Sens. Udall, Tester Introduce Constitutional Amendments to Overturn Citizens United, Get Big Money Out of Elections
Statement of Blair Bowie U.S. PIRG Democracy Advocate
“We applaud the efforts of Senators Udall and Tester to correct the dangerous misinterpretations of the First Amendment in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo decisions.
“With these wrong-headed decisions, the Supreme Court opened the door for unlimited election spending by corporations and wealthy individuals and cleared the way for secret money to enter our elections through “dark money” groups.
“The Citizens United decision effectively drowns out the voice of everyday citizens. In fact, in the 2012 presidential election, the top 32 Super PAC donors—giving an average of $9.9 million each—matched the $313 million that President Obama and Mitt Romney raised from all of their small donors combined.
“When a few loud voices overpower the majority, it is clear that our campaign finance system needs change. The undue influence wielded by corporations and wealthy donors undercuts the American value of political equality, where all voices are meant to hold equal influence.
“To date, 15 states and nearly 500 municipalities have called upon Congress to amend the Constitution in order to overturn Citizens United and related cases. The introduction of these two joint resolutions today takes that call seriously and moves us two steps closer to ensuring that, in our democracy, the size of your wallet does not determine the volume of your voice.”
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.