Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Symone Sanders, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch division
w. (202) 454-5108
ssanders@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Nov. 14, 2012

Efforts for Constitutional Amendment Growing as Citizens United Anniversary Looms

Public Citizen Leads Thriving Movement to Get Corporate Money Out of Politics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of the third anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Public Citizen is organizing events throughout the country to continue building support for passing a constitutional amendment that would overturn the controversial court decision.

The first events in the run-up to the Jan. 21 anniversary will take place this week and include a “Democracy in Motion” tour of six New York cities. During the speaking tour, Public Citizen organizers and New York activists will be building grassroots support for a constitutional amendment and other measures to get big money out of politics.

Public Citizen also will lead a nationwide call today to bring together activists from across the country to plan events around the anniversary.

This build-up comes as the country is witnessing a groundswell of support for getting corporate money out of politics. On Election Day, voters in Montana, Colorado, Chicago, San Francisco and dozens of towns in Massachusetts overwhelmingly backed initiatives that called on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. So far, 11 states and more than 350 communities have formally called for an amendment. In addition, 125 members of Congress have expressed support for an amendment, as has President Barack Obama.

Although some of the largest outside group expenditures went to losing causes, Public Citizen is warning that it would be misguided to believe corporations and the ultra-rich are simply going to withdraw from politics. In a statement released Monday, Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said Citizens United paved the way for a force so pernicious that it threatens the foundation of our democracy, and the only solution is a constitutional amendment to overturn it.

Outside groups — which were permitted by the Citizens United decision to use unlimited contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals to influence elections — spent more than $190 million on this year’s most competitive Senate races, according to Public Citizen’s analysis of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. The vast majority of this money was spent funding negative attack ads that have a chilling effect on honest debate about important issues.

“Thanks to Citizens United, we now have elections dominated by fundraising, not campaigning; negative ads, not positive proposals; and special access and influence for corporations and the super-rich, not regular citizens,” Weissman said. “Whether or not the preferred candidates prevail, Big Business has succeeded in narrowing the scope of the debate – think climate change – and in chilling elected officials from advocating policies that would curtail corporate power. We need to fight to get money out and voters in.”

To find out more about Public Citizen's Democracy Is For People Campaign, please visit www.DemocracyIsForPeople.org.

Other recent Public Citizen reports about outside group spending in the 2012 elections include:

“Citizens United Fuels Negative Spending”

“Tipping Elections With Secret Cash?”

“Super Connected”

 

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.