Citizen United

I’m against Citizen United. The Citizen United Supreme Court Case ruled that not allowing corporations to spend unlimited funds towards political campaigns is not constitutional because it goes against the first amendment.  The Supreme Court ruled that money is considered a form of free speech. The corporations also do not need to disclose to consumers how much money they gave and to whom. Citizens United gave corporations the human right of free speech, but corporation are not people and have no one body to keep accountable for their actions.    Money shouldn’t be a form of speech because in a democracy every one has a right to be heard, not just the corporation with the largest check.

Two organizations that are already fighting to bring democracy back to the people and out of the payroll of corporations are Citizens United Against Citizens United and Democracy is for People.

The main sets of beliefs are simple. Corporations are not people and shouldn’t be able to buy influence in our government. Democracy is for the people and we have the right to make our politicians accountable for corruption, such has special interest groups controlling government spending because they paid for it.  Individuals are more important than money and their value isn’t defined by their wealth.  Politicians are public servants that work for us, not corporations.

The problem: “On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed a flood of corporate money into our political system by announcing, contrary to longstanding precedents, that corporations have a constitutional right to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote or defeat candidates. The decision in this historic case – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – overturns a century of campaign finance law.

The court overruled two existing Supreme Court decisions. In Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the court held that the government can limit for-profit corporations to the use of PACs to fund express electoral advocacy. McConnell v. FEC applied that principle to uphold the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold law’s restrictions on “electioneering communications” – that is, corporate funding of election-eve broadcasts that mention candidates and convey unmistakable electoral messages. Striking down these decisions unleashes unlimited corporate and union spending in candidate campaigns, and dooms the 1907 Tillman Act, which also prohibits corporate contributions to candidates.

Reversing the well-established laws and judicial precedents barring direct corporate and union financing of elections is a radical affront to American political culture and poses grave dangers to the integrity of our democracy.”

Facts and solution:  “On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed a flood of corporate money into our political system by ruling that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote or defeat candidates. This is a devastating blow to our democracy unless we act. Americans are outraged by the court’s decision. Nearly nine in ten Americans say that big companies have too much power in Washington D.C. Eight in ten Americans oppose the court’s decision in Citizens United. Across the board, Republicans, Democrats and Independents believed that the ruling is having a negative effect. Americans want corporations to give full disclosure of their money in politics. small business owners view the Citizens United ruling as bad for small business.

In the 2010 congressional election the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $32.8 million on “electioneering communications.” Outside spending made a big difference in the 2010 congressional elections. Outside groups backed the winners in 58 of the 74 contests in which power changed hands.

Super PACs, which were created after an appeals court applied Citizens United, have collectively spent more than $45 million during Campaign
2012. Overall spending in the 2012 election is predicted to reach new heights – up to $8 billion!

Why a Constitutional Amendment?

A constitutional amendment is the long-term solution to fully reverse the court’s decision, restore our rights and assert once and for all that democracy is for people, not corporations. Our elected officials cannot support the wellbeing of society when they fear that millions of dollars of corporate money will go to defeating them in the next election, if they defy corporate interests. A corporation is not a person. It does not vote and should not be able to have such tremendous influence over election outcomes. A constitutional amendment is ultimately the only way to finally overcome the profound challenges to our democracy posed by the Citizens United decision.”

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