Believing shareholders could address issues of corporate political speech through corporate democracy and citizens through disclosure, Justice Kennedy writing the opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (08-205) claimed:
The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.
Restore Our Future, a Super PAC backing Mitt Romney, announced a $3.1 million ad campaign in Iowa this month. The group was obligated to file a Form 3X disclosure report identifying donors on Dec. 22, which is 12 days before the Iowa caucus. Restore Our Future notified the Federal Election Commission it was switching to a monthly schedule. The switch avoids the requirement for a December report and allows Restore Our Future to disclose after the Iowa Caucuses.
The simplistic view taken by the Supreme Court justices failed to take into account the the FEC commissioners responsible for writing regulations overseeing Super PACs are paralyzed by partisan politics and incapable of completing even the most elementary tasks. Nearly two years after the Citizens United decision the FEC has failed to bring forth any cohesive regulations concerning Super PACs.
For Supreme Court Justices to allow billions of corporate dollars to shape elections under the premise the impact of the money is offset by the transparency of disclosure, under rules and regulations designed by those receiving the billions of dollars, is laughable at best. The Supreme Court failed the people of Iowa, the FEC continues to fail us all.