WASHINGTON — A little-noticed Federal Election Commission ruling that expands the
definition of “media’’ to include a partisan film production group is
the latest in a series of actions eroding legislative limits on the
influence of money in politics.
“We’re really returning, seemingly inexorably, toward an entirely deregulated system,’’ said Thomas Mann, who studies campaign finance at the Brookings Institution, a Washington
think tank. “It was a rather breathtaking decision.’’
Portending a sharp increase in corporate political spending, the Supreme Court has ruled (Citizens United v. FEC)
that corporations enjoy the same speech rights of citizens when it
comes to advocating the election or defeating political candidates.
Elected officials, including U.S. President Barack Obama, have
denounced the ruling as striking at the heart of our democracy by
putting corporations on an equal footing with real people when it comes
to basic constitutional rights.