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The real problem with Citizens United: Campaign finance, dark money, and shadow parties

Monday, February 3, 2014
12:00 AM
Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weil Hall

Few cases have generated as much controversy as Citizens United. The story told by reformers and reporters is that Citizens United ushered in a new era of dark money, with wealthy corporations spending wildly, saturating the airwaves, and taking over American politics. Most of that story is wrong, and some of it is nonsense. There is a bigger story about the relationship between Citizens United and American politics; it's just not the one we've been told.

Professor Gerken will argue that the "dark money" trend is a symptom of a deeper shift taking place in American politics as we move from the political parties we know toward what she calls "shadow parties." And for all the brouhaha over dark money, we may one day think that the bigger and more important problem to emerge from the 2012 election is the shadow party.

Heather Gerken