Gas Prices and OPEC, Strategic Oil Reserves, Super PACs, Bill Maher, and Sheldon Adelson (2012)
thefilmarchive.org February 24, 2012 In 2010, a few weeks after the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission that PACs that did not make contributions to candidates, parties, or other PACs could accept unlimited contributions from individuals, unions, and corporations (both for profit and not-for-profit) for the purpose of making independent expenditures. The result of the Citizens United and SpeechNow.org decisions was the rise in 2010 of a new type of political action committee, popularly dubbed the "super PAC". Officially known as "independent-expenditure only committees," Super PACs may not make contributions to candidate campaigns or parties, but may engage in unlimited political spending independently of the campaigns. Also unlike traditional PACs, they can raise funds from corporations, unions and other groups, and from individuals, without legal limits. As noted, Super PACs were made possible by two judicial decisions. First, in January 2010 the US Supreme Court held in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that government may not prohibit unions and corporations from making independent expenditure for political purposes. Two months later, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, the Federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held that contributions to groups that only make independent expenditures could not be limited in the size and source of contributions to the group ...