Thanks to the Citizens United decision, unidentified super-wealthy donors will fund tens of millions of dollars worth of SuperPAC attack ads designed to distort and misrepresent the real differences between the two candidates for president. Here is an issue, then, about which there is no room for distortion.
The next president, with just one nomination, may dramatically affect the make up of the Supreme Court.
Today is election day in Pennsylvania. With Rick Santorum out of the Republican nomination hunt, Pennsylvania’s local media surely must have lost out on millions of dollars in political advertising booty.
That realization led to another revelation: The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, finding that corporations are persons and free to spend virtually without limit in political campaigns, is going to bring dramatic and dangerous change to our electoral process.
Because I represent individuals and families often against powerful and wealthy companies, I find myself sometimes pointing out that we are not the ones with influential lobbyists in Washington or Harrisburg. The Citizens United decision makes that observation sound anachronistic. No matter how powerful the army lined up in opposition, there was always the quaint notion that we all were entitled to the same vote on election day.
That just isn’t true anymore.
Now that Rick Santorum is a legitimate contender for the Republican Party nomination, the rest of the country is learning things about this politician that those of us in Pennsylvania have know for a while now. (In 2006, Pennsylvanians tossed him out of the U.S. Senate; the margin of defeat was the largest for any Republican incumbent in Pennsylvania history.)
Rick Santorum was a man of many controversies during his time in the Senate. During his improbable presidential run, he has continued to find ways to attract lightning.
Although his views against contraception have received a lot of attention in the last few weeks, Santorum’s position on tort reform reveals hypocrisy on number of levels. If his candidacy continues and the health-care debate retakes center stage, his tort reform views will become even more important to understand.