TODAY   |  April 03, 2014

Court strikes down overall cap on campaign giving

On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a restriction on the grand total that any person can contribute to all federal candidates for office. NBC’s White House correspondent Peter Alexander reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> shake-up in the nation's capital on wednesday after the u.s. struck down restrictions on the total amount of cash individuals can give to all candidates for office.

>> reporter: consider this, in 2012 , total campaign spending in this country doubled from 3 billion to $6.3 billion. the supreme court ruling opens the door even wider for unlimited money in politics that has obviously already skyrocketed.

>> part of why i decided to run for congress.

>> that government should help or get out of the way.

>> reporter: and you thought there was already too much money in politics? fasten your seat belts. from now on there will be a whole lot more. the supreme court struck down --

>> money is speech. it's speech through your own resources as to how want to support.

>> reporter: what does it mean? before the court's ruling, a wealthy donor could only give the maximum contribution, $2,600, to 18 different candidates for a total donation of nearly $50,000. now the donor can give that same contribution to an unlimited number of candidates with no cap on the total cost . better yet, think of it like you're at a casino where each table has a maximum bet. now donors are allowed to bet the max on every table in the room.

>> mega donors have just bought themselves a lot more clout and influence in washington. they'll have an open door , phone calls will be answered and what might they get in exchange for their donation?

>> reporter: the bottom line is experts say this will sweeten the pot for candidates, enticing them to dough vote more time to finding and locking in the country's most rich and powerful for donors.