You are hereHuffington Post: Sharron Angle Super PAC Breaks New Post-Citizens United Ground

Huffington Post: Sharron Angle Super PAC Breaks New Post-Citizens United Ground

-By Paul Blumenthal

June 14, 2011- The wild west of post-Citizens United campaign finance regulation has a new frontier in Nevada.

Controversial former Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is pushing the limits of the law as she launches a Super PAC to collect unlimited funds from individuals and corporations to spend on current and future elections.

The Supreme Court, in its landmark Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling, stated that independent expenditures made by outside groups did not meet the anti-corruption principle underlying much of the current regulation of campaign finance. The Court argued in a 5-4 decision that corporate contributions to political action committees did not create an appearance of corruption because the funds did not go to a specific candidate but rather promoted or opposed an issue.

Contribution limits for candidates and bans on corporate and union contributions to candidates were both upheld by the Supreme Court in Citizens United. But a subsequent ruling allowed for the creation of Super PACs, political action committees that only spend money on independent expenditures and that can accept unlimited funds.

Angle's Our Voice PAC, however, comes close to blurring the line that divides corrupting activity from non-corrupting.

While Super PACs are popping up everywhere in the wake of Citizens United, Angle's is unique in that it is directly tied to an individual who has stated an interest in running for office in the future. Angle's Super PAC strategy could augur a further shift in campaign finance rules, or lead to a backlash as the implication of the Supreme Court's ruling becomes increasingly clear.

"If [Angle] does indeed decide to run for federal office again, she is a prime candidate for these concerns about corruption," Paul Ryan, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan non-profit group working in the field of campaign finance, told HuffPost. 

"The legal status is really critical here," Ryan said, and it is "certainly not legal for a candidate to set up a Super PAC." 




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