By Luis Mazariegos
A Coloradoan, four-year-old Abigael Evans, was in tears. When her mom asks in a soothing tone what’s wrong, Abigael says “I’m tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney.”
This heartbreaking adorable scene is from a video that has gone viral in large part because, honestly, who among us cannot relate to her feelings of election exhaustion?
It seems every day we are being subjected to an increasingly negative — and many times outright false – barrage of political ads. It’s enough to make you cry, literally.
Most of the worst perpetrators of these ads are funded by a murky group of uber-wealthy backers, who secretly give money to “super PACs.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s radical Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling has unleashed these monster PACs by allowing corporate donors to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.
The horrible ads are just the beginning. Citizens United has already influenced elections in the interest of a select few, to the detriment of many constituencies including: small businesses, women, and the majority of voters who favor key civil rights and environmental policy agendas. And it’s only going to get worse – unless we do something about it.
Abigael is not the only Coloradoan who has had enough of this. On the ballot this Tuesday will be Amendment 65, which would make it state policy to support a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and restoring limits on spending in elections.
Colorado is not alone. Montanans will also be able to vote on Initiative 166, which says that corporations are not people and makes it state policy to limit spending in elections.
Chicagoans will get their chance to help reclaim democracy, too, thanks to a referendum that seeks to empower the government to regulate and limit political contributions from corporations.
According to an AP poll, 83% of Americans across all party lines think that these types of safeguards against corporate spending in politics are necessary. The only feasible way to effectively enact these essential reforms and return us to a one person, one vote democracy is through a constitutional amendment.
More than 300 cities and towns have called for an amendment, as well as nine state legislatures. The movement is growing all across the country.
Join us at DemocracyIsForPeople.org to take back our democracy.
Luis Mazariegos is an intern for Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign.