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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Supreme Court strikes down Arizona campaign finance law

The US Supreme Court has ruled that a 1998 law that provides additional public money to political candidates for state office who face big-spending opponents violates the First Amendment to the US Constitution because it violates free-speech rights.

This comes shortly after the Court's decision in Citizens United which removed Congressionally approved limits on when corporations and unions could "speak" in elections.

This conservative Court is quickly making it more and more difficult for small people--regular people--to have their voices heard.

The Arizona law--called the Citizens Clean Elections Act--was specifically created in the wake of some serious corruption scandals to lesson the impact of money on elections. Currently, the candidate who spends the most money almost always wins.

Rulings like these help assure that candidates who raise a lot of money will not only win but also will likely represent the interests of those who give them money. And the people who give them money are not us, according to the data. Far less than 1% of Americans give $200 or more to a candidate or political party.

So if money = free speech, this simply means people with money have more rights to speech than people without money.

And it means the system is rigged in favor of people with money against people without.

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