Since the Supreme Court struck down limits last week on corporate-funded independent expenditure campaigns, Democrats and good-government advocates have been quick to warn of a flood of new corporate money entering American politics. But with campaigns already awash in corporate cash, some Democratic political pros doubt we'll notice much difference.This is coming from TPM, which is a pro-Democrats blog.
"I don't think this is going to fundamentally change the way campaigns are done," said Mike Lux, a prominent Democratic consultant and operative who founded the Progressive Donor Network.But the case itself — quite aside from its real effect — is an issue that Democrats might chose to exploit "to paint the Republicans as allies of corporations, and to tout Democrats' populist credentials."
Steve Murphy, a Democratic consultant and former top aide to Dick Gephardt, agreed. "I don't believe this is a dramatic shift," he said.
Both men noted that corporations already move billions into entities that allow them to run hard-hitting "issue" ads. It's true that those ads couldn't directly advocate for the election or a defeat of a candidate. But they said that in their experience, issue ads are more effective anyway. In other words, corporations have long had a potent enough weapon at their disposal to influence elections when they've wanted to....
But some in the consultant community see the issue as less than a political winner, arguing that voters don't care about process issues, and will judge Democrats by their substantive achievements.
"I wish Democrats would talk about this a little less," said Murphy. "We've got to produce."