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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/12/14

Bernie Sanders Versus Citizens United

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Source: The Nation


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Citizens United is not just the default reference for US Supreme Court decisions -- including the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling -- that have ushered in a new era of corporate dominance of American elections. It's the name of the conservative group that encouraged Chief Justice John Roberts and the most activist Court majority in American history to tear the heart out of what were already weak campaign finance laws.

Citizens United still exists as an activist group that produces documentaries -- ACLU: At War with AmericaBorder War: The Battle Over Illegal ImmigrationFire From the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative WomanAmerica at Risk: Hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich -- and organizes gatherings that highlight right-wing policies and politicians. On Saturday, Citizens United will host something of a kickoff for the Republican presidential race in the first-primary state of New Hampshire.

Organized in collaboration with the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Citizens United's "Freedom Summit" has attracted as confirmed speakers many of the leading contenders for the GOP nod. Indeed, Greg Moore, the director of AFP-New Hampshire, is talking up the summit as the first "cattle call" of 2016.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will be there.

So will Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

And former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

And perennial (if never quite announced) contender Donald Trump.

It is a safe bet that no one at the Freedom Summit will object to the latest Supreme Court decision to steer more big money into politics -- in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC -- or to the corruption of American democracy and governance by bottom-line corporations and self-serving billionaires.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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