citizens united

Last time we discussed the difficulty of getting the Court to overrule Citizens United. Because of that, several constitutional amendments have been proposed as joint resolutions and introduced in Congress in order to undo Citizens United and overrule the idea that a corporation is a legal person. After studying them, however, it became clear they have been so sloppily drafted that no one could tell you what they would do.

Last week we discussed the importance of taking political campaigns back from big donors. This week we begin examining the complexity of reinstating limitations without damaging what should be protected speech.

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Even as fundraising prowess remains a key indicator of success in the presidential primary campaign, a group of U.S. Senators are prompting the Securities and Exchange Commission to shed light on so-called "dark money" and help address what they see as a growing crisis of out-of-control political spending.

Stephen Gottlieb: Money In Politics

May 26, 2015

For decades before the Supreme Court decided Citizens United, political scientists concluded that more money helped our democracy by increasing competition. They had also concluded that it did not disadvantage Democrats, who would hold their own in fundraising. Even after Citizens United, those conclusions still seem true. But those scholars did not address other ways that money changes politics.

  The Koch brothers want to spend almost a billion dollars on the 2016 election.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that Citizens United led us down this path.

Supports and opponents agree: it was a decision that changed American politics. Now, on the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United — which led to the rise of super PACs and millions in spending in election campaigns — Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a constitutional amendment to undo the ruling.

Five years after the U.S. Supreme Court issued it’s controversial Citizens United campaign finance ruling Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a constitutional amendment to undo the ruling.

America’s campaign finance system has been awful for many years.  But thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, that bad situation has gotten worse.  In its landmark decision Citizen United, the Court ruled that corporations have the same free speech rights as flesh and blood human beings.  As such, corporations can spend as much as they want on elections, as long as such spending is not coordinated with a candidate.

    The Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision echoed 2010’s Citizens United case.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that campaign finance reform is now highly unlikely at the presidential level.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Congressman Paul Tonko has condemned the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case that ruled caps on the total amount of money an individual can contribute to political campaigns and Political Action Committees (PACs) are unconstitutional.

Wednesday morning, in a 5-to-4 decision, the US Supreme Court struck down overall contribution limits to federal campaigns and committees. Tonko branded the decision "flawed" - saying America should be a government of the many, not the money. 

Dr. Alan Chartock's Morning Commentary

Oct 8, 2013

WAMC political observer Dr. Alan Chartock talks about California Governor Jerry Brown vetoing a bill that would have allowed immigrants to serve on juries and the regulation of money in politics.

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A group of Vermont lawmakers is calling for a national constitutional convention to reverse the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision on campaign money.

Paul Elisha: The Accidental Curmudgeon

Jan 31, 2013

There’s a danger for commentators who gather listeners with age.  It’s a trap to be avoided at all costs; too easy to fall into and escapable only with the greatest of difficulty…  as this commentator can now attest, from bitter experience.  The trap?  A wily metamorphosis that turns commentators into ‘cussed’ curmudgeons.

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Massachusetts Congressman James McGovern  introduced two constitutional amendments this week aimed at campaign finance reform. The amendments are in response to the controversial US Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision that found corporations have the same free speech rights as people.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Congressman McGovern.

During tonight’s presidential debate, citizen groups are calling for the issue of campaign financing to be raised to candidates Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

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First Lady Michelle  Obama was in western Massachusetts Friday to raise money for her husband’s re-election campaign.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

The First Lady was the featured speaker at a luncheon  with more than 100 people  held at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.   Tickets started at  $1,000, with a top donation  set at $2500. Local organizer, John Pucci, a Springfield attorney, said the sold out even  exceed ed  the goal which was to raise $250 thousand.

Nearly 60 Massachusetts cities and towns are urging Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

A total of 56 cities and towns from across the state have passed resolutions on the issue, with more expected to vote on similar resolutions in the coming weeks.

VT House Passes Corporate Personhood Resolution

Apr 20, 2012

The Vermont House has passed a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to start the process of amending the federal Constitution to reverse a 2010 Supreme Court decision expanding the rights of corporations to influence political campaigns.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

The 92-40 vote on Thursday came after more than two hours of debate in which supporters said corporate money has come to distort the political process in the United States. Opponents called the effort an assault on First Amendment freedoms.

AGs to Congress: Reverse Citizens United Ruling

Apr 5, 2012

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has joined 10 other attorneys general in calling on Congress to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United campaign finance case.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

In a letter dated Wednesday, the attorneys general urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the ruling.