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The ruling and the bill

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling:

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-- Struck down a 63-year-old prohibition on corporations and labor unions using money from their general treasuries to produce and air campaign ads in races for Congress and the White House.

-- Overturned a ban on corporations and unions airing campaign ads in the 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election.

-- Kept in place a century-old ban on donations directly from corporate treasuries to federal candidates.

-- Upheld disclosure requirements on campaign activity.

Under the Disclose Act, if it becomes law:

-- A corporation, labor union or special interest group would be required to report all donors who have given $600 or more during a 12-month period if the organization spends in excess of $10,000 on political ads or other political activities.

-- Chief executives, presidents or other senior officials would be required to appear on camera to endorse political ads a company pays for, much as political candidates are required to do.

-- Spending on political ads by outside groups would be subject to expanded disclosure requirements.

-- Major federal contractors and recipients of Troubled Asset Relief Program financing would be barred from funding political ads.

-- Companies with more than 20 percent foreign ownership would be barred from participating in elections.


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