Published February 11, 2013
Grassroots effort to reverse Citizen’s UnitedJAY ELDER
Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Citizen’s United v. the Federal Elections Committee, that corporations were individuals and that limiting the money corporations spent in elections was a violation of their right of free speech (money = speech). This ruling has legalized bribery for unions and large corporations. Super-pacs now can raise unlimited amounts of money to influence elections without identifying the donors. Since the ruling, super-pac political spending has increased 427 percent, with Republicans getting twice as much as Democrats. If the ruling seems ridiculous and criminal to you, you are not alone. In 2012, surveys of Americans, 90 percent of Republicans, Democrats and independents think there is too much money in politics, 70 percent believe super-pacs should be illegal, and of the 65 percent of Americans who are even aware of Citizen’s United, 75 percent believe the ruling should be reversed. So America is ready to get big money out of politics now. Without an overwhelming grass-roots demand, our U.S. Congress won’t correct Citizen’s United. Right now, our Washington state Senate is considering a resolution encouraging Congress to create a constitutional amendment to reverse the ruling (SJM 8002). If we don’t, real democracy is dead. Legislatures are doing this all over the country. Call Karen Fraser, Sam Hunt and Chris Rekdahl and encourage them to vote for this resolution SJM 8002.