As hosts of our state’s Legislature, Olympians have a special responsibility to mark this sixth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision with outrage. We would become the 17th state in favor of overturning Citizens United by passing Initiative 735 on this year’s ballot. We can’t let this opportunity pass us by.
We must be unabashed in our desire to overturn the 2010 decision and pave the way for a more equitable democracy.
While special interest money has indubitably been influencing our politics for a long time, the Citizens United decision opened the floodgates by allowing corporations to make unlimited independent political expenditures. A whopping 72 percent of political advertising spending by outside groups in 2010 came from previously prohibited sources. Additionally, during the 2012 elections, 1 percent of donors contributed 68 percent of the funding for SuperPAC’s, and 32 super PAC donors spent as much as all 3.7 million small donors to Mitt Romney and President Obama, combined (Center for Responsive Politics).
The bipartisan support for campaign finance reform is evident in public opinion polls. As concerned voters who want our interests to be valued equally to those of the mega-rich, we must be determined in our attempts to overturn Citizens United once and for all.