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Video - Congressional Forum on Campaign Finance

April 18, 2012
In The News

(WASHINGTON) – The past two years have seen a sea change in our nation's campaign finance laws. The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in SpeechNow.org v. FEC have ushered in a new era in funding campaign advertisements. The result has been the creation of Super PACs, ostensibly independent operations that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on political advertising, helping to sway important congressional elections.

But who is paying for these advertisements? A loosening of the laws and regulations, combined with the use of 501(c)(4) corporations that require no disclosure of contributors, has allowed a great deal of this spending to be hidden. Powerful individuals have created shell corporations to fund these Super PACs and disguise the source of monies.

The Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Elections convened a congressional forum to shed some light on this new world of campaign finance, to expose how we got here, what it means for the future, and to look further into what Congress can and should do about it. Although several Super PAC donors were invited to participate as panelists, not one of them accepted the invitation.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at 2:00 PM

WHERE: 1310 Longworth House Office Building

WHAT: Congressional Forum: "The Most Expensive Seat in the House:

The State of Our Campaign Finance System"

PARTICIPANTS:

Dr. Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute - Testimony

Mr. Paul S. Ryan, FEC Program Director, Campaign Legal Center - Testimony

Ms. Zephyr Teachout, Associate Professor, Fordham University School of Law - Testimony – Coming Soon

Ms. Monica Youn, Brennan Center Constitutional Fellow, NYU School of Law - Testimony

MEMBERS:

Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (TX-20), Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Elections

Rep. Robert A. Brady (PA-1), Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Michael Capuano (MA-8)

Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-5)

Rep. David Price (NC-4)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8)