September 21, 2014

Report: Campaign spending tripled after Citizens United

A new report detailing the impact of the Citizens United decision on elections in Wisconsin suggests the ruling resulted in a massive jump in campaign spending.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign compared the money spent in the two election cycles before and after the US Supreme Court decision, which effectively lifted the cap on corporate campaign spending. Executive director Mike McCabe says they found election spending in that time frame has more than tripled, while spending by third party groups more than quadrupled.

According to the report, spending on state and Congressional races during the 2006-2008 cycles totaled just under $124 million. Over the 2010-2012 cycles, it hit almost $392 million, with $138 million of that from just the recall elections alone. McCabe notes that, even without the recalls, spending still more than doubled in the two years after the controversial Supreme Court decision.

McCabe says the situation is unlikely to change any time soon either, as outside groups clearly feel like their money is well spent on the races. While he does not believe the future will bring as dramatic a jump, the only limits appear to be the money candidates and groups have available. McCabe says both seem to have a “bottomless well of money to draw from.”

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:18)