Democracy Is For People

Tell Congress to Stand Up to Corporate Influence

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its perverse ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Because of that decision, corporations now have the "right" to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Powerful multinational corporations already exerted disproportionate influence in Washington. Citizens United makes this problem much, much worse.

Congress must act to stop corporate interests from using their immense financial resources to shut the public out of its own government. Here’s what Congress can do now:

1.) Support and pass the public financing of elections by co-sponsoring the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1404, S. 750), the Grassroots Democracy Act (H.R. 6426) or the Empowering Citizens Act (H.R. 6448). Public financing is the single most effective legislative remedy to the current corrosive system of campaign finance. Instead of raising money from corporations and other special interests, public financing creates a system where candidates rely on small dollar donors and limited matching public funds.

2.) Support the Shareholder Protection Act (H.R. 2517, S. 1360) to stop activist CEOs from using shareholder money to further their own political agendas. Corporate political expenditures, including expenditures for campaign ads, electioneering communications, issue advocacy and ballot measure campaigns at the state and federal levels should require majority approval of all shareholders.

3.) Support the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 4010, S. 3369). The American public should know who is trying to influence their votes. New laws are also needed to prevent foreign money from flowing into U.S. elections and to stop political spending by corporations who receive government money.

The ultimate solution to this problem is a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v FEC. Corporations are not people, they do not vote, and they should not be able to influence election outcomes.

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