Again on Citizens United...I really wish people would take the time to actually think through the consequences of reversing it:
Imagine tomorrow that all mass media ceases to exist. Money ceases to be important because there is nowhere to spend it for campaign purposes. With no legitimate avenues for spending money, all political contributions to politicians are banned. Assume we magically achieve perfect enforcement of this. Question: Is corruption less of a problem in this world?
My answer is that it is worse. Quick google search says the average representative has a constituency of something like 650k people. But among those there will be people who have greater influence with the rep due to a lot of different factors, went to school together, social acquintances etc. These people will have undue influence over the rep, and you can't solve this problem as long as we are electing humans to the government. I'll let you do the exercise as to whether you think the rich continue to be among those influencers.Meanwhile the majority of the people are less powerful since they have no mechanism to band together and present their message with one voice.
Bottom line, maybe you can reduce some of the ability of the mega -wealthy to push agendas this way, but it comes at the cost of most of the power of the less well off. Not exactly what the proponents have in mind. And this is without even discussing the likely outcome of the law being used as a weapon by the powerful against the less sophisticated, which happens quite often with campaign finance.
But even that is not what is being proposed. Repealing CU is actually much worse, because the mega wealthy are still free to spend their personal wealth, but we the peons can't possibly hope to match that because we have no ability to try to match them though aggregation. In other words, goodbye EFF, ACLU, NY Times...
And if you think that the idea of an exception for advocacy groups or "media corporations" will solve those problems...well of course that won't be subject to definitional gamesmanship, and we know its a great idea to let the government decide who is allowed to speak and who is not, because that is not likely to be abused.
The system is corrupt. It will always be corrupt, because the nature of power is that it leads to abuse. The only way to limit the damage is to limit the amount of power that can be wielded.
One final question: Let's say CU had been decided the other way. If so, is what Cohen doing with this campaign a violation of the law or not? If not, why not?