Campaign Finance Reform Upheld

The Supreme Court just issued a ruling upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that was passed in 2002. So now it’s official: the ban on soft money stands.

Who is celebrating more today, Democrats or Republicans? I think it’s an open question — but it may well be Republicans. Democrats have suffered most under the campaign finance law, because in the past they’ve typically received a few mega-donations for the bulk of their funding, whereas Republicans have been better at receiving a larger number of $1000 or $2000 hard money donations.

But that may be becoming less relevant. As I discussed in this previous post, some mega-donors are finding alternate ways to use their money to help Democrats. One unintended consequence of campaign finance may therefore be the rise of organizations like MoveOn, as this interesting Salon article describes. It’s an interesting question, whether MoveOn would have been so successful without campaign finance reform.