Is Perry gearing up for an independent expenditure campaign?
Sat January 23, 2010 12:16 pm

The ink was hardly dry on the Supreme Court opinion before the Texas Ethics Commission gave its blessing to independent expenditure advertising:

[I]t is our position that corporations are allowed to make all types of direct campaign expenditures (referred to in Citizens United as independent expenditures).

A normal person would view this as simply a routine statement that the law has changed. On the other hand, the rapidity of the announcement, and the governor's control over all state agencies, might cause a veteran political observer to wonder if something is in the works, namely that Perry wants the Ethics Commission's statement on the record pronto so that he can take advantage of the new rules of American politics as quickly as possible.

Consider too, that the handwringing about corporate involvement in politics may miss what is really going to happen: Powerful politicians, not corporations, really have the upper hand, as they can demand support ... or else. Corporations may think that this decision is a big victory for them, but I'm betting that the big winners will turn out to be the powerful politicians--governors, presiding officers, committee chairs--who will have the leverage to force corporations to support them.

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