The difference is obvious, Potter replied. Because 527 groups were legally shady, they attracted far less money from fewer donors. True, the FEC didn’t enforce the law, but donors couldn’t be sure that would be the case, and some were unwilling to take the risk. Thanks to Citizens United, super-PACs now enjoy the high court’s “seal of approval.” As a result, hundreds of millions are pouring in.
In addition to Potter, election law guru Rick Hasen also took issue with the Ticker post. He pointed me to two posts of his own on his election law blog, in which he says that Citizens United did indeed significantly alter the campaign finance landscape for super-wealthy donors, and not just in terms of donor psychology. Both are worth reading.