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Ice Cream Maven and Others Battling Corporate Power Discuss Taking Action Around Imminent Supreme Court Ruling

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Last night, Public Citizen, along with our allies at Free Speech for People, hosted an online conversation featuring Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and superstar activist for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to secret corporate money in elections). The court is likely to hand down another decision soon that could further increase corruption of our democratic election system.

During yesterday’s webinar, Ben Cohen, Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman and Jonah Minkoff-Zern, and Free Speech For People’s John Bonifaz discussed how a bad ruling in the case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission could fundamentally reshape how candidates and political parties raise money.

These leaders of the movement for a constitutional amendment to prevent corporations and the 1% from dominating our elections also called on activists to join our campaign to fight back on the day the court hands down what’s likely to be a harmful decision in the McCutcheon case. We hope you and your friends and neighbors can get involved in the events planned across the country!

Did you miss the webinar? If so, you can watch a replay here:

It’s extremely important that as many people as possible fight back against a bad ruling in McCutcheon. In the case, GOP donor Shawn McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee are challenging limits on the cumulative, also called aggregate, totals of contributions a person may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees (PACs).

Under current law, individuals can donate as much as $123,200 per election cycle to regulated federal political committees, with a $48,600 cap on total contributions to candidates and a $74,600 cap on total contributions to PACs and political parties. The challengers in McCutcheon attack the constitutionality of each of these three aggregate limits.

Depending on how the case is decided, individuals could soon be allowed to donate between $2.4 and $5.9 MILLION in total to benefit their party of choice. The increased money in politics could bring with it increased corruption of our democratic process.

For more about McCutcheon and its potentially devastating impact on our elections, check out Public Citizen’s new report, Beware of a Naive Perspective: A Prebuttal to Possible U.S. Supreme Court Rulings in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

Interested in helping lead the response to McCutcheon in your hometown? Sign up today!

Rick Claypool is the online director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

Make sure you’re invited to the next live online discussion: Sign up to make sure you receive an email about Public Citizen’s next webinar.