In the News
January 20, 2016
By Ken Stone
Three years after first sounding the alarm, Rep. Scott Peters told a Clairemont Mesa audience Thursday that unlimited campaign spending should end.
On the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs FEC, the San Diego Democrat — himself a target of anonymous campaign spending — said the ruling changed the landscape of U.S. elections.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Local students and representatives of Common Cause and the California Public Interest Research Group, or CalPIRG, also gathered to urge Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.
Peters also spoke at Warren Mall on the UCSD campus.
In February 2013, only seven weeks into his first term, Peters said he supported such an amendment.
“I don’t think we should view corporations as people for the purposes of speech,” Peters was quoted as saying. “Corporations are a fictional entity that are designed to make money and they’re neither people nor patriots. I think you have to keep that in mind.”
A group of students from CALPIRG’s UCSD chapter shared their approaches to fixing our elections.
“Transparency is just the beginning,” said Jodie Koh, a UCSD freshman. “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.
Peters serves the 52nd District, covering much of central San Diego County including Poway, Coronado and large parts of the city of San Diego.