Court Decision Shouldn’t Affect State Races

While your local Congressional delegation decries the Supreme Court’s decision to unbridle corporate campaign spending, Blair Horner–the legislative director for NYPIRG–doesn’t think it will have much effect on Albany.

“At the state level, it’s sort of the Wild West now anyway,” Mr. Horner told me earlier today. Mr. Horner, who hadn’t yet read the decision, said there’s no McCain-Feingold equivalent at the state level, so corporations can already spend with few restrictions. (Earlier, the city’s Campaign Finance Board said it won’t apply to city races either.)

“At the state level, New Yorkers are already in the whisper category and the big donors speak with megaphones. At the federal level, I think the megaphone just got amped up,” Mr. Horner said.

But business as usual might be changing, at least a little bit. “The interesting thing is that the ethics bill that passed yesterday requires reporting independent expenditures–which I don’t think is affected by the court decision–and which ironically may actually give more information to the public than exists now,” he said.