When Public Citizen learned of the controversial Citizens United v. the FEC Supreme Court ruling in 2010, we knew– American democracy was in grave danger. By affording corporate entities the same first amendment rights as individuals, the Supreme Court had unleashed a monster. In Wisconsin and and indeed across the nation, the ravaging effects of uncontrolled special-interest spending led by the now infamous Koch Industry brothers and other nefarious corporations, is already clear. How quickly the right to free speech becomes the right to buy elections and the right to buy elections becomes the right to push policies that the profit interests of overpaid CEO’s over those of the American people.
In a blog post today on the front page of Salon.com, Andrew Leonard states:
It’s almost too neat. Corporate money floods into the election process, Republicans win a huge victory, and a crackdown on unions starts everywhere.
The short post highlights an article by The New Yorker ‘s Hendrick Hertzberg and is a great read alongside a February 25 blog post by Public Citizen President Robert Weismann. In his post entitled “Wisconsin & America” Weismann observes, “The clashes in Wisconsin and other states, and in Washington, D.C., are dressed up in the language of budget debates. But these debates have nothing to do with “fiscal responsibility.” They are about what kind of society we want.”
If you find yourself reading the news and wondering what is behind this seeming unraveling of our democracy– the thread to look to is the one pulled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United v. FEC ruling. The way to stop the unraveling is to mobilize behind our campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to override Citizens United v. FEC and ensure that democracy is (as it should be by definition) for people, not corporations. Please go to our new campaign website to get involved today!