Supreme Court Decision Creates Political Crisis
Washington, DC - The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision today that will enhance the ability of the deepest-pocketed special interests to influence elections and the U.S. Congress, said a pair of leading national campaign finance reform organizations, Common Cause and Public Campaign. The decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, erases the distinction between corporate and individual expenditures in American elections and paves the way for unlimited corporate and union spending in elections.
"This decision means more business as usual in Washington, stomping on voters' hope for change," said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. "Congress must take on the insider Washington money culture if it wants to make the changes voters are demanding. The way to do that is by passing the Fair Elections Now Act."
"The Roberts court today made a bad situation worse," said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. "This decision allows Wall Street to tap its vast corporate profits to drown out the voice of the public in our democracy."
"The path from here is clear: Congress must free itself from Wall Street's grip so Main Street can finally get a fair shake," Edgar continued. "We need to change the way America pays for elections. Passing the Fair Elections Now Act would give us the best Congress money can't buy."
The Fair Elections Now Act (S.752 and H.R. 1826) was introduced by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.). In the House, the bipartisan bill has attracted 125 additional cosponsors. Both bills blend small donor fundraising with public funding to reduce the pressure of fundraising from big contributors.
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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.