Today the Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the constitutionality of laws limiting corporations' ability to back ads for or against political candidates.
Since 1907 it has been illegal for corporations to campaign directly for/against political candidates.
In the time of robber barons, the public realized that corporate campaigns would decimate the democratic process.
We appear to have re-invented the era of robber barons, producing a new gilded age, so I suppose it is not surprising that corporations are again attempting to overtly and directly shape political processes through the one mechanism denied to them, campaign ads.
One can only hope that the Supreme Court has the integrity to protect what is left of our democracy.