Example: a coal company wants a Governor in its state to be friendly to coal- no pollution controls, no more safety laws to interfere with profits. The coal company ponies up, let's say, five million dollars. It's now legal. The money is not given to a candidate. No, it's used to buy up commercial ad time for a candidate, or against a candidate. It's not much money for a big coal company, just the price of doing business. So, then it is up to the citizens of the state to pony up five million dollars for the opposition candidate. Only the people who want the state to regulate coal happen to all be poor people.
No problem, you say. The stockholders will rebel at such an outrageous use of their money. HMM. What if the stockholders look at the situation and say, let's buy ourselves a Governor, it will make our stock worth more. What if most of the stockholders never even find out about the 5 million. Stockholders are mostly ineffective when they rebel against CEOs and Boards, they rarely win.
What I wonder about the 5 to 4 triumph of the ultraconservative Supreme Court Crew, Roberts and Alito and Thomas and Scalia, is: how is this not corrupting? You may whine back at me, what about political contributions from labor unions. Fine, they should have limits too. How is an atmosphere of zero limits conducive to no corruption, no influence peddling? Zero regulation of finance gave us the subprime mess. Zero regulation of campaign finance advertising is going to give us industrial puppets in office.