The Supreme Court sent a wave of corporate and union money flooding into campaign ads this year, but it did so with the promise that the public would know - almost instantly - who was paying for them.
But the high court majority were wrong. Because of loopholes in tax laws and a weak enforcement policy at the Federal Election Commission, corporations and wealthy donors have been able to spend huge
sums on campaign ads, an estimated $266 million as of Tuesday and counting, confident the public will never know who they are, election law experts say.
Corporate donors have been able to
hide their contributions despite the opposition of shareholders and customers - the very groups cited by Justice Kennedy in his decision. By an overwhelming margin, shareholders say they don't want
their companies devoting money to political ads. Customers are also easily angered by corporate political stands. This year's election marks the first time in 100 years that corporations and unions
are free to spend their money on election ads.
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