Democracy, Paternalism, and Campaign Finance
by Adam Hosein
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002 put limits on corporate
spending during campaign seasons. More specifically, the act required that
corporate treasury funds not be used to pay for "electioneering communications,"
defined as "any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication" that "refers to a
clearly identified candidate for Federal office" and is made within thirty days of a
primary election or sixty days of a general election. In its Citizens United v. FEC
(Federal Election Commission) decision of 2010, the Supreme Court struck down
these requirements as excessive burdens on the freedom of speech, triggering
strong criticism from President Obama, "Occupy" protesters, and many others.