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President Obama Supports Undoing Citizens United

President Obama Supports Undoing Citizens United

The movement to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United picked up a big endorsement as President Barack Obama stated his support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision.

President Obama threw his weight behind the movement to address the decision that granted corporations the ability to spend unlimited dollars in the name of “political speech” in an answer to a constituent question posed to him in a Reddit chat. It was the first time that the president voiced this support himself.

The president’s statement about a potential constitutional amendment was part of a larger answer to a question about the role of money in American politics: “What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?” Reddit user Suzmerk asked.

In response, Obama wrote:

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. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, 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.

The ongoing dialogue around the influence of corporate spending in the election process comes as The Chamber of Commerce unleashes a flood of political advertisements designed to thwart Democratic financial reform initiatives and to back Wall Street friendly conservatives.

The Chamber of Commerce is not alone in its efforts to put a pro-business conclusion to the election. A Huffington Post report last month found that $172 million had already been spent in the 2012 election season and that 43 percent of all reported political spending occurred by dark money groups who do not disclose donors.

The Democrats will never be able to out-raise and out-spend Republicans, and if Republican efforts at wide scale voter disenfranchisement prove successful and enduring, then substantial campaign reform is our democracy’s only hope.

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Photo from 401K 2012 via flickr.

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162 comments

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12:56PM PST on Nov 12, 2012

Isn't Citizens United the Grover Norquist front? Did he buy some of the Supremes to get that ruling past? Isn't there something stinking in the Supremes? With 3 new Supreme Court Justicies couldn't this absurtity of "corporations being individuals" be over turned? Of course, the new Supremes would have to be radified by the House and we know where that would go. So... you go Obama. Get the constitutional amendment to overturn the decision done. It will make America stronger for this.

11:45AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Yes - get rid of Citizens United~ Petition signed!

5:17AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

AMEN on the undoing of Citizens United, it's about time we stop these people from attempting to BUY our elections!

9:06AM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

"Most people are right about demanding to stop lobbies and super pacs, a difficult task but not impossible to do."

Jenny, I tend to disagree that it is difficult. If Americans paid more attention to what the rest of the world thinks, where a pole of 21,000 across multiple countries showed Romney support at 9% and Obama support at 50% and the rest undecided or uninterested, and then voted accordingly, the lobbies and Superpacs would be history. I think perhaps 18% Republicans in Congress and Senate, and none anywhere near the White House would be about right. Then you might have a hope of getting the country back on track, once you fix the Supreme Court.

10:20AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Hoping this has broken at least one link in the chains corporations have locked us into.

2:19AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

The Republicans of the past, especially Teddy Roosevelt, would not recognize the GOP now. Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower are spinning in their graves.

9:35AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

Charli S your one sentence comment says it all. Thank you.

9:02AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

Well said Dr. Clue, wish I could send a green card.

7:40AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Something to think about.

The Greatest Speech Ever - Charlie Chaplin !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmK4Y8r1lxI

7:40PM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

@Jane writes If someone wants to run for President of the United States, I think he/she should have to use their own money to campaigne.
If they can accept individual contributions, the amount should not exceed $100. per individual person or not more than $1000. for a corporation or this is nothing more than a bribe.

Return to the majority of the people votes to determine the person elected. The way it is now does not actually give the people a clear vote. I feel it's cheating us out of our votes. Our votes don't count in the long run. It should be decided by popular vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I absolutely agree with you Jane. I am glad we found something we can agree on.

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