The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, June 10, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Public Citizen: Democracy is for Individuals, Not People

Where two people join together, there is a giant corporation that needs to be squashed.

From 1600 20th Street, DC, Public Citizen calls for a constitutional amendment to break Citizens United. Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman wrote to the Weekly Reader to discuss Public Citizen’s campaign.

Thursday Morning

Dear Friend,

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission that giant corporations like Carvin Corporation, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, and Nana’s Cookie Company have a constitutional right to donate to support or oppose politicians and positions that hinder job creation in their industries.

Now we’re seeing the results: the economy is finally starting to turn around, and with that we’re losing the crises we need to reform private industry to look more like government projects.

Repealing the Citizens United ruling is crucial. Hundreds of millions of dollars are already pouring out of job creators and providing conservative activists the time, money, and resources they need to continue the economic turnaround. Their goal: tilt the White House, Congress, and state and local governments even further in the direction of fiscal sanity, and end the cronyism that allows politicians to dispense grants and expect campaign contributions in turn.

The Supreme Court’s radical ruling—resting on the outrageous proposition that two people should have the same First Amendment rights as one person—overturned 100 years of settled law that gave us the great depression, the great recession, several recessions in between, and useful politicians like Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. It’s a massive assault on our influence from 1600 20th Street, NW in Washington, DC. We will not allow it to stand.

We have a lot of work to do. Before the Supreme Court’s reckless and unprincipled ruling in 2010, Congress at least restricted employers from using their financial power to donate to activists. The reason was obvious; big business is uniquely capable of gathering enormous sums of money. It’s too bad we don’t have any way of countering that—but unfortunately there is no nationwide network allowing individuals to pool their resources at a moment’s notice. Such a fantasy might have resulted in 2010 being the biggest election upset since 1948.

But since that doesn’t exist today, we will fight to make sure it never does. That’s the reason for our Democracy is For Individuals Not People Campaign to break apart Citizens United.

Our field team is mobilizing in California, to showcase the kind of economic system we need to further our goals. “California is what the rest of the United States should be”, is our motto.

We have an unparalleled 40-year record of ensuring important reforms—including a 20-year battle to ensure that minor accidents total cars. Public Citizen has been at the center of every campaign finance reform battle since the early 1920s—including the one that hobbled the McCain campaign in 2008 while their opponent turned off verification procedures on their donations site—the very law trashed by the Supreme Court.

Democracy is for people—as long as those people don’t band together… or work together… or make jobs together.

How can government withstand a united people? If we want bigger government programs, we must block people from joining together to stop these programs. Employers who are affected by these programs must not be allowed to donate to activists with the time to affect change. They must not be allowed to spend unlimited money on elections—only the federal government should be allowed to spend unlimited money. They should be allowed to print however much they need, funnel it through other organizations, and get it back in campaign contributions.

Please join us. Together we can take back our democracy and replace it with inside-the-beltway cronyism.

Thank you.

Robert Weissman
Public Citizen

  1. <- Obama’s gas
  2. Obama turns Republican ->