Supreme Court on Issue Ads

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court just ruled issue ads can be aired up to election day, which can presumably be attack ads in disguise.  The case involved Wisconsin Right To Life, an organization prevented from airing ads two months before the 2004 elections.  The ad called on voters to contact the state’s two senators, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, and tell them not to filibuster President Bush’s judicial nominees.

Who benefits from this decision? In the first quarter of the year, Democrats raised more money than Republicans by a wide margin, reflecting their enthusiasm and the Republicans’ lackluster.  The Democratic presidential candidates raised $95 million, compared to the Republicans receiving a bit less than $60 million.  Democrats also outpaced Republicans in the House and Senate congressional committees, $32.7 million to $22.8 million.  Although this money can’t be used for issue ads, it shows the monetary advantages the Democrats hold this election cycle.  They are the ones who will likely benefit from this ruling.

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