Funding Campaigns ... Anonymously
Posted on Feb 28, 2010
The ridiculous Supreme Court decision to let corporations spend whatever they want on behalf of political candidates just got more ridiculous: Lawyers say that under the ruling there’s a loophole that would allow companies to do so anonymously.
Experts say the ruling allows corporations and unions to give anonymously to nonprofits, which then can turn around and finance political advertisements for a particular candidate. —JCL
The New York Times:
The Supreme Court decision last month allowing corporations to spend unlimited money on behalf of political candidates left a loophole that campaign finance lawyers say could allow companies to pay for extensive political advertising while avoiding the disclosure requirements the court appeared to leave intact.
Experts say the ruling, along with a pair of earlier Supreme Court cases, makes it possible for corporations and unions to donate anonymously to nonprofit civic leagues and trade associations. The groups can then use the money to finance the types of political advertisements that were at the heart of last month’s ruling, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Well before the Citizens United case, certain types of nonprofit organizations were able to pump millions of dollars into “electioneering communications” — highly pointed commercials about political issues that can even mention specific candidates — without revealing their donors.
For the first time, though, as a result of the ruling, corporations will be able to spend unlimited amounts of money on advertisements expressly advocating for a candidate’s election or defeat. The ruling also clears the way, for the first time, for corporations to donate money to nonprofit groups that place advocacy advertisements.
AP / J. Scott Applewhite
Critics believe the Supreme Court’s decision to allow corporations to spend whatever they want on political campaigns greatly decreases the chances politicians have of getting elected without being burdened by corporate tutelage.