LETTER: Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard

Posted by Pam Wilmot on April 7, 2014

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(This post was published as a letter to the editor in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, click here.)

We couldn't agree more with the editors that "In American politics, as in most things American, money matters. Sometimes, it matters a great deal. But ideas " and the Constitution " still matter more" (Political reality, Worcester Telegram, April 4). That's why we side with the four of justices that dissented from the five justice majority in McCutcheon v. FEC and with previous decisions that had previously upheld the $123,000 contribution limit struck down by the Court.

As Justice Breyer says in his dissent "where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard." Far from freedom of speech protection, this ruling amplifies the voice of a handful of ultra-wealthy that can afford to give $3.6 million directly to federal candidates, and muffles that of the 99.99% of Americans who can't afford to give at that level or even $5, $10 or $100.

The $3.6 million figure is detailed by the dissent and results from joint fundraising committees transferring money to favored candidates. Joint fundraising committees aren't "far-fetched"; they already exist and their proliferation following this ruling is assured.

When the framers founded this nation they wanted Congress to be dependent "on the people alone." Sadly Congress is more dependent on big money in elections" a dependence that is sure to increase now. That's why an amendment to the Constitution is necessary to curb the activist and politically naive Court and to bring our democracy back in line with the founding principle of one person one vote.

Office: Common Cause National, Common Cause Massachusetts

Issues: Money in Politics, Money in Politics

Tags: Democracy Amendment , Citizens United

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