Over at Reason Katherine Mangu-Ward takes a look at “Secret Money from God Knows Where” and notes that perhaps the biggest upside to come from the increased independent money (read: “speech”) in this year’s election is increased competition against the established power structures of the two major parties:
One upshot of increased spending by interest groups could be a reduction in the power major parties hold over candidates. Normally, when a question of party discipline looms in the House or Senate, savvy incumbents allowed themselves to be whipped into shape, afraid of getting checkbook slapped by party bosses. According to The Washington Post, a third of all independent expenditures reported to the Federal Election Commission this year comes from the two major parties, compared to 54 percent in 2008 and 80 percent in previous cycles.
More evidence that although many leaders of the political establishment decry Citizens United as taking power from the people, their real concern is that it's taking power from them.