Democratic Task Force on Fair Governance Calls For Election Reform On 2nd Anniversary of Citizens United Decision
WASHINGTON – To mark the 2nd anniversary of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which set free a flood of unlimited money in politics, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John B. Larson (CT) and the Members of the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Fair Governance called for immediate reform of how U.S. elections are funded.
“For two years now Big Money has had unlimited influence over our elections. We’re seeing the results all too clearly in the presidential primaries today, with no accountability for millions of dollars in negative ads - ads that are moving candidates up and down the polls based solely on the support of their special interests,” said Larson, who has been an outspoken advocate for measures like the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA), which would reduce the influence of special interests and big money in Congressional elections. “Lawmakers should be focused on their constituents, not lobbyists; and the issues, not fundraising. But that isn’t going to happen until we break the nexus of money and politics.”
“The idea that somehow corporations are people that have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to buy elections just doesn't pass the straight face test,” added Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01). The American people know this is no way to run a democracy and they know we deserve better than the free-for-all of campaign spending that Citizens United created.”
“With the rise of Super PACs, the Citizens United decision is proving to be as destructive to our democratic process as we feared. Large corporations and monied interests now have a virtually unlimited ability to buy elections,” said Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03). “It is time for the American people to fight back with its own Super PAC in the form of a grassroots movement to overturn Citizens United and put in place a system that works for the public interest.”
“The Citizens United decision,” said Congressman John Lewis (GA-05), “paved the way for unfettered corporate influence within the political process, based on the cynical idea that the power of the people could be negated by flooding campaigns with unlimited cash. In the few months it has been operative in this election season, the American people have clearly perceived the ugly results. The outcome is so despicable it will lead to an overwhelming call for reform by the very voices of those this decision hoped to silence.”
“Two years after the Citizens United decision and the verdict couldn't be clearer - giving corporations the ability to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns diminishes the voice of the voter and represents an outsized influence on the election process,” said Congressman Mike Capuano (MA-08).
The House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Fair Governance works to promote transparency and accountability in our elections, ensure citizen’s right to vote, and press for policies that put the needs of Americans ahead of corporate special interests. Pingree, Sarbanes, Lewis, and Capuano are the Task Force Co-Chairs.