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Overturn Citizens United

By       Message William McMullin     Permalink
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The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 banned corporations from donating money from their general treasury war chests to political candidate election campaigns.  The 2010 landmark court case, Citizens United v. FEC, overturned this Act and previous court decisions limited political speech by corporations, because the court ruled that it violated freedom of speech ["Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n (No. 08-205)", Cornell University Law School, law.cornell.edu].  Critics argue corporations are not citizens, and, therefore, do no not have freedom of speech ["5 Ways You Can Fight Citizens United", Yes! Magazine, Feb. 21 2011].

Due to Citizens United, corporations can now spend a limitless amount of money on political campaigns.  This means that corporations have more power to buy politicians. This is extremely scary, because corporate interests are put above citizens' health, consumer protections, environmental protections, and worker safety even more than before.

Right now, big business is lobbying Congress to fight against the EPA's new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to regulate power plant emissions that spread to other states.  Big business' crony, Senator Rand Paul, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 27 to undo this rule.  DirtyEnergyMoney.org shows Paul's election campaign was financed by polluters such as Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil. 

Oil companies have been continually trying to drill on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of our last pristine places on the planet, just so they can make another buck.  The EPA just granted a permit for Shell Oil to drill off the ANWR's coasts ["EPA Grant Air Permit for Shell Oil Drilling in the Arctic", The LA Times, September 19, 2011]. 

The National Automobile Dealers Association is currently lobbying against Obama's plan to increase automobile fuel efficiency standards that will protect our air and our health ["Dealers Oppose Gas Rules", The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2011]. 

Enough is enough.  We need to contact our federal representatives and tell them to co-sponsor an amendment by Reps. Donna Edwards and John Conyers, House Joint Resolution 78, to overturn Citizens United so corporations will once again not be able to spend an unlimited amount from their deep treasuries to elect candidates who will do their bidding at the expense of consumers.

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It's time Congress listened to its constituents rather than corporate lobbyists.  For more ways to help, go to PublicCitizen.org.

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I am a 2004 Public Administration and Environmental Studies graduate of Western Michigan University. Currently, I am an Environmental Law and Policy student at Vermont Law School.

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