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Jan Baran Discusses Citizens United, Super PACs and the 2012 Presidential Race on The Diane Rehm Show

The Diane Rehm Show
January 17, 2012

Jan Baran, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was a guest on "The Diane Rehm Show" to discuss what unrestricted special-interest campaign spending means for the 2012 presidential race.

Mr. Baran, who has argued First Amendment cases before the Supreme Court,  commented on the historic constitutional protection given to free speech and political advertising that is undertaken independently of candidates.  Regarding the legal requirements for independent spending Mr. Baran reminded listeners that strict rules and regulations are in place.  “We are confusing what the law requires in terms of collaboration, versus our suspicion that there must be collaboration because the people running these PACs and funding these PACS are actually supporters of the candidate they are promoting,” said Mr. Baran.  “But since the McCain-Feingold law passed in 2002, there are now very detailed, extensive multi-paged regulations about what constitutes collaboration.”

Mr. Baran was joined on the program by Trevor Potter, former chair of the Federal Election Commission; Politico political influence reporter Dave Levinthal; and former congressman Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause.

To listen to the show please click here.