Obama in online chat says that mobilizing for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United is a good idea. Even if an Amendment fails, he notes, the process of individuals organizing around the problem of money will help shine a light on the massive problem, which could force lawmakers to take the legislative action they so far have not.
We think President Obama must have been watching the Needham Channel replays of Needham Town Meeting!:
Question: What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?
Answer: Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.
We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who.
We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists.
Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it).
Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
Obama Calls For Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United In Online Chat | Alternet – http://bit.ly/NZqnTH
from mother jones — At this time during the last presidential campaign, the Republican Party’s campaign finance law opponents were in something of a pickle. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was their nominee; the tough law banning so-called soft money bore his name; and so, during the 2008 election, the GOP platform couldn’t take a rhetorical buzzsaw to the laws curbing the flow of campaign cash into elections.
There’s no such problem for Republicans at the 2012 GOP convention. James Bopp, Jr., an influential lawyer who’s made a career out of demolishing campaign finance laws, said in a recent interview with the Indianapolis Star that the GOP’s 2012 platform will call for gutting what’s left of the McCain-Feingold law—namely, the ban on unlimited, unregulated, soft money given to political parties.
The platform, Bopp suggests, will read like a wish list for haters of campaign finance restriction:
Four years ago, he watched with distaste as his party nominated Sen. John McCain as its presidential nominee. With McCain leading the ticket, Bopp said, “we couldn’t write in (the platform) that we opposed McCain-Feingold. And we sure as hell couldn’t endorse it, so we didn’t say anything about campaign finance.”
This time, he said, the platform calls for the repeal of the last vestiges of the McCain-Feingold law and opposes passage of the so-called “Disclose Act” in Congress. It would require advocacy groups making more than $10,000 in campaign-related expenditures to disclose contributors who had donated more than $10,000.
GOP Platform Calls for Nuking What’s Left of McCain-Feingold Law | Mother Jones (Aug 28, 2012) – http://bit.ly/Ppz45v
When Republicans were attacking limits on soft-money political donations that finally passed Congress in 2002, they insisted that there was no reason to restrict how much individuals or corporations could give. Only one thing was necessary: full disclosure.
Let the public know who was giving all that cash and who was getting it, and the corrupting influence would be washed away. A decade ago, there was overwhelming bipartisan support for full disclosure of campaign donations.
Editorial: Big-money campaign donations should not be kept secret | http://www.palmbeachpost.com – http://goo.gl/BL1V4
Massachusetts State Legislature Calls on Congress to Enact Constitutional Amendment Reversing Citizens United Decision
Massachusetts joins Rhode Island, Vermont, California, Maryland, New Mexico and Hawaii in calling for an amendment to restore democracy.
The Citizens United decision is a tremendous threat to our democracy.
The very integrity of our political system is at stake.
I am proud of the House for passing this resolution yesterday and, along with the Senate, sending a strong message that our democracy isn’t for sale.
–Rep. Cory Atkins