Citizens United aftermath in Ohio

A repost (with permission) of an email from Brad Smith to the listserv follows. The point with respect to states that had prohibited corporate expenditures, and now have no structure for tracking them, is particularly important:

“From Ohio, the Ohio Elections Commission has quietly issued a sua sponte advisory opinion that it will not enforce Ohio’s ban on corporate independent spending in the wake of Citizens United. (JL: This may have been the impetus.) By way of contrast, after Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC, the Commission ruled that it would continue to enforce Ohio’s Electioneering Communications statute as written. A preliminary injunction was obtained in Ohio Right to Life v. FEC (disclosure: the Center for Competitive Politics represented ORTL) and remains in effect.

Because Ohio has prohibited corporate IEs, it has no administrative provision or form for reporting them. Rules from the Secretary of State’s office expressly prohibit corporations from reporting IEs on the same form used for non-corporate groups and individuals. The OEC Advisory Opinion does not address that issue (and in any event, reporting, as opposed to enforcement, is in the first instance under the authority of the Secretary of State).”

UPDATE: Here is the advisory opinion.

Share this: