On January 21, the nation marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which enabled corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence federal and state elections. As a result of this ruling, spending in 2010 increased over fourfold compared to the last mid-term elections in 2006.
As the 2012 election season ramps up, so will special interest financing of political advertising. With the proliferation of SuperPACS, electioneering can now be done with total anonymity, thus depriving voters of vital electoral information.
Voters must take action to help remedy this by asking every candidate they meet to state their positions on campaign finance reform. Opensecrets.org and Project Vote Smart both provide reliable financial information on elected officials as well as candidates.
Voters should also carefully question every anonymous political ad they see and consider the motivations behind an expensive ad campaign that attacks a candidate. Are these ads really trying to inform voters, or just inflame them?
– Stewart Snider