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Real Time Disclosure, Technically Speaking

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Last week's Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision was a game-changer in terms of corporate money in politics. In short, corporations will be allowed to freely spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose a candidate, just as long as there is no direct coordination with that candidate's campaign. Unprecedented amounts of corporate money will now flow into our political process. But here at Sunlight, we're focusing on the disclosure aspects of the decision. The majority opinion stated:

With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters.

While the decision doesn't mandate "prompt disclosure", it does strongly recommend it. So what does disclosure at Internet speed look like?

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