Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Common Cause in WI Statement on SCOTUS McCutcheon Decision


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

For Release: April 2, 2014

Again, U.S. Supreme Court Decides Against Democracy

McCutcheon ruling allows individuals to donate millions per election cycle,
further drowning out voters’ voices

The Roberts Court today continued its drive to give Americans a government of, by and for big money.

“Today’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC is Citizens United round two, further opening the floodgates for the nation’s wealthiest few to drown out the voices of the rest of us,” said Miles Rapoport, president of Common Cause.

“This decision lays out a welcome mat for corruption here in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin. “This opens the door for each member of our congressional delegation and every candidate for Congress to solicit multi-million dollar gifts from ultra-wealthy donors. Common sense tells us that people who can give that kind of money are going to want something in return.”

Thanks to today’s decision, a politician can solicit from a single donor a $3.6 million check for party committees and federal candidates, consigning to background noise the hundreds of millions of Americans who can’t afford to give more than $5, $10 or even $100 to parties or the candidates of their choice.

“This is a return to the ‘soft money’ era, in which donors could hide six- and seven-figure gifts to individual candidates by donating the money to joint committees or party committees that simply passed it to the intended recipient. It is na├»ve to think that such vast sums of political money do not buy special access and favors,” said Rapoport.

Whether in Washington, at the State Capitol in Madison, or at city hall, major donors routinely get major access to the officials their money helps elect; their lobbyists are invited to help write and amend laws that impact their businesses, and they are rewarded with government jobs, contracts and tax breaks. This system already has helped produce economic inequality unlike any seen in America since before the Great Depression; the court today almost certainly made it worse.

“Today’s ruling makes it clear that, with the current U.S. Supreme Court, the only way to get meaningful campaign reform is by passing a constitutional amendment authorizing Congress and the states to limit campaign spending,” said Rapoport.

Common Cause-backed resolutions calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment have been approved by voters, state legislatures or local governments in 16 states and hundreds of localities coast-to-coast.

In addition, Common Cause will continue to push for public financing of campaigns at the federal, state and local levels, as well as improved disclosure of political money.

Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

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1 comment:

steve gores said...

Citizens United and now this? its been a rough period lately with Roberts Court on big money in politics but Common Cause will not give up trying to reform our democracy I'm sure We shall overcome someday!
Steve Gores La Crosse friend of reform