Letter: Overturn Citizens United
February 25, 2012
To the editor:
We know there has always been and probably always will be money in politics, affecting decisions from the budget, environment, civil rights, and this year especially, women’s rights.
However, it appears we may have the opportunity to revisit the ridiculous Citizens United Supreme Court Decision, thanks to Montana.
It has been recently noted almost all of the funding for the primaries is coming from four or five people. Very wealthy people who will spend whatever it takes to get their particular candidate into office, and then their priorities will become the issues most fervently addressed.
It is outrageous the amount of money being spent, especially in times that are so difficult for the average person. Imagine just giving some of that money to pay off people’s homes that are under water, or helping with medical bills, etc. I digress.
The Citizens United case, crazily, found corporations have a free speech right to spend unlimited sums of money influencing our elections, as if corporations were people. They aren't.
Candidates who spend the most money win elections 94 percent of the time. That's not an election, that's an auction.
The U.S. Supreme Court has a chance now to fix the enormous mistake it made in the Citizens United decision. A Montana case challenging that Supreme Court decision has just been appealed back to the court (American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock).
Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy just issued an extraordinary statement, calling on their fellow justices “to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates' allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”
Let’s hope they reconsider and then maybe I’ll feel like my $3 or $5 contribution actually helps support my candidate of choice rather than just opt out of the whole process.
I somehow doubt a constituent who contributes, say $20, will have any sway over the decision-making after the election results are in, but someone who backed you with millions probably will get their way on whatever their pet issue is.
Please, let’s stay focused people.