Throw a light on campaign donors

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Throw a light on campaign donors

Toledo Blade – An anniversary is normally cause for celebration. But advocates of fair and effective campaign-finance regulation had little to cheer about last month, a year after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case.

That critical ruling, handed down by a divided court, gave corporations the right to use company dollars to change elections. While everyday Ohioans face strict limits on campaign contributions, the high court's ruling essentially granted corporations unfettered privileges for political spending.

In the past year, the effects of this landmark decision have continued to reverberate across our country, and especially in Ohio. During the 2010 elections, our state's competitive political landscape encouraged outside interest groups to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into television advertising.

According to one study, campaign ad spending in congressional and gubernatorial races in 2010 topped a jaw-dropping $1 billion – a figure larger than some countries' gross domestic product. A quarter-billion was spent in just the last two weeks before the election.

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