Wiley Rein’s Jan Baran discusses Citizens United in this Times piece today.
Will corporations and unions be able to give money to candidates or political parties? No. Federal law, which regulates campaigns for president, the Senate and the House, prohibits such contributions. The ban was left untouched by the Supreme Court.
Can corporations spend money in cahoots with candidates and political parties? No. The Supreme Court decision addressed only “independent expenditures,” which are, by definition, “not coordinated with a candidate.” Monies spent in collaboration with candidates or parties are treated as contributions — and are still banned.
Perhaps all of this corporate spending will be secret? Wrong again. The Supreme Court upheld the laws that require any corporate or union spender to file reports with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours of spending the first dime.