Feb. 10, 2014
Nationwide Rapid Response Planned for U.S. Supreme Court’s McCutcheon Ruling
Activists Are Organizing More Than 100 Rallies for the Decision Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of activists nationwide are planning rallies, protests and other events in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which could be decided as soon as the week of Feb. 24. More than 100 events are being organized in some of the largest cities around the country, to take place on the day of the ruling.
The events range from press conferences and rallies to petition drives, to be held in cities including Baltimore, Md.; Chicago, Ill.; Denver, Colo.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; New York, N.Y.; San Diego, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.
In McCutcheon, GOP donor Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee are challenging limits on the aggregate total of contributions a person may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees (PACs). If the court rules in favor of McCutcheon, the impact on the political system could be as damaging as Citizens United, which gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums on elections.
Based on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ comments during oral arguments, some have speculated that the court might settle on a “middle ground” – eliminating aggregate contribution limits on candidates but maintaining limits for parties and PACs. But as a recent Public Citizen report concluded, even partially repealing the caps would allow donors to write a check of more than $2.5 million to a joint fundraising committee. And a complete elimination of aggregate limits would permit a single donor to write a $5.9 million check to a fundraising committee controlled by an elected official or party leader.
Public Citizen is helping mobilize people as part of the Money Out, Voters In coalition. Activists are prepared.
“The upcoming McCutcheon ruling is incredibly important to me. Our elections should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Unlike Shaun McCutcheon, I can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars in elections, but while we may not have the money, we do have the power of numbers and passion to call for change,” said Kendra Karas, who is organizing a rally and march in Grand Rapids, Mich. “I am organizing to educate the public about the ramifications of the McCutcheon case and preparing to really make some noise on the day of the ruling.”
Added Charlie Cooper, who is planning a rally in Baltimore, Md., “What I see now in the U.S. is that colossal, global forces are working to lower wages and tilt the table toward the interests of the corporate elite and those who are already ultra-rich. Then these same people exert inordinate influence on our government through the election finance system. We must interrupt the cycle of greed and political influence by building a movement of, by and for the people.”
In addition to the events, thousands of citizens have pledged to contact their members of Congress, write letters to their local newspapers and spread the word among family and friends ? all on the day of the ruling ? delivering the rapid response that citizens everywhere are fighting back against money in politics.
“Our country cannot withstand a furthering of control by the super-rich over the political process,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “People around the country are ready to rally in response to an adverse ruling – and to demand a constitutional amendment to repair the damage done by decisions such as Citizens United and, potentially, McCutcheon.”
Read stories from the activists.
View more information on the McCutcheon case.
To get involved, visit http://www.moneyout-votersin.org/. There, activists can locate an event, host an event, view sample letters to the editor and review talking points.