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Two years ago the Supreme Court, as a result of its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, enabled corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence federal and state elections. As the 2012 election season ramps up, so will corporate, union, and special interest financing of political advertising. With the proliferation of Super PACs and 501(c) organizations, major donors funding election advertising remain unidentified to voters. The League of Women Voters believes that this injection of unlimited money into politics is a threat to our democratic process.

Despite the recent Montana Supreme Court ruling upholding Montana's ban on corporate spending on state campaigns, the ruling does not apply to federal races, e.g., Rehberg v. Tester.

There are ways to minimized the effects of the CU decision. Be an informed voter.

The League urges all voters to inform yourself about the candidates. Read what they say about themselves. Find out their positions on important issues, especially campaign finance reform. Attend forums and debates.

Question political ads. Who paid for the ad and why? If the sponsor is a group or organization, go to its website to see who is a member and who contributes.

Reliable information about donations to candidates can be found at www.opensecrets.org (federal candidates) and www.followthemoney.org (state candidates).

Nancy Detrick

Billings

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