Much has been made of Nick Ayers unexpectedly turning down the job of Chief of Staff and instead quitting his post in the administration to run American First Policies, a so-called dark money group he helped found.
While the rejection was no doubt an embarrassing frustration for Donald Trump, Ayers move demonstrates the complete fallacy of Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance. The Court would have us believe that donations greater than $2700 to Trump's 2020 campaign are potentially corrupting because Trump might sell favors to donors who help his re-election (and given the treatment he gives to foreign countries who rent rooms in his his hotels, it's a reasonable presumption.)
But, if billionaires, or corporations, or perhaps even foreign individuals funnelling money through US corporations or non-profits (like the NRA for instance), give millions of dollars to aid Trump's re-election through an "independent" outfit like America First, then the Roberts court says there is zero chance of corruption.
The five ideologues who issued the Citizens United ruling never ran for office and evidently are willfully blind of how things work in politics. Does anyone, other than John Roberts, actually believe that the man who could have been Trump's Chief of Staff will instead operate entirely independently of the Trump campaign? Ayers is privy to all of Trump's current thinking and strategy and is perfectly positioned to run a big money campaign in the same way that Trump's own team would. Moreover, even if the public doesn't find out who the dark money donors are that fund Ayers's work, you can bet Trump will. And, business being business, he'll find a way to make good on their investment.
Photo credit Steven Depolo