Two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down longstanding restrictions on corporate money in American elections, paving the way for super PACs and major third party spending.
Since January 21, 2009, the Citizens United case has had a major effect on money in politics. Already in this year’s Republican presidential primary, we’ve seen a number of freespending super PACs play a major role in the race, including the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future PAC, financed in large part by hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, and the pro-Newt Gingrich Winning Our Future, for whom casino mogul Sheldon Adelson recently cut a $5 million check. In fact, the total amount of money spent by outside groups thus far has outpaced spending by the campaigns themselves.
Despite the proliferation of super PACs and massive uptick in outside spending, former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty still sees our campaign finance laws as too restrictive.