80% of Americans oppose the decision in Citizens United v. the FEC, so we're not surprised that it's a topic that's come up around the Republican and Democratic national conventions.
Yesterday President Obama made an appeareance on Reddit, offering an open forum for user questions, and made the following statement:
"Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens...I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."
Our friends at unPAC are taking advantage of this opening. They are petitioning Pres. Obama to bring this conversation to the DNC next week. We hope he does, and we hope that he's not the only politician who responds to public demands for a stance on this issue. There are 2,373 candidates running for Congress this term. Have you asked yours about money in politics?
Meanwhile, the GOP 2012 platform outlines the following stance on current reforms aimed at election fundraising:
"We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage Americans from exercising their constitutional right to enter the political fray or limit their commitment to their ideals. As a result, we support repeal of the remaining sections of McCain-Feingold, support either raising or repealing contribution limits, and oppose passage of the Disclose Act or any similar legislation designed to vitiate the Supreme Court’s recent decisions protecting political speech in Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission."
I’ll concede that I think there is a better chance at getting better reforms from Obama than from Romney… but that’s not saying very much.
The impression I’m getting is that we can’t rely on an Executive solution at all, since without adequate pressure on Congress, any bill a President drafted would never make it through. If he were to openly say he would support an Amendment then that would be enough to gain my vote, but it’ll still be up to the People to force the hand of Congress and/or the States to make that Amendment a real possibility.
I think all we can hope for at this point is to have him bring the topic back up and raise awareness of the real problem, so that this movement can gain more leverage in the public mind. Then we’d need to capitalize on any statement he might make to grow the movement in as many states as possible.