It’s no wonder Americans are losing faith in our political system.. Citizens United lets big corporations spend unlimited amounts of money — in secret and without accountability — so politicians answer to them instead of voters.
We’ve lost our way when corporations are people, money is free speech, and politicians are for sale to the highest bidder. We’ve already seen the outcome: big corporations get massive taxpayer handouts, gut safety regulations, and take away the rights of workers — while sticking American families with the bill.
The American people won’t catch a break until we have a government by and for all of us — not bought and paid for by Wall Street, Big Oil, and corporate lobbyists.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- In modern elections, nine out of 10 congressional races are won by the candidate who raises the most campaign cash.
- Citizens United eliminated the restrictions on corporations from directly spending unlimited amounts in our elections — and now they get to do it in secret and without any accountability to the public.
- The Citizens United ruling is responsible for the rise of "super PACs," which can receive unlimited contributions and make unlimited campaign expenditures for or against a candidate — all under disclosure rules with so many loopholes that it’s essentially a form of legal money laundering.
- A new poll shows over 60% of Americans oppose the Citizens United decision, and 80% agree there is too much big money spent on political campaigns and elections today.
- If the largest 100 corporations spend just 1% of their profits on electing or defeating politicians, they would still outspend all current political spending by all the political parties and all of the federal political action committees combined.
- The impact of the Citizens United ruling was immediate and dramatic. In 2010, the first election cycle since the decision —
- Outside groups backed by corporations spent $300 million on political ads and campaigns — that’s more than double the amount of outside spending from in 2008 before the decision — and half of it came from undisclosed sources.
- In 60 of the 75 congressional races in which power changed hands, the unaccountable outside groups backed the winners, spending freely and overwhelmingly on negative ads.
- Political campaign ad spending hit a record $2.3 billion, which is expected to be shattered in the 2012 election cycle.
- Outside political spending has favored Republican politicians by two and a half times over the past three years.
- The Koch brothers, with an estimated $50 billion fortune, already bankroll the campaigns of many Republicans in Congress and have vowed to spend over $200 million in the 2012 election cycle.