A year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could not be banned from political spending during elections through either independent expenditures from corporations’ general funds or “electioneering communications,” i.e. political ads. Detractors cried out that it would let loose a flood of corporate cash into elections, and they were right. A new Public Citizen report shows that outside groups quadrupled their contributions during the last mid-term election from the previous, and we will never know exactly where a good deal of the money came from.
Groups that didn’t disclose to the FEC any information about the sources of their money spent a combined $135.6 million (or 46 percent of the total).
Nearly half of the total, $138.5 million, came from just 10 groups. And seven of those organizations — including the ambiguously named American Action Network, American Future Fund and Americans for Job Security — provided no donor information.
That’s a bit different outcome from what the Supreme Court majority wrote in their opinion, which held that “with the advent of the Internet” citizens and shareholders would basically be able to Google all the information they would need and that would provide the necessary transparency.
The answer is obvious. Instead of complaining about corporations perverting our democracy, average Americans should buckle down and make make more money so they can out-contribute them.
Read the whole report here. (PDF)
Public Citizen Documents the Fallout of Pivotal U.S. Supreme Court Decision [Press Release]
Following the Money a Year After Citizens United [Miller-McCune]