Filing of Disclosure Statements By Corporations For Independent Expenditures
TN Attorney General Opinions
Opinion Number: 10-39
In this opinion, the Attorney General reviews whether a corporation would be required to disclose contributions or independent expenditures in the same manner as a political campaign under current Tennessee campaign finance laws. The Attorney General reviews Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n and its effect on current Tennessee law, and determines that current Tennessee law does not require corporations making independent political contributions to file statements disclosing such expenditures under the Campaign Financial Disclosure Act. The Attorney General also determines, however, that the Citizens United case holds that legislation requiring such disclosure by corporations would not violate the First Amendment.
"Under the plain language of Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-10-102(12)(B), if a corporation is making expenditures to support or oppose a measure, then it meets the definition of a political campaign committee and, therefore, would be required to file disclosure statements in accordance with the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 2-10-105 and -106. However, to the extent a corporation makes expenditures to support or oppose any candidate for public office, it does not meet the definition of political campaign committee set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-10-102(12)(A) or (C) and, therefore, would not be required to file statements disclosing its contributions and expenditures." Id.
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