November 3, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Fact of the Day: Independent Expenditures For 2012 Election At Nearly $1 Billion
In January of 2010 the Supreme Court said money is equal to speech. This is the now famous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts to influence our political system. These unlimited funds can be spent without full disclosure, and it’s all perfectly legal.
These funds, called independent expenditures, are supposed to be separate from the political campaigns and the candidates, or in other words, the Super PACs and other political committees that receive these funds are not allowed to coordinate with the parties or candidates.
In the 2004 election year, independent expenditures totaled $65.8 million. In 2008, independent expenditures increased to $147 million. With only days remaining in the 2012 election year, and post-Citizens United, independent expenditures total $979.7 million (source: Center for Responsive Politics). That is almost one billion dollars funneling into Super PACs and other political committees, much of it without disclosure. / photo by watchingfrogsboil