People For the American Way

On Citizens United Anniversary, PFAW Calls on President Obama to Issue Executive Order on Secret Money in Politics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2016

Contact: Layne Amerikaner or Laura Epstein at People For the American Way

Email: media@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

PFAW: Everyone from Justice Scalia to Leader Pelosi Understands the Essential Role of Disclosure

WASHINGTON – Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which paved the way for unlimited corporate political spending to influence elections. Also this week, The New York Times reported that President Obama is “seriously considering” an executive order requiring companies with federal contracts to disclose their political spending. People For the American Way (PFAW) Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“The anniversary of a decision that unleashed a torrent of secret money into our elections is the perfect moment to take a look at the solutions in front of us that would help repair our democracy.

“President Obama shouldn’t wait another day to take action. He should pick up his pen and issue an executive order on secret money, and allow Americans to see which corporations are trying to buy political influence.

“Even the conservative Supreme Court majority that issued the disastrous Citizens United decision emphasized the importance of disclosure. The Citizens United Court actually upheld a disclosure requirement, explaining that ‘transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions.’ Everyone from Justice Scalia to Leader Pelosi understands the essential role that disclosure plays in an effective campaign finance system. It’s a commonsense action that would be a significant step forward for transparency and accountability in our democracy.”

PFAW has been actively involved in the campaign for an executive order, collecting nearly 100,000 petition signatures in support of such an action. In December, PFAW joined ally organizations in delivering one million signatures to the White House urging the president to issue an executive order on secret money.

PFAW is also one of the leading organizations pushing for a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United. To date, 16 states and more than 680 cities and towns have officially called for an amendment to get big money out of politics. President Obama, as well as all of the Democratic presidential candidates, have expressed their support for an amendment.

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