Reversing ‘Citizens United’
From the press release:
Sanders’ Saving American Democracy Amendment would make clear that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as people and that corporations may be regulated by Congress and state legislatures. It also would preserve the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. It would incorporate a century-old ban on corporate campaign donations to candidates, and establish broad authority for Congress and states to regulate spending in elections.
This needs to be done.
Corporations have their hooks into every politician at almost every level, and right-wing media has done a nice job selling people on the idea that corporations ARE people.
The only way we will ever have a responsive government is if we get the corrupting power of money out of the game.
Ideas should be introduced and debated on an even playing field and live and die based on their merits — not on a marketing campaign by whoever spends the most.
A fact sheet linked from Sander’s press release makes a strong case:
Before Citizens United, corporations had to abide by the ruling in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce that limited their participation in elections to political action committees. PACS are funded by voluntary contributions from the employees of a corporation, as opposed to the general treasury fund. The Supreme Court also determined that limitations on corporate spending in elections were permissible in McConnell v. FEC, a decision that upheld portions of the McCain-Feingold reforms that aimed to reign in corporate electioneering.
Because of Citizens United, corporations are now allowed to tap into their profits to spend money advocating for or against candidates of their choosing. Even worse, they can do it anonymously. By undermining the very concept of campaign finance laws, like the ones limiting individual contributions to candidates, the Citizens United decision even threatens a 1907 law passed by Congress prohibiting corporations from directly contributing to candidates. If we don’t take action, before we know it, the Supreme Court could rule that corporations can directly to contribute to candidates for public office.
Read the proposed amendment here.
I’d love for this to pass, but I doubt there’s a chance of that happening.
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