16
February 2010
Past Event
Nonprofits Divided over "Citizens United?"

Nonprofits Divided over "Citizens United?"

Past Event
Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
February 16, 2010
Default Event Image
16
February 2010
Past Event

1015 15th Street, N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Speakers:
William A. Schambra

Senior Fellow Emeritus

Allison Hayward

Assistant Professor of Law, George Mason University

Abby Levine

Legal Director of the Bolder Advocacy Initiative, Alliance for Justice

Larry Ottinger

President, Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest

Default Expert Image
Cleta Mitchell

Partner, Foley & Lardner, LLP

Bob Edgar

President, Common Cause

When the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on January 21, President Barack Obama warned that it gave a "green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voice of everyday Americans." Other observers claimed that the decision simply opened the door for greater participation by a wider variety of parties in the exercise of their First Amendment rights.

However clear its implications for business corporations and unions, though, a more difficult question is, what bearing does Citizens United have on nonprofits? While 501(c)(4) organizations (of which Citizens United is one) clearly benefit from the enlargement of permitted electoral activities, is it likely that similar latitude will soon follow for 501(c)(3) nonprofits? Should nonprofits push back against the enlargement of corporate prerogatives, push forward for the expansion of their own prerogatives, or some combination of these activities?

On Tuesday, February 16, Hudson Institute's Bradley Center, along with the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI), and OMB Watch, brought together a panel of experts to discuss these and other questions. The Bradley Center's William Schambra moderated the discussion.

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