In Citizens United, the Supreme Court gave corporations, labor unions and other associations license to tap their treasuries to make "independent expenditures" aimed at influencing elections. The decision has sparked the investment of millions of shareholder dollars, generally without notice to shareholders or any attempt to gain shareholder approval, to elect some candidates and defeat others. And because the funds often are funneled through non-profit groups that can conceal the identities of their donors, voters never know just who is buying the attention, and later the help, of our elected officials.
This spending is bad for our democracy and for the corporations that engage in it. Companies like Target, Bank of America and Duke Energy have seen their stock prices decline sharply or their reputations suffer amid reports about their political activity.
Citizens can stop this power grab. Through retirement and investment accounts, millions of us own shares of these corporate political investors and can use those shares to demand that corporate officers and directors keep corporate money out of our elections.
Posted on Apr 23 at 12:00 AM