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The millions of dollars spent by fossil fuel corporations on elections, largely through dark money front groups, over the last decade is a prime example of how unlimited campaign spending can silence speech. Massive political spending by a network of fossil fuel special interest groups has not only succeeded in stopping federal legislation on climate change, but has also led many members of Congress to go silent on the issue altogether.
In June 2011, in Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, the United States Supreme Court invalidated the trigger funds provisions in Arizona's public campaign financing program. Arizona's trigger funds provision provided additional public funds to publicly financed candidates who were outspent by privately financed opponents and/or independent groups.