An effort by the Republican National Committee may further corporatize the electoral process.
The RNC filed a legal brief Tuesday arguing that a ban on direct corporate contributions to candidates is unconstitutional.
The Huffington Post reports:
The ban, part of a 1907 anti-corruption law that helped curb the influence of corporate robber barons, is one of the last bulwarks of campaign finance law left after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision two years ago.
As ThinkProgress notes, an overturning of the ban would have massive consequences:
If a court accepted the RNC’s argument, it would have to strike down the entire federal ban on corporate donations — leaving Exxon and Halliburton free to give money to any candidate they’d like. Congress might be able to restore part of this ban by enacting legislation. But, of course, that would require any such bill disadvantaging corporations to survive John Boehner’s House and Mitch McConnell’s filibuster.
Moreover, if the court accepts the RNC’s argument, it will effectively destroy any limits on the amount of money wealthy individuals or corporation can give to candidates.
Josh Gerstein at Politico writes that the argument could be a boon to the Democrats' portrayal of the GOP:
Whatever its constitutional merits, the Republican argument could be a political liability for the party as Democrats are likely to portray it as further evidence that the GOP is beholden to corporate America. On the other hand, the near-complete breakdown of campaign finance limits during the current presidential race gives something of a boost to those contending that the few remaining restraints are pointless.