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Effects of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

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A Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the Effects of:Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission


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Outside Spending Rises 338% Since 2006

Close up and breakdown by type of committee next two slides…


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Citizens United Ruling Allows for Increased Outside Spending

Super PACs are a new type of PAC allowed by the Citizen United ruling in 2010

In 2008 the Wisconsin Right to Life Supreme Court ruling allowed corporations to use their treasuries to pay for electioneering communications.

501c non-profits, funded by individuals, corporations and unions, increased their spending in 2010 thanks to Citizens United allowing them to make independent expenditures

*Numbers includes independent expenditures and electioneering communications only


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501c Non-Profits Dominate Electioneering Communication Spending in 2010

67% of Total Independent Expenditures in 2010 Came from Groups ‘Freed’ by Citizens United

Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission


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Spending by Non Disclosing Groups Rises to 47% of Outside Spending

Undisclosed donors on the rise…


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Corporate Donations on the Rise – Exact Amount Unknown

Corporations gave big donations in soft money to national party committees in the 1990s. Soft money was used for get-out-the-vote activities, political advertisements, media buys, polling and other expenditures.

After the McCain-Feingold legislation banned corporate donations to political committees in 2002, there was no corporate money until 2008 when corporations could use their treasuries for pay for electioneering communications. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could use their treasuries to also make independent expenditures.

In 2010, corporations donated to ‘Super PACs’ that then used the money to make independent expenditures.


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37% of Outside Spending by Unions in 2010 came from Groups Freed by Citizens United

*All $ amounts are in millions


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Union Money Accounted for 62 Percent of Liberal Outside Spending in 2010

*All $ amounts are in millions

**All numbers include independent expenditures and electioneering communications only


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Conservative Outside Spending Groups: 2004-2010

These groups do not disclose

their donors

*All numbers include independent expenditures and electioneering communications only


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Liberal Outside Spending Groups: 2004-2010

These groups do not disclose

their donors

*All numbers include independent expenditures and electioneering communications only


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Non-Party Groups Outspend Party Committees in 2010

*All numbers include independent expenditures and electioneering communications only

*All $ amounts are in millions


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Conservatives Take Advantage of Citizens United

SUPER PACs

UNDISCLOSED DONORS

All Non-Party Committee Outside Spending

*All numbers include independent expenditures and electioneering communications only – 2010 Election Cycle


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