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Michael Toner Comments on Rise in Election Spending by Outside Groups

The Hill
January 3, 2012

Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Michael Toner was interviewed by The Hill about the increased spending by outside influence groups in the run-up to the 2012 presidential campaign.  The article reports that as a result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the  Federal Election Commission (FEC) has not created new regulations in 2011 that would attempt to control election spending.

The Citizens United decision lifted the limits on how much corporations and unions could spend on the election and as a result the 2010 election saw a rise of super PACs.  Mr. Toner, former chairman of the FEC, indicated “the bottom line is there is not going to be any new laws between now and the election.  What we’ve got is what we’ve got and that’s how the battle is going to be fought.”

According to a report from the watchdog group Public Citizen, outside groups spent almost $300 million in last year’s election.  That is roughly four times the amount spent in 2006.