I wish Timothy Egan of the NY Times actually knew anything about Citizens United

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I wish Timothy Egan of the NY Times actually knew anything about Citizens United, before he started popping off about how we "lost our democracy" because of it.  He said a bunch of things that the C.U. decision did, but not a single one of them even remotely resembles reality.  He clearly is not even casually familiar with the case.

So to explain what C.U. does do, since you cannot tell from Egan's piece: it only says that government cannot ban independent election spending by corporations.  That's all.  Even without C.U., rich people could still spend money individually, as much as they want to.

His claims:

* "... the 2010 Citizens United case ... gave wealthy, secret donors unlimited power to manipulate American elections."

Nope.  CU has nothing to do with spending limits or reporting requirements.  Again, individuals already have no limits on independent expenditures, and a separate case -- SpeechNow vs. FEC -- is what dealt with reporting requirements.

Further, no one has "unlimited power".  And what power they do have, was not in any way modified by Citizens United.  This claim is literally entirely wrong.  

* "The decision legalized large-scale bribery — O.K., influence buying — and ensured that we would never know exactly who was purchasing certain politicians."

Nope.  In fact, bribery is still illegal, and C.U. did not make it harder to detect bribery (again, if anything, that was SpeechNow).

* "Kennedy wrote that 'independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.' That's the money quote — one of the great wish-projections in court history."

As far as I am concerned, it's true.  It's not expenditures alone that give rise to the appearance of corruption.

* "The big money headed for the shadows."

Not because of C.U., clearly.  It was already headed there, in the form of "SuperPACs," which also hid donor identities.

* "... the court handed control of elections over to dark money interests who answer to nobody."

Again, no, reporting/secrecy and limits are unaffected by C.U.

That's it.  Egan offers nothing else that Citizens United supposedly did, and literally everything he said it did, it didn't do.  Then Egan goes on to lie about Texas' voter ID law, repeating Justice Ginsburg's lies that the law is "purposefully discriminating" or "risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters."  It literally does not risk denying the right to vote to any voters (at least, no one has offered an example of anyone potentially being so denied).

This is a ridiculously dishonest article, even for the NY Times opinion page.

The Disgust Election - NYTimes.com

Oligarchs hiding behind front groups — Citizens for Fluffy Pillows — are pulling the levers of the 2014 campaign. No wonder we feel revulsion.

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