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Campaign finance ruling: Can Congress do anything?

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About these ads

These include increased disclosure requirements or a requirement for shareholders to weigh in before a publicly traded corporation can run political ads.

“If a company is going to make an expenditure, the CEO could be required to do an on-camera ‘I approve this message,’ just as political candidates do,” says a Schumer aide.

“If you look at the staggering figures of the Fortune 100 companies and the revenues they have and the profits that they can now unleash directly in these elections, it has the potential to totally upend our system and corrupt the process in a way that I think should alarm every American citizen,” said Congressman Van Hollen.

The issues are constitutional

It’s a complex decision, and many lawmakers say they need time before determining what options Congress has in a decision argued on broad, constitutional terms.

Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, a cosponsor of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, says that he’s disappointed with the decision but doesn’t see much that Congress can do about it. “Maybe we’ll have to see how this new set of rules works in American political
campaigns,” he told CNN.

In a rare disagreement on this issue, Sen. Russ Feingold (D) of Wisconsin called the decision a terrible mistake. “The American people will pay dearly for this decision when, more than ever, their voices are drowned out by corporate spending in our federal elections,” he said in a statement.

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