Citizens United Film Donors to Remain Secret

     DENVER (CN) – Citizens United does not have to disclose who paid for its political film in Colorado, but they do have to disclose who paid for the film’s advertisements, the 10th Circuit ruled.
     The conservative nonprofit sued Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler in federal court in August, claiming the state’s Reporting and Disclosure Requirement Statute violated the First and 14th Amendment.
     Specifically, it complained the statute required them to reveal who paid for their politically-charged movie “Rocky Mountain Heist” — a film purporting to tell the inside story of Colorado’s political swing to the left in the past decade — while traditional media organizations in the state were exempt from the regulations, and free to report on political subjects.
     On Tuesday, the 10th Circuit held the organization does not have to reveal who paid for movie.
     “In particular, the Secretary shall treat the film ‘Rocky Mountain Heist’ as excluded from the definition of electioneering communication and treat expenditures for the production and distribution of the film as excluded from the definition of expenditure,” the ruling states.
     However, the ruling wasn’t entirely a victory for the group, as the three-judge panel ruled that Citizens United does have to disclose who paid for the film’s advertisements.
     “As for advertisements placed by Citizens United to promote the film, Citizens United has not shown that similar advertisements to promote their product would be excluded from the definition of electioneering communication or that funds for such advertisements would be excluded from the definition of expenditure under Colorado law,” the ruling states.
     In a report from the Denver Post, a spokesman for Citizens United said the film will be shown on cable TV and on the movie’s website.

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