Election 2010: The Loophole Created by 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(c)(9) and Citizens United and the Ineffectiveness of the Campaign Finance Law Framework in Iowa
Iowa Law Review
February 14, 2011
Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming
The loophole in the campaign-finance law framework created by the combination of 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(c)(9) and Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission allowed nonprofit organizations to use unlimited and anonymous donations from corporations to fund electioneering communications during the 2010 election campaign. Congress failed to pass legislation to address Citizen United's impact, and Iowa's campaign-disclosure system alone was insufficient to prevent hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of independent political spending by nonprofit organizations from changing the dynamic of the 2010 campaign without providing information to Iowa voters as to who was funding their speech. This Note examines the campaign finance law framework in existence in Iowa in 2010, the use of the loophole by two organizations with ties to Iowa, and the ramifications the changes that brought about the loophole had on the exercise of corporations' right to free speech. The Note suggests options for policymakers to address the loophole and obstacles the options would face. The Note concludes, with an eye on the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, with a call to action to address the failings of the campaign finance law framework including the loophole.
Keywords: Citizens United, Citizens United v. FEC, 11 C.F.R. § 104.20(c)(9), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Future Fund, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, DISCLOSE Act, SF 2354, Electioneering Communication, Independent Expenditure, Iowa
JEL Classification: G38, L31, H79, H80, K23
Date posted: May 31, 2011