The Washington Post is reporting that Hillary Clinton told a group of big deal campaign donors that if she’s elected president, she’ll only approve Supreme Court nominees who would overturn Citizens United. Despite her new tough talk, Clinton, like every other candidate, will waft towards election day on a tide of enormous Super PAC donations made possibly by, yes, that very ruling.
In 2010, the Citizens United ruling turned corporations and PACS into people and their unlimited campaign donations into speech. The case was brought against the Federal Election Commission by a conservative group who wanted to show the extremely unflattering Hillary: The Movie. The Post says at a gathering in Brooklyn, Clinton told a group of her biggest fundraisers that she “would not name anybody to the Supreme Court unless she has assurances that they would overturn,” according to a person who was there.
The irony here is that Citizens United has been better for Hillary Clinton than any other candidate. Last year, the Center for Public Integrity pointed out that the super PACs made possible by the ruling had already started working for Clinton’s campaign, long, long before she’d even announced she was running:
Consider that the Ready for Hillary super PAC has already raised millions of dollars from tens of thousands of donors and plans to transfer its unparalleled resources to a future Clinton campaign machine. Another super PAC, the previously pro-Barack Obama Priorities USA Action that raised more than $79 million during the last election cycle, has begun transitioning into a Clinton shadow operation.
This, for a presidential candidate in Clinton who’s not yet one — and may not be for a year or more, if she runs at all.
The Ready for Hillary PAC did run into some trouble after Clinton officially announced her campaign, says FEC rules prohibit candidates’ names from being used in PAC names. No big: they just changed their name to Ready PAC and carried on. An anonymous Clinton official also reportedly said that despite her new commitment to campaign finance reform, she can’t be expected to “unilaterally disarm” and stop relying on PAC money, when the Republicans use it too.
Image via AP