A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could give independent political groups even greater power over campaigns by enabling them to bury candidates in advertising blitzes they can't control.
By letting unions and corporations spend virtually unlimited sums on campaigns as long as the funds are spent independently, the Citizens United case may usher in a period in which independent groups dominate campaigns by controlling the "air war" and defining which issues are paramount.
This clearly was not the intent of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, better known as McCain-Feingold. That federal law prohibited corporations, unions, individuals and others from making large "soft money" donations to national political parties. Most of those donations far surpassed the contribution limits that applied to individual candidates.