Common Cause Nebraska has long been an advocate for reforming our incomplete campaign finance laws and regulations. Twenty years ago, we helped implement the Campaign Finance Limitations Act, which put voluntary limits on campaign spending and helped abiding candidates keep-up in expensive races. Yet, in 2010, the Nebraska Supreme Court overturned that legislation, leaning on a national precedent that it discouraged those who wanted to spend unlimited money on elections from doing so.
As Nebraskans, we now find ourselves starting from scratch and attempting to re-establish limitations on the way that campaigns are funded, including constitutional and meaningful disclosure laws so voters know who is paying for advertisements and communications about candidates.
In Citizens United, the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions have the same political speech rights as individuals under the First Amendment. It found no compelling government interest for prohibiting them from using their general treasury funds to make election-related independent expenditures. However, in an 8-1 decision, the Court ruled that the disclaimer and disclosure requirements associated with electioneering communications are constitutional.