Citizens United: Reform Needed!
The so-called dark money that has been funneled into politics since the Citizens United decision is enabling Super PACs to buy our elections. Large amounts of concentrated, unregulated, undisclosed money sloshes through the political system, and the real citizens---we, the people---are losing our democracy. Exactly how can we now claim to have a representative government when legislators can be “bought”?
I understand that short of a constitutional amendment, one thing that can be done to help get the dark money out of politics is represented by the DISCLOSE Act of 2012. Since the bill was introduced it has sat in committee. The Act would require corporations and special interests to reveal their political spending and thus cut down on unlimited special interest influence.
Since the source of all the money flowing through PACs is undisclosed, in most cases we don’t know who is buying and selling our politics. (The Koch Brothers are one notable exception) When there is only a P.O. Box at the end of a message, we don’t know who sponsored the ad, or if this organization is even in the same state as the politician it is supporting or attacking. This changes the
debate from one that is honest to something dark and insidious.
How can Americans feel we have a stake in our democracy, when Citizens United wiped out the states’ clean election laws and a tradition of disclosure. The DISCLOSE Act, or similar legislation at the federal level and similar legislation at the state level must be passed! It is Congress’ job to make sure there is transparency in elections. I also want my state to pass disclosure requirements. Otherwise, legislators confirm what the American people are beginning to believe----that politics are corrupt and the game is rigged.