In a webisode promoting his film "Casino Jack and the United States of Money," a documentary about disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, director Alex Gibney takes on the Supreme Court's recent decision undoing laws that restricted corporate spending on campaign advertisements -- allowing "super-sized" corporate citizens undue influence on elections.
"Thanks to the Supreme Court," says the narrator, "these super-sized citizens have the same rights to political speech as your average Joe."
The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC undid the Federal Election Commission's restrictions on corporate or union ad-spending within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. Previously, corporations and unions had to launder money for political ads directly endorsing or attacking a candidate through political action committees, which adhere to fundraising and spending caps. (The decision did not undo limits on giving directly to campaigns.)
Democrats have introduced legislation to blunt the impact of the decision by, among other things, forcing corporate CEOs to appear in ads bankrolled by their companies and say "I approved this message."
In Gibney's documentary "Casino Jack" -- not to be confused with the forthcoming dramatic movie, "Casino Jack," starring Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff -- the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United is placed right among the lurid details of the corruption scandal that sent several people to prison.
Click HERE to see a trailer for the film, which is in theaters now.