...independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy [U.S. Supreme Court, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010.01.21, Syllabus, pp. 5–6].
Dang. Maybe Rep. Herseth Sandlin was right when she said supposing a connection between campaign contributions and undue influence is "ridiculous." Not that I take much heart from our Democratic Congresswoman sounding like a small group of conservatives.
But that last line, about the electorate losing faith... how do my Tea Party friends feel about that?
The conservative justices do make their case (read the full opinion), but I'm still shaking off the effects of a failed laugh test.