Coalition Letter to House Admin Chair Candice Miller on Citizens United

Public Campaign * Americans for Campaign Reform * Campaign Legal Center

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Common Cause * Democracy 21 * Democracy Matters

Demos * Public Citizen * Rootstrikers

U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)

The Honorable Candice Miller, Chairwoman

Committee on House Administration

1309 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman Miller:

As the chair of the Committee on House Administration, we want to congratulate you on your new role and look forward to working with you and your staff.

In the first presidential election cycle since the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, an estimated $6 billion was spent, with more than $1 billion coming from non-party outside groups. By some accounts, approximately 31 percent of outside spending was funded by "secret" undisclosed donors.

We are writing to request that you hold hearings early in the 113th Congress on the Citizens United decision to examine potential legislative solutions to a system out of control, including consideration of disclosure reforms. According to a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll, nearly two-thirds of 2012 voters (including 71 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 54 percent of Republicans) said that big donors and secret money undermined democracy in this election.

There are a number of questions that your Committee should examine in light of the 2012 elections. These include: Was any of that undisclosed money spent by special interests trying to get favorable treatment for pending legislation before Congress? Did "hell"organizations form just to spend money in elections and then disband immediately afterward to try to hide information from voters? Did foreign corporations that are hostile to U.S. interests spend money trying to influence public policy?

The hearings should also address the proliferation of political spending by ultra- wealthy individuals and special interest-backed super PACs. Nearly 60 percent of super PAC funding came from just 159 donors contributing at least $1 million, according to a Demos-US PIRG report. In House races, just 0.14 percent of Americans made itemized contributions to congressional candidates. Various proposals (the Grassroots Democracy Act, Fair Elections Now Act, and Empowering Citizens Act) that would enhance the role of small donors should be analyzed to ensure that we have "overnment of the many, not of the money."

For our democracy to flourish, we must find new, meaningful ways for average citizens to have a stronger voice in the process, and citizens have a right -and a need -to know who is spending money to influence the outcome of our elections.

Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact Aaron Scherb ( or 202-736-5726) with any questions, and we look forward to your response.


Nick Nyhart

President and CEO

Public Campaign

Blair Bowie

Democracy Advocate

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Meredith McGehee

Policy Director

Campaign Legal Center

Fred Wertheimer


Democracy 21

Lisa Gilbert

Director, Congress Watch

Public Citizen

Karen Hobert Flynn

Senior Vice President for Strategy and Programs

Common Cause

Joan Mandle

Executive Director

Democracy Matters

Lawrence Lessig



Lawrence Noble

President and CEO

Americans for Campaign Reform

Melanie Sloan

Executive Director

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Adam Lioz



cc: Ranking Member Congressman Robert Brady

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