WASHINGTON -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday sharply criticized this week's Supreme Court's decision striking down the aggregate campaign contribution limits. Pelosi told reporters Tuesday the Court was embracing a "government of the money."
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission to throw out federal limits on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors can make to candidates, political parties and political action committees. Pelosi described the decision as "really sad" and a significant blow to the democratic process.
"Is this supposed to be a money war? Is that what this is?" Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. "Nothing again is more disillusioning to the public than the vast display of money spent in campaigns."
"Our founders sacrificed everything -- their lives, their liberty, their sacred honor -- for a democracy. A government of the many, not a government of the money," she added.
Pelosi pointed out that the McCutcheon verdict was not surprising, given the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010, which allowed unlimited spending by corporations and unions. "It adds great insult to a terrible injury to our democracy," she said.
Pelosi renewed calls to enact the Democrats' DARE agenda -- an acronym for "disclose, amend, reform and elect." The campaign was launched in 2012 and seeks to overturn Citizens United by amending the Constitution, establishing small-donor public financing legislation, and requiring currently non-disclosing political groups to disclose their donors when they run political ads.
Pelosi acknowledged that the Supreme Court had put forth even more obstacles for such measures. She also disagreed that the McCutcheon decision put Democrats at a disadvantage, since most of the nation's wealthiest donors tend to support Republicans.
"Democrats can raise money. People care about our values," she said. "We've out-raised everybody. We have no power, no gavel, no nothing -- but we do have the House Republicans. And that is an urgency that the grassroots community understands, and that our donors understand."