Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Jews Lose at the Supreme Court

Campaign finance decision likely to dilute groups’ influence

Print Email

In a momentous decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down crucial parts of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law. The upshot is that corporations will be far more free to spend money on specific candidates running for office; more broadly, you can expect more, and more direct, corporate money flowing into elections.

James Besser talks to a political scientist about the decision, and how it will affect American Jews. His argument, and it sounds valid, is that the influx of direct corporate spending will dilute the power of interest groups—including Jewish ones—that, under the current system, take in money and then spend it where and how they choose. Moreover, the sheer amount of money now likely to come into the system from corporations will minimize the impact of individual donations. Besser paraphrases:

Jews are big political givers, based mostly on the issue of Israel—but that could quickly be dwarfed by the mega-millions corporations are now likely to spend in pursuit of their special interests, starting with profits and limiting government regulation, he said.

Jewish campaign givers aren’t going away and Jewish political clout isn’t in jeopardy. But there’s little question this week’s Supreme Court decision will transform American electoral politics by adding to the campaign finance muscle of the biggest corporations—and diluting the influence of everybody else. And that includes Jewish and pro-Israel givers.

You could go a step further: arguably, those interests whose groups were the most powerful beforehand actually stand the most to lose from the decision. They have a farther distance to fall. Which would, given their current power, be bad for the Jews.

Supreme Court Campaign Finance Decision and Jewish Clout [JW Political Insider]
Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit [NYT]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Jews Lose at the Supreme Court

Campaign finance decision likely to dilute groups’ influence

More on Tablet:

Kerry Links Rise of ISIS With Failed Peace Talks

By Lee Smith — Secretary of State: ‘I see a lot of heads nodding’