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Report: Reclaiming Our Democracy
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mystery donors poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2012 elections via nonprofits and shell corporations, despite widespread public support for disclosure and decades of legal precedent supporting the public’s right to know the sources of election-related spending. A new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Center for Media and Democracy found that contributions from phony for-profit corporations accounted for nearly 17 percent of all business donations to Super PACs.
Thanks in large part to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v FEC, the 2012 election was the most expensive in the history of the world. While the Citizens United decision did open the door for increased campaign spending, the majority of justices in the Citizens United case also strongly reaffirmed the long-standing notion that the identity of campaign donors must be disclosed. Despite this agreement that transparency was important, voters could only learn the source of two-thirds of all reported outside spending in the 2012 election. And when non-reported spending is added, the level of secrecy becomes even more extreme.
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