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Influence of the Buck

In Government we have learned about money and how it affects elections.  Is money a corrupting influence or a helpful hand in the election process?  This issue has been debated for a long time whether or not money is a good or bad thing in politics.  It was decided by the Supreme Court with the case of Citizen United v. the Federal Election Commission. Some people were happy with the overturn of the law, with the Supreme Court taking the side of Citizen United and  some were not.  The corruption of the election process was greatly increased with the conclusion of the case while the pros of the passing of the law are greatly outnumbered by the cons.

For those of you that think money is a corrupting influence there are many websites and writers that side with you.  With the Supreme Court decision regarding Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission it opens a lot of opportunities for corporations and others to influence the campaign and election process.  Upset with the supreme court’s decision president Obama says “The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.”   I agree with President Obama that it does open the floodgates for special interests groups to influence the elections. Other influencers of politics are corporations and company heads that give substantial amounts of money to certain candidates’ campaigns.  Daniel Newman president and co-founder of Maplight, an organization that tracks donations and the influence they can by said, “seats in Congress are bought and influenced by special interests who give candidates the money to get elected and money to stay elected.”  With corporations and special interests groups giving money it can greatly influence how the delegates vote on certain bills because delegates want money to stay in office and they cannot vote opposite on pressing issues that are important to the corporations.

On the other hand, with more information provided by the special interests groups no matter how scathing the information is, it is still more information for regular voters to see/hear.  With voter knowledge not being great as stated in an article on The Ignorance of Voters the more information that can be introduced to people the more informed and confident they will be. It should also give people more incentive to research candidates to see if what is being said is true or distorted information.  On the issue of money influencing political decisions and votes according to Cristopher Cotton “Academic research has not found much of a link between increases in a candidate’s campaign spending and increases in the probability of the candidate winning the election.”  Special interest groups and corporations can saturate the market with multiple TV commercials, radio ads, and other advertising venues, but if you have one good ad/commercial it can influence and have more of an impact on voters rather than having 3 or 4 subpar ads/commercial.    It obviously takes a lot of money to run a campaign, but the highest funded campaign does not always win like the campaigns between Perot v. Bush v. Clinton.

The Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission was a decision that allows for corruption in the election process.  It opens up the possibilities for corporations and special interests groups to give money to candidates for special favors, votes, and just to have an in with the political world.  In response to some saying that the decision was a great win for the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, I would say that maybe it was the right decision legally, but the repercussions of opening the field to corporations and special interests groups pollutes the whole political system of America.

  1. govmorgan
    May 1, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Great post Blair – I agree that the Supreme Court’s desicion was legally right, but I also think that it is necessary for people and organizations to have more of a say in elections. I would consider adding more visual elements to draw more attention to your post.

  2. meyrey
    May 1, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I really liked your post, good job! Maybe talk about what exactly happened in Citizen United v. the Federal Election Commission just a little in the first paraghraph. I also agree with Morgan to add a more visual element to your post.. but you had a lot of good hyperlinks.

  3. blairs13
    May 1, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I added a picture of the court room while they were debating the issue and hyperlinked it in so hopefully everyone will click on the link. @meyrey in the first paragraph I thought I had said who won in the case, but I went back and hopefully expressed it a little clearer.

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