♦ Prior to Citizens United, campaign finance legislation and case law banned corporate spending on
independent expenditures and electioneering communications.
♦ Citizens United argued that these bans violated the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
♦ In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court extended First Amendment rights to corporations, such that
corporations can now use treasury funds to make independent expenditures and to pay for
electioneering communications in connection with federal elections.
♦ Corporations must still adhere to disclaimer and disclosure requirements when making those
In the last few election seasons a high number of secretly-funded political ads have saturated the airwaves from north to south and east to west. How were all these ads paid for? Answer: With virtually untraceable, so-called, “dark money” from wealthy and super-rich "benefactors" who seek to buy elections.
In effect, as a result of Citizens United's Supreme Court victory, "Dark Money", no matter what its nefarious sources are, is now "free speech". The wealthy, therefore, can now vote more than once in our corrupt electoral system while the poor and middle class struggle to keep from being disenfranchised by the barons of "Dark Money".