8 Ways to Help Overturn Citizens United
Four years after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court ruling -- a ruling that Senator John McCain described as "the worst decision ever" -- we've seen a torrent of big money sweep through our local, state and national elections. In 2012, candidates and groups spent over seven-billion dollars trying to influence the election outcomes. The bulk of the money came from a small group of super-wealthy political contributors. For example, 61 people who gave an average of $4.7 million dollars each, combined matched the total amount of money raised through small dollar donations by both major party presidential candidates. As a result, our government looks less and less like a democracy -- rule by the people -- and more like a plutocracy -- rule by the wealthy.
January 21, 2014 marks the fourth anniversary of the Citizens United ruling and people across the country are taking action. Here are seven ways you can help overturn Citizens United and #GetMoneyOut of politics:
Arizona Advocacy:On January 23, join Arizona Advocacy Network for a conversation on Citizens United and the state of money in politics in Arizona. Learn about the state's history of protecting voters against corporate personhood alongside Representative Debbie McCune Davis,The League of Women Voters and Arizona Advocacy Network. Learn more here.
Stamp Money Out of Politics With Student PIRGS: On January 21st, 20 college campuses across the country will organize "stamp stampede centers" on busy thoroughfares to stop thousands of students on their way to class and urge them to legally stamp dollar bills with the message "Stamp Money out of Politics: Amend the Constitution." Stamping money will help student leaders engage their peers in this critical issue and build grassroots support for a constitutional amendment that will void Citizens United. Participating campuses will include New Jersey's Rutgers University, Indiana University, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Oregon. The events will be organized in partnership with Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry's and head stamper at StampStampede.org. You can also create your own stamping event by visiting StampStampede.org and joining tens of thousands of people legally marking messages on their dollars in order to build the movement to get money out of politics.
The New Hampshire Rebellion: On January 11th, citizens led by Harvard Law School Professor and anti-corruption activist Lawrence Lessig, began a march across the state of New Hampshire in protest of our broken political system. Along the way, they will recruit as many New Hampshirites as possible to battle against government corruption, encouraging them to hold presidential candidates accountable by asking each one simple question: How are you going to end the system of corruption in Washington? According to Lessig, "Fifteen years ago, an 88-year-old New Hampshire resident proved that the people can stand up to corporations and special interests. Granny D walked across American for campaign finance reform before Citizens United. It's time to finish what she started." Whether you're in New Hampshire or anywhere across the country, you can stand in solidarity with the rebellion by adding your name to the petition on their website.
'Too Big to Fail' walking tour in New York City: On January 18, there will be a press conference, rally, walking tour of the 'Too Big to Fail' banks that have an inordinate amount of sway and influence over Congress. The day will conclude with a speak-out and assembly about the next steps. Find out more here.