Campaign Finance Reform

A grotesque distortion of justice was perpetrated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, equating a corporation with an individual. It claimed that any limits on political advertising were unconstitutional as this would bar free speech. The problem is that rarely are corporations—those able to invest large sums for political aims—made up of 100% Americans. Most large companies have parent companies, subsidiaries, plants, sales offices, and storefronts all over the world, and a mix of employees and executives who come from vastly different backgrounds. The First Amendment is an American statute that applies solely to American individuals and groups, voting for American political offices.

We would not let Russians come here and take to the streets with communist propaganda. We would not invoke the First Amendment in defense of a foreign nation taking control of our media. The Constitution is for American citizens and their voluntary associations only, and the smallest common denominator is the individual. “One man, one vote” implies a fair balance: that one man’s influence over the outcome is the same as any other man’s. The corrupt influence of concentrated wealth is something Democracy thrives without.

If a company is making $50 billion a year and a political race—federal, state, or local—that effects their interests typically costs $5 million, why wouldn’t they try to buy a positive result? For this reason, elections should be publically funded as an essential attribute of the democratic machinery, removing the advantage of those seeking to buy the political process.