January 21 will mark the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending in elections, and the movement to overturn the decision is gaining steam.
As we approach the first post-Citizens United presidential election, we are already seeing the damage that unlimited and unaccountable money in politics can do. The 2010 midterm elections were dominated by secretive groups funneling corporate cash to political activities, and the Republican presidential primary has been greatly influenced by so-called Super PACs, which can spend millions supporting or opposing candidates.
In response to the growing outcry against Citizens United, People For the American Way has joined with a number of other advocacy groups to organize protests and organizing parties around the anniversary of the decision. People For’s Marge Baker writes more about the United For People movement in the Huffington Post today.
Marge will be discussing the anniversary activities and the push to overturn Citizens United with MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan this afternoon at 4:20 p.m. Eastern. Ratigan has a new op-ed out about the reasons to get money out of politics. Here’s an excerpt:
1) The Candidate With More Money Wins: From the 2008 elections: “In 93 percent of House of Representatives races and 94 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day Nov. 5, 2008 the candidate who spent the most money ended up winning.”
2) Congress’s Main Job Is to Raise Money, Not Govern “Here is a general rule of thumb for US House incumbents. They need to raise roughly $10,000 a week started the day they are elected.”
3) 48 Percent Say Most Members of Congress Are Corrupt “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that most members of Congress are corrupt. Just 28% disagree, and another 24% are not sure.”
4) Voters Think That Cash is King “A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 86 percent of the public thinks elected officials in the nation’s capital are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive from campaign contributors.”
5) No Trust in Elected Officials According to Pew Research less than 25% of people believe they can trust our government at all, particularly our elected officials.
Read the whole piece at the Huffington Post…and be sure to tune in this afternoon to hear Ratigan’s conversation with Marge Baker.