Thursday, January 22, 2015

Citizens United should be seen as an aberration, not a new American standard

How to Make Our Democracy Work for Everyone

By [former Senators] Alan Simpson, Bill Bradley and Bob Kerrey
Roll Call, Jan. 22, 2015

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission. Rather than lamenting the verdict by cataloguing its considerable damage to American elections, we prefer to focus on two things: The erosion of democracy that happens in between elections, and feasible solutions to restore, as the Declaration of Independence asserts, “the consent of the governed.”

In between election days, money has two pernicious effects on the governing process.

First, it stands in the way of legislating sensible, comprehensive solutions to nearly every issue that ordinary Americans care about.

From deficit-reduction to energy and climate, public health to tax reform, bold policies and big ideas don’t stand a chance under the onslaught of political money.

We all pay a personal price for this terribly broken political system. Whether it’s a husband’s job shipped overseas, a woman faced with shuttering her small business, a new graduate struggling with loan payments, or a child suffering from chronic asthma, we pay for the ways in which well-financed interests are able to bend legislation to their benefit or block good policy ideas at the starting gate.

(Continued here.)


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