For Immediate Release
January 28, 2010
Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 736-5770
Adam Smith (202) 997-8929
What was Justice Alito thinking?
Washington, DC--Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was caught on camera during the State of the Union visibly disagreeing with President Obama that the recent Citizens United decision has opened the floodgate for corporations, including those with a majority of foreign owners, to spend unlimited amounts around our elections.
What other way is there to interpret the court’s decision? This deeply flawed opinion will allow corporations, including those owned by a majority of foreign entities, to spend without limit to influence US elections. In short, it has made a bad situation even worse.
President Obama last night urged Congress to “pass a bill that helps right this wrong.”
While there are a number of good bills in the works to limit the damage caused by the Citizens United decision, there is only one bipartisan proposal with substantial support on the table right now that would change the game and put voters – not special interests – back in charge of elections: the Fair Elections Now Act.
That bill (HR 1826, S 752), which has nearly 130 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House, would allow congressional candidates to run competitive campaigns on a blend of unlimited small donations matched by public funds. It would amplify the voices of regular Americans over the special interests, reduce the huge amounts of time that our elected officials spend raising money and insulate candidates from corporate money and the strings that so often come with it.
“We will continue to fight against the influence of Wall Street and the other corporate interests committed to buying their way in Washington and blocking change that is in the public interest,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “Congress must pass the Fair Elections Now Act. "
"The Supreme Court gave the deepest-pocketed special interests in Washington, D.C. even more power in Congress,” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. “The most comprehensive response to fight back against this immoral, activist decision is the Fair Elections Now Act.”
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.