Dale Eisman Senior Writer/Editor Ph: 202.736.5788 email@example.com
on January 11, 2010
Tele-Press Conference Details
Who: Trevor Potter, president and general counsel, Campaign Legal Center
Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause
Fred Wertheimer, president, Democracy 21
Nick Nyhart, president, Public Campaign
What: Campaign finance experts give legal analysis and reaction to Citizens United decision
When: Noon ET on the day of the decision
Where: The press/bloggers should dial in at 800-657-1263
The conference ID number is 50359057
Or ask for the "Citizens United call."
The Supreme Court in the Citizens United case may strike down the long-standing ban on express political advocacy by corporations and unions. Corporations and unions have been prohibited from spending money from their general funds on express advocacy at the federal level since 1947, when Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act.
Prohibiting corporations and unions from using treasury money to influence elections was upheld by the Supreme Court in Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce (1990), and most recently in McConnell v. FEC (2003) after the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). In McConnell, the Court noted that, "Congress' power to prohibit corporations and unions from using funds in their treasuries to finance advertisements expressly advocating the election or defeat of candidates in federal elections has been firmly embedded in our law."
If the Supreme Court strikes down the ban on express political advocacy by corporations and unions, it could greatly increase the spending by such groups to influence federal campaigns. It would also open the door to the corrupting influence that would flow from such expenditures, as corporations and unions would use their spending, or the threat or promise of such spending, as a means to influence decision-making by Congress.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics
Tags: Fighting Big Money
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.