A Ruling for the Rich and Republicans

Polarization of the Top Donors

Almost two-thirds of the top 1,000 donors primarily support Republicans. (Source: Sunlight Foundation)

With the Supreme Court striking another major blow against long-standing restrictions on campaign contributions, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday said Republicans stand to gain the most. “They understand that most of the money, not all, but most of the money will be coming into Republican coffers,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “What this is all about, what the so-called freedom of speech is about, is allowing the wealthiest people in this country to essentially own the political process in America and make it very, very hard for non-wealthy candidates who are representing working families to get a fair shot in the political process.”  

The decision was the latest sign that the court's conservative majority intends to continue dismantling funding limits that Congress and state legislators created over the last four decades. Justice Clarence Thomas took the position yesterday that there should be no restrictions at all, Sanders noted. “The vast majority of the American people understand that that is not what American democracy is about. You're taking away the ability of ordinary people to get involved in the political process and giving more and more people the power who already have it.”

Sanders also rejected arguments that equate campaign spending and free speech. “I really don't know what world these guys are living in. For them, what freedom of speech is about is the freedom to buy the political process in this country.”