TV, Radio May Be Winners in Supreme Court Campaign Finance Ruling

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 11:22 AM

By Courtney Coren

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A few of the winners of this week's Supreme Court decision to remove the overall limit on how much a donor may give in an election cycle may be television and radio outlets as well as cable channels.

The Supreme Court said in its 5-4 decision that while donors are still limited to $5,200 to a single candidate in an election cycle, the $48,600 cap for a single election cycle has been removed as well as the $74,600 limit for donations to political parties.

As a result, more money will be pumped into campaigns, and therefore, more will go into advertising, Variety reported.

Following the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling in 2010 that removed limits on how much could be given to groups that campaign for or against a certain candidate or policy, there was a rise in the number of super PACs. Such groups provided an outlet for wealthy donors such as Sheldon Adelson, on the right, and George Soros, on the left, to donate as much as they wanted to such organizations.

As a result, political spending on advertising on local stations increased 38 percent in 2012 to $2.9 billion compared to $2.1 billion that was spent in 2010, Variety said, citing figures from the Television Bureau of Advertising, a trade association for commercial broadcasters.

Experts expect a similar growth as a result of the latest Supreme Court ruling.

"This news clearly will have an impact, particularly in markets where we have tossup races," Stacey Lynn Schulman, chief research officer for the television bureau told Variety.

However, some are skeptical, saying that rather than increase, funds will be shifted from PACs to candidates.

"It will redirect the flood of money a little bit but it won't change the amount by a significant amount," Ken Goldstein, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, told the New York Post.

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