The New Electoral Environment After Citizens United Now

897 WordsMar 31, 20164 Pages
An assumption of representation is elected representatives are agents who express district preferences in legislative activities. Voters have preferences, but do not know which candidate in the election best align with these preferences; therefore, campaign communication and advertisements are important avenues that help highlight congruency of preferences between a candidate’s and voter’s positions (Krupnikov, 2011). This new electoral environment after Citizens United now has more independent campaign expenditures going toward election communications on behalf of candidates than in previous elections (Federal Election Commission, 2015). This new environment involves three primary entities for outside independent expenditures, Super PACs, traditional Political Action Committees, and political parties. Since the 1970s and the Supreme Court’s decision in Buckley vs. Valeo (1976), outside campaign expenditures have been allowed during elections. These expenditures were restricted to certain subject areas, largely issue advocacy, and had to provide disclosures of contributors (Jacobson, 1985). Since the early 2000s, disclosure of corporate and private entities has decreased significantly, which is a concern (Youn, 2011); because corporations and other entities can now spend unlimited funds on electioneering communication that attempts to sway the electoral outcomes that are not disclosed (Dowling and Miller, 2014; Briffault, 2012). Moreover, general exposure to these
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