Here at Netroots Nation, the annual conference of progressive bloggers being held in Minneapolis this week, people are talking a lot about Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed corporations to spend as much money as they want to influence elections.
The consensus: The movement is building, and a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision is a must.
David Nichols, who writes for The Nation, spoke passionately about it at a panel this afternoon. Calling the decision “the single greatest threat to democracy in our time,” Nichols said that “a constitutional amendment is the only rational response to the crisis that we have.” He’s absolutely right.
Nichols predicts that as much as $10 billion – that’s right, $10 billion – will be poured into all races in 2012. And that it will eclipse all other previous elections combined. The entities that can afford that kind of money are corporate, which means the voices of the people will be drowned out.
The fact that many organizations, such as Public Citizen, People for the American Way and others, are working on overturning the decision is a plus, Nichols said. “We need to come from every direction.”
Laura Flanders, a radio and TV personality, called on grassroots media (i.e., bloggers) to follow candidates and pepper them with questions about who they take money from.
Leo Gerard, head of the United Steelworkers International, noted in wonderment that the U.S. is the only country where a major political party (GOP) is working to make it harder for people to vote. He talked of how the corporate class is waging a war against the people. To thunderous applause, he ended on a positive note: “We’re going to kick their ass.”
Do your part. Sign a petition for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.