Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) gathered with students from the University of California San Diego and leaders of San Diego good governance organizations to mark the 6th anniversary of the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, which allows for unlimited anonymous corporate spending in elections. The group included local students and representatives from Common Cause and CALPIRG who gathered to urge Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision that opened the flood gates to unlimited special interest spending in political campaigns.
“Citizens United changed the landscape of our elections,” Rep. Peters said. “Ordinary Americans don’t have millions of dollars to spend to support a candidate or special interest, and they don’t have direct access to SuperPACs, that doesn’t mean their votes or priorities should count any less. A system that requires members of Congress to spend countless hours talking to donors instead of talking to constituents is a broken one and it needs to be fixed.”
A group of students from CALPIRG’s University of California San Diego Chapter shared their approaches to fixing our elections. “Transparency is just the beginning,” said UCSD first-year Jodie Koh. “We need communities across the country to band together in promoting full disclosure of political spending, policies to empower small donors, and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United once and for all.”
Peters continued by speaking about his strategy to improve our elections as part of his Fix Congress Now plan, and he called for requiring dark money SuperPACs to disclose where their money comes from.
The Citizens United vs FEC decision, announced 6 years ago today, gave corporations and associations the same free speech rights as people, opening the door for unlimited anonymous political spending by non-profits, corporations, and individuals. This decision has led to the creation of multi-million-dollar Super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited funds in support of candidates and issues, without disclosing the source of their funding.