Sunday, January 23, 2011
Corporations aren't people. We all know that. But in last year's Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as you and me.
The result was record breaking spending by giant corporations to try to buy our elections. From Citizen Action of New York:
* Nationwide, outside groups spent more than $480 million to influence the outcome of the midterm elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
* A report by the Washington Post and analysis from Public Campaign estimates that House and Senate candidates spent $2 billion in the 2010 election cycle, a 54 percent increase over 2008.
* A report by NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office showed that Citizens United spending represented 15% of all political spending in the 2010 elections nationwide, and was responsible for $85 million spent in US Senate races.
* In New York, close to $246 million was raised in the 2010 elections, according to a recent report by NYPIRG, Common Cause, Citizens Union, and the League of Women Voters. Just 1/3 of the money raised was from individual donors.
* Only 59,350 residents of New York made donations to campaigns in 2010, just 0.3% of the population.
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We must take our democracy back. The most direct remedy we have left to correct the Supreme Court's awful decision is a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people.
I signed a petition urging my state leaders to support a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court decision. Can you join me at the link below?