The man at the center of the furious debate about political campaign spending says he never foresaw the outcome of his lawsuit, which ultimately was decided by the United States Supreme Court and made the names of his group famous, or infamous.
It all started with a documentary film critical of Hillary Clinton. The Federal Election Commission ruled that Citizens United violated the campaign contribution limits enacted by McCain-Feingold. Federal law prohibited campaign contributions of more than $5,000 in the primary and $5,000 in the general campaign.
When threatened with jail time by the FEC, Citizens United President David Bossie took his fight against McCain-Feingold to the Supreme Court, protesting campaign contribution limits.
“Did the Supreme Court go even further than we could have imagined or dreamed, absolutely,” Bossie stated. “Did I foresee Super PACs coming out of our Supreme Court victory? Absolutely not. It was not what I went and asked for.”
The Supreme Court ruling in 2010 spawned creation of super Political Action Committees, free to spend unlimited amounts on behalf of a favored candidate. The candidate has no control over the campaigns run by super PACs. Supporters of the ruling claim it protects free-speech protections in the Constitution. Opponents claim the ruling gives wealthy donors inordinate power in political contests.
Citizens United has become involved in Nebraska politics. It has endorsed the United States Senate candidacy of Attorney General Jon Bruning in the Republican primary.
Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]