Democracy 21: Voters have a right to know who is behind the money being spent in elections

September 17, 2010: When the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision struck down the ban on corporate expenditures to influence federal elections, five Justices radically changed our political system. The 5-4 Court decision elevated the status of corporations in our democracy and freed them to use their immense, aggregate wealth to flood elections and buy influence over government decisions. The Justices built the legal rationale for this radical change, however, on a purely fictional premise. The Court held that corporate campaign spending, if done independently of a candidate, could not corrupt the candidate. Therefore, the Court found, such independent expenditures by corporations cannot be constitutionally restricted. This legal rationale, however, belies reality. Does anyone reasonably doubt that if a corporation spends $10 million to defeat the congressional opponent of a federal officeholder, that spending creates the opportunity to buy influence with the officeholder, or, at a minimum, creates the appearance of the opportunity for such influence-buying? The overwhelming majority of Americans recognize this is simply a fact of life. FULL STORY HERE:


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