Thursday, May 10, 2012
It's time to get serious and move to reverse the Citzens United decision in which the Supreme Court allowed corporations and unions to reach into their treasuries to make unlimited "independent" spending on political ads. Super pacs followed and the wealthy, corporations and unions can now join huge pools of money with others with the aim of getting the best Congress money can buy.
People say "there should be a law." Well, there used to be laws. The latest in a series of laws was the McCain-Feingold Law of 2002, in which corporate and union spending on ads were banned 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election.
Comparing the elections of 2008 to 2012 we find that, so far, candidate spending is down but interest groups (read mostly "super pacs") are up by an astounding amount. The great majority of super-pac money goes to making negative attack ads, since the only thing they can't do is write a check directly to the candidate's campaign. We have also seen numerous examples of collusion between the super pacs and the candidates, part of the "corruption" the Supreme Court assured us would not be a problem.
Our group, Rebuild the Dream, has made two presentations to the City Council. Most recently we told the City Council we were going to spend May gathering petition signatures and we would return in June to ask them to give the most serious consideration to passing a resolution in which they called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Among other places, we will be at the Farmers' Market on the Main Street sidewalk every Saturday. Please take the time to sign our petition to the City Council and help save the democratic election process.
Mary Lou Yocum