Target: U.S. Senator John McCain
Goal: Outlaw political campaign contributions from corporations and other non-individuals.
In the Citizens United case of 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1st Amendment protects the right of any organization of people to contribute any amount of money to political campaigns. The dissenting opinion of the Court, from Justice Stevens, argues that an association of people should not be considered to have the same rights as an individual. There are many practical differences between individual citizens and corporate or interest group entities; for instance, a corporation based in the U.S. can be owned and operated by non-U.S. citizens, so allowing that corporation to make campaign contributions is the same as allowing foreign influence in our elections.
There is also the issue of corporations “expressing” an opinion that is only shared by particular executives or employees, while alienating those who disagree. How can a corporation have a single political opinion if it is made up of many people with diverse opinions? It does not follow that the opinion of top corporate executives should represent the opinion of all of their employees, and yet that is the way our legal system interprets the case.
A democracy is supposed to give a voice to every individual, regardless of socioeconomic status. By allowing unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns, the Supreme Court has essentially given politicians the right to sell national policy to the highest bidder. If money equals speech, then that must mean the poor are not allowed to speak, and that is the antithesis of democracy. If we want to preserve the rights of the individual and preserve the integrity of our democracy, we need to get corporate money out of politics.
In the past, Senator John McCain has been outspoken about campaign finance reform, and has supported the cause of shutting business interests out of politics. Sign the petition to implore Senator McCain to renew his fight against the Citizens United decision.
Dear Senator McCain,
The 2010 Supreme Court decision on the Citizens United case continues to threaten American democracy. The Court’s decision allows corporations, unions, and special interest groups to donate unlimited funds to political campaigns; essentially, this decision legalizes corruption. There are no longer any laws to prevent politicians from selling national policy to the highest bidder, and this means that individuals without enormous personal wealth no longer have a say in politics. The majority of Americans are now subject to taxation without representation.
In the past, you have been outspoken against the Citizens United decision. Due to your unique position as a highly influential and yet moderate Republican, you have more power to address this issue than almost anyone else in Congress. We urge you to renew your fight against the influence of outside interests in politics. Please help to preserve the rights of the individual by once again pushing for campaign finance reform.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr