New York Times:Decision Could Allow Anonymous Political Contributions by Businesses

Written by admin on February 28th, 2010

The New York Times reports how the decision by the Supreme Court regarding corporate political contributions is already having an impact on campaign financing.

Story here: NYTimes registration req.;mer&st=cse

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.

While last month’s decision allows corporations to spend without limit on advertising for or against candidates, if they do so directly, they will have to report their expenditures and identify their donors. Mr. Gross said corporations are often loath to have their names attached to such advertisements. The nonprofit groups, with their legal ability to withhold donors’ names, offer an attractive alternative, he said

After the 2006 Wisconsin Right to Life decision, there was no sudden surge in direct corporate spending on issue advertising. Electioneering communications spending by nonprofit groups that did not identify their donors, however, increased sharply. Of the $98.7 million in electioneering communications reported in the 2004 cycle, virtually all was accompanied by identification of at least some donors. In the 2008 cycle, over one-third of the $116.5 million reported was not accompanied by donor identification.

The United States Chamber of Commerce was the biggest spender on electioneering communications not to identify any donors.


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