The following audio and video were recorded on October 12, 2010.

Citizens United: The Future of Campaign Finance and Political Speech 10-12-10
Running Time: 01:13:22
[Full Audio and Video available on]

On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment. The decision struck down a provision of the McCain-Feingold law that prohibited all corporations, both for-profit and non-profit, and unions from broadcasting "electioneering communications" prior to elections. The 5-4 decision has caused considerable controversy. President Barack Obama assailed the Supreme Court's decision during his State of the Union speech. Numerous groups, on the other hand, cheered the decision calling it a victory for free speech. The panel will discuss pros and cons of the decision, and what effect, if any, it has had (or will have) on campaign spending in elections.


  • Prof. John Coleman, Chair, Political Science Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Lester Pines, Senior Partner, Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, LLP and Adjunct Professor, UW Law School 
  • Prof. Bradley Smith, Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law, Capital University Law School and Former Federal Elections Commissioner
  • Moderator: Mr. Andrew C. Cook, The Hamilton Consulting Group LLC and President of the Madison Lawyers Chapter

The Madison Club
Madison, WI

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