The 2010 Citizens United ruling gave corporations the same first amendment rights as individuals when it comes to political speech. This led to private groups funding ad campaigns without having to specify who's paying for it.
Local law professors discussed the effects of this decision with Pullman's League of Women Voters Monday night.
"Outside groups are really displacing political parties as central actors in American political campaigns," said WSU Political Science Professor, Travis Ridout.
"Which of course for the voter kind of leaves you up in the air with regards to who, where is this campaign ad coming from, in order to be able to judge and evaluate," said U of I Associate Professor of Law, Shaakirrah Sanders.
Washington State University Political Science Professor, Travis Ridout said his research on political ads proves there's more aired on television during each presidential election, and that advertising is increasingly negative since the candidates have less control over it.