Independent Expenditure Activity
Citizens United v FEC fallout and Senate Bill 284
As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 588 U.S.6, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010), corporations and labor unions are now able to make independent expenditures in support of or in opposition to a candidate or ballot proposition or question. In 2010 Senate Bill 284 created reporting requirements in the form of disclosures and disclaimers designed to provide the public with transparency about the persons funding these new expenditures. Citizens United does not allow for direct contributions to candidates from corporations and labor unions.
Since the doors were opened for corporations and unions to make independent expenditures in candidate campaigns, Senate Bill 284 was drafted to require as much disclosure and identification as possible from those responsible for making the independent expenditures. The purpose of the disclosure and identification requirements is so that the public can be better informed of who the responsible party or parties are behind the advertisements influencing candidate elections.
Senate Bill 284 also requires persons to open a political activities account. All persons who solicit funds outside of their general treasury funds for independent expenditures must establish a political activities account. Once established, all funds received and deposited in the political activities account will be disclosed to the public through disclosure reports filed with APOC along with the identification of the top three contributors on any political communications made.