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Citizens Divided

October 15, 2010

There are still two long weeks leading up to the election.  And that means fourteen more days full of campaign ads.

Image by Cory M. Grenier. Some rights reserved.

This year, we’re faced with more attack ads than ever, thanks to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision made in January of this year.  That ruling, as you may recall, stated that restrictions to corporate spending in political campaigns were in violation of first amendment rights.  Not only does this allow corporations to use their general treasuries to finance political advertising, it “removes restrictions on independent advertising done within close proximity to either a primary or general election, and which refers to a clearly identified candidate for federal office,” according to Reed Smith‘s recent law firm memo “Vote for this and we will support you! How the new definition of coordinated communications affects political speech in the wake of Citizens United.”

The authors go on to outline pending revisions to regulations of “coordinated communications” and how they will further change the course of campaign finance.  But these changes won’t affect what’s on the air: the revisions do not go effective until December 1.

We have 51 (and counting) law firm memos that discuss the Citizens United case.  Find them with our Law Firm Memos search.

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