For Immediate Release
People For the American Way, Public Citizen Launch Constitutional Amendment Pledge Campaign to Undo Citizens United
WASHINGTON - People For the American Way and Public Citizen
today announced a
campaign calling on candidates for Congress to pledge to support an
to the Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's dangerous
decision in Citizens United v.
Election Commission. The decision, which allows corporations
spend unlimited money from their corporate treasuries to support or
candidate, undercuts the First Amendment and gives corporations enormous
influence in elections.
"The Supreme Court ignored some obvious
realities in its Citizens United
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "First, corporations are
not people. Second, democracy is rule by the people. And third,
election expenditures by corporations are not compatible with democracy.
asking candidates for Congress to make a simple pledge: Commit to rescue
democracy from corporate control by supporting a constitutional
overturn the Citizens United decision."
Added Michael B. Keegan, president of People
For the American Way,
"Legislation to mitigate the damage done by Citizens United is vitally important, but in order
repair the damage done, we need to amend the Constitution. This is a
golden opportunity for candidates to tell us all whose side they're on:
Do they stand with the American people or with big corporations?"
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The two groups are asking all candidates for
the House of
Representatives and Senate to sign a pledge promising to support an
to restore democracy to our system. The pledge reads:
"The Supreme Court's
allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts to influence election
endangers our democracy and threatens to drown out the voices of
citizens. I pledge to protect America
from unlimited corporate spending on our elections by supporting a
Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision giving
corporations the same First Amendment rights as people."
According to recent polling by PFAW, 77 percent
of voters think
Congress should support an amendment to limit the amount U.S.
corporations can spend to influence elections, and 74 percent say that
would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to
support such an amendment. Opposition to Citizens
United and support for an amendment cuts across partisan and
ideological divisions, and includes strong majorities of Democrats and
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People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.