For Immediate Release
Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 487-0518
Adam Smith (202) 997-8929
Supreme Court Decision Creates Political Crisis
WASHINGTON - 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, which overturned the ban on independent expenditures by corporations, paves the way for unlimited corporate and union spending in elections.
"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."
"This decision means that Members of Congress, fearing that they will be targeted by corporate money, will look to raise even more special interest cash than they do now," said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. "The Fair Elections Now Act, which frees federal candidates from the need to raise funds from Wall Street and other deep-pocketed interests, is the best suited, tested, and politically-positioned answer to the Roberts Court's immoral decision."
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 124 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, 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.