As a constituent, I am deeply concerned about the influence of corporate money on our electoral process.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC ends a century of modest limits on corporate spending in elections. If Congress does not act now, corporate money will flood our elections and overwhelm voters. This is not democracy. This corrosive system will result in a government by the corporations, for the corporations instead of by the people, for the people.
Thankfully, there are solutions, but you and your colleagues in Congress must act. I urge you to support three critical reform measures that will make sure that in the United States, our democracy remains in the hands of the people instead of being handed over to the private interests of the wealthy corporate elite.
There are three things you can do now:
First, I urge you to support The Fair Elections Now Act. This bipartisan bill creates an alternative to big special interest money in politics by allowing congressional candidates to fund campaigns through public funding and unlimited small donations from constituents like me. This bill will directly benefit you and other members of Congress by allowing you to devote more of your time and energy to talking with your constituents and tackling the important issues confronting our nation.
Second, support shareholder protection to stop corporate executives from using shareholder money to further their own political agendas without shareholder approval. Corporate political expenditures, including expenditures for campaign ads, electioneering communications, issue advocacy and ballot measure campaigns at the state and federal levels should require majority approval of all shareholders. A similar measure was successfully adopted by the United Kingdom in 2000; the United States should require corporations to show the same deference to their real owners.
Third, support disclosure of election spending. The American public should know who is trying to influence their votes. New laws are also needed to prevent foreign money from flowing into U.S. elections and to stop political spending by corporations who receive government money.
Ultimately, we must pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC by making clear that First Amendment rights belong to natural persons and the press and do not apply to for-profit corporations.
Corporations are not people, they do not vote, and they should not be able to influence election outcomes. Please join me in supporting a constitutional amendment.
Your support for these measures is essential if we are to curb the excessive influence of corporate money in elections. Thank you for listening to a constituent. I look forward to your reply.