The Supreme Court’s seismic January ruling that corporations are free to spend unlimited amounts of their profits to advertise for or against candidates may have been the latest shakeup of campaign finance – but gaping holes already allow corporations to spend enormous sums without leaving a paper trail, a Raw Story investigation has found.
Campaign finance experts confirmed that though disclosure rules remained intact in the new Supreme Court decision, there are effective methods to circumvent them.
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, an attorney and campaign finance expert at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, said corporations already effectively end-run campaign finance law by shuffling money through trade associations.
“One of their favorites right now is spending through trade associations,” Torres-Spelliscy said.
Trade associations are considered tax-exempt non-profit organizations under US law. While they must report contributions received from other corporations to the Internal Revenue Service, the document itself remains confidential and is not made available to the public.
“Money coming through the trade association doesn’t get disclosed,” Torres-Spelliscy explained. “You can’t tell if it came from particular corporations.”
For example, she said, “The disclaimer form is likely to just say, ‘This is brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce,’ with no extra ability to see behind that.”
The Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest trade association representing at least 300,000 businesses and organizations.
A fellow non-profit that works on campaign finance, the Center for Political Accountability, calls trade associations “the Swiss bank accounts of American politics.”
God Bless those Fucking Loopholes! But the corporations don’t have to rely loopholes now..oh hell no..SCOTUS made it legal for them to lie and obsfucate against candidates that represent the people instead of the Corporatocracy.
It’s an educational read over at RawStory. Check out the entire piece here.