Today, People For the American Way and Public Citizen launched a new campaign to get the ball rolling on a Constitutional Amendment to kick corporate money out of elections.
In January, the Supreme Court overturned a policy that was more than a century-old to allow corporations to spend millions of dollars from their treasuries to influence elections. To get to that decision, in the case of Citizens United v. FEC, the Court determined that corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals.
This reasoning, and the conclusion it led to, have been soundly rejected by Americans across the political spectrum. A poll we commissioned last month found that 85% of Americans disagree with the Court’s conclusion that the First Amendment allows corporations to spend whatever they like on elections, and 77% wanted to amend the Constitution to undo it.
What’s more, 74%--including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents-- said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who pledged to work for a Constitutional Amendment to undo Citizens United.
We saw this as a clear call to action. So we joined up with Public Citizen to create www.PledgeForDemocracy.org and start making a Constitutional Amendment a reality.
Here’s how it works. We’ve written up a pledge for federal candidates to sign, committing them to work towards a Constitutional Amendment to return our democracy to voters. It reads:
The Supreme Court's flawed decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts to influence election outcomes endangers our democracy and threatens to drown out the voices of individual citizens. I pledge to protect America from unlimited corporate spending on our elections by supporting a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision giving corporations the same First Amendment rights as people.
If you support a Constitutional Amendment, contact your representatives and candidates in your area and urge them to sign the pledge. Then get back to us and let us know what they said. We’ll keep track of contacts to candidates and officials, and publicize which candidates sign the pledge and which refuse to sign it.
We know that elections belong to voters…it’s time for elected officials to show they agree.