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    The explosive growth of Super PACs is a major outgrowth of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and it is undermining the integrity and effectiveness of our nation’s anti-corruption campaign finance laws.

  • Upholds State Bans on Judicial Campaign Solicitations, Fortifies Judicial Independence

    Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in an important campaign finance case Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, upholding a state ban on direct campaign solicitations by judicial candidates.

    “The 5-4 decision in this case is a victory for the voters,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS). “Twenty-nine states have laws similar to the Florida ban. The court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, found the Florida ban to be constitutional because it increases the public’s confidence and trust in judicial candidates.”

    The League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Florida joined an amicus brief on Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, focusing on the constitutionality of a state prohibition on the direct solicitation of campaign donations by candidates for judicial office. The brief argued in favor of the prohibition because the public must have confidence in the independence and impartiality of judges.

    “The League has been a leader in seeking campaign finance reform at the state, local and federal levels for more than three decades. The League joined in this case to further the simple goal of protecting government that is transparent and accountable to voters.” MacNamara said.

    “The court’s decision in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar is an important step toward that goal,” concluded MacNamara.


    Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331, kceballos@lwv.org.

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  • The League joined a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging them to support and cosponsor H.R. 425, legislation that would end coordination between Super PACs and candidates.

  • The League sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration urging Representatives to vote no on H.R. 412 and H.R. 195. These bills would repeal the presidential public financing system and terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

  •  Testimony at Public Hearing on Money in Politics Calls for Full Disclosure

    Washington, D.C.  – Today Elisabeth MacNamara, national President of the League of Women Voters, addressed members of the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) during a public hearing on issues of money in politics. At the hearing, President MacNamara called on the agency to update regulations on campaign finance laws to provide full disclosure in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC.

    “Voters care deeply about this issue of campaign finance and corruption,” said MacNamara. “And voters understand that billionaires and secret organizations don’t represent them and that huge sums of money corrupt our political system.”

    “We ask that you update FEC regulations to provide for such full disclosure so that the Court’s decision in Citizens United does not continue as the giant loophole for secret giving that it has become,” MacNamara said.

    This is unacceptable in a democracy,” MacNamara said. “Secret money has no place in America's elections. Voters deserve to know -- have a right to know -- who is making unlimited political expenditures and influencing elections.”

    In addition, SuperPACs and other outside groups can raise and spend unlimited amounts because they are supposedly ‘independentfrom the candidate, but in reality there are many ways to coordinate that are not blocked by current regulations,” MacNamara said. “It is time for the FEC to step in and better regulate these outside groups.”

    The abuses we have talked about today undermine our democracy by corrupting our elections and overwhelming the voices of regular citizens and voters,” concluded MacNamara. “That ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ organizations are violating the law and biasing our elections should not be relevant. Indeed, there are abuses by all sides. The League of Women Voters urges the FEC to protect the voters and enforce the law.”


    Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331, kceballos@lwv.org.

    Like” the League on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter: @LWV.

    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

  • The League joined other reform groups to support S. 2754, the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2014. The legislation, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), would limit the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to obtain undue influence with members of Congress.

  • The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in support of the DISCLOSE Act of 2014.

  • The League joined a letter to U.S. Senators urging them to pass the DISCLOSE Act of 2014.

  • The League joined an amicus brief filed in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Lair v. Motl.

  • A Primer for Engagement of League Members and Fellow Citizens - 2014