John McCain has indirectly accused his fellow Republicans of using Citizens United to get foreign money into their campaign to defeat President Obama
Here is the video from PBS Newshour:
Watch Sen. John McCain: ‘There Will Be Scandals’ in Campaigns on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But in the wake of the Supreme Court decision Citizens United, we are seeing enormous sums of money going into this campaign, to the campaigns themselves, to outside supporters. Is this — is it just inevitable that we’re now in a period where money is going to be playing this dominant role in American politics?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I’m afraid, at least for the time being, that’s going to be the case, because of the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court I think in the 21st century.
To somehow view money as not having an effect on election, a corrupting effect on election, flies in the face of reality. I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff. So what we are. . .
JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean one of the justices?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: One of the five Supreme Court justices that voted to invalidate what we know of as McCain-Feingold. Look, I guarantee you, Judy, there will be scandals. There is too much money washing around political campaigns today. And it will take scandals, and then maybe we can have the Supreme Court go back and revisit this issue.
Remember, the Supreme Court rules on constitutionality. So just passing another law doesn’t get it. So I’m afraid we’re in for a very bleak period in American politics. You know, we all talk about — and you just did — about how much money is in the presidential campaign. Suppose there’s a Senate campaign in a small state, and 10 people get together and decided to contribute $10 million each. You think that wouldn’t affect that Senate campaign?
JUDY WOODRUFF: This question of campaign money highlighted today by this — the announcement that there’s a huge amount of money coming in from one donor in the state of Nevada.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Mr. Adelson, who gave large amounts of money to the Gingrich campaign. And much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Which says what?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign — political campaigns.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Because of the profits at the casinos in Macau?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Yes. That is a great deal of money. And, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money, and that corporations are not people. That’s why we have different laws that govern corporations than govern individual citizens. And so to say that corporations are people, again, flies in the face of all the traditional Supreme Court decisions that we have made — that have been made in the past.
Just when you think John McCain has gone completely off his nut and is going to spend the rest of his golden years trapped in a vortex or warmongering and 2008 bitterness, a flash of the old McCain emerges when he talks about campaign finance.
Sen. McCain long ago proved himself not to be the foreign policy expert that the media makes him out to be, but he does understand campaign finance and the destruction being wrought on our country via Citizens United.
Sen. Oscar the Grouch (McCain) was correct. The right wing ideologues on the Supreme Court seemingly didn’t give a second thought to the can of worms they were opening with the Citizens United decision. McCain had to say maybe foreign money is coming into system through super PACs because thanks the Supreme Court’s decision, we have no idea where the money is actually coming from.
Since there are no disclosure laws for super PACS, there is nothing stopping any foreign national from trying to buy an American election. We have no idea if the Iranians or the Chinese are dumping millions of dollars into our electoral process in order to influence governmental policy.
The truth is that is it almost a certainty that foreign money is being spent on our elections, and almost all of that cash is being raised and spent to support Republicans and defeat President Obama.
There is a growing fear among Republican and Democratic incumbents that these outside groups are intimidating elected officials into supporting their agenda. Sen. Bernie Sanders explained it as, “This is unprecedented and it is the most savage attack against American democracy, and the concept of one person, one vote that we have seen in our lifetime, and what it is is saying if you are a billionaire, you can buy elections. You can by politicians, and by the way, on the floor of the Senate, on the floor of the House, you can intimidate members, because you will be saying to them if you are going to vote against Wall Street, or the insurance companies, or the military industrial complex, you just do that, and we’re going to have millions of dollars in thirty second ads in your state this weekend.”
I hope McCain is right that Citizens United will cause scandals, because a major scandal is in all probability the only way that the American people are ever going to pay attention to this problem. The corporate media and their Republican allies have been quietly and diligently working to keep the American people in the dark, so don’t count on the media to sound any alarm bells anytime soon.
John McCain gets it. Bernie Sanders gets it, but the American people need to understand that every shady undisclosed dollar spent jeopardizes the freedoms that they take for granted. The biggest threat to our democracy isn’t in Iran. It is in the checkbooks of billionaires and foreign nationals who are burying your voice under mountains of campaign cash.
Stop the avalanche of secret cash, and repeal Citizens United.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association