The Rise of the Super PAC

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

As a result of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, rules regarding corporate and union campaign spending were significantly eased. Super PAC ads are more strongly-worded and less accurate, largely because the third party groups funding them are harder to track down than something funded directly by a candidate's campaign. Though they are not limited to one party by nature, their role in the Republican race has been striking: ads run by pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC "Restore Our Future" are widely credited with reversing Newt Gingrich's lead in Iowa.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has more on what's fact and fiction in these ads. The Annenberg Center's flackcheck.org has outlines for each Super PAC-funded ad.

Guests:

Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Comments [3]

Charles

It's quite simple, really; if folks don't like the Citizens United decision, and if they'd prefer to keep track on all campaign funding, then lift the small-amount donation limits to candidates and political parties.

Donations to candidates can be tracked and recorded. Candidates can take responsibility for the ads.

The problems we have now, if they are problems at all, are due to the years of hysterical lawmaking attempts by scolds who think that they know best what kind of political speech should be allowed.

There are plenty of good legal minds who can explain why a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court came rather easily to the decision that was reached in Citizens United. For all of the references that case gets, it would be nice if The Takeaway actually educated its audience on what the decision really said, and what questions the Court was answering.

Jan. 10 2012 02:32 PM
listener

Could it also be called "an onslaught" of political speech during an election year which can be accepted or disregarded?
Why was there little concern for the widespread media bias for Obama in 2008 and now reflected in how little coverage there is of the money raised by the Obama campaign so far from corporations and Wall Street with the help last year from Jon Corzine?
Why no concern that the President uses official tax funded events as campaign stump speeches to attack his opposition?
All of this fretting about money in politics this year is predictably one sided.

Jan. 10 2012 10:09 AM
Frances from Ferndale, MI

I have such negative thoughts about the Super PAC for there are little restrictions put on them, it's slanderous not freedom of speech, and I think the money could be used to properly educate the voters. To have a strong government, great country, we need to the people of the country to be educated and active, not impoverished and blindly led.

Jan. 10 2012 09:23 AM

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