Statement from Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald on U.S. Supreme Court McCain-Feingold Ruling
|For Immediate Release:|
For More Information Contact:
|December 10, 2003|
Craig McDonald, 512-472-9770
“Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold congressional restrictions on corporate campaign spending could have a major impact on Texas politics. The court's strong rejection of the growing corporate influence in campaigns has the potential to put the brakes on recent political excesses in Texas. This ruling reads like a rebuke of groups such as the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which pumped $1.9 million of corporate money into Texas legislative races last fall.
Despite TAB and Chamber of Commerce rhetoric, corporations have never enjoyed unrestricted free-speech rights to influence elections. While business groups like TAB have created "issue" ads in an effort to sidestep prohibitions against corporate campaign spending, a majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices apparently know a political ad when they see one. The court sent a strong message that campaign ads camouflaged as "issue" ads can be regulated for what they are.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the Travis County District Attorney's case against TAB, this ruling makes clear that so-called "issue" ads can be regulated like all other political ads. In Texas, this means that unions and corporations cannot lawfully bankroll such ads.”