The Supreme Court says corporations are people, and corporate spending on political campaigns is the same as free speech. Here's what Barack Obama said in Audacity of Hope, when he was halfway between a community organizer and president:
I've never been entirely comfortable with the term "special interest," which lumps together ExxonMobil and bricklayers, the pharmaceutical lobby and the parents of special-ed kids. Most political scientists would probably disagree with me, but to my mind there's a difference between a corporate lobby whose clout is based on money alone, and a group of like-minded individuals - whether they be textile workers, gun aficionados, veterans, or family farmers - coming together to promote their interests; between those who use their economic power to magnify their political influence far beyond what their numbers might justify, and those who are simply seeking to pool their votes to sway their representatives. The former subvert the very idea of democracy. The latter are its essence.
The Audacity of Hope, p. 116 in my paperback Three Rivers edition.
He had it right back then. We need to help him remember it now.
UPDATE: In his new weekly address, Obama called the Supreme Court decision "devastating to the public interest." The old quote suggests that this more than a short-term political populist swing. It's real.