Friday, January 20, 2012

Cover story update: Latest turn in the Citizens United controversy

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

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In last week's Indy cover story, we reported on secretive Colorado advocacy group Western Tradition Partnership's role in the escalating Citizens United controversy.

Now comes a new development in the battle that flies in the faces of the conservative group's attempt to take its case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced a constitutional amendment yesterday seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in favor of unlimited corporate campaign contributions.

Here's the full text of the announcement from the Kucinich website.

On the eve of the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United, which opened the floodgate of unlimited, shadowy corporate spending in public elections, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced H. J. Res. 100, a constitutional amendment to rescue American democracy from corporate money’s corrupting influence.

“Because of the decision by the Supreme Court majority in the Citizens United case, more money was spent on campaigns in the 2010 election than has ever been spent in a mid-term election.

“Because of the Citizens United case, more money will be spent in the 2012 elections than has ever been spent in an election in the history of our country.

“Because of the Citizens United case, American democracy has been put up on the auction block,” said Kucinich.

H.J. Res.100 would require that all federal campaigns —all campaigns for President, Vice-President, Senator and Representative — be financed exclusively with public funds and prohibit any expenditures from any other source, including the candidate. H. J. Res. 100 would also prohibit any expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, any federal candidate, so that interest groups will not be able to influence elections. It will maintain the First Amendment “freedom of the press” and preserve the traditional role that the media have played in our electoral process.

“We must rescue American democracy from unlimited corporate money. This is the most fundamental issue facing the future of our nation. With corporate, private financing we have officials working for the interest of corporations. With public financing we have officials working for the public. And public financing will actually save taxpayers’ money, by eliminating any incentive of public officials to reward campaign contributors with taxpayer subsidies.

“We must eliminate the influence of money on our elections and on our policy-making. We must eliminate the influence of special interests on our elections and on our legislation. We must eliminate the influence of multi-national corporations and foreign corporations on the government of our country. We cannot wait. We must fight for government of the people, by the people, for the people,” said Kucinich.

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