Steve Klein at Pillar of Law writes:
In the New York Times last week, Commissioner Ellen Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission penned an op/ed that proposed yet another regulatory scheme to undo the First Amendment ruling in Citizens United. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions cannot be prohibited from spending money to speak out about candidates for public office. Corporations sometimes have a lot of money, so the campaign finance lobby believes the ruling was unfair because, as Weintraub repeats, corporations can “drown out” the “voices of citizens” by spending it on speech. In this latest volley, Weintraub argues for an expansive disclosure regime, followed by prohibitions, that would prevent corporations with foreign ownership from enjoying the fruits of Citizens United.
Unions don’t necessarily get a pass from the speech czars, but have a strange tendency to be absent from reformist rhetoric, despite exercising what one can easily call “outsize influence” in elections. Weintraub’s piece is, unfortunately, no exception to this omission, though unions pose the same danger of foreign influence that Weintraub aims to cure. Furthermore, the consequences of her latest proposal would likely hit unions as hard as corporations.
Read the full article.