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CONTACT: Common Cause
Common Cause and Allies Applaud Re-Launch of `Declaration for Democracy' Campaign to Overturn Citizens United
2000 Public Officials Have Already Expressed Support for Constitutional Amendment
WASHINGTON - February 5 - This week, Common Cause and ally organizations applauded the re-launch of the “Declaration For Democracy” campaign. Public officials signing the declaration are proclaiming their support for amending the Constitution to limit the influence of money in our democracy and to restore the rights of the American people in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. Representatives Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday urging their colleagues to sign the declaration.
By the end of the 112thCongress, 2,000 public officials had expressed their support for a constitutional amendment. The list includes President Obama, 98 Members of the House, and 29 senators (list visible at http://united4thepeople.org).
The Declaration For Democracy reads: “I, ____________, declare my support for amending the Constitution of the United States to restore the rights of the American people, undermined by Citizens United and related cases, to protect the integrity of our elections and limit the corrosive influence of money in our democratic process.” The declaration can be found here.
“Voters across the country have demonstrated overwhelming support for a constitutional amendment that clarifies that unlimited campaign spending has never been free speech,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “Congress must respond to that.”
“The Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United and related cases put our political system on the auction block to be sold to the highest bidder,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Americans don’t want an auction, they want a working democracy. We are thrilled that Representatives Edwards and Deutch are inviting their colleagues to join the growing chorus of voices calling for change. We look forward to getting even more public officials on board this year.”
“The greatest political reform of our time will be to abolish the legal concept of ‘corporate personhood’ and the inherently anti-democratic equation of money with political speech,” said Bill Moyer, Executive Director of the Backbone Campaign.
“Companies ought to be competing in the marketplace with the best products and services, not in our elections for unfair influence of the decisions that will impact our economy by those with the deepest pockets,” said David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. “This money is better spent by investing in growing our businesses, creating jobs and building a stronger economy.”
“Our electoral process should be about the rights of individuals to participate in our nation's politics,” said Larry Cohen, President of Communications Workers of America. “That's what democracy looks like. The Communications Workers of America commends elected officials at every level of government who are fighting to restore fairness to our political process. The role of money in politics must be completely overhauled. Today it dwarfs everything else and is distorting our democracy. Working with other progressive organizations, CWA is committed to stopping the flow of secret cash to political campaigns and making it clear to all dollars are not speech. This effort will require constitutional changes and other measures to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for secret spending and today enables billionaires to buy our nation’s elections. We also will work for the public financing of elections, because without these very real changes, the one percent will continue to control our politics.”