April 16: Money in elections and the Citizens United case

Parker-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Changes in election campaigning due to massive spending by outside groups will be discussed at 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, in Bryan 308 as part of the Washington State University Foley Institute series. Pizza and pop will be served; RSVP to Vanessa Corwin at vanessa.corwin@wsu.edu.

In 2012, more than $50 million was poured into Montana’s U.S. Senate race by outside corporate and labor union organizations. This followed the 2010 Citizens United case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations or labor unions.

David Parker, associate professor of political science at Montana State University, had access to the campaigns of both of his state’s candidates and tracked the spending of outside groups. His book on the contest – “Battle for the Big Sky: Campaigning, Representation and Home Styles in the U.S. Congress” – is to be published this fall.

Parker frequently provides media commentary for local, state and national news outlets. He has authored “The Power of Money in Congressional Campaigns, 1880-2006,” as well as articles on the consequences of divided government and how members of Congress employ their office expenditures to build reputations with constituents.