Less than six hours after its passage by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law this week a measure that, effective immediately, allows candidates to raise unlimited sums of money for super PACs, which can then promptly spend that money supporting those candidates — or attacking their rivals. It also allows consultants to simultaneously work for a campaign and a super PAC at the same time, making a joke of the supposed independence of the two groups. It’s a brazen move for Snyder, who is term-limited out of office in 2018, to so fully embrace the post-Citizens United world dominated by big-money super PACs. Watchdogs warn that the law — which they have described as “Citizens United on steroids”— effectively creates an end-run around the state’s limits on campaign contributions and further obliterates the already-thin line that is supposed to maintain super PAC independence from candidates. That opens the door for the state’s wealthy donors to wield even more influence over the political system.
The move is part of a long-running Republican strategy, rarely matched effectively by Democrats, to tilt the political playing field in a partisan direction. On top of sophisticated gerrymandering, right-to-work laws have smashed the electoral power of unions in states where they’ve been enacted, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, which have tilted right as organized labor has been suppressed. Add to that voter suppression laws targeting minorities, college students, and anybody else suspected of voting Democratic, and Republicans are able to create a field in which majority support of an agenda is not necessarily required.
By winning at the state level and enacting laws that benefit the party in future elections, state GOP parties have been able to put once blue states in play, which paved the way for Donald Trump’s surprise victory in November.
Full Article: Michigan Governor Unleashes “Citizens United on Steroids”.