Our Opinion: Super PAC law a must to counter big money
July 10, 2012
When Illinois enacted its new campaign donation limits in 2009, no one imagined that the Era of the Super PAC was about to dawn.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 Citizens United decision upheld the First Amendment right of political speech for organizations, ending prohibitions on political activity by corporations, labor unions and any other groups backing political candidates. The only catch is that they have to conduct their political business independent of candidates and with no coordination with a candidate’s campaign.
It didn’t take long for a federal judge to rule that Illinois’ campaign limits law didn’t trump the First Amendment right defined in Citizens United.
A bill signed into law last week by Gov. Pat Quinn is intended to provide a defense for candidates who find themselves targeted by big-money super PACs.