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Reduce Influence of Money in Politics

Montana State Court Rejects Citizens United, Upholds 100-Year-Old Ban on Corporate Money in Elections

A huge victory in Montana last week restored the state’s longstanding ban on corporate political spending on behalf of state political candidates and parties, overturning a lower court’s ruling and flying in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that grants corporations the same free speech rights as individuals.

ALEC’s Corporate Legislative Agenda Protested

This week, as the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) convened its annual States & Nation Policy Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, labor, civil rights, and activist groups took advantage of the opportunity to highlight ALEC’s role in advancing conservative legislation on everything from voter ID to SB 1070 copycat bills. National groups such as Common Cause and MoveOn joined the state AFL-CIO, Occupy Phoenix, and others to plan five days’ worth of events during the duration of the conference to highlight the detrimental effects that ALEC-backed policies have had on the economic security of families in both Arizona and states across the country — and to warn about elements of their destructive agenda that may be introduced in coming legislative sessions.

Connecticut Defends Clean Elections Financing Program

Overriding a veto by their Governor, the Conneticut Legislature has strengthened its Citizen's Election system of public financing of elections that was first instituted in 2005. Responding to a bad decision by a federal appeals court, the Legislature has fixed the system and increased the public financing available to candidates.

NJ: Law Firms that Employ Municipal Court Judges Are Banned from Making Political Contributions

Law firms in New Jersey that employ municipal court judges are banned from making political contributions, the state’s highest court ruled today.

To eliminate questions about the source of the money, attorneys can make political donations from their personal funds, but contributions cannot come from the firm’s business account, the state Supreme Court said in its unanimous decision.

US: Follwing Citizen's United Ruling, 10 States Add Campaign Finance Laws

WASHINGTON — Ten states have swiftly passed new laws requiring additional disclosure of political spending, following a Supreme Court ruling that lets corporations and unions pump unlimited amounts of money into certain campaign commercials.

The push in states comes as a high-profile effort in Congress to blunt the court's January ruling has stalled in the Senate amid strong opposition by Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate inaction has cast doubts that any new federal disclosure rule

US: FEC Finds Citizens United Group Free from Disclosure Rule

WASHINGTON — A little-noticed Federal Election Commission ruling that expands the definition of “media’’ to include a partisan film production group is the latest in a series of actions eroding legislative limits on the influence of money in politics.

“We’re really returning, seemingly inexorably, toward an entirely deregulated system,’’ said Thomas Mann, who studies campaign finance at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “It was a rather breathtaking decision.’’

MN: Corporate cash ready to roll into Minnesota elections

Star Tribune: A new political organization, backed by two of the state's most powerful business interests and led by one of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top deputies, could result in a powerful wave of corporate cash in this year's state elections.

Update: Options for Reining in Corporate Election Cash in Wake of Citizens United Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) decision earlier this year gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as citizens with regard to advocating for or against political candidates, unleashing a flood of new corporate cash into state races and a range of new state policy initiatives that aim to protect the integrity of their elections.  In response, states are pursuing other reforms, such as requiring shareholder approval for corporations spending election cash, tighter public disclosure and attribution in ads, public financing of elections, and calling for a federal constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision.