January 22, 2010
2:41 PM

CONTACT: Common Cause

Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 736-5770
Adam Smith (202) 997-8929

Business Leaders Speak Out on Citizens United

41 Industry Leaders tell Congress to Pass Fair Elections

WASHINGTON - January 22 - Forty-one business leaders from a diverse cross-section of industries sent a letter to Congressional leadership in response to the Roberts' Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. According to the distinguished group, the Fair Elections Now Act is the most comprehensive response to yesterday's terrible decision.

"Yesterday's decision by the Supreme Court makes it imperative that Congress pass the Fair Elections Now Act," said Alan Hassenfeld, chairman of Hasbro. "It is long past the time to stop requiring that our elected officials moonlight as telemarketers raising money for their re-election campaigns rather then devoting all their time to solving the problems before this nation. Is there a difference between campaign contributions and bribery?"

From the letter:

With additional money flowing into the system due to the Court's decision, the fundraising pressure on members of Congress will only increase.

"We believe Congress must address both the Citizens United decision and the problems of the current campaign finance system by passing the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826). This measure would enact a voluntary alternative system for financing federal elections, giving candidates the option to run for office on a mixture of small contributions and limited public funds."

Sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), the Fair Elections Now Act would allow candidates to spend most of their time talking to voters and working on our nation's challenges and less time dialing for dollars. The House legislation currently has the broad bipartisan and cross-caucus support of 127 members.

The letter was sent to both Democratic and Republican leadership in the House and Senate on January 22, 2010. Signatories include Edgar Bronfman, former president and CEO of Seagram's; Arnold Hiatt, former CEO of Stride Rite; Gordon Segal, chairman of Crate & Barrel; and William Ruckleshaus, strategic director of Madrona Venture Group and EPA director in the Nixon administration*.

Please visit to view the full letter and signatories.

*Corporation affiliations used for identification purposes only.


Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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