Money Out, Money In
Ian Donnis makes an interesting observation:
Cicilline and other Democrats have been out front in decrying the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which unleased a new wave of 527 spending.
But US News recently found that five of the seven biggest super PACs this year supported Democrats.
The storyline one often hears from Democrats opposed to Citizens United is that evil corporate sources will unleash their financial heft to overwhelm the kind, sweet efforts of regular ol’ voters, but clearly, the Left is not without its moneyed special interests. Indeed, it typically seems to be the case that Democrats are the larger beneficiaries when bigger money is allowed into campaign battles.
That makes sense, in a general way. As a group, those who would advocate for larger government stand to profit more from their investment in the party that favors it than the party that, if not opposing it, favors it less.
Why, then, do Democrats oppose change to campaign finance law that appear to benefit them disproportionately? Principle is probably part of it, in some cases, just as it is by principle that conservatives might oppose restrictions on campaign finance even though their side might be harmed more greatly by them. It appears more likely, by my lights, that Democrats and the Left are content with the imbalance that they have built up in areas immune to campaign finance (mainstream media, union activism, and so on). Perhaps, as well, they’ve been receiving the now-disclosed money all along through channels that are not so easily traced.