Money in politics doesn't matter that much, but don't regulate it!
In the wake of Scott Walker surviving a recall with the help of a seven-to-one spending advantage, conservatives are poo-pooing the influence of money. As Noonan
does in the WSJ today:
The line laid down by the Democrats weeks before the vote was that it's all about money: The Walker forces outspent the unions so they won, end of story.
Money is important, as all but children know. But the line wasn't very flattering to Wisconsin's voters, implying that they were automatons drooling in front of the TV waiting to be told who to back. It was also demonstrably incorrect. Most voters, according to surveys, had made up their minds well before the heavy spending of the closing weeks.
There was heavy spending in the closing weeks, but there was also heavy spending before
the closing weeks.
Spending matters and does shape elections, and will continue to do so as we see the national impact of the Citizens United decision at the national level this year.
What a whore. Money doesn't matter? "With the infusion of unlimited corporate money in support of or opposition to a targeted candidate, the average citizen candidate would be unable to compete against the corporate-sponsored candidate, and Montana citizens, who for over 100 years have made their modest election contributions meaningfully count would be effectively shut out of the process."
From: Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General of Montana, the Montana Supreme Court decision bucking Citizens United.
I'm sure there's some study showing that the person who spends the most usually wins.