The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission may have overturned a century-old ban on corporations spending money on federal elections.
Yet that 2010 ruling, which also spawned the creation of independent expenditure-only committees known as super-PACs with unlimited fundraising ability, has not opened floodgates to corporate donations as some, including President Barack Obama, predicted.
A Bloomberg Government study finds that corporate money has largely stayed out of the 2012 election cycle so far, including the Republican presidential nominating process. Corporations contributed only 7.6 percent of the donations to super-PACs between December 2011 and March 2012.
The study by BGov analyst Melissa Avstreih also finds that almost all of the $6.82 million in corporate donations came from privately owned companies.
Individuals, not corporations, are the major contributors to super-PACs.
This study doesn’t examine corporate contributions made to nonprofit groups registered as 501(c)4 organizations, which are exempt from disclosing the identity of their donors.