Citizen’s United effectively hung a “Democracy For Sale” sign by granting corporations the same status as people. The resultant effect has allowed corporations, private wealthy individuals and special interest groups to spend unlimited and untraceable amounts of money on influencing our elections. While one would hope that this was not the intended effect of the Supreme Court, this is the reality of what has happened. In one way, shape or form or another we all know that our politicians, all politicians, are “for sale”, but Citizen’s United has effectively legalized and institutionalized the process / practice.
The New York Times ran a cover story yesterday analyzing the 2016 presidential election contributors and found that to date 156 families have been responsible for more than half of the money raised. For first round starters funds raised to date are about $176 million. I find it impossible to think that these 156 families actually represent the more than 300 million people here in the United States, these individuals are pouring money into the political system, are drowning the voices of the average citizen. The politicians will indeed first and foremost cater to their financial benefactors, and as we all know, money encourages corruption.
We need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen’s United.