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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Supreme Court OKs Unlimited Corporate Campaign Money
ROBERT WEISSMAN, via Angela Bradbery
Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said today: "Shed a tear for our democracy. Today, in the case Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes. Money from Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and the rest of the Fortune 500 is already corroding the policy-making process in Washington, state capitals and city halls. Today, the Supreme Court tells these corporate giants that they have a constitutional right to trample our democracy." Public Citizen played a key role in the Citizens United case.
A video statement by Weissman is available at the just-launched webpage DontGetRolled.org -- and Public Citizen is holding a call-in news conference at 12:45 p.m. ET.
Legal director of Voter Action, Bonifaz (who will participate in the Public Citizen news conference) said today: "Free speech rights are for people, not corporations. In wrongly assigning First Amendment protections to corporations, the Supreme Court has now unleashed a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in U.S. history."
Just after the Supreme Court announced its decision, Voter Action and other groups unveiled the new website -- FreeSpeechForPeople.org -- to "correct the judiciary's creation of corporate rights under the First Amendment" The webpage includes a video on whether corporations are people.
Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Jacobs is author of Politicians Don't Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness. He said today: "A great myth is that what drives politicians is polling. It's not -- it's interest groups, stakeholders, contributors and party activists. Those people in turn drive the nature of the polling in order to sell their preferred policies to pick up public support. This is clear in things like strong public opposition to the Afghanistan escalation or public support for reform of the financial sector." Jacobs is in Washington, D.C. on Thursday for the annual conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance.