People For the American Way and Public Citizen today announced a campaign calling on candidates for Congress to pledge to support an amendment to the Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s dangerous decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The decision, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money from their corporate treasuries to support or defeat a candidate, undercuts the First Amendment and gives corporations enormous influence in elections.
“The Supreme Court ignored some obvious realities in its Citizens United decision,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “First, corporations are not people. Second, democracy is rule by the people. And third, unlimited election expenditures by corporations are not compatible with democracy. We are asking candidates for Congress to make a simple pledge: Commit to rescue our democracy from corporate control by supporting a constitutional amendment to 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 to fully 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?”
The two groups are asking all candidates for the House of Representatives and Senate to sign a pledge promising to support an amendment to restore democracy to our system. The pledge reads:
“The Supreme Court’s flawed decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts to influence election outcomes endangers our democracy and threatens to drown out the voices of individual 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 they 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 Republicans alike.
Information about the campaign is located at www.PledgeForDemocracy.org. Activists will be able to see who has signed the pledge and report on their own conversations with candidates.Throughout the campaign, Public Citizen and PFAW will educate voters about the pledge campaign and about which candidates have signed.