Obama Challenges Campaign Finance Ruling

Posted January 23, 2010 at 5:00am

President Barack Obama on Saturday vowed to push for legislation to counter Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling that will allow businesses, unions and interest groups to pour millions into issue advertising in campaigns.In contrast, in the GOP response to Obama’s address, House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) sought to set up next week’s State of the Union speech with a wide-ranging critique of Democratic policies.“Democrats believe we’re just one new tax, one more czar and one giant bureaucracy away from solving all of your problems,— Boehner said. Obama, however, chose to focus on Thursday’s Supreme Court decision. “This ruling strikes at our democracy itself,— Obama said in his weekly address. “When this ruling came down, I instructed my administration to get to work immediately with Members of Congress willing to fight for the American people to develop a forceful, bipartisan response to this decision. We have begun that work, and it will be a priority for us until we repair the damage that has been done.—Obama said the ruling creates new power for lobbyists at the very moment he is trying to limit their influence by curtailing their access to his administration.“It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way – or to punish those who don’t,— he said.“I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.—Obama suggested the ruling will help lobbyists fight his agenda, handing them the tools to defeat financial and health care reform initiatives.“We don’t need to give any more voice to the powerful interests that already drown out the voices of everyday Americans,— he said.In the GOP address, Boehner charged that the stimulus passed early last year has failed to create jobs and that Democrats have taken their eye off the economy by trying to pass health care reform. “My home state of Ohio has endured nine straight months of double-digit unemployment,— Boehner said. “And for the better part of those nine months, Democrats in Washington have been focused on this government takeover of health care that working families just can’t afford and want nothing to do with.—Boehner said a “political rebellion— is brewing in opposition to the Democrats’ agenda.“That rebellion propelled Republican Scott Brown to victory in this week’s Massachusetts special election,— Boehner said.“Scott’s win in the bluest of blue states gives us new hope that common sense will prevail. That maybe now, the hard work and entrepreneurship of the American people will no longer be stifled by Washington Democrats’ costly, job-killing agenda, an agenda Republicans have stood on principle and fought tooth and nail against.—Boehner said Republicans would “listen— to Obama’s State of the Union address. But he added, “make no mistake: If the powers that be in Washington keep turning their backs on the people, Republicans will continue to challenge the status quo and offer better solutions.—