If it feels like the common American citizen is getting further from direct involvement in the political process, it should, because that’s what money does. The influence of major donations to the political system (e.g. the success of the donations’ investment) is directly correlated to the influence of those donors on the political system itself; which is to say, the typical citizen who can’t afford to donate more than a few minutes at breakfast to read the paper and stay informed is just a fruit fly to the real power in American politics – the very very wealthy.
Three GOP committees (the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee) have created a form of joint fundraising (called the Republican Victory Fund) to collect larger checks from their donors; this may disseminate direct funding among singular Republican committees, but is an overall victory for the party as a whole. And as a reminder, this party is supposed to be just one voice in a country of many.
The Republican Victory Fund caters to fundraising events that target donations in the amount of $100,000, from donors in a totally separate financial bracket to the average American. That is, people who don’t spend week nights giving away thousands of dollars to eat fancy foods with political muscle, because they’re home cooking dinner for their family and trying to make it to the weekend.
“We’ve had meetings with the other committees and are moving forward on a joint fundraising agreement with the NRSC and NRCC so we can maximize our donations to help candidates win in November,” said RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. This has been the vanguard of Republican politics for generations now: elect candidates, not create legislation to better serve the nation, just elect candidates.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon v. FEC 5-4 in favor of incentives for political joint fundraising committees. The donation cap used to exist at around $70,000. Well, as of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, the cap’s been pulled off the bottle. There is no cap. And what the Democratic Supreme Court Justices warned, that the donation limits were to prevent corruption in the political system, has been ignored.
Joint fundraising is not a new concept to campaign politics, but the Supreme Court’s decision has opened a new door to political influence for people with a wallet big enough to afford the key; a door the rest of us can only watch open and close, from a distance.
Now donors no longer have to be as limited in the committee or candidate that receives their financial support; larger donations can go into The Republican Victory Fund for the GOP to rake in more overall cash, and share amongst itself at will. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that individual candidates are now receiving higher donations. But the party is, and the party is an an individual voice.
The benefit is being felt as a bipartisan incentive, for joint fundraising. Already, the Democratic Senate candidates Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, and Mary Landrieu have filed the proper paperwork towards creating their own joint fundraising committee. Safety in numbers. It is worth mentioning that simultaneous to this, Hagan, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and a local North Carolina Democratic Party are finding safety in their own numbers as well, and have made for themselves a fundraising committee to gain access at almost $50,000 in donations. Money that, prior to the ruling of McCutcheon v. FEC, would have been harder to come by.
Where does this leave Americans who aren’t on either end of the large money donation chain? …Somewhere else, somewhere uninvolved, and non-influential.
By Josh Wolk