Category: Challenging Super PACs

Ending Super PACs: Is SpeechNow Vulnerable?

Argued less than a week after Citizens United v. FEC, and decided just two months later, the D.C. Circuit’s less-widely-reported decision in v. FEC further extended Citizens United and opened the door to what we now call Super PACs. But some argue that SpeechNow, which the Supreme Court declined to review, is not a necessary or the best interpretation of Citizens United, and
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NYT reports on potential breakthrough on corporate political spending

The New York Times’ lead story today reports on a potentially huge breakthrough in the quest for corporations to be accountable to their own shareholders for their political spending, and for that spending to be made public.

Key excerpts are below.

S.E.C. Gets Plea: Force Companies to Disclose Donations

Published: April 23, 2013

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NBC: Election’s biggest corporate donor an enigma that gave $5.3 million; Companies have spent $75 million this cycle

NBC News has just published a great report focusing on major examples of corporate spending on the 2012 elections. Here are some key excerpts:

The biggest corporate contributor in the 2012 election so far doesn’t appear to make anything — other than very large contributions to a conservative super PAC.

Specialty Group Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., donated nearly $5.3 million between Oct. 1 and Oct. 11 to
FreedomWorks for America, which is affiliated with former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey…

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Report: Citizens United ruling accounts for 78 percent of 2012 election spending

By Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian
Monday, September 24, 2012


Almost $465m of outside money has been spent on the US presidential election campaign so far, including $365m that can be attributed to the supreme court’s landmark Citizens United ruling, according to a report released on Monday.

Super Pacs, which came into effect following the 2010 Citizens United verdict, accounted for $272m of the expenditure in the study, conducted by the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit organisation devoted to increasing transparency in government.

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Trevor Potter, former FEC Commissioner (R), on Citizens United, why corporations shouldn’t participate in our elections

Bill Moyers’ latest video is an interview with Trevor Potter, a Republican former Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, best known as Stephen Colbert’s attorney and also Senator John McCain’s former General Counsel.

Mr. Potter makes several important points in the 45-minute interview. Here are some of the choicest excerpts, below (not in chronological order):

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