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Obama slams Supreme Court decision to ease limits on campaign funding

US President Barack Obama has criticised the Supreme Court's decision to give companies freer rein in donating to political election campaigns.


AFP - President Barack Obama slammed the US Supreme Court Thursday for easing curbs on big business spending on election campaigns, warning of a "new stampede" of special interest cash in politics.

The Court earlier ruled 5-4 that corporations could dip freely into their general funds to finance campaign ads either in support or against a particular political candidate.

The move will likely unleash an even more intense barrage of campaign ads than usual in the run-up to mid-term congressional elections later this year, and Obama's 2012 reelection race.

"With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said in an unusually frank presidential statement on a Court decision.

"It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

The ruling has the potential to disadvantage Democrats in favor of Republicans.

But the administration also pounced on the decision to take a fresh swipe at Wall Street, hours after Obama unveiled a new range of restrictions on US banks.

Despite lifting curbs on advertising financed by big business, the ruling left in place restrictions on big business contributing directly from their treasuries directly to a political candidate.

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