People For the American Way

New Poll Shows Broad Support for “Fixing” Citizens United

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2010

Contact: Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter at People For the American Way

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Other: Array

Americans Want Limits on Corporate Cash in Elections, Would Support a Constitutional Amendment

A national poll of 1,200 Americans
commissioned by People For the American Way shows that the Roberts Court is
far out of step with the American public over corporate money in elections. It
also shows broad support for a wide range of proposals to “fix” the Citizens United ruling, including
legislation being introduced in Congress and a proposed constitutional
amendment.

“Americans of all political stripes
believe that corporations have too much influence in elections,” said Michael B.
Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Unlike the Roberts Court, the
American people believe that Congress should be able to place limits on how much
companies like ExxonMobil can spend to support or defeat candidates for public
office. That’s not a liberal or Democratic position – it’s the American
position.”

“In the days and weeks following the
Citizens United ruling, many
Republican leaders rejoiced at the prospect of more corporate money in
elections,” said Keegan. “But our poll shows broad disagreement with the ruling
and support for reform among Republicans and conservatives. This should be a
wake-up call to Republican leadership. They have fallen out of touch with their
base on this issue and should work with Democrats to restore reasonable
limits.”

The results of the poll include the
following:

  • 78% believe that corporations should be limited in how
    much they can spend to influence elections, and 70% believe they already have
    too much influence over elections
  • 73% believe Congress should be able to impose such
    limits, and 61% believe Congress has done too little in the past to limit
    corporate influence over elections
  • Of the over 60% of Americans who have an opinion on a
    constitutional amendment to fix Citizens
    United
    , supports runs greater than 2 to 1
  • 82% support limits on electioneering by government
    contractors, and 87% support limits on bailout recipients
  • 85% support a complete ban on electioneering by foreign
    corporations
  • 75% believe that a publicly traded company should get
    shareholder approval before spending money in an election
  • 69% think that the President, in the event of a Supreme
    Court vacancy, should nominate a Justice who supports limits on corporate
    spending in elections

“Democrats in Congress should take heed of
public opinion and implement meaningful reforms well before the fall election,”
said Keegan. “But it will take more than a legislative patch to fully mend the
damage done by the Roberts
Court. That is why People For the American Way has
launched an ongoing campaign to amend
the constitution
. As our poll demonstrates – the more that
Americans learn about an amendment to undo Citizens United, the more they support
it.”

The full results of the poll, which was
conducted by SurveyUSA, are available here: http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollPrint.aspx?g=05cabb5f-599f-47a8-98fb-e3e254e425e4&d=0

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