A Not-Too-Subtle Exemption

Ken AshfordCampaign Finance ReformLeave a Comment

One of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever was handed down last year: the Citizens United case, which basically said that corporations were not subject to financial limitations when they fund political candidates.  It's a bad decision because it rests on what I believe are two mistaken Constitutional interpretations:

  1. The First Amendment applies to corporations/organizations
  2. Spending money on political candidates is "speech" (and therefore protected by the First Amendment

Congress is trying now to limit the impact of the Citizens United case by requiring corporations and organizations to at least disclose their political spending.

But in order to get it passed, they've had to water it down.  For example, in the current iteration of the bill, certain organizations are exempt from campaign financial disclosure.  Specifically, the exemption on disclosure requirements would apply to organizations that have more than "1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states, and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations."

How many organizations fit that definition?

Only one.

The NRA.