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Michael Toner Talks with BBC's Newshour about Super PACs

BBC; The Associated Press
February 16, 2012

Michael Toner, co-chair of the Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was interviewed by the BBC for a discussion on the importance of Super PACs in the 2012 presidential election.

"There is a long history of independent advertising in American presidential elections," said Mr. Toner. "It's partly an outgrowth of the First Amendment, freedom of speech tradition in this country. Super PACs do need to disclose their donors and their spending to the Federal Election Commission."

Mr. Toner added it is important to note that Super PACs must disclose donor lists. "For whoever the Republicans nominate for president, Super PACs are going to play an important role in leveling the playing field," said Mr. Toner. "It's likely that Super PACs will help the Republican nominee keep up with the sitting president's extraordinary fundraising base, and that will be very important."

Mr. Toner also spoke with The Associated Press for a story on the Republican challenger for a U.S. Senate post in Montana who has called for a total ban on using money donated from outside the state. "This would be a very stringent deal, said Mr. Toner. "We are playing with live bullets here and [the deal] would have a definite impact on the race. This deal goes right to the heart of the cash-in-hand figures with the retroactive nature of the refunds."