollars to funnel these funds into political activities.”